Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Donkey Sanctuary

After spending 2 weeks working with donkeys I leant about what amazing animals they are. Here is a video of  The Donkey Sanctuary which is based in Devon.

The Donkey Sanctuary does a lot of work not only in this country but in many others, helping with the welfare of donkeys and the education of owners. 

They have a really good website with lots of features such as a "Donkey Cam" where you can watch what the donkeys are up to at the Devon sanctuary (Donkey Cam!). They also have a donkey game where you can chose a donkey and look after it etc. (Donkey game)!

You can help The Donkey Sanctuary in a number of ways...

They are always looking for Quality Time Volunteers, these are people that can offer their time to give the donkeys some extra attention such as grooming them. This is definitely something I would like to do in the future but at the moment I can't volunteer regularly with going to and from university.

You can buy things from their website as they have a gift shop on here. They have some really nice Christmas cards on here and the money is going to a good cause! They also have a wide range of things for sale on here such as toys, stationary, homeware, books and DVDs, definitely have a look with Christmas coming up in a few months. I am going to get my 2012 calendar from there! (Click to go to the gift shop).

You could become a fund raiser, organising events to help to raise money. I also think this would be great for groups of children such as at schools or brownies etc. as it is a charity I imagine children would like to help.

If you live near Devon or are on holiday there at any point you can go and visit the sanctuary. They have different events going on and you can meet the donkeys and go for walks around the sanctuary (click here).

They also foster out their donkeys in pairs if you have an acre of land you could keep them on . There are regulations for this and I think you have to attend courses on caring for donkeys etc. This is a great way to make a real difference in some donkeys lives and they all have such great characters that I am sure would keep you entertained!

There are other ways you can make a contribution including making a donation. They have also a website where you can donate money to buy certain things for the donkeys such as fly masks, water troughs and medicine (click here)

There are many other ways you can help The Donkey Sanctuary so go and have a look at their website. Hope you go and have a look at all the great work they are doing and consider them when you are next buying cards and gifts!

Love Laura

My Modules!

This year for my masters course I have to take 180 credits rather than the usual 120. My dissertation will be done in the summer and is worth 60 credits. All of my other modules are either worth 10 or 20 credits.

All of the modules I am taking in my first semester are compulsory. There are;

  • Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • Principles of Nutrition
  • Immunology, Parasitology and Bacteriology
  • Endocrinology, Growth and Development
  • Statistics for Experimental Scientists

In my second semester I only have 1 compulsory module. I then get to chose all of the others and I have to confirm this choice tomorrow.There are as follows;

  • Emerging Veterinary Science (compulsory)
  • Equine Nutrition
  • Livestock Nutrition
  • Equine Behaviour
  • Molecular Genetics of Production Animals 
I am not sure yet but I may be doing my dissertation into the effect wormers have on the microbial population in the hind gut of horses and ponies. 

A lot of my posts will be in these areas of the next year! I have a number of lectures but also have to do a lot of my own researching and I will be focusing my extra reading mainly on equines.

Love Laura

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Golden Rules Of Feeding

There are a number of golden rules when feeding your horse, here are some of them and the reasons why...

Feed little and often; this is due to the horses evolutionary characteristics, the horse has evolved to be a "trickle feeder". It is a constant grazer and has a small stomach capacity of 8-15L, this should only be half full at any one time. The pyloric sphincter controls the food leaving the stomach and only lets food through slowly so the stomach gets full quickly if the horse has eaten a large meal. Concentrates should therefore be split into smaller meals. It is also important the horse has ad lib forage. If a large concentrate meal is fed that is high in starch it can lead to problems such as colic and laminitis.

Feed plenty of fibre; this will encourage peristalsis (the movement of the food through the gut). This will mean  complete mixing with enzymes and microbes will take place. High levels of forage slows the passage of digesta through the small intestine compared to grain, as grains take 15 mins but forage can take 10 hours to pass through. This is the best place for food to be digested as it is slowly done by microbes. A horse on forage is less likely to have digestive problems as this is the feed their gut has adapted to digest. The small intestine is very long so the digesta has plenty of time to be digested and adsorbed here. Grains disturb the secretion of hormones such as insulin, this can be due to glucose peaks. Fibre causes a more consistent concentration. Insulin effects other hormones such as growth hormone and thyroid hormone. If a high grain diet is fed it can also have effects on the horses behaviour. Acid will rise in the stomach and can cause stomach ulcers. This has been linked to crib biting. The absolute minimum of fibre given to a horse is 50% of the feed, but 100% is the best.

