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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.”

 

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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.



MM #37: Feeding Horses Dry Beet Pulp Will Cause Choke (or Worse)

04 August, 2014 | Posted in category: Care & Management, Monday Myths: Horse Care | No Comments

beet pulp for horsesBeet pulp is one of the best tools in a horse owner’s arsenal of feed choices. A fibrous byproduct of the sugar beet, beet pulp is dehydrated and sold in pellets or shredded in bags. However, beet pulp is very dry when you buy it, and expands when water is added to the mixture. These tendencies have led to a rumor that it causes choke (esophageal obstruction) or even makes a horse’s stomach explode if it isn’t soaked before feeding. But studies have shown that these rumors are myths.

Feeding unsoaked beet pulp will not cause a horse’s stomach to explode. But there are reasons to keep soaking it before feeding — and why you should keep feeding it, despite the rumors.

Benefits of Beet Pulp for Horses

Beet pulp, a complex carbohydrate that is fermented in the hindgut, is often referred to as a “super fiber,” thanks to its high digestibility and low lignin count. (Lignin is what gives stalky, over-mature hay its structure and makes it harder for horses to digest.) It’s an excellent source of digestible fiber and has a similar calorie content as oats — but with fewer starches and sometimes sugars, which can cause problems if they reach the hindgut undigested. That absence of starch and sugars makes beet pulp a good choice for hard-keeping horses. Nutritionally, beet pulp is a more natural source of concentrated energy. It’s nutritional qualities compare to good-quality grass hay and it’s an easily digestible supplement to your horse’s roughage intake.

And rest assured — just because beet pulp is the by-product of the sugar beet doesn’t mean that it’s a high-sugar feed, as extraction removes the majority of sugar. In fact, since it has a low-glycemic index, it causes only a very small rise in blood glucose levels, giving your horse steady, slow-burning energy. All of these qualities make it an excellent addition to a horse’s diet — but be sure to skip beet pulp with added molasses, which can be detrimental to the horse’s digestive system.

Dispelling the Myths Around Soaking Beet Pulp

In spite of all of the proven benefits of feeding beet pulp, they are overshadowed by the rumor that it’s a potentially dangerous feed. For this reason, most horse owners soak it prior to feeding. However, this is largely due to personal preference (either the horse owner’s, or the horse’s!). Here’s why it’s not necessary:

  • Beet pulp will not cause your horse’s stomach to rupture. Adding water to beet pulp does increase its size. But home tests prove that it does so too slowly to cause concern, given the stomach’s overall capacity and tendency to empty feed matter out of the stomach and into the small intestine, and ultimately to the cecum and the colon, when it becomes full. A large university further dispelled the stomach-exploding myth in a study where horses ingested up to 45 percent of their total diet from beet pulp. No adverse effects were noted.
  • Beet pulp will not cause choke on its own. Esophageal obstruction can occur when a horse eats dry beet pulp — but is generally a problem that starts with a horse’s eating behaviors — such as bolting his food — not necessarily due to the feed itself.

Why Soak a Horse’s Beet Pulp if it’s Not Necessary?

However, there are several reasons you should soak beet pulp — if your horse will eat it soaked.

  • It increases palatability. Many horses prefer it soaked to a mash-like consistency.
  • It’s easier to chew. This is a boon for older horses or those with dental issues.
  • It provides a good medium to add supplements or medications.
  • It helps hydration.
  • Soaked beet pulp can help slow a horse down that bolts his food.

In summary, all of these are excellent reasons to continue (or to start) soaking beet pulp — even if it isn’t medically required.

While it’s a myth that you must soak beet pulp prior to using it, there are numerous advantages to soaking it first. Mix it in small batches at a time — left for more than 24 hours in warm weather, it could ferment. And in the wintertime, it could freeze.

And while beet pulp is an effective and highly recommended part of your horse’s diet, it doesn’t contain enough vitamin A or selenium for proper nutrition, and should be supplemented with other sources of forage and energy. A high-forage diet, plenty of turn-out time and feeding a supplement like SUCCEED can help your horse get the nutrition he needs. The ingredients in SUCCEED are specially formulated to help your horse be as healthy as possible on the inside, while feeding beet pulp can help him ingest both his feed and the supplement appropriately. And remember to always check with a veterinarian before making major changes to your horse’s diet.

Flickr Photo Credit: Rusty Clark

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Monday Myth #37: Reduce Feed for Pot Bellied Horses

21 July, 2014 | Posted in category: Care & Management | No Comments

Pot Belly Horse

Pot bellies can afflict virtually any horse, not just ponies or senior pasture pets. When your gelding is looking more and more like he’s pregnant your first inclination may be to cut back his feed to encourage him to shed a few pounds.

But it’s a myth that reducing feed is the best remedy, or even a necessary one, for a pot bellied horse. A pot belly isn’t a fat problem, it’s actually a conditioning issue.

The Real Reason Horses Get “Pot-Bellied”

“Pot belly” is a commonly used term among horse people for a horse that looks bloated and full through the bottom half of its barrel. It makes the horse look a bit pear-shaped: narrow on top and wide underneath.

But when a horse starts to gain too much weight, fat is typically deposited along the crest of the neck, behind the shoulders, over the ribs, and around the tail-head and croup – not its underline.

