16 September, 2013 | Posted in category: SUCCEED® News & Events
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Doug Willard took first place in a class in last month’s National Snaffle Bit Association World Show in Tulsa — but for him, the best part of the show was meeting the riders he was competing against.
Comraderie is not usually why riders compete at shows, but as a participant in the NSBA’s Heroes on Horses Western Pleasure class, Doug shared a special bond with his fellow riders, all of whom were either disabled veterans or active-duty wounded warriors. Doug, a telecommunications operator serving in the U.S. Army from 1988-1992, now lives in Baxter Springs, Kansas. He’s attended several horse shows as a helper, but this was the first in which he’d participated.
“I was talked into participating somewhat at the last moment, but I just loved seeing how well they took care of all of us in the veterans class,” said Doug. “Yes, it was still a competition, so I just went in there and rode and had fun — but the best part for me was meeting the other guys and hearing what therapeutic riding has done for them. The riding matters far more to them than the competition does.”
Doug would know. After he got out of the Army he worked in building restoration. After breaking his arm at work a few years ago, he decided to volunteer somewhere locally while he healed. He asked Shelly McColm, the head of a therapeutic riding center called Horses of Hope, if he could volunteer at the barn as a side walker and general assistant.
“I was just amazed at the therapeutic riding and what the horses had done for these kids,” said Doug about volunteering at Horses of Hope. “It only took a few days before I fell in love with what was happening. I guess they also liked the way I do things and the response I got from the kids, so I ended up working at Horses of Hope as an employee.”
On a typical day Doug might be a side walker for a child, making sure he or she stays upright on the horse, or he might work with the educational programs or help with the after-school programs. Regardless of the job, he does it with a big smile on his face.
“That’s kind of my specialty,” he said. “I like to be silly, so I make a lot of jokes. There’s always a certified riding instructor working with me, so my real job is to make the kids feel special.”
Horses of Hope is also working on a new pilot program for veterans who are interested in riding, which Doug is keenly interested in.
“There’s definitely a very critical need for programs like that, with soldiers returning with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and other physical and emotional challenges,” he said. “At NSBA, a lot of the guys were saying that they’re used to people caring for them, but that riding gives them an opportunity to care for something else that needs them — they’re no longer the patient.”
He paused for a minute, then continued, “that’s how I feel about my work too — people always say ‘oh it’s so great what you do for these kids’ — but I always feel that I’m the one who benefits — not just from the kids, but the horses too. That’s my therapeutic moment.”
SUCCEED was proud to co-sponsor this event for the third year in a row. Heroes on Horses honors our veterans and wounded, active-duty service men and women and the horses that are helping them heal. They compete in walk/jog western pleasure, often with horses borrowed from local therapeutic riding programs.
12 September, 2013 | Posted in category: Care & Management
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The number of elite riders and trainers who feed SUCCEED on a daily basis is proof of how important digestive health is to top-level competitors. Our SUCCEED-sponsored riders include Olympians like Karen O’Connor and Steffen Peters, but SUCCEED is important for all horses — not just those competing at the Grand Prix level or at the AQHA Worlds. Senior horses, for example, may appear to have a much easier life than their younger peers — plenty of turnout time, little work and (ideally) a special diet — but they have their own set of challenges to overcome.
SUCCEED is an important factor in keeping senior horses healthy. We spoke with two top horsewomen to hear why they put senior horses on SUCCEED; don’t miss our follow-up post to hear the science behind senior horses and SUCCEED.
Cathy Wieschhoff, of CW Event in Lexington, Ky.
Three-day eventer, Cathy Wieschhoff, has been using SUCCEED since 2007. All of her top horses are on it — but so are two of her retired 4* eventers, Ocotillo and Spelga Dam. They’re both in their 20s and out to pasture, but Cathy feels strongly about keeping them on SUCCEED. “I’m going to do everything I can to keep them in good digestive health,” she says.
Joan Hamilton, of Kalarama Farm in Springfield, Ky.
Harlem Globetrotter, a five-time World Championship-winning Saddlebred stallion who sired many successive World Champions, was put on a daily dose of SUCCEED at the advanced age of 25 years old until his death in 2012 just short of his 33rd birthday. Bred by Joan Hamilton and trained by Larry Hodge, both at Kalarama Farm, “Harlem” showed noticeable improvement when he went on SUCCEED.
“SUCCEED made a huge difference for Harlem Globetrotter,” Hamilton said in a 2009 interview. “Now he has a bloom to his coat and his eyes are bright; he is filled out and looks like a much younger, happier horse.”
Harlem leaves behind a legacy that has spread to Canada, Europe, Australia, Greece, South America and South Africa.