Make changes gradually; this is done as sudden changes can lead to colic, especially a change in cereal: forage ratio. Changes should be made in over two weeks as they are more likely to get colic in this time period. More care has to be taken when dealing with a high levels of concentrate due to the starch. This is because the microbes in the gut play a large part in digestion and adapt to what the horse is eating. Therefore they will not be able to cope with a sudden change and will not be able to digest the food. This can lead to problems such as laminitis.

Provide a fresh, clean water supply; they should have access to as much water as they want. Water is by far the most important thing that a horse needs. If it isn't clean them some horses may chose not to drink it.

Do not ride immediately after feeding your horse; you should allow an hour after feeding before riding. This will give time for the food in the stomach to be digested before they are ridden. The blood supply will be rich in the stomach area whilst digesting foods but during exercise the blood will be diverted to the muscles.

All of these rules are important when feeding your horse. Trooper's diet is almost fully forage as he has hay and grass and in his feed he has Happy Hoof which is made up of chaff. He only has a small amount of Winergy Ventilate and a biotin supplement on top of this. Trooper does get fat very easily so he has to have a restricted amount of hay in the stable and has his hay nets double wrapped so it takes long for him to eat it!

Love Laura


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Equine Science At Aberystwyth

I am writing a post on my undergraduate degree which was in Equine Science (BSc) at Aberystwyth University. I thought this may be interesting to people who wonder what we learn in equine science or if people are wondering whether they should do the course themselves.

Click here  for the link to the website for my undergraduate degree course.

Click here for the link to the website page for the masters course I am about to start.

I really enjoyed my time at Aberystwyth during my undergraduate degree. It is a town in Wales by the sea. Below are some photos. It is a really nice place to go to uni because the population is largely students.

On my course we covered a range of subject areas. In first year we took a range of modules such as equine anatomy, equine industry, nutritional biochemistry and animal science to give us a good basic level of knowledge.

In first year we also had some lectures with the sport science students such as Muscle Function and Cardio-respiratory. This led on to modules we took such as Equine Performance Physiology and one where we compared the physiology of the human and the horse which was very interesting. We also did practicals in this time where we used heart rate monitors etc.

Other subject areas we have covered are Equine Nutrition, Stud Management and Equine Reproduction, Veterinary Science, Parasitology, Immunology and many more! Some modules I find more interesting than others but everyone has different views. We have lots of practicals in laboratories where we analyse feeds or learn about what certain parasites look like under a microscope which makes the course more interesting.

All of the lecturers are really nice as well. If you don't understand anything you can email them or go and see them and they will help. They all know what they are talking about and have a lot of experience with researching.

There are a wide range of jobs that the course leads into such as stud management, equine nutrition, equine health and research. Some people may also go on to train to be an equine physiotherapist as there is a post grad course which allows this. Other people have gone on to do a veterinary degree. It is hard to know how good the job prospects are in this course compared to others as all jobs are hard to get at the moment. There are job vacancies in the area but competition is high.

All in all I think it is a really good course. I originally chose the course because I didn't know what I wanted to do after school, I liked science and I liked horses. Now I want to work in the equine industry but not necessarily hands on with horses. I would particularly like to work in equine nutrition.

I have chosen to now do Animal Science and not Equine Science so I can take an Animal Nutrition module which I wouldn't have been able to do in Equine Science. This will then enable me to apply for agricultural nutrition jobs as well!

Love Laura

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Back To Uni

I've not been writing many equine science posts lately. This is partly because of Trooper's injury keeping me busy and partly because I am going back to university on Saturday and I will be writing lots of sciencey posts then until I am home for Christmas.

