SUCCEED® Blog:

Where #SeriousHorsePeople come to better understand digestive health in horses and its impact and management.

Eitan Beth-Halachmy Tip: Digestive Health is a Lifestyle

“We absolutely love what SUCCEED did for Santa Fe and we believe whole-heartedly in the product, but the real answer is to understand what causes digestive issues. If people understand what causes problems, then maybe they will change the way they are training or approaching their horses. You’ve got to change the lifestyle.”

—Eitan Beth-Halachmy SUCCEED sponsored rider.

AWG-10-OC-4_230Supporting the Performance Horse Lifestyle

For Eitan Beth-Halachmy, the founder of what has become known as “Cowboy Dressage”, and his wife, Debbie, digestive health was always a significant concern. At their barn in Grass Valley, California they struggled at maintaining good GI health, especially with Santa Fe Renegade, their World Equestrian Games performer. The stallion’s digestive health appeared to be random, but they also noticed behavioral issues — like pacing up and down the fence whenever he was turned out.

Eitan and Debbie suspected that the horse may have been reacting to the rigors of international travel and training, but as Eitan’s top performance horse, they couldn’t afford to turn Santa Fe out to pasture completely. Instead, they turned to SUCCEED after learning that it might help counter some of the challenging aspects of a performance horse’s lifestyle.

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Debbie and Eitan started the stallion on a 60-day course of SUCCEED after the 2010 World Equestrian Games. According to Eitan, the stallion’s coat gained a shine, he put on weight and started performing better than he ever had before. Santa Fe’s digestive health became more consistent, a win-win situation for both horse and owners.

Benefits of Living Like a Retired Horse

While Eitan was thrilled at the role SUCCEED played in keeping Santa Fe healthy, he says that these days, the Morgan stallion looks even better than he did then. That’s because Santa Fe is retired, and spends nearly all of his time out in the pasture. Now that he’s no longer coping with frequent training and travel, Eitan says Santa Fe is a different horse. He doesn’t pace in the pasture anymore, and instead grazes slowly and happily with his new pasture mates.

“Now I don’t care if the sun bleaches out his coat or he rolls in the mud — those compromises are so easy to deal with because he’s a happy horse now,” Eitan says. “When he was competing, I relied so much on SUCCEED to do what I can do now just by providing him a more relaxed lifestyle. He still gets SUCCEED, but now I do everything I can to make sure he is happy in retirement.”

Digestive Health for Competitors and Retired Horses

When Santa Fe was in active training and traveled around the world to exhibit, the Beth-Halachmys were only able to control certain aspects of his digestive health. Turnout was often limited, and the stallion was frequently asked to perform to his top ability level, which required a certain feeding regimen. Prior to feeding SUCCEED, maintaining Santa Fe’s digestive health could be a struggle.

While it was impossible to eliminate those factors from Santa Fe’s life, SUCCEED helped alleviate some of the challenges, including:

Horses in retirement that are primarily turned out have many fewer challenges to overcome. Most horses can get all of the nutrition they need from grass, hay and other forage, eliminating the need for high-starch, sugary processed feeds. Eating primarily forage allows the gut to function the way that it’s supposed to, leading to a happier, healthier horse.

Even though retirement was the perfect situation for Santa Fe and the Beth-Halachmys, turning out a prize horse isn’t realistic for most of us. For those cases, it’s best to focus on what we can control, like what you’re feeding your horses, and how. As Eitan demonstrated with Santa Fe, it’s possible to turn around the digestive health of a horse facing these challenges, with SUCCEED, relying on the supplement to help support digestive health and overall wellness.

“We still rely absolutely on SUCCEED now that Santa Fe is retired — but now we’re fortunate to be able to give him the lifestyle to go along with it!” Eitan says.

Have a horse that’s struggling with digestive health? Try the SUCCEED Challenge for 60 days risk-free.

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