Why Senior Horses Need SUCCEED
The Natural Digestive Challenges of Advanced Age
There are multiple factors that can cause a senior horse to be underweight. Mainly, the digestive tract simply doesn’t function as well as it used to, making it harder for an older horse to fulfill his daily nutrition requirements. In addition, older horses’ teeth are typically worn down, making it harder to grind food.
Ongoing Environmental Challenges
Many horse owners assume that once a horse is turned out to pasture “for good,” his digestive problems will magically be solved. It is true that mimicking a horse’s natural lifestyle — foraging slowly and constantly — and reducing the challenges of a competitive schedule will help reduce the risk of digestive upset.
But as we discussed earlier, digestive problems are still an issue in horses that are turned out, due to ongoing factors like parasites, toxins, dehydration, rich spring grass, and the possibility of ingesting foreign matter like sand. It’s critically important for horse owners to do everything possible to mitigate these factors by deworming regularly, limiting access to spring grass, and providing a source of fresh water. Other environmental challenges are best addressed by keeping your horse in the best digestive health possible.
Up Next: How SUCCEED Can Help Support Senior Horse Health
Feeding SUCCEED once a day can help with both the physical and environmental challenges in senior horses. In the second part of this post on keeping senior horses healthy, we’ll talk about why SUCCEED should be part of your older horse’s daily care. Subscribe to the SUCCEED blog so you don’t miss the science behind senior horses and SUCCEED.
Photo used by permission via Creative Commons. Photo credit: SaraiRachel
09 September, 2013 | Posted in category: Monday Myths
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Statement: SUCCEED is a great product for preventing or treating diseases of the equine gut.
This is simply not the case. SUCCEED does not treat or prevent any disease in horses.
Various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are increasingly common problems for horses today, thanks to what and how we feed, how we manage them, and the additional challenges brought on by rigorous training, traveling, and competing. If you think your horse may be suffering, it is important that you seek veterinary help immediately. Your trained veterinary professional will help you to develop a treatment program to put your horse back on the road towards gut health. While SUCCEED may support gastrointestinal wellness in horses, it is not a treatment for disease.
SUCCEED Is NOT a Drug, Treatment, or Preventative
In official terms, SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program is not a pharmaceutical. In layman’s terms, it’s not a drug.
Only FDA-approved drugs can treat or prevent diseases in horses. SUCCEED is not an FDA-approved drug and does not claim to, nor does it, prevent or treat equine gastrointestinal diseases. In fact, there are no feed supplements that can legally be considered to treat or prevent diseases of any kind in horses.
SUCCEED Is a Feed Product that Supports Gut Health in Horses
Products for use in animals that aren’t approved as pharmaceuticals must be classified and approved as feed products according to the FDA. As such, SUCCEED is a feed product that may be used to support gut health in horses.
SUCCEED includes all natural ingredients, many with high concentrations of beneficial components, including oat oil, oat flour, dried yeast, and the amino acids glutamine and threonine. Natural, beneficial constituents of these ingredients include polar lipids, beta glucan, mannan oligosaccharides (MOS) that work together to support the healthy structure and function of the equine GI tract, and natural immune health – even in the face of modern feed and care challenges.
Note that because SUCCEED is not a drug and is crafted from natural feed ingredients, it is NOT a prohibited substance under the FEI and other competitive organizations.
SUCCEED treats and prevents GI diseases: myth. SUCCEED is not a drug. It is a feed product that supports gut health in horses.
26 August, 2013 | Posted in category: Monday Myths
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In Monday Myths we debunk common misconceptions about a range of topics regarding equine digestive health and care. These are real statements made by real horse people. Have a question or topic you would like to see covered? Submit your idea here.
Statement: SUCCEED is a great product for supporting gastric health in horses.
It’s common to find information about SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program shared on other shopping sites, blogs, and forums that categorizes this equine supplement solely for the support of gastric health in horses. This is simply not the case.
Here’s why SUCCEED is a feed supplement that supports the health of horse’s whole digestive tract, not just the stomach.
SUCCEED is NOT Just a Gastric Health Supplement
The term “gastric” refers specifically to the stomach. A horse’s stomach makes up only about 10 percent or less of its entire GI tract. It is primarily responsible for initially breaking down feed, which happens in about 40 minutes or less. On the other hand, many of the nutrients in a horse’s diet - such as vitamins, simple carbohydrates, fats, and proteins - are then absorbed through the small intestine in a matter of hours. To this point, horses are similar to other animal species that also have just one stomach, including humans.
But here is where they differ greatly … the horse is hugely dependent on the cecum and colon for digestion of a majority of its food – forages like grass, hay, and beet pulp. Even in horses that receive concentrated feed, these fibrous foods provide 70 percent or more of a horse’s energy, and are digested solely through the process of fermentation (by beneficial microorganisms) in the hindgut. This process can take up to 2 or 3 days. So, the health of the cecum, colon, and the microbial population that lives there is critical to a horse’s digestive wellness.