I have just graduated with a degree in Equine Science fro Aberystwyth University but I am going back to Aber to study a masters in Animal Science. For those of you who don't know, Aberystwyth is a little seaside town in mid Wales. They have run a masters in Equine Science for quite a few years but the Animal Science course is new. I have decided to do the Animal Science course as I want to work in nutrition when I finish and if I have also studied livestock nutrition then there will be more jobs that I can apply to and I can hopefully move into equine nutrition if I don't get a job in the area to begin with. Doing Animal Science I still take most of the equine modules and a few on farm animals. During my degree in Equine Science I actually had most of my lectures with the Animal Science students.

When I am at university Trooper stays at home with my mum as we share him. So I wont be able to take any photos of him etc. I will probably just being writing updates on his tendon injury. There are horses at the university but our courses are based on the science aspect and not the hands on looking after them (so it is also important people get this experience else where while studying).

I will probably write a post on my time at Aberystwyth University studying Equine Science going into it all in a bit more detail!

For now, when I am back at uni I will be writing a lot more science posts based on what I am learning in lectures and researching.

Love Laura

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ultrasound Scan

It has been around 10 days since Trooper injured his leg and we had the vet out to do an ultrasound scan.

He was having 2 bute a day for 5 days then he could go down onto 1 to see what he was like. When I reduced it to 1 he was much more lame again and wouldn't rest his good leg (which he had been doing on 2 bute). This will put more pressure on his good leg as he is standing on it all the time.

The swelling has gone down a very tiny bit. To help this he has been having bandages and Compagel on it along with hosing it for 20 minutes twice a day.

The vet originally said he could go out for an hour a day which he was doing in the morning. By the afternoon he was quite worked up in his stable and had to be taken for a walk or some grass. I decided to leave him out for 3 hours a day and this seemed to work well as he was calm in the stable and resting the rest of the time but had a small amount of time in the field.

We had the ultrasound scan done in Trooper's stable as they had a portable scanner. He was sedated as they had to clip the hair of his leg and he doesn't like clippers. This also made it easier to do the scan. The vet first looked at his windgalls and said that there was no problems with his tendons in this area causing the windgalls. This is what we were expecting as he has had them for a long time. She then looked further down the leg under his pastern and found a small tare in the deep digital flexor tendon.

(Image from www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu)

He was given a cartrophen injection and I think he will be given another one next time she comes out. This is a product which is often used in animals with arthritis which has a number of effects on the immune system and tissue cells.

The vet also suggested we do a PRP (platelet-rich-plasma) injection, I think this will be done 3 weeks after the injury but I am not sure. This can also be done in his stable and all of it can be done in one visit. She said she will bring a veterinary nurse and the stable will have to be cleaned out. A blood sample will be taken from Trooper then his platelets will be drawn off. This is then injected into the tendon sheath area. This is a relatively new treatments. It is understandable how it can work as the platelets are what helps it to heal and these will be injected in a concentrated form from the horse it has come from. I am not sure how they will draw off the plasma at the farm as I would have thought they would need a centrifuge machine so that will be interesting.

Once the inflammation has gone down a bit he may also have some physiotherapy.

He is allowed to be turned out as usual during the day which is good. He usually goes out around 8.30 am, and wants to come back in by 2.30 pm. As he is 22 years old it is important he keeps moving as he might get stiff which could cause other problems. We have got to carry on hosing it twice a day for 20 minutes as it is still swollen and carry on with the bandages and compagel.

I'm going back to university on Saturday so my mum will be looking after him and I wont be around to see all this happening but my mum will keep me up to date!

Love Laura

Monday, 19 September 2011

Horse Rugs- Are You Ready For Winter?

Although it doesn't seem like we have had a summer this year, I have to admit that winter is nearly here! I thought it would be a good time to write a post on horse rugs as this is the time of year when people will start buying them. I am mainly going to focus on heavy weight rugs as this is what we use the most, Trooper is not rugged until he is clipped and then has a heavy weight on most of the time until his fur has grown back enough to have a slightly thinner rug on.

