Successful road show for Bluegrass Horse Feed

Bluegrass Roadshow BR Farm
DIGESTIVE TRACT: Catherine Whitehouse demonstrated the location of the horse’s digestive tract. (FW25-554NN)

THE Bluegrass Horse Feed team took to the road from June 6 to 13, visiting five equestrian facilities across Ireland, as part of their Equine Health and Nutrition road show.

Portmore Equestrian Centre, Aghalee started the Bluegrass Horse Feed road show off on Thursday, June 6, as the first venue with an evening of informative and interactive talks. Guest speakers including Catherine Whitehouse MS from Kentucky Equine Research, Inge D’Haese MRCVS from Tullyraine Equine Clinic and Fiona Fitzgibbon from The Irish Equine Rehabilitation and Fitness Centre, gave the crowd some food for thought on current equine management practises.

MUSCLES: Equine muscle health was discussed at each evening of the road show, including dietary considerations. (FW25-553NN)

Catherine Whitehouse MS began each evening of the road show, discussing equine muscle health, including diet considerations when feeding the performance horse. She discussed the importance of altering the diet to accommodate their workload and exercise type; providing a high fibre, high fat diet for lower intensity and a starch or cereal and fat diet for higher intensity demands. The protein source in the diet was considered an important element, but not for energy sources, for the amino acids required to help build and repair muscle.

Catherine finished her first talk of the evening off by demonstrating to the crowd the location of the digestive tract and showing where muscle biopsies would have been taken during some of the studies discussed. Her second talk of each evening covered considerations when feeding a horse on box rest. Energy, protein and trace mineral sources are key in helping to aid repair and recovery and for minimising the risk of further injuries.

Inge D’Haese MRCVS spoke at Portmore Equestrian Centre about management considerations when dealing with gastric ulcers. Inge expressed the importance of management changes during the treatment of ulcers and after and how trying to reduce stress will have a major impact on these horses. A great discussion from the audience brought out some key points for everyone to take home and think about.

An integrated approach was a key point discussed by the third guest speaker, Fiona Fitzgibbon at the first venue of the road show. The Irish Equine Rehabilitation and Fitness Centre brings together an integrated approach to rehabilitation and fitness, working with vets, farriers, chiropractors, as well as using water treadmill sessions for an overall improvement. Fiona discussed the benefits of working this way and on how the water treadmill can be used for conditioning, a change in exercise type and for the rehabilitation of injuries.

Philip McManus MRCVS kindly joined the Bluegrass Horse Feed team as a guest speaker at Galway Equestrian Centre on Tuesday, June 11. Philip discussed the importance of owners knowing their horses and having the ability to perform simple muscle massages each day. He spoke about how suspected kissing spine cases are not always what they seem and after x-rays have been identified as muscle soreness. Philip finished his talk by demonstrating some muscle manipulation and acupuncture.

Ashley Neely SQP from EFEC Nutrition spoke at three of the road show venues on a targeted approach to worming. Ashley discussed the importance of minimising anthelmintic resistance and some of the health considerations that can be related to parasite burdens and incorrect worming.

The Bluegrass Horse Feed team hosted weight clinics at each venue to give owners an opportunity to accurately weigh their horses and receive expert nutritional advice from Kentucky Equine Research nutritional advisor, Catherine Whitehouse.

The road show was kindly supported by the following companies, who displayed their product ranges and services at each venue and sponsored a prize for the raffle of each night: Horslyx, Dengie Horse Feeds, CAFRE College, EFEC Nutrition, The Irish Equine Rehabilitation and Fitness Centre, Tullyraine Equine Clinic.

Horslyx kindly sponsored their new pro digest mini licks to each weight clinic attendee, which were used as a great bribe for those struggling to persuade their horse to stand on the weigh bridge!

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