Happy horse, happy owner – keeping you and your horse content over winter!

Winter often means that horses are confined to their stables for longer than usual, and in periods of bad weather, some horses may have to be stabled for days on end.

While some horses don’t seem to mind living in, for other horses it can be very hard to adjust to 24 hour stabling, and they can become very stressed- which in turn can lead to health and behavioural problems.

To help to reduce your horse’s stress levels, make sure they always have hay or haylage available, as this keeps this reduces the risk of gastric disturbance, the internal fermentation of forage helps to keeps them warm, and eating keeps them occupied. If your horse is a very good doer, use doubled up net small holed haynets to reduce intake, or feed little and often if that is possible.

Try to keep your horse exercised as much as possible, and if your horse is not being ridden as much as usual reduce the amount of concentrate feed they receive, so they are not consuming quick release energy that they can’t utilise. Continue with high fibre and high oil feeds, as these will help with gut fill and satisfaction.

Feedmark’s Nutritionist Olivia shares:

“When the weather means that my horses must stay in, I mpi_FeedmarkFibreBlocksoak a Feedmark Fibre Block in 5 litres of warm water for them- the warm water helps it to smell lovely, and it keeps me happy knowing that it is helping them to stay hydrated- especially as my older mare doesn’t always drink much during cold snaps. My other horse is a stressy type, so she gets Steady-Up Advance over the winter, which really helps to keep her ridden work more focused.”

It can help some horses if they can see a friend nearby, and stable mirrors may also help where this is not possible. If your horse enjoys spending time with you, extra grooming time may be enjoyable for them, and if they use a horse ball or a similar stable toy, let them play with it to help ease boredom.

If your horse is of a nervy disposition, is having to live in, or their behaviour gets worse over the winter we recommend adding our fantastic calmative Steady-Up Advance to their daily feed to help keep them calm and settled.

Horse Of The Week – Rosie.

rosie-2This week’s Horse Of The Week is Rosie, who was owned by Karen Tadd. Karen explains “Unfortunately, Rosie is norosie-1 longer with us, but I would really like to share her story. She was a 15.1hh Irish Draught.”

“We used Steady-Up Advance when Rosie had to be on box rest for 8 weeks. She was always a very stressy mare at the best of times when she was left in, but using Steady-Up Advance was a blessing. It kept her completely calm and rested. Steady-Up Advance helped a lot when bringing Rosie back into work, rosie-3and it kept her calm when she was turned out for the first few times. I was absolutely blown away with the product, I do recommend Steady-Up Advance whenever anyone asks about a calmer. Thank you Feedmark for such a great product! We went on to have lots of fun together, mainly rosie-4hacking and enjoying life!”

If you would like your horse to feature as Feedmark’s Horse Of The Week, please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

Horse Of The Week – Alfie.

alfie-3This 16hh Thoroughbred is Alfie, and he is 13 years old. Gaelann East owns Alfie, and has done so for 3 years. Together they do a lot of dressage. Gaelann told us: “Alfie is an ex racer, he raced with a few placings then went off to a home that hacked him out before he came to me to be retrained for dressage. Alfie and I have been placed and have qualified at the RoR National Finals for three years running. alfie-1We came 10th with our Dressage To Music pair at the Riding Club Finals this year. Alfie also took RoR South East Champion in three classes this year.”

“I have lots of plans for Alfie to move up the alfie-6Dressage levels, and in 2017 we will start to work on Elementary moves, and hopefully go out competing in new Elementary Freestyle to Music. Alfie and I have lots of Qualifications to work towards with RoR Dressage and hope to top the points league again.”

“When Alfie came to us his hoof structure was weak and we kept losing shoes, so I started feeding Feedmark’s Hardy Hoof Formula. Alfie is a right fussalfie-2 monster when it comes to food but the small pellets of Hardy Hoof were easily mixed into his feed. Now we have got him to a stage where he maintains a strong hoof structure, we can keep shoes on for 6 weeks, whereas before he was slipping out of alfie-7them rather too frequently. In the summer when Alfie is on a reduced hard feed, we top up his diet with more hardy hoof to support the hoof horn growth rates. I would highly recommend this product for shod or barefoot horses (I have one of each).”alfie-5

A FREE tub of Hardy Hoof is on its way to Alfie for being our Horse Of The Week!