First I am going to talk about heavy weight stable rugs. There is one brand of stable rug that has always been a favourite of ours and it is Mark Todd. Trooper has had two of these in the time we have owned him and they are very good quality and survive well through him itching himself along walls etc. They have a removable neck which is also good. They bring out a different colour design every year and they all seem to be tartan or plaid. Ours is quite a few years old now, it can be seen on the photos below. It fastens with two surcingles under his belly and has two clips at the front which are adjustable for length. There is also a fillet string under his tail. The neck cover fastens with buckles.The rug doesn't seem to slip at all during the night.

 There are two types of Mark Todd heavy weight stable rug on the Equestrian Clearance website and they can be seen in the images below. It has a 400 g filling and also has features such as anti-rub patches on the shoulders and a fleece patch on the withers.The Mark Todd heavy weight stable rug is for sale for the discounted price of £73.99 (reduced from £91.99), the neck covers are around £40 reduced from £48-£50. There are also other horse rugs by Mark Todd on the website which I imagine are also of a similar high quality.

Trooper's heavy weight turn out rug is by Rambo Horseware of Ireland. It is an all in one so does not have an option to take the neck off. I think this is OK for a field rug as it helps to keep them clean but sometimes it would be nice to have the option to take the neck off while he is in the transition period from a heavy weight to a medium weight. He has also managed to get out of the rug twice in the field and it was left fully fastened on the floor, I'm really not sure how he did this but it must have come over his head! This might have been because we forgot to pull his tail through the fillet string though as it doesn't have back leg surcingles. The actual rug itself is good quality and durable and does it's job.

If I was to buy a heavy weight rug this year I think I would go for the Weatherbetta New Orican Detach-A-Neck Heavy Turnout Rug. This comes in two colours, "Blackwatch Plaid" and "Black/Gold", these can be seen on the images below. It has a 360 g filling, adjustable straps and gussets for better fit. The rug costs £109.99 reduced from £129.99 and comes with the detachable neck cover.

And finally here is a medium weight turn out rug by Joules that I loved the look of so though I would add, don't think Trooper would thank me for making him wear that though!

All the rugs and images featured in today's post are on the Equestrian Clearance website, as well as having all the rugs in this post at discounted prices they have much more equestrian goodies so go and have a look!

Love Laura

Friday, 16 September 2011

Tendon Injury?

We have had Trooper since he was 9 and he is now 22 and he has never been lame! However, on Saturday he was lame on his right hind foot.

 He was visibly lame in walk and has some swelling underneath the back of his pastern and round to the inside. We hosed it for 20 minutes twice a day and left him in the stable. We also gave him 2 bute on Sunday and 1 on Monday. Before the bute he was resting the bad leg nearly all the time and when he went to stand on it would only do so for a few seconds before stepping back onto his good leg.

On the photo below you can see him resting his injured leg. His windgalls can be seen at the back of his leg. On  his good leg (the black one) he has three little lumps which can be seen, the top one is his windgall, the bottom two are swelling that has started to happen due to him standing on this leg all the time which is why he is now wearing bandages.

The swelling from the injury is mainly around his pastern. It was hard to get a good photo of this as a lot of it is right underneath so is only felt.

By Tuesday he wasn't looking any better so we decided to get the vet out. The vet had a feel and said it was the area that we thought that was causing the problem and she suspected it might be a tendon injury. Trooper has had wingalls since we bought him and they have never been a problem although they are quite large. She said that in horses with wingalls they can be fine for a long time but then suddenly a slight injury can cause tendon problems as they have had all that fluid on their tendons for a long time. She explained all the anatomy of his tendons in his back leg (which I could vaguely remember from first year anatomy, but have a very bad memory!), also trying to remember everything the vet says is hard. I think she said they have the deep digital flexor tendon that goes right down the back of their leg. The suspensory ligament splits in two and the deep digital flexor tendon comes in between them and she thinks the injury is to something in this area.

Image of the suspensory ligament branching (image from hoof-smart.com).

 It was too early to do a scan so she gave me some bute and he is on 2 a day for 5 days (ends Saturday) and then after that he will hopefully go onto 1 a day. He wasn't particularly keen on the bute but he hasn't been having Winergy Ventilate in his feed as a bit of an experiment and when I started putting this in it again he ate all the bute fine! The bute he is having is called Pro-Dynam can be seen below, he was given this one because it was the same as the ones we borrowed and he had eaten them ok.

