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How to stop your smoothies being bitsy

How to stop your smoothies being bitsy., healthy advice from Aloeride.
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One of our Irish friends cannot stand bitsy things in her mouth, she doesn’t like the smoothies. As an athlete she would benefit from smoothies so she asked me to write about how to stop your smoothies being bitsy. The trick is to create a soft mush first, before you add the lumpier ingredients.

This morning a VERY large, diced beetroot was accompanied by a large, diced carrot. Between these two, smoothies can end up tasting bitsy which may turn people off. So, first in go the banana and a pinch of spinach, then add milk kefir to almost cover them. We use the Nourish Kefir. Now close container and WHIZZ. Glorious mush achieved! Open container, add diced carrot and beetroot and WHIZZ. Open container and you can see that it still looks a bit bitsy. Stuff in more spinach, add a generously heaped tablespoon of turmeric, a little black pepper and a slither of ginger. Now pour in as much milk kefir as the container is allowed to hold according to Nutribullet. Close container and WHIZZ with stops and starts. Perfectly fine to whizz for blips of 20 seconds at a time and there’s no need to cool with ice.

The most important of turmeric’s curcuminoids is curcumin. This is the active ingredient that gives turmeric its powerful anti-inflammatory effect, it also is a good antioxidant. There is about 3%wt of curcumin in turmeric which is why we use a heaped tablespoon in every smoothie. Curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore we add some black pepper, this contains piperine, to enhance the bioavailability (absorption) of curcumin by 2,000%. [Planta Medica 1998 May;64(4):353-6; Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Shoba G1, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Srinivas PS.] Curcumin is fat soluble and the milk kefir helps not only to offset the impossible taste that 1 heaped tablespoon of turmeric has, but also helps its absorption. We get our organic turmeric powder from buywholefoodsonline.co.uk in a 1kg bag @ £14.83 which is very inexpensive for the anti-inflammatory-help-without-side-effects it provides.

The cup of a Nutribullet Pro allows Mr van de Braak to have 1 pint of smoothie every morning and Mrs van de Braak ½ a pint. Cup and blade-end are rinsed with lukewarm water immediately afterwards and the whole exercise is all very easy and sustainable. We both take our Aloeride vegicapsules at the washstand in the morning .

Doesn’t doing a 10-20 second whizzing blip add temperature to the mixture and destroy enzymes? Bollocks! Our beetroot, carrots, spinach and kefir live in the fridge, if WHIZZING gets their temperature a little closer to my 37 degree body temperature then this is very welcome because I drink a 1 pint smoothie for breakfast. For as long as I have been making smoothies, they’ve always felt ‘cold’ to my tongue and cheeks. No worries about their enzymes then 😉

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What do smoothies do
A dastardly clever beetroot smoothie

Ingredients:
1 large beetroot
1 large carrot
1 big handful of spinach
1 tbsp (heaped) organic turmeric
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 slither of ginger
1 small banana
200ml milk kefir

1 Aloeride vegicapsule at the washstand morning and night

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How to reduce the risk of equine influenza

Equine influenza what you can feed to help beyond vaccination.
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You want to know how to reduce the risk of equine influenza? Whereas vaccination schedules are the preferred method of control (compulsory when competing under BHA, FEI and affiliated governing bodies), there is more you can do to reduce the risk of equine influenza. Host resistance and viral exposure is an old chestnut but, in isolating affected horses from healthy horses, you separate differing host resistances. Unsurprisingly, certain types of feed nutrients make it more difficult for a virus to infect a horse. A risk-managed return to racing will start on Wednesday 13th February.

