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Meet Kurt Hughett, 2014 NSBA Heroes on Horses Western Pleasure World Champion

29 September, 2014 | Posted in category: SUCCEED Stories, SUCCEED® News & Events | No Comments

Heroes On HOrses Pleasure class winner -wave

SUCCEED is proud to have been the title sponsor of the special Heroes on Horses event at the National Snaffle Bit Association World Championship Show again this year. The NSBA offers two Heroes on Horses classes during the World Championship Show. Both are open to veterans with disabilities.Heroes on Horses classes have been part of the NSBA Worlds since 2011.

Kurt Hughett, an Army veteran who was stationed at Fort Hood, Fort Irwin and Fort Bliss before leaving the service in 1985, always loved horses. But after acquiring several service-related disabilities while in the army he didn’t think he’d ever ride again.

That is, until one of his therapists at the VA hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, encouraged him to give it another try. She put Kurt in touch with Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship. This therapeutic riding program, based in Wylie, Texas, offered a class called Hooves for Heroes specifically for veterans. And since Equest specializes in equine therapy for children and adults with all types of physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities, the instructors knew exactly how to help Kurt get back on a horse for the first time in years. “They also taught me how much I didn’t know I didn’t know about horses!” he says with a laugh. That was just last fall.

This summer, he was the world champion of the NSBA Heroes on Horses class, Western Pleasure division, proving that he was a quick study. He also discovered that riding limbered up his aching lower back and neck, giving him significant relief from the pain he’d felt since leaving the Army. 

“I never thought I’d be able to ride again, since I thought the movement would probably do me more harm than good,” Kurt says. “But when my butt’s in the saddle and I’m moving along with the horse’s stride, it stretches and limbers me up and my pain is greatly reduced.”

Equest’s focus on therapeutic riding means that each class starts with stretches designed to lengthen the leg and limber up the neck and shoulders. The horses are trained to take the special exercises in stride so that veterans with missing limbs or even partial paralysis can join in, sometimes aided by the walk-along volunteers.

“I used to be in constant pain,” Kurt says, “but the exercises we perform and just riding makes me more relaxed — and since I love it so much it relaxes me even more.”

Kurt, who got involved at the Fort Worth VA in 2003 after struggling with depression, says the equestrian therapy plays as big a role in maintaining an active, positive-minded lifestyle as the group and individual therapy he seeks at the VA and the volunteering he does in his spare time.

“It’s all been part of a greater plan that’s led me to Equest,” he says. “I have things to do and commitments and goals to keep. I really don’t have time to be down. And if I could go to equestrian therapy more than once a week, I sure would. I’d be there every day if I could.”

Kurt competed at the NSBA show with three other veterans from Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program. Susannah Denney, the veterans’ coordinator from Equest, had set up several “practice” shows for the veterans, but Kurt says that “Nothing prepares you for the number of people, the excitement or the exhilaration of being judged in a big competition. It was the first time I’d been paired up with Robbie, but the preparation and the classes I’d gotten from Equest gave me the tools I needed to have a performance that was even better than what I thought I had in me.”

Coming back to the barn as a world champion, Kurt says he’s looking forward to the next challenge.

“My trainer asked me what’s next for me, and I told her to just tell me where to go next,” he says. “She said it was time for me to start loping. I’ve loped before, but that was back when I was a teenager and didn’t know better! I’m a little older now, but I’m going to take it on as my next challenge.”



Meet Quinn Sanders: 2014 NSBA Heroes on Horses Ranch Horse Pleasure World Champion

11 September, 2014 | Posted in category: SUCCEED Stories | No Comments

Winner-Ranch type w awards

SUCCEED is proud to have been the title sponsor of the special Heroes on Horses event at the National Snaffle Bit Association World Championship Show again this year. The NSBA offers two Heroes on Horses classes during the World Championship Show. Both are open to veterans with disabilities.Heroes on Horses classes have been part of the NSBA Worlds since 2011.

Prior to 2011, Quinn Sanders, a U.S. Army veteran who served tours in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, hadn’t been on a horse since he was six years old — and that was only for a quick lead-line ride up and down the block. But last month, Quinn took the world championship title in the Heroes on Horses Ranch Horse Pleasure class at the National Snaffle Bit Association World Championship, on his horse Black Magic. It was his first time ever showing at the NSBA World Championship Show.