He is allowed in the field for an hour a day. He is good in the field and doesn't mess about so this will be fine. She also gave me some "Compagel" which helps to reduce swelling which I have to put underneath on the back of his pastern. An image of the tube and what it says on the back can be seen below. The gel is like a clear green slime. It says it is for the treatment of local inflammatory swelling including tendonitis and promotes the absorption of swelling.

He is having a scan done on Tuesday so hopefully we will be able to see what it is and how it should heal. It would be nice if he could go out in the field a bit longer because he doesn't like being in all the time and it's going to be even harder to keep his weight down if he is in all the time and not exercising.

This morning I think the swelling might have gone down very slightly which is good.

If anyone has an advice on tendon injuries then let me know!

Love Laura

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

YouTube- The Household Cavalry

Oo the editing was a doddle this time! The files were in the right format :-D So here is my video of the Household Cavalry at Chatsworth Country Fair!

Hope you enjoyed!

Love Laura

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Chatsworth Household Cavalry

Also at Chatsworth was the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry. I have seen these before and love watching them. I took a lot of photographs and some videos. I will edit the video and upload it but this may take a while as the last video I uploaded took a long time for me to edit! Some of these horses were the ones used in the royal wedding a few months ago! So here are some of the photos I took!

Hopefully the video will be to follow!

Love Laura

Monday, 12 September 2011


Apparently Carl Hester and Nicki Chapman are on the BBC Breakfast show tomorrow talking about the Spanish Riding School. I'm not sure what time it is on but I'll look out for it!

Here is a clip of Nicki on Daybreak the other day talking about it!


I'm very excited for November!

Love Laura

Social Networking!

This is a post to say a big thank you to everyone who is following the blog and reads it! I am really enjoying writing it and it makes it so much more exciting for me that people are reading what I am writing!

I have just made a facebook page for my blog where I will be letting people know when I have done a new post. I will also be asking you all things on there like what other blogs do you read, and what type of posts do you prefer?! Here is the link ...


I also have a Twitter page, on this I occasionally post new blogs but usually I am just talking about what I am up to and posting photos! Here is the link...


You can also follow me on hay-net which is a horse blogging website. There are lots of other blogs on there already and you can join and add your blog or just look at all the others! Here is the link...


Also if you are not already following the blog and you enjoy it then please do! You can follow by email, blogger, networked blogs and now on facebook. It is a great way for me to see who is reading my blog and I can come and look are your blogs!

Love Laura

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Chatsworth Mounted Games

Following my photos of the carriage driving yesterday, here are a few photos of the mounted games from the Pony Club. It was very busy so I found it hard to get some!

And here is a random photo of the Merry-Go-Round!

In my next post I will be putting up photographs of the Household Cavalry!

Love Laura

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Chatsworth Carraige Photos

I recently went to Chatsworth Country Fair. I took quite a few photos of the various horse events, here are some of the carriage driving!

More photos to come!

Love Laura

Thursday, 8 September 2011

K*TY Boots

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I had ordered some K*TY Steel Toe Cap Jodhpur Boots from Equestrian Clearance, I have now had them long enough to have used them and know what they are like so I thought I would write a product review.

I bought the boots because I was working at a Donkey Sanctuary and needed to wear steel toe caps. The boots are leather with a rubber sole. They are great for general farm work and have a heel so you can also ride in them. I got the black ones because my chaps are black too. They also do half sizes which is a bonus. They cost £24.99, reduced from £39.99.

As they are leather they have worn in really well and are very comfy. The sole is also comfy. The only slight problem is that as they are jodhpur boots with the elastic section on the side, water can come in. They also have good grip underneath.

I don't really know much about the brand K*TY. On the equestrian clearance website is says it is a brand "where quality meets affordability". They have a wide range of products including rugs, jodhpurs, gloves etc.

All in all they are very good boots and as long as you are not walking in water or mud then they are great and very good value for money!

Love Laura

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


The diet of laminitic horses must be chosen very carefully, this is because laminitis often originates in the gut then causes severe problems in the hoof. 