If you would like your horse to feature as Feedmark’s Horse Of The Week, please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

Horse Of The Week – Krakatoa.

krakatoa-5This is Krakatoa, a 9-year-old Polish Warmblood standing at 17hh. Krakatoa has been owned by Kerri Ashcroft for the last 5 years. Kerri explains: “Together we do general hacking, long distance rides, cross country, and we compete in local shows and hunter trials.”krakatoa-4

“Kraka was sold to me as an uncontrollable hooligan, he was lead out by two people, one had tight hold of the bridle and the other had the headcollar. They had been honest with me and the owner said she wouldn’t ride him again as she was scared of him. However, despite this I fell krakatoa-6in love with him and decided to take him home. It has been an emotional rollercoaster but we have finally got there, he is still a hooligan but controllable and a very lovable horse.”

“Kraka had been through several homes until I bought him in 2012. It was love at first sight and despite his vices I brought him home, I’ve never looked back. We have had some real ups and downs krakatoa-2over the years; tears, broken bones, dislocated fingers and tantrums (both him and me!) but I will never give up on him. Kraka is full of character and luckily, he has no idea how big he really is. We all love him even though he is far from perfect.”

krakatoa-3“My future plans with Kraka are to get to a higher level of cross country; to do more show jumping and dressage; and to try ridden and in hand showing as he is registered with CHAPs as a bay tobiano, and should do really well.”

“Kraka used to be very noisy and raspy after even the krakatoa-7lightest of work. After 7 weeks on Feedmark’s Clarity we have noticed an amazing improvement in noise, he can work much harder without rasping too badly and recovers much quicker. He has no objections to Clarity krakatoa-1being added to his feed.”

A FREE tub of Clarity is on its way to Krakatoa for being our Horse Of The Week!

If you would like your horse to feature as Feedmark’s Horse Of The Week, please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

Horse Of The Week – Pee.

pee-14Meet Pee, our new Horse Of The Week. His owner, Jenny Chapple told us: “Pee is a Welsh cross Thoroughbred, he’s 15.3hh and I’ve been luckypee-3 enough to own him for 10 and a half years. We used to do a lot of showing and competed in some working hunter classes. With his previous owner, he was in the side saddle display team. Pee took me to my first ever county show, he’s such a good allrounder and we’ve had lots of fun doing sponsored rides, jumping, and hacking pee-1out.”

“Pee has a very calming influence, his nickname is ‘Daddy Pee’ and he has looked after many nervous riders and horses, giving them confidence whilst out hacking. pee-6These days he leads a quieter life, and we still go out hacking which we both really enjoy. Pee loves being pampered, and we’re hoping to get out and do some in hand showing next month. Pee also likes to sleep a lot and enjoys a cuddle when he’s pee-8lying down!”

“I started giving Pee Veteranaid when he started looking a bit ‘old’, he had lost condition and his pee-13customary sparkle. Within a few weeks of starting the Veteranaid he picked up, gained a lovely shiny coat and his sparkle returned. I have now been using it for a couple of years and wouldn’t be pee-2without it! I thoroughly recommend Veteranaid for any oldie.”

A FREE tub of Veteranaid is on its way to Pee for being our Horse Of The Week!pee-4

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

Friends reunited

 

nibbet-2

Nibbet has a pony tale with a happy ending

Twelve years ago, Christine Spiby bought a beautiful Welsh Section B pony called Wicksop Jim Nibbet for her grandson, Joshua. As often happens, Joshua became more interested in football than in ponies and it was decided that rather than see Nibbet become bored, the kindest option was to find him another home.

Inevitably, they lost track of the perky 12hh bay gelding. But earlier this year, when Christine was helping out at a local rescue centre, she learned that a pony was arriving later that day.

“The trailer arrived – and there was Nibbet,” said Christine. “It was a coincidence that I was there that day, but my daughter works there.

“I recognised Nibbet straight away, even though he looked very different from when we had him. He was riddled with worms and it turned out that these had caused liver and kidney problems.”

Christine and her daughter, Danielle Medhust, immediately offered to adopt Nibbet and the pony’s story turned full circle to a happy ending. Seven months after stepping down that trailer ramp, Nibbet is back to his cheeky self and has already amassed an impressive collection of rosettes.

He also has a new rider, as Danielle’s seven-year-old daughter, Lexi, has formed a bond with him. “They started off in lead rein classes at local shows and did working hunter, jumping, games, everything,” said Christine.

nibbet“Lexi rides him off the lead rein at home and at their last show, she did the working hunter class on her own. She loves him and can do anything with him – I’m really proud of her, because she’s so kind and caring, to animals and people. Nibbet loves getting attention from her and happily lets her groom him and pick his feet out.