Yes, SUCCEED does contain ingredients that support the health of the equine stomach, a very small portion of the overall digestive tract and process. But it is also highly-engineered for the support of the entire equine gastrointestinal tract – especially the hindgut.
SUCCEED IS a Supplement that Supports the Health of the WHOLE Equine Gut
SUCCEED is crafted from a unique, patented formulation that incorporates higher concentrations of beneficial components found in its all-natural ingredients, such as polar lipids, beta glucan and specific amino acids.
Supports nutrient absorption throughout
The ingredient oat oil in SUCCEED is extracted from oats through a process that retains high amounts of polar lipids. Polar lipids help improve nutrient absorption by strengthening the tight junctions between enterocytes, the cells of the intestines responsible for absorption of nutrients. Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS) contained in SUCCEED’s yeast also supports the growth of intestinal villi that line the intestines, increasing surface area necessary for nutrient absorption.
Supports healthy function throughout
The oat flour in SUCCEED is made from oats that are higher in bran and lower in starch, and the oat is processed to retain high concentrations of beta glucan (found in the bran part of the oat). Beta glucan, a soluble oat fiber, helps to moderate transit time in digestion – this helps ensure that starches are absorbed properly in the small intestine instead of reaching the hindgut. Beta glucan also is known to moderate the release of sugars, which can help reduce sugar highs and lows that can affect a horse’s behavior. Beta glucan is also well-known for supporting a healthy immune system.
Glutamine is an amino acid that not only provides fuel to muscles, it supports the immune cells in the intestinal mucosa (lining of the gut). And another essential amino acid, threonine, supports the production of mucin which is a necessary component of mucous, which lubricates the lining of the gut.
Supports hindgut health
Yeast in SUCCEED is rich in MOS, a complex yeast sugar that supports hindgut health and immunity healthy immune system. MOS can also serve as a prebiotic, or food for the good bacteria in a horse’s hindgut.
All of the ingredients work together to help the entire equine GI tract function correctly and stay healthy. This helps the horse get the most from its feed – even in the face of challenges related to modern feeding, care, travel, and competition.
SUCCEED only supports gastric health in horses = myth. SUCCEED is engineered to support the health of the entire equine GI tract, including the stomach and especially the hindgut.
14 August, 2013 | Posted in category: Care & Management
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For Courtney Chappell, the horse of a lifetime came along in 1997 as a tall Quarter Horse stallion named Hot N Blazing. As a two-year-old, “Blaze” was already a looker, and showed great talent for both English and Western events. After a hugely successful show career that included several Quarter Horse Congress Championship titles and World Championships, Hot N Blazing began siring foals, many of which went on to win their own championship titles.
Courtney Chappell and Spurz N Diamonds at the 2013 NSBA World Show
When Courtney arrives at the National Snaffle Bit Association show in Tulsa today, she’ll do so with one of Hot N Blazing’s fillies, Spurz N Diamonds. The bay-colored three-year-old closely resembles her sire, and with Nancy Sue Ryan on her back (the top horsewoman also trained and rode Hot N Blazing) and an impressive collection of Congress wins to her name, Spurz N Diamonds already seems likely to follow in Blaze’s hoofprints.
Nancy Sue and the filly won six classes at last year’s NSBA World Show; this year, Courtney will be showing in the 3-year-old non-professional hunter-under-saddle class, and Nancy Sue will show the filly in the 3-year-old open hunter-under-saddle class.
All Courtney’s Show Horses Kept Healthy on SUCCEED
Nancy Sue Ryan has had a significant impact on Courtney’s show circuit trajectory, and in addition to training and riding Blaze and showing Spurz N Diamonds, also introduced Courtney to SUCCEED. A SUCCEED sponsored rider herself, Nancy Sue recommended the digestive supplement to Courtney in 2010.
“We always worry about our horses’ digestive health when they’re on the road so much, so we keep all of our show horses on SUCCEED,” Courtney says. “It’s a great supportive measure to take, as we absolutely understand that good digestive health is an important part of having a healthy horse.”
Courtney says she quickly notices that the horses on SUCCEED have shinier coats and are generally better behaved.
“When our horses feel good, they perform better,” she says. “The show circuit isn’t a natural environment for horses, so they need something to help them stay on top — and that’s where we turn to SUCCEED.”
Regular Digestive Support for a Healthier Horse
Courtney Chappell knows the importance of keeping her pleasure horses’ guts healthy, particularly with the added challenges of traveling and competing. Keeping a horse healthy on the road always starts at home. By providing regular digestive support, your horses will be stronger, healthier, and better able to handle the rigors of showing.
Interested in seeing the benefits of SUCCEED like Courtney has with her horses? Take the SUCCEED Challenge and get results in 60 days, or your money back.
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