Caecal bacteria from horses adapted to grain diets are less efficient than those adapted to hay. If a hay-adapted horses is suddenly put on a grain diet, impactions may occur, laminitis, colic or swollen legs may then occur. There have been a number of causes associated with laminitis (Frape, 2009);-
  •  Fat ponies on lush pasture
  • Carbohydrate overload
  •  Endotoxaemia
  •   Excessive weight bearing on a sound leg and post- exhaustion myopathy
  •  Stress from exercise in overweight animals
  •  Excessive tube feeding of sick, aphagic horses with a high carbohydrate-protein diet

The pie chart below shows how the main cause for the onset of laminitis is lush pasture, this is due to it containing fructans which are rapidly fermented in the hindgut. Grain overload was also the cause in 7% of cases, this shows how feeding has a large effect on laminitis (King, 2004). However, the true causes of laminitis are still unknown; this is why there are a lot speculations and theories into this area.

Pie chart to show the causes of laminitis (Image from Lameness and Laminitis in U.S Horses, King 2004).

There are a  number of theories that try to explain the causes of laminitis. 

The levels of microorganisms in the gut change depending on what the horse is fed. Therefore a change in the ratio of concentrates to forage being given the horse can result in a problem. High fibre diets are the best for horses so making sure that horses that may be prone to laminitis get a high fibre diet is very important. Giving the horse excessive quantities of starch from cereals or fructans from pasture can cause incomplete pre-ileal digestion and absorption of carbohydrate. The material that has not been digested in the small intestine will undergo rapid fermentation in the large intestine. There will be a large amount of volatile fatty acids produced causing a fall in pH. The environment will then be more suited to the microbes who produce lactic acid causing it to accumulate leading the pH to decrease even further. Endotoxins will then be released which will go into the blood (Frape, 2009).

The vascular theory is the oldest, this was developed by Hood (1999). This is when there are endotoxins in the blood which cause microthrombi and thrombosis. There is an increased blood flow to the foot but this is caused by the blood is diverted away from the laminae. The laminae is the part between the hoof wall and the coffin bone and has a vital role in hoof strength. Eventually there will be a degeneration of the bond between the hoof and the pedal bone which then sinks and rotates due to the horse's weight causing a chronic case. Laminitis is a local manifestation of a chronic problem. The front feet are usually the most effected. It also leads to the hoof growing much more rapidly and rings will appear on the hoof due to pressure being put on the coronary band (Frape, 2009).

Pasture management can also help to prevent laminitis. Grass should be kept short and leafy either by grazing or mowing and the soil should be appropriate. Restricting grazing early in the morning will avoid intakes of the highest concentrations of the bad carbohydrates encountered during the days. Horses can also wear a muzzle to restrict their intake of grass. Animals on a restricted intake of grass should be fed alternative sources of forage to make sure they get enough nutrients.

It seems there are many different factors leading to laminitis. Research seems to suggest the same causes are often seen. It is also thought there may be a number of contributing factors. Knowledge when feeding is important, however, research is sometimes conflicting and this will not always prevent laminitis as there may be other factors involved.

Love Laura

Monday, 5 September 2011

Easibed, Winergy and 20 Metre Squares!

As I have been working at the donkey sanctuary for two weeks I haven't had much chance to ride Trooper. I rode him this morning and he went really well. I was riding 20 metre squares, this seems to make him go nicely as I have to use my outside rein more to keep him straight and then collect him on the corners to do a little turn on the forehand.

He has run out of Winergy Ventilate so I have decided not to give it him for a while and see how his breathing is. We have just bought the big 10 kg bag of it so we have it in for when he starts coughing again. I am hoping he will be OK now until he comes in at night time for the winter.

We are going to change his bedding to Easibed soon. We have been on it in the past but our farmer stopped being able to get hold of it easily. He is on shavings at the moment but Easibed will be much better for his breathing as there is a lot less dust in it. It is less absorbent than shavings but as the wood chips are bigger and more heavy they do not get everywhere (Trooper is always covered in shavings!). We have got two bags in the locker so next time we need more bedding we will be mixing it in with the shavings to use them up. When we were on Easibed we used to put shavings along one side of the stable as the urine would run under the rubber matting and collect at one end of the stable due to it being not as absorbent.