Quinn credits his success directly to Black Magic, saying, “it was mostly all Magic, not me — I don’t really know a lot about arena riding” — but since the class was judged on 50 percent rider and 50 percent horse, we did a little digging to find out where that other 50 percent came from. We discovered that the secret to Quinn’s success could be traced back to Melanie Mincey and the Broken Wheel Ranch Project, in Bonham, Texas.

Quinn was in a program at the VA hospital in Dallas, Texas, for veterans recovering from stress, anxiety and PTSD. It was there that Quinn met Melanie, a nurse at the hospital.  When Quinn told Melanie about his love of horses, she invited him to visit Broken Wheel Ranch, where she and her husband, James, run a therapeutic riding ranch for veterans. With the slogan, “Helping Veterans Recover, One Ride at a Time,” Broken Wheel serves around 20 veterans on a regular basis. The program is completely free to vets and their family members.

“We’ve got about 300 acres to ride on, so we mostly ride on the trail,” Quinn says. “But when it came time for the show, I started riding Magic in the arena, where I could get the feel of him, and he could get the feel of me.”

Quinn, who lives about 80 miles from Broken Wheel, comes to ride at least once a week, and usually tries to bring several other veterans from his program at the VA with him to ride. He can speak first-hand about the value of therapeutic riding to his quality of life, and wants nothing more than to share that with other veterans.

“If you’ve got any type of a mental condition or depression or PTSD, horses are fantastic,” he says. “Riding relieves all of your stress and anxiety and it’s really peaceful — like sanctuary on the back of your horse when you’re riding down through the trees and by the creek.”
And from learning the basics from Melanie and her team, Quinn has also progressed to learning to be a trainer, thanks to several seminars he’s attended.

“I’m mostly learning how to build a partnership with a horses by building up trust,” he says. “I try to do that with our veterans now too — try to help them experience what I’ve experienced with horses. It’s definitely a lifetime thing for me. I don’t like to say never, but I’ll never give up horses!”

Eight other veterans from Broken Wheel also participated in the Heroes on Horses classes — several of whom had competed the year before.
“I felt really grateful for the chance to compete in the Heroes on Horses class,” Quinn says. “It really makes us veterans feel appreciated, and that we’re not going unnoticed. For the NSBA to create that class in 2011, they really showed us they cared — and we’re grateful for that.”
Congratulations to Quinn and Black Magic, world champions of this year’s Heroes on Horses Ranch Horse Pleasure class!



Monday Myth #40: SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program is Expensive

08 September, 2014 | Posted in category: Care & Management, Monday Myths: Horse Care, Using SUCCEED | No Comments

It’s a review we hear often enough about SUCCEED: “I like what SUCCEED did for my horse, but it’s just too expensive.” If you are reading this, it’s probably because you’ve heard it too – or even said it yourself.

And you would be right. SUCCEED is expensive. It’s no myth that a $3+ per day price tag is higher than what you see when compared to many other feed supplements on the market.

But before letting the price deter you, take a moment to consider two critical questions:

  1. Why is SUCCEED expensive?
  2. What is my horse’s health worth?

There is a difference between price and value. Here’s a look at why SUCCEED’s price reflects high value in so many ways: the product’s quality, its impact on your horse’s health, the longer term benefits in your horse’s behavior, performance ability and attitude…and the potential savings over time. 

Why Is SUCCEED so Expensive?

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. You can buy saddles for $3,000 or $300, but you know very well which one is going to be more comfortable (for both horse & rider), last longer, look nicer, and be backed by better service. The same goes for your horse’s digestive health supplement. When you pay for SUCCEED, you are paying for higher quality, human pharmaceutical grade ingredients, derived from unique processing that retains key nutrients, and ongoing research to ensure safety and utility. 

Quality Ingredients

Common oat flour contains about 4 percent beta glucan, a soluble fiber that provides the functional benefits to digestive health. SUCCEED doesn’t contain just any oat flour derived from standard oats (typically full of starch which is decidedly bad for equine gut health). We use specially grown oats that contain more bran and less starch, and we primarily utilize the hull. This ensures a higher concentration of beta glucan in the flour  as much as 16 percent.

