Trio is a 17’ Irish sport horse.  He is ISH bred and came to his Nicky his owner when he was 5 years old.   He is a very calm horse that tries his best. But as Nicky progressed his training as a riding and jumping horse, she started to realise that he was quite stuffy and not as forward as she would like.  This particularly caused issues in the show jumping arena – being a very honest horse he would always have a go, but his stuffy style caused him to knock down a lot of the fences, giving Nicky an uncomfortable experience, which eventually started to affect her confidence and enjoyment.

Nicky is an experienced horse woman and was giving Trio a lot of the things he needed already. With one small adjustment (a standard balancer containing ingredients that we tend to avoid, his diet was good. Being kept on a traditional livery yard, Trio does have some time out at inappropriate grass. But he also spends time in the stable with plenty of hay. Because Nicky rides and completes regularly, Trio has a decent level of work and exercise on a regular basis.

Following some discussion with Nicky, she agreed to add salt to Trio’s bucket and then Calm Helathy Horse’s GrazeEzy. The approach was designed to help the horse to use himself in a more athletic way and to address his discomfort on stony ground (even in shoes).

Within a month, there was a noticeable change for the better.  Trio stopped being uncomfortable  on stony ground and became more forward-going.   Nicky  stepped up his showjumping training and with the help of her trainer was able to get Trio going much sharper off her leg.  Since then, Trio’s performance has progressively improved as it should.

 

Trio’s  “grass affected issues ” manifested in subclinical laminitis, which (when you know what to look for), could easily be seen in his feet. However this low-level soreness was not just about feet. It was also causing his whole body to be uncomfortable and stiff.  As a result, he could not go forward athletically even though he was very willing to try.   His condition suppressed the progression of Nicky’s training efforts. Because his issues were subclinical it would have been very easy to label him as a lazy horse that needed a big stick to make him go and not really suitable as a competition horse.   While it’s true that he will never be a grand prix show jumper or international event horse he is now very capable of competing at 90 or even 100 cm events.

Adding Salt and GrazEzy to his bucket, plus taking out a commercial balancer that brought ingredients that we avoid,  and being even more aware of the impact of the grass has enabled Nicky to make better choices around Trio’s management.  At the livery yard, they  are lucky to have access to more than one paddock. This means she can allow the grass to mature as much as possible before her horses are allowed to graze and minimise access to short stressed growth.  She is also able to put hay out in the field. By aiming to ensure that her horses graze the most suitable grass available, using stabling as a grass-free option, feeding ad lib hay and improving the minerals in the bucket, Trio is now functioning normally.   This means that the important movement factor can work as it should during turnout and ridden work.

As we say,  correct diet and correct movement are the most important keystones to a calm healthy horse.