Back in December we recruited some of you lovely horse owners to trial our Conditioning Fibre. Hundreds of you put your horses forward from which we selected several who would represent the various applications for Conditioning Fibre – enhance coat shine, increase fibre intake, feeding fussy horses and of course improving body condition! It’s now time to meet our triallists and find out about their experience with Conditioning Fibre…
Shannon and Holly
I was selected to take part in the SPILLERS Conditioning Fibre trial and decided to try the product on my Connemara mare Holly. Holly was a rescue case and when I got her she was given a body condition score of 1. She was very underweight and had many issues. She is a very fussy eater and I struggled to find anything conditioning that she would eat. She also has bad teeth so struggled with chaff. She was very lethargic and depressed. After trialling this product I have to say my mare is a different pony – full of energy, always looks forwards to feed time where she eats the lot and licks out the bowl! She’s gained so much more condition and her overall coat and skin is also greatly improved! She gets fed twice a day and has a Stubbs scoop split between 2 meals and also has SPILLERS Daily Balancer and I have to say without this feed I dread to think how she would be now! Thank you so much SPILLERS Team!!!
Holly is now enjoying her new home with Shannon…
Anna and Zavir
I was really happy to be chosen to trial Zavir on the SPILLERS Conditioning Fibre. He is a very high energy horse with a rather “hot” temperament. We are successfully competing at PSG and FEI Inter I level so I need him to have a good level of energy for the amount of work he is in but as he is not a good doer it has always been difficult to keep him looking as good in the winter months as he does during spring and summer when the grass is readily available. He usually only picks at hard feed and isn’t really fussed, however, he absolutely loves the Conditioning Fibre and is eating his daily ration of 4kg per day split into a morning and evening feed and there is always only a licked bowl remaining!
In a short few weeks he has gained more topline, with no difference to his work load or forage, the only change being introducing the Conditioning Fibre. Safe to say that he will be kept on this feed that he loves to eat and makes him look and feel this good. Thank you Team SPILLERS.
Jennifer and Disney
We received our two bags of SPILLERS Conditioning Fibre in January and started to put it to the test immediately, and from the get-go Disney loved it, which is a delight to see as he’s a notoriously fussier eater when it comes to chaff and chop! Within a couple of weeks, I noticed the extra shine in his coat and a brighter glint in his eye. With the usual January slump of poor nutrition in the grass and being stabled overnight, he can lose condition and his usual energetic spirit. For the first time in many winters, he’s maintained his summer glow and liveliness whilst maintaining a healthy weight. I have gone on to buying 3 more bags and I’m also feeding it to my rising 4 year old Oldenburg. Both of them are thriving this winter and they’re frequently complimented on how well they’re both looking.
Disney is a 17hh, 26 year old semi-retired Belgian Warmblood. He was a complete all-rounder; from winning showing to show jumping championships and training to advanced dressage in later teens and mastering his canter pirouettes in his early 20’s. Sadly for him and I, his arthritis brought an early end to his performance career. He is still lightly hacked and enjoys the odd canter through the fields or going to the beach in summer.
Kathryn and Alvie
I bought Alvie late July 2017. He is a 15.2hh 5 year old Welsh section D. We had him vetted before buying and were advised that apart from being severely underweight he was ok as far as could be seen. He started putting on weight very slowly through the remaining summer/autumn although still needed to put on a lot more. Unfortunately, in mid-December he seemed to deteriorate drastically, lost all of his weight and more and started suffering neurological signs. After having the vets out, it seems that he had liver fluke. Since treating him we have put him on the SPILLERS Conditioning Fibre and used it with mix and bran and we have noticed in the space of three weeks that his coat is much glossier and is losing its dryness and he has already started to put on some weight. He loves eating it, is happy to eat it on its own or mixed with other food. We will continue to buy this as we already seen to be getting results.
More so, I have given some to my other horse- who most certainly didn’t need conditioning but I was astonished to see that her coat is even better and glossier than what it already was and she’s lost that dusty/flakiness that her coat does get from being rugged in the winter. She too loves eating it whether it’s on its own or mixed with other feed.
Zoe and Jupiter
I’ve owned Jupiter since he was 6 months old, backed him at 4 and started competing at 5 (he’s 6 this year). I’ve always struggled keeping weight on him (especially in winter) as he’s a bit of a poor doer but he’s quite a fizzy boy so I don’t want anything heating. I’ve tried lots of different feeds which either didn’t work, he wasn’t keen on (he’s very fussy too) or made him fresh.
He is currently stabled, getting 2 feeds a day and ad lib hay. Jupy found the Conditioning Fibre very palatable and seemed to enjoy it. I’ve noticed no change in his behavior which is great, his coat looks fab and I think he’s filled out a bit more. I will definitely continue to use this feed as I’m really pleased with it.
Jade and Loose Canon, “The Ginger Delinquent” (aka Jack)
Jack suffered a terrible spell of anaemia last year and I struggled to regain that weight and muscle tone he had lost. I needed a feed that would be suitable and kind to his tummy due to his ulcer flare ups but needed something high in fibre to also keep him fuller for longer whilst I worked him. For information, I was finding the start of a session he was willing, then getting tired and grouchy half way through a 40-60 minute session. After a lot of research, I found it was a result of acid build up.
I initially wanted the Conditioning Fibre to take over the role of the Readigrass which I use for supper, but I found myself using up half a bag within a few days which personally, is not feasible for me. However, instead, I started to feed ½ - ¾ Stubbs scoop before working Jack. He went from being grouchy half way through a session to finishing a full session with his little orange ears forwards.