His tail needs a good wash at the moment as he has been itching it a lot. He also seems to have lost some of his already tidy forelock but I am not sure how!

I haven't had chance to jump since I fell off so I need to get round to doing that before I go back to university!

Love Laura

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Nutrient Requirements

This post is about a link to a website we used quite often during learning about equine nutrition at university.

The NRC is the National Research Council. They produce a book will all the requirements of horses (and other animals as well). They update the book quite often and go into a lot of detail. I will write another post on the actual nutrient requirements of the horse, they can be seen on this website however and vary from horse to horse.

The link below is to a website where you put in the specification of your horse and it tells you their nutrient requirements.


This can't be done accurately in practise. There are a number of problems such as you do not know how much grass your horse is eating, most people also do not know the nutrient content of the grass their horse is eating. This is probably done more accurately on racing yards where nutrition is very important and they will have their grass analysed. The nutrients of forage (grass, hay, haylage etc.) varies greatly depending on where it was grown, the time of year etc.

To use the website you put in the weight of your horse. The intake level is usually 2% of the body weight a day. You can then chose if it is an adult at maintenance, pregnant, lactating etc. Most horses will be on a low level of work, medium is considered to be competing horses and high would be for race horses.

You can then go on the dietary supply section and add things such as 5 kg of hay and see what the nutrients of this would be compared to what they would need (remember this isn't accurate). If you also know the contents of your feeds you can input these values into the tables.

Below is an example of a ration I made during a piece of coursework. It is important that the ration is largely made up of forage. Safe and Sound was a forage feed we looked at similar to Alfalfa, we used this as we did not have grass or hay to analyse. As you can see the figures do not match up exactly. This is very hard to do as there are small measurements involved. As with people, your horse may eat slightly more one day than the next, as long as it all balances out it will be fine!

Hope you enjoy having a play on the website!

Love Laura

Friday, 2 September 2011

Spanish Riding School

In November the Spanish Riding School are coming to visit the UK and we have got tickets to see them! They are at Wembley from the 25-27th of November.

One of the Lipizzaner stallions (image does not belong to me).

Also I saw on the Horse and Hound website that Carl Hester is joining them, click here for the article. This has made me even more excited as it will be nice to have a rider that I actually know in the show!

The Spanish Riding School has Lipizzaner stallions and has been around for hundreds of years. They will be doing a classical riding display with accompanying classical music from an orchestra. They perform many dressage moves such as piaff but also leap of the floor. Some are ridden and some are on a long rein. It takes 8- 12 years for the riders to become fully qualified.

Tickets are still available here here and prices start at £24.85.

Love Laura

Thursday, 1 September 2011

GB Eventers

I was looking at the FEI Eventing ranking from the 1st of August and I was pleased to see that Great Britain are doing really well. We have 5 riders in the top 10 places! I was also pleased to see that the BBC was showing footage from the 3 day event in Germany over the weekend as it is not very often that the competitions get shown on the television. I don't want to speak to soon but I think we have a good chance of getting some medals in the Olympics and it would be great if the media help generate more interest for the sport by showing it more on television!

In the rankings from the 1st of August 2011;

Pippa Funnell was ranked in 10th place. In 2003 she became the first and only person to win the Rolex Grand Slam (Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley). She has also written a number of books!

Oliver Townend was ranked in 5th place. He won Badminton and Burghley in 2009 along with many other titles. He has also done a lot of promoting for the inflatable body protectors after he was wearing one during a bad fall and says it saved his life.

Piggy French was ranked in 4th place. She has represented Great Britain at the European Eventing Championships and won the silver medal at Badminton Horse Trials this year.

William Fox-Pitt was ranked in 2nd place. He has represented Great Britain in the Olympics and won a large number of titles!

And the brilliant Mary King was ranked in 1st place! Ever since I started watching eventing at a young age Mary King was one of our best riders. She has represented Great Britain in 5 Olympics! This year she finished in 1st and 2nd place in the Kentucky Rolex Three Day CCI ****. She also has a daughter, Emily, who is doing well internationally which is great news!

Love Laura
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