The same goes for the oat oil in SUCCEED. We source our oil from a supplier that uses a patented extraction process utilizing ethanol. This retains a higher concentration of polar lipids, a natural constituent of the oat oil, as compared with the more common hexane extraction process which typically destroys them. It’s the polar lipids that provide so many benefits to the structure and function of the digestive tract.

Those are just a few specific examples of the higher quality ingredients and processes used in SUCCEED which cannot be duplicated by another product. (Check out the “What Goes In” series to learn more about the benefits of oat flour, oat oil, and yeast in SUCCEED.)

Dedication to Research and Exceeding Industry Standards

We also work hard to do things the right way. Freedom Health:

  • Maintains a manufacturing facility that meets human pharmaceutical practices, registered with the FDA and following the highest standards for consistency and quality control.
  • Employs two veterinarians on our management team who are constantly providing research, testing, and customer support.
  • Jumps through extensive hoops to make sure our products are properly licensed for sale and meet rigorous regulatory standards.
  • Participates in independent research studies.

And, unlike most supplements, SUCCEED is backed by extensive research that has led to multiple patents. You can find those patent numbers on all of our labels, and vets can access full patent and research information in the Veterinary Center.

What Is Your Horse’s Health Worth?

An expensive supplement does have clear value if it has enough benefit for your horse in terms of health and performance – and even reduces costs over the long-haul.

Gut health is at the core of your horse’s overall well-being. Anything less than 100 percent has far-reaching effects, from nutrient absorption and energy to hair coat and condition to more serious digestive issues. Digestive health also affects overall health which, in turn, can impact the horse’s attitude, trainability, willingness, and ability to perform to full potential. Therefore, your horse’s digestive health has inestimable value.

When your horse’s gut and digestive processes are healthy, you may avoid costly vet visits and treatments. You may even find that your feed bill goes down when your horse’s system is able to more efficiently and effectively digest its feed, allowing you to decrease grains or other products you use for increasing calories. Put it all together, and you’re likely to find that SUCCEED more than pays for itself!

SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program Works

Challenge-WB-330-x-330-v2SUCCEED works by supporting the healthy structure and function of the entire equine digestive tract, naturally. But don’t take our word for it. Read reviews from international riders and amateur owners alike to see the value they and their horses get from SUCCEED.

Yes, SUCCEED is more expensive than your horse’s average feed supplement. But price does reflect value when it comes to this high quality supplement, proven to have far-reaching benefits for many horses as well as their owners and trainers. 

Take the SUCCEED Challenge. We are so confident that you will see valuable benefits with SUCCEED that we will give you your money-back, no questions asked, after a 60-day trial period if you aren’t happy with the results.

 



Are you a veterinarian? Access exclusive product information, research, & materials in the Vet Center.

Welcome New Zealand’s Lizzie Brown Eventing to Team SUCCEED

14 August, 2014 | Posted in category: Our Riders, SUCCEED® News & Events | No Comments

WEB-14-LUH-NZL-Brown-174925-year-old Kiwi eventer Lizzie Brown officially arrived on the international scene when she won the Boekelo CCI3* with Henton Attorney General in October 2013. While that win launched her into a bright future with the New Zealand eventing squad, her road to success as a professional eventing competitor and trainer has been a lifetime in the making.

Raised by equestrian parents, Lizzie sat her first horse at just 3-months-old. She dabbled in jumping, dressage, eventing, and hunts while growing up riding with the Cambridge Pony Club. Lizzie says she did a little bit of everything until she was 14, when she got a horse that was “quite special in eventing,” as she puts it. Between that horse and her off-track-thoroughbreds who were best suited for cross country, Lizzie got the eventing bug.

Lizzie decided to make horses her career after she spent a year in the UK as a working student with top British eventer Lucy Weigersma. Back in New Zealand, she was offered the ride on Henton Attorney General (and purchased a half share in him) at the same time she was working to obtain a degree in Business Management from Waikato University.

With Henton Attorney General, barn name “Frank,” Lizzie moved up through the grades and gained national success Down Under both as a Young Rider and at the Advanced/3* level. The season culminated with Lizzie awarded Leading Rider for 2010/2011 and winning the SuperLeague series.

Lizzie decided the appropriate next step in her career was to relocate to the UK; so she sold most of her horses to finance the move and went to Milton Stud in Wiltshire with Frank.