Prior to feeding the Conditioning Fibre, Jack would get back to his stable and aggressively pull at his hay and “scoff” on it whilst I untacked etc. Now, he will wait patiently whilst I untack, then he goes in his stable for a roll. This has shown me that he is now fuller for longer with being fed the Conditioning Fibre before a session.
During my time trialling this product, Jack stayed on his normal feed regime and the Conditioning Fibre was added to his diet.
You can follow Jade and Jack on their facebook page Loose Canon – “The Ginger Delinquent” to hear about their latest adventures!
Kate and Big Easy (AKA Bigsy)
Bigsy came to me on the 18th November a week after his last race. Having chased and National Hunted all his life I was worried about putting on condition too fast and ‘hotting’ him up – he’s such a laid back boy but with the TB’s you never know. So having been chosen to trial the Conditioning Fibre was a great place to start. Bigsy is in light work and being re-schooled to hopefully be a dressage horse. I found the feed to be very palatable and I can see that he has gained condition without heating him up at all. He’s kept his nicely laid back temperament and his coat looks fab even through the horrible British weather we’ve had. The only down side of the feed I’ve found is the amount you have to feed – I’ve actually gone through 4 bags in a month. However, I will continue to use the Conditioning Fibre but will feed it as a complement rather than a complete feed so the meal sizes aren’t quite as big as I don’t have the option to split feeds in to any more than 2 feeds a day.
Jo and Tom
Tom has been my best friend for 25 years now and is a fantastic 31 years young. We share frosty mornings, sun shiny days, thunder storms and the best and worst of what Mother Nature can throw at us. He asks for nothing and gives me everything. Tom has been a fantastic all-rounder, he rides and drives and has done many pony rides at the school fetes. We have done showing (which he hated!), show jumping and cross country (his favourite!), but we are both the happiest just plodding around the gorgeous countryside and enjoying life together. Tom has been retired for 8 years now due to having COPD, Cushing’s and arthritis in 3 legs but he truly loves life – eating and sleeping, what else can be better?
This is the first winter that he has dropped a little condition and I have felt that he needed to gain some weight. I tried all the slop type feeds but he refuses to eat any of them! He is far too fussy (and spoilt!) for his own good. I tried just the alfalfa type feeds, but he wasn’t keen on those either and would just pick at them. I just want him to be happy and actually enjoy his food. I wasn’t sure if he would eat the Conditioning Fibre as he really is fussy and it does contain alfalfa, but I was very pleasantly surprised and he likes it! I introduced it slowly and added his SPILLERS Supple + Senior Balancer still as he does enjoy that. There was no change in his overall behavior but he does seem to be enjoying his dinner much more and licks the bowl clean. He has a much glossier coat especially for this time of year and to me, he does look like he has put on a bit of weight too. Tom will definitely be having the Conditioning Fibre until he decides otherwise. Thank you so much Team SPILLERS, I own my boy everything and his stomach is definitely the key to happiness and the Conditioning Fibre is fab!
Debbie and Grouse
Grouse is a 23 year old registered Fell Pony. He is fully retired due to degenerate arthritis. He is 13.1hh and his teeth rasped approximately 8 months previously. I introduced Conditioning Fibre to his feed on the 9th January 2018 and gradually increased the ration until he reached the stated amount for his starting weight. I fed the Conditioning Fibre alongside SPILLERS Cool Mix and another chaff. He is on turnout during the day (limited grass/poached field) and has ad lib soaked hay at night when he comes in to a straw stable. As a Native Pony owner I am always concerned about feeding conditioning feeds to ponies designed to live on harsh conditions. I was apprehensive to start as my concern was that my veteran Fell would take on the weight but it would be stored in the wrong places. What has pleased me is Grouse has gradually put on weight but without the ‘cresty’ neck or fat pockets on his rump area. I am delighted to notice that the weight has improved his ‘top line’ (which has diminished with age) but not made him appear fat. I have also noticed he has more energy and is happy to move around the field more, perfect for his arthritic hocks.
I have also noticed an improvement in his coat, being softer and silkier. I highly recommend Conditioning Fibre to anyone who is looking for a gradual increase in condition and which will improve the overall ‘bloom’ to your equine. Grouse began the trial at 443kg and ended today at 456kg. The weight increase can only be down to Conditioning Fibre as nothing else has changed in his routine. Thank you SPILLERS for allowing us to see this improvement in Grouse. Great feed.
Louise and Milly
Milly is about 21 years old but quite possibly a lot older. I have owned her since 2011 when we saved her from going to the meat man. She is one of my riding school ponies and is a very special pony. She is very quirky! She always has to go into and out of the arena first as doesn’t like the other ponies near her at the gate. She is very forward going but safe and my kids queue up to ride her. She will never be a show pony or a showjumper although she took part in our jumping league last Summer and won lots of prizes with her one special rider Kiaya. She loved the Conditioning Fibre as it’s very soft and she found it easy to chew as Milly doesn’t have many teeth! We have kept buying it for her and she has it twice a day with SPILLERS Speedy-Mash.
Vanessa and Star
Vanessa regularly blogs and vlogs about the ups and downs of life with her horses with the aim of showing older riders that they can still get out there and “do it”. If you would like to hear more from Vanessa, you can do so by visiting her Nutty Nags facebook page.
A big thank you to all of our triallists and if you would like to find out more about our Conditioning Fibre you can either contact us by phone on 01908 22 66 26, email us or visit the product page.