Calm Healthy Horses UK
Sue Dawson of Calm Healthy Horses UK -
“Meeting our horses’ fundamental needs and avoiding pasture related “Grass Affected” problems can be a huge challenge. Our ethos is to help you learn more about how your horses pasture can affect his health, movement and behaviour and what we as horse owners can do to improve the situation.
My change to keeping horses on track and supporting them on a well-balanced hay-based diet started about twelve years ago with my horse Glen. He was seven and a very clever, bold, and patient horse. I brought him with the aim of eventing, and we started with few BE100’s and were placed at first, but quickly things started to fall apart and at the time I couldn’t understand why. I now know my story is no different to 1000’s of passionate, seriously dedicated amateur and even some professional riders. I had a lovely horse; I gave him the best I could but there was a problem. I got a new saddle, saw the back person, worked with my trainers, vet, and farrier but still, a long list of minor issues resulted in Glen being stiff, sore, uncomfortable and me being worried and frustrated.
I made a promise to myself and Glen that I would get him back to his supper athletic self or he would be retired as a pet and I would give up riding. So, I completed several equine nutrition courses, read widely, and completed my own research to discover how to address Glens issues. I knew the answers lay in enhancing my approach to ‘The Four Pillars of Horsemanship”. I improved his environment, adjusted his diet, removed his shoes, addressed teeth, back and body work and invested in my own skills to practice restorative riding and training. Underpinning all my work was the use of a grass free paddock paradise track. Over the years I have shared with like-minded friends and built six temporary tracks at various livery yards. Initially they were very simple and consisted of electric fencing and bales of hay in large nets placed far from the water supply. Then, as I increased my understanding I invested in field shelters, mud mats and hay boxes. Today I have a perfect little track on a small rented paddock where my three and two friends’ horses all happily live the track life. All the horses have a metabolic history which because of their diet and environment is fully managed. They are calm healthy horses.
Like many others I started out by adopting a very simple diet of ad lib hay and a small simple bucket of plain chaff, linseed, vitamins and minerals, salt and sometimes copra but back then Glen still wasn’t right. He had improved but overall he was well short of his best and I still wasn’t able to compete because his soundness was too intermittent.
This was when I met Jenny who opened my eyes to aspects of horse nutrition that most in the industry tend to ignore. Adding the Calm Healthy Horses thinking to my existing knowledge and management brought Glen back into full form and most importantly he has stayed that way into old age.
Now I really enjoy working with Jenny and helping others solve similar problems with their horses. I’m still learning lots along the way but most importantly it’s about sticking to the plan in-spite of the usual setbacks. I know from my own experience how confusing and daunting it can be when you are struggling to help your horse. It’s from my own experience with my horses and the feedback from so many of our customers who have also succeeded that I know the basic protocols we recommend and feeding the Calm Healthy Horses products can really get your horse to be his best."