Nibbet is now 24 years old and is as full of character as ever. “When we first owned him, we fed him Feedmark’s Steady-Up Advance,” said Christine.

This nutritional support has become part of Nibbet’s routine once more. “He doesn’t buck or rear or do anything nasty, but even at this age, he isn’t an easy pony to ride,” said Christine. “He can be spooky, not in a dangerous way but enough to keep you on your toes. He’ll still have a spook at something he’s seen a hundred times before!

Christine is adamant that Nibbet has a home with them for life. Lexi is looking forward to having lots more fun with him and there is even a potential follow-up jockey waiting in the wings.

As this newsletter was published, Danielle’s youngest daughter, Erin, was just nine weeks old. “Hopefully, if she wants to ride, Nibbet will be ready,” said Christine.

 

 

Horse Of The Week – Fern.

fern-2This little Exmoor Pony is Fern, our new Horse Of The Week. Fern’s owner Gemma Wesley explained: “Her fern-6official name is Tawbitts Kernick Fern, and she is nine years old. She stands at 12.2hh and I have owned her for eight years. I bought her after she had just come off of the Moor, along with another older one, and I have never looked back since!”

fern-4“At the moment, Fern just keeps the grass down, but she will be starting her ridden career next year. Having owned Fern from a yearling I know her well, but I saw her grow from such a sweet, loving little girl, to a grumpy, biting monster every time fern-1she was in season. It was just unbearable. I tried a few hormone supplements to no avail, and I just wanted my sweet girl back.”

“I decided to give it one last go with Feedmark’s fern-5-smallerHormonease and I am so pleased that I did! She is just like she used to be! I love how nice it smells and of course the amazing results! I can’t wait for Fern’s ridden life to begin.”

A FREE tub of Hormonease is on its way to Fern for being our Horse Of The Week!fern-3-smaller

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

Horse Of The Week – Tigger.

tigger-8This 12-year-old gentle giant is Tigger, who is owned by Anita Vernalls. Anita told us: “Tigger stands at 17.3hh, and he is tigger-3Hanoverian cross Irish. I have owned him since 2006 when I bought him as a two-year-old from Hereford. Tigger is a multi-purpose, family horse who my partner also rides. I use him for show jumping and showing, and my partner uses him for cross country and for trail hunting.”

tigger-14“Tigger has won many firsts in show jumping and is a perfect lead horse in the hunting field. On the road, he is a perfect gentleman whom tigger-1-editis good when out alone but is also a very good lead for young or nervous horses.”

“In the future I would like to do more dressage and showing with Tigger and to improve his groundwork. He is always enthusiastic towards work and acts like a youngster in the field with our others. Tigger always has plenty of confidence, whatever discipline he is doing, from dressage to cross tigger-16country.”

“For the past ten years Tigger, along with all my other horses, has been fed Feedmark’s Benevit Advance. tigger-6They always look very well and no matter what time of year, they always have a glossy, shiny coat. I think Benevit Advance keeps Tigger’s feet in excellent condition, as he keeps his shoes for a good eight weeks.”

A FREE tub of Benevit Advance is on its way to Tigger for tigger-11being our Horse Of The Week!tigger-18

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT HORSE OF THE WEEK? Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com .

2016 Endurance Season Round Up – Katie Bedwin.

I cannot believe it’s already the middle of October, 1151 successful kilometres ridden this season, but where has the time gone! I’ve been very fortunate to ride some very special horses this year; Elayla, Burfield Goodie Two Shoes, Penhwnllys Samala De Mons and Nahzira bint Chantanz. They all had very different goals this year, but they have all been achieved, and then some.

 

Burfield Goodie Two Shoes, has defied all odds and is qualified for the 2017 World endurance championships for young riders in Italy, after completing her two CEI 2** 120km rides, with a 1st at Kings Forest and 8th at Euston Park. She has also had good placing’s/grading’s in all of her other competitions this season, including her first ever Red Dragon experience, where she was 8th in the Little Dragon 80km class.
october-2

Layla’s season plan has been the most difficult this year, at times it felt like every ride I entered was cancelled/changed! But she had a brilliant run at Royal Windsor CEI 2** 120km, where she placed 22nd, the 3rd GB combination home and I was the first young rider home. Layla also went on to win the 80km National race at Kings Forest in the summer, she led from the start and it was one of those races, where everything seems to go to plan – and this doesn’t happen often!  Layla has also been instrumental in taking my young horses out this season, she is a brilliant confidence giver and has gained the top grading, even though she thought it was boring being a nanny!