A pot belly is not a sign of excess fat. Rather, it occurs as a result of two contributing factors:

  1. Lack of condition, particularly along the top line.
  2. A diet with lots of forage.

Because high-fiber forage like grass and hay is fermented in the horse’s hindgut for several days, a diet high in those may cause the horse’s belly to expand and look pot-bellied. This is not necessarily a bad thing! As we have discussed ad nauseum, a high-fiber diet is ideal for digestive health, nutrition, and overall health in horses. A pot belly is NOT a reason to cut back on a horse’s hay or pasture time.

However, when a horse lacks muscle tone, especially along its topline, it then loses the necessary strength to support the lower belly. A pot belly actually reflects a lack of muscle conditioning in the horse.

That’s why you tend to see pot bellies in very young horses or mature out-of-work horses – but rarely in racehorses (and other high performance horses) who are in top condition yet consume much larger diets.

Exercise to Reduce a Horse’s Pot Belly

While a pot belly is primarily cosmetic, it signals a lack of muscle conditioning along a horse’s topline that could lead to other health and lameness issues. The best way to get rid of a pot belly is good old fashioned exercise.

Here are a few ways to concentrate on strengthening a horse’s topline in particular:

  • walking and trotting up hills
  • working over ground poles, flat and elevated
  • jumping
  • transitions, transitions, transitions
  • encourage your horse to move forward, engaging the hind end, and lifting the belly
  • doing belly lifting exercises by pressing gently upward under the belly

Keep in mind that if you are still concerned about your horse’s weight and digestive health, it’s almost always a good policy to reduce grain-based feeds and maximize forage. And of course, support your horse’s total gut health with SUCCEED.

In conclusion, a pot belly on a horse doesn’t reflect a weight issue, it represents a lack of conditioning. Before cutting back on your horse’s feed, get him into a regular exercise program to strengthen the topline muscles and support the belly.

Flickr Creative Commons Photo Credit: radsaq



Vets With Horsepower Update

11 July, 2014 | Posted in category: SUCCEED® News & Events | No Comments

Thanks to Dr. John Buford for this update on the first week of the Vets with Horsepower European Ride 2014.

The Vets with Horsepower event has SUCCEEDed in reaching St Petersburg, Russia. The first week has been fantastically well supported and successful, despite some challenges along the way.

We departed in two groups on July 2, with the southerly group enjoying a rousing and enthusiastic send-off from the delegates of the Seventh International Working Horse Colloquium at Royal Holloway in London. Both groups met at the house of one of our close supporters of the Horsepower venture in Utrecht before heading off the following day in the direction of Germany.

Our first talk was in Hanover, although we had to stick tightly to our time schedule to ensure we were finished in time for the World Cup quarter final between Germany and France.

The following day we headed for Berlin to break up the longest leg between our venues. Despite an early start, we eventually arrived in Warsaw late in the afternoon. After a very enjoyable surprise evening meal in a local biker bar we gave the second of our talks at the lecture theatre of the veterinary faculty to a large and extremely welcoming audience.

Our route then took us to an overnight stop near to the eastern Polish border. The following day we headed through Lithuania towards Riga in Latvia. The team had an opportunity to have a very brief look around the beautiful city centre before another early start in order to make the relatively short journey through to Tartu in Estonia. We were scheduled to begin talks late in the morning, but needed plenty of time for the challenges imposed by the Russian border checkpoint.

We congregated at 5am to complete some of the customs forms with the help of two Russian-speaking Estonians, Anton and Jaak, who would be accompanying us as far as Helsinki in Finland. We set off as a united team of 11 bikers including our guides, along with three members in our support vehicle, but by the end of the day only six bikes reached St Petersburg with the car. We lost the first two of the team at the Russian border as they were denied entry due to problems with their paperwork. I was only able to enter due to some fantastic Estonian diplomacy courtesy of Anton.

Undeterred, we set off towards St Petersburg whilst Caroline and David sadly set off to travel almost the length of Estonia towards Tallinn with the aim of catching a ferry to Helsinki where the entire team is due to speak on Monday.

Russian roads carry a number of challenges: they are distinctly monotonous as they are largely straight and bordered by mixed birch and pine forests; there is the threat of large fines or 14 days in jail for traveling faster than the speed limit of 54mph; and there are the Russian drivers themselves.

Then there are the potholes, which can be quite large. Large enough to dent rims and hard enough to completely flatten a tyre – as Edmund unfortunately found out. Despite a relatively heroic and successful attempt to bend the rim back into shape using a concrete block, some two by fours, and hammers borrowed from a construction worker, the tyre failed to remain inflated due to a small crack near the valve. We had to continue on, this time leaving Anton and Trevor with Edmund whilst awaiting the recovery vehicle. I am delighted to report that they safely made it to St Petersburg in the early hours of this morning.

So the team, minus two, have safely made it to St Petersburg, where I think it is fair to say we are entirely looking forward to our one rest day tomorrow morning.

It has certainly been an eventful week, but we have been overwhelmed by the response of the audiences, and also the organisation and enthusiasm of the local organisers without whom we couldn’t have done this project.

Currently we are well on our way towards achieving our target of £75,000. This will make a fantastic difference to small children in India and the developing world who would otherwise suffer the completely avoidable consequences of being born with a simple birth defect. Also, the Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust will be able to open a second clinic, expanding their fantastic work improving animal health and welfare as well as providing positive benefits to the families reliant on working animals for their livelihood. Donations to these charities may be made through Vets with Horsepower’s fundraising page.



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