Health Challenges with Imported Horses

Moving horses always poses challenges due to traveling and new environments, and the impact is more significant when it includes the lengthy travel, a change in hemispheres, and differing weather from New Zealand to the UK.

Frank was imported to the UK in 2012, and subsequently dealt with travel-related health challenges that affected his appetite, body condition, and performance. And he wasn’t the only one. Some other horses in Lizzie’s string were also struggling to maintain condition and turning up their noses at their feed.

Vet Recommended SUCCEED

Lizzie’s vet, Peter “Spike” Milligan of Labourne Equine Vets, recommended she try SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program to get her horses back in top condition. She used it first with one of her young thoroughbreds imported from New Zealand in January 2013, who struggled after the long trip.

“Within 24 hours of starting on SUCCEED paste, his appetite returned,” Lizzie explains. “He was soon eating all his ad-lib roughage and licking his bowl clean. In a couple of weeks his weight started building; after a month his coat was glossy and his topline starting to bulk out. He was happy in the stable and to train. He had a very successful first eventing season in 2013 thanks to SUCCEED, starting out in pre-novice and finishing his season completing CCI* double clear.”

Why Lizzie Brown Recommends SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program

Lizzie now uses SUCCEED across her team of six horses. And she says the most dramatic improvement was with Henton Attorney General:

“We started Henton Attorney General on SUCCEED in 2013. Immediately, his appetite and condition returned. We had an amazing event season, winning three major events including Boekelo CCI3* and were shortlisted for New Zealand’s 2014 World Equestrian Games team.”

Most recently, Lizzie and Frank helped the New Zealand Eventing Team clinch the Houghton Hall CICO3* Nations Cup win in May 2014, also coming in second individually behind Sir Mark Todd. We look forward to seeing how far this promising young rider and her horses go in the years to come, and are honored to play a small part in their success. The feeling seems to be mutual:

“I believe success starts from the inside out,” Lizzie says. “SUCCEED is the platform upon which we can train and compete our horses to produce top results at the highest levels of eventing.”

 

Challenge-WB-330-x-330-v2



SUCCEED again to sponsor NSBA World Show starting today

09 August, 2014 | Posted in category: SUCCEED® News & Events | No Comments

NSBA World Show
SUCCEED is excited to return as a corporate sponsor of the National Snaffle Bit Association World Championship Show for the fourth straight year. As part of the sponsorship, SUCCEED will also continue to be the title sponsor of the Heroes on Horses event. And, as in year’s past, SUCCEED Sponsored Rider and NSBA Hall of Famer Nancy Sue Ryan and her daughter Courtney will be on hand.

NSBA World Championship Show

2014 represents the ninth year for the NSBA World Championship Show & Breeders Championship Futurity, held August 9-17 at the Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex at Expo Square in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All-breed classes will be featured, along with 46 classes from the Breeders Championship Futurity, Over half a million dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded over the week-long event. Learn more about the show program at NSBA.com.

Special Events to Look Out for at NSBA Worlds

Heroes on Horses
With the return of the NSBA Worlds, NSBA will once again offer a very special Heroes on Horses competition, in a pair of classes Saturday. Heroes on Horses provides an opportunity to honor service men and women and the horses that are helping them heal. The Heroes on Horses competition at the NSBA World Championship is sponsored by SUCCEED. To learn more, watch the post-competition interview with Doug Willard, the 2013 NSBA Heroes on Horses Independent Rider World Champion.

Nancy Sue Ryan and Courtney Suzanne Ryan of SUCCEED
SUCCEED is also a proud sponsor of NSBA Hall of Fame rider, trainer, and breeder Nancy Sue Ryan and her champion hunter under saddle horses. Nancy Sue and her daughter Courtney Suzanne Ryan will be competing at NSBA Worlds with their Show Stop Farm horses.

During the entire run of the show, Courtney will also be representing SUCCEED. Interested in learning more about SUCCEED or signing up to try it risk-free for 60 days? Stop by the Show Stop Farm stall area to pick up some literature or speak with Nancy Sue and Courtney.



About the SUCCEED Blog

The SUCCEED Equine Blog is all about empowering horse owners, trainers, and barn managers to better understand and care for their horses' overall wellness.

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