 

Nahzira bint Chatanz has been with us since she was 6 months old, but it is still daunting when you enter their first ever endurance ride. I had no need to worry because Izzy has taken her three novice rides in her stride, and the atmosphere did not bother her in the slightest. She has now upgraded to open level for 2017, and has her first 40km qualifier under her belt, to start her pathway to FEI.

 

I am very fortunate to have the ride of Penhwnllys Samala De Mons, a mare who I backed at three years old and has subsequently returned to me to complete her first few longer rides. Marley has a lot of potential, and her owner was keen for her to fulfil this, so we started her on the FEI ladder after completing her last 80km qualifier. She was 2nd in the CEI 1* at Kings Forest, and this was a great start to her FEI career. Unfortunately, the CEI 2* we had aimed for was cancelled, so we will have to wait till 2017 to obtain her next qualification.

october-1

I could not ask any more from my horses, but I equally could not achieve what I have without my support team and sponsors. Every one of my horses benefits from a diet aided by Feedmark supplements, and it is instrumental in their performance.

 

So, whilst I watch the horses grazing in the field, on their winter breaks, my thoughts turn the 2017 season. Now I will never make ‘plans’, horses know about ‘plans’! But there is no harm in looking at the competition calendar…

Link

Horses generally have a low rate of cancer. However, their commonest type of cancer or tumour is a sarcoid which is a type of skin growth. Cancer sounds so serious, what does this mean? Cancer is a purposeless multiplication of cells which creates an abnormal mass or lump. It can be devastating because it can damage normal working parts of the body by squashing them, destroying them or altering their function. This all sounds very sinister, so we need to be sensible, lumps and growths should not be ignored.  Simplistically small ones are easier to deal with then large ones. But now for some better news: equine sarcoids, unlike some other types of cancer, very rarely spread to other organs in the body, so it is also extremely rare for them to be life threatening. But they can be a major inconvenience and on occasion stop a horse from working.

sarcoid-leo-2-small

Large ulcerated malevolent inner thigh sarcoid.

There are many types of sarcoid and also other types of skin tumour too. Sometimes samples will need to be taken so that a lump can be identified, because different types of growth need different treatment. Some types of sarcoid your vet will be confident to identify just on it’s appearance and advise accordingly. Sarcoids are commonly found around the eyes, sheath, mammary glands, inner thighs and between the front legs. These are sites commonly frequented by flies. One of the commonest supported theories is that sarcoids are caused by a cattle wart virus (bovine papilloma virus) which is spread by flies. Research is ongoing to try and clarify this virus theory.

 

 

Sarcoids are classified as six types:

occult-smalldepigmented-occult-small

Occult Sarcoid – flat areas often found on the face, sheath or inner thighs.

These often start as hairless or depigmented (pale) areas mimicking ring worm or tack rubs. They can thicken and may become crusty or bleed. They are subtle lesions and can be difficult to spot.

ringworm

Nodular Sarcoid – raised and firm spherical lumps usually covered by normal skin.  Photo of nodular sarcoid in hairless groin area. Often found between front or back legs, on the ears or sheath and may be single or multiple.  These can frequently be lifted clear of underlying structures. They can turn into fibroblastic sarcoids if traumatised.

nodule-small

Verrucous Sarcoid – flat areas of wart-like appearance often found on the ventral abdomen (under the belly), face, sheath or groin. They are often grey in colour and may look warty or flaky. Can become more aggressive if interfered with. Single or multiple.

sarcoid-verrucous-face1-small wales-jade-june2010-001-small

 

 Fibroblastic Sarcoid – have fleshy, ulcerated appearance so bleed easily. May occur at the site of wounds as well as on the face and legs. They can look like an ulcerated “bunch of grapes”. These often enlarge at speed.

ashard-lenny-003-small

 

Malevolent/malignant Sarcoid – aggressive – may spread along the path of veins or lymph vessels. May appear as cords of tumours. Malevolent sarcoids are the most aggressive type. They rapidly spread over large areas and appear as a mixture of nodules, warts and ulcerated areas, often large bundles. Sometimes these can be so severe they are untreatable, fortunately they are rare.

malevolent-sarcoid

Mixed Sarcoids –

 

sarcoid-sheath-small

 

An individual horse may have just one type of sarcoid, whilst another horse may have a mixture of several types. They are commoner in geldings than mares and most cases are initially seen in horses aged 3-6years.

So if sarcoids are not life threatening why treat them?

