Grass Affected Horsespersil grass affected!

I met Jenny Paterson from Calm Healthy Horses at Horse of the Year 2009 and talked to her about my horses issues:

I have three horses with three different problems so it was hard to believe they were all caused by the same thing...







The Problems...

My 18 year old TB mare was then “retired” as she was too affected by grass allergies to ride. In the spring/summer she would come out in itchy hives on her face, neck, stomach and hind end which she would scratch until her skin was swollen and bleeding.

I tried soothing washes and creams, even got steroids injections from the vet to reduce the irritation.

Her behaviour was also affected. When she was wearing a halter/ bridle she would shake her head like sand flies were around her ears. When the saddle was on she would continually itch at the girth, do fully body shakes like her skin was crawling with ants. She would be so irritated she could not concentrate on riding but would just scratch/ shake until I got off. And if I rode her down the road she would have rearing explosions and continue rearing even when I got off.

My 18 year old CB gelding has been lame for years with no apparent cause. He is a good doer and we have had excess weight issues when the grass is growing well. This is hard to manage when he was out of work due to intermittent lameness.

To address the issue of sore feet we tried the vet (nerve blocks, x-rays and blood thinner to increase blood flow to the feet), chiropractor, regular horse massages and glucosamine supplements.

No-one could suggest what was causing his lameness. Then I got onto a barefoot trimmer who picked up on laminitis lines in his feet! He had never shown the classic signs of laminitis (weight on heels, hot feet etc) only his feet where consistently tender and he was reluctant to move faster than a walk around the paddock at times.

He would also sweat excessively during summer with sweat dripping off him as he stood in the paddock and found it hard to shed his thick winter coat.

Finally my 6 year old TB who I have owned since he was a yearling has always had diarrhoea and because of this his back end was always poo stained (a problem when he is grey!) and he drank a lot to keep hydrated.

The Solution...

After talking to Jenny I changed how I managed my horses environment:

Before the changes

Now they live on a track system i.e. a raceway(4m) wide around the perimeter of my paddocks and the
middle is left to grow for hay.

All the paddocks join up and the horses wander around them a lot between the trough, hay and trees for shelter which are located in different paddocks.

The horses have eaten down the grass and are slowly creating tracks meaning they have limited grass and hay is given twice a day

All three horses are feed unmolassed sugar beet with Premium NZ Horse Minerals, ToxDefy and Alleviate C plus a tablespoon of salt split into two feeds.

My skinny 18 year old TB mare also gets barley and oil to boost her weight which works without making her fizzy.

The Difference!

What a difference this has made to my horses!
My young TB now has normal solid poos for the first time in his life due to the higher fibre content in this diet and no longer having access fresh green grass.

My CB gelding now hoons round the paddock with the other horses and gets regular exercise round the track which has helped him to loose weight and tone up. He is also a lot more supple and is able to canter on the lunge which is something he has not been able to do for years . And he is now sound meaning I can ride him again.

But the best is my mare. She is now back in work and is like a push button pony. No shaking, itchy skin or rearing! Cannot believe the change in my horses especially when I had tried so many other avenues to find solutions to their issues.

I would happy recommend the ProvideIt supplements to anyone with horses and will continue using them on my horses all year round due to the great results I have had using them.

Katie Jones
December 2009