There are many reasons:

  • to prevent deformities and the disruption of the function of important structures, e.g., sarcoids around the eyes can cause eyelid deformities which interfere with eyelid function and tear distribution. Rarely the resulting irregularity of the eyelid can cause corneal ulceration.
  • to prevent interference with tack e.g. girth, martingale or bridle, which would lead to discomfort or bleeding.
  • to stop the spread of sarcoids on this horse
  • to also stop the spread of sarcoids to companion horses via flies,
  • to prevent the discomfort of the tumours e.g. between the hind legs,
  • to reduce fly annoyance by removing the bleeding sarcoid – some of which can become infected and unhygienic
  • to improve the appearance of the horse

2-2-12-small

Treatment options

Sarcoids can mimic more sinister tumours and vice versa, so biopsy (taking an actual sample of the mass and sending to the laboratory for analysis) may be necessary.

Also, sarcoids can mimic sweet itch, ringworm, traumatised and thickened skin and vice versa.  With such a large range of different appearances of actual sarcoids (and other skin diseases) it is not surprising that a huge range of treatments has also emerged. No single treatment is 100% effective. Ask your vet for the best advice on an individual case, please don’t dabble with treatments as this often just delays an effective treatment and may actually make the condition worse eventually costing more money to treat. Often the location and type of sarcoid will dictate the best treatment.

Wilful neglect. Sometimes a vet may advise just to monitor a single occult or nodular sarcoid.  If the sarcoid changes or enlarges further veterinary advice should be sought. Rarely an isolated sarcoid may shrivel/fall off presumably due to the horse’s own immune system ‘rejecting’ the tumour.

.Nodular sarcoids, which can be lifted clear of underlying tissues, can often be simply treated by ligation with a rubber ring. This can be very successful as the sarcoid is starved of a blood supply, withers and dies.

ashard-lenny-002-ring-small

Many creams have been used and a full discussion is too large for this article. However, Liverpool Cream is probably the most frequently used, this cytotoxic (cell killing) treatment has been very successful but needs multiple applications by a vet. It is dangerous and will damage normal skin on you or your horse, so great care is required.  Horses tolerate its application better if pain relief is provided before the area swells and becomes sore.

lady-fosdike-neck-slough-small

healed-small mid-tx-small pre-tx-small

Three photos of sarcoid pre-treatment, during treatment and after treatment.

Cryosurgery – involves cycles of freezing and thawing tissue to destroy it. It can be effective on small lesions, but recurrence rate seems to be high after this treatment.

BCG injection (BCG is a human vaccine for tuberculosis) – this can be injected into nodular lesions on the face every week for three treatments.  Horses must be monitored for an hour after treatment for an allergic reaction so it is time consuming but very effective for facial nodular and fibroblastic sarcoids. It should not be used on lesions elsewhere on the body. Good cosmetic results.

copy-of-bcg-mid-tx-small

Photo of pony during BCG treatment.  This resulted in no scar.

 Other forms of chemotherapy, radio therapy and traditional surgery have all been tried with varying success.

Currently surgical laser removal of sarcoids is becoming popular and backed up with scientific evidence.  The laser cuts and burns tissue providing a margin of dead tissue around the sarcoid as it is   removed.  This leaves a large area which heals slowly with scarring.  In a recent research paper, 82% of sarcoids removed by laser did not recur.

sarcoid-post-tx-stolle-small

Photo of post treatment scarring.

Remember

Small lesions are easier to treat than larges ones. Extensive lesions will need more aggressive treatments. Not all treatments are successful; recurrence is common. Trauma to a sarcoid will aggravate it, this may be surgery or cream application, so a treatment plan is required. All horses can suffer sarcoids, even donkeys and zebra.

jb-4-small

Photo of donkey with extensive nodular sarcoids.

No two sarcoids are the same so an individual treatment plan and monitoring is required. Sarcoids can be frustrating to treat.  Many horses have a mixture of types, often in different locations. Every sarcoid should be assessed by your vet and monitored/treated as advised.

Please feel free to look on our website or contact me for further details.

Helen Whitbread BVetMed CertVR MRCVS, Deben Valley Equine Vet Clinic, Birds Lane, Framsden, Suffolk IP14 6HR.  (01728) 685 123. www.debenvalleyvet.co.uk

 

sarvoid-main-large

• Feed to horses and ponies with skin imperfections
• The herb turmeric, red clover and burdock root are traditionally used for skin health and coat care
• Contains micronised linseed, a source of omega 3 fatty acid which may help support healthy skin and promote a shiny coat. It may also be beneficial in animals with fly bite sensitivity
• With BioPerine to increase bioavailability of the active ingredients
• NOPS approved