We supply several competition yards that are very keen on optimum nutrition. These look after horses that are frequently transported and mixed extensively (e.g. racing, training, sales, shows). These use Aloeride in their feed mix for many good reasons and have done so long before equine flu crossed anyone’s mind. Since the first case at Donald McCain and outbreaks in nine counties since, they are extra glad with the Aloeride! Beyond contingency plans and robust containment measures, there is optimum nutrition. Below is how airborne equine influenza operates and how nutrition may help you; a sentence (bold below) out of a Horse & Hound article has been broken up for commenting:

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farOnce the virus has been inhaled, it invades the lining (epithelium) of the airway,  From What Does Aloe Vera Do you know that aloe vera focuses on the health of epithelium. Your horse fights viral invasion at mucociliary level (enzymes and secretory immunoglobulin A) and, slightly deeper, basal layers contain a tight network of dendritic cells that sense and catch any invading organisms and bring them to the draining lymph nodes to generate the adaptive immunity. Airway mucous (i.e. muco in mucociliary) is a complex of mucins, electrolytes, enzymes, protein defenses that immobilise, destroy and remove noxious particles, foreign bodies and invading microorganisms. Such guns can be loaded and fired with the ammunition that is optimum nutrition.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farwhich becomes inflamed, producing a very sore throat and a nasty cough.  From What Does Aloe Vera Do you know that aloe vera has molecules with cooling properties. Are such molecules preserved during processing and what dosage is given to the horse… Each sachet of Aloeride contains 2,000mg (i.e. 400ml equivalent) of Soil Association Certified Organic aloe vera barbadensis miller. So yes, that’s nearly ½ litre every day of the best in class. In uncomplicated cases horses should recover completely and return to athletic function within three to six weeks of infection.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farThis damage causes patches of the membranes (lining the airways) to ulcerate,  From What Does Aloe Vera Do you know why aloe vera is so superbly good at swiftly fixing the breached epithelial areas. For complicated cases horses may need up to three months of rest. Horses that develop secondary bacterial infections require longer convalescence still, also they have a more conservative prognosis for return to athletic function due to damage to the lung tissue (e.g. fibrosis). That is why reducing the chance of ulceration is so valuable and optimum nutrition can help with this.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farwhich disrupts the clearance of mucus and debris from the airways. Bacteria invade these damaged areas leading to further infections.  Optimum nutrition (good feed enhanced by for instance Aloeride that supports feed nutrient uptake in addition to providing its own unique spectrum of nutrients) makes it possible for an immune system to fight robustly. Airway mucous can defend against viral invasion if horses ingest a wide(r) spectrum of electrolytes (note that these are necessary to build complex enzymes), a broad(er) spectrum of amino acids, and of course vitamins. Whereas even the most average racehorse is treated like a prince, keeping its nutritional intake & uptake apace with its nutritional expenditure during training and racing is a challenge. If supplementation is narrow, some electrolyte levels may remain low and, if this goes undetected (serum Zinc for instance is the poorest indicator to detect deficiency whereas sweat Zinc is the best), then performance gradually will suffer.

Aloe vera interacts with influenza virus particles

In the September 2018 issue of Frontiers in Microbiology research was published that in vitro test revealed that aloe vera polysaccharides could inhibit the replication of a H1N1 subtype influenza virus. The most obvious inhibitory effect was observed in the viral adsorption period (so that’s where the equine flu virus tries to venture past the mucociliary barrier). Transmission electron microscopy indicated that aloe vera polysaccharides directly interacted with influenza virus particles. These long and very long chain polysaccharides are absorbed into the bloodstream intact and flow from the gut to the point of nasal entry. Notably the 2.0×106 and the 1.0×106 fractions are immune modulating. Buyer beware of the huge differences between aloe vera products and obviously the dosage is of paramount importance.

Humans get infected with influenza A (H1N1) or its mutation 2009 H1N1 (the latter caused the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years). The virus that currently circulates in horse populations is subtype A2 (H3N8) with an earlier subtype A1 (H7N7) now believed to be extinct in horses. Vaccination revs-up immune cells solely for the viral strain that was contained in the vaccine: H7N7 vaccines do not work optimally for the H3N8 virus, and H1N1 vaccines do not work optimally for 2009H1N1. What is rarely mentioned is that free-radical induced pathogenicity in virus infections is of great importance.

In case you wonder what ‘H’ and ‘N’ stand for, influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on the surface of the virus: the hemagglutinin (H) and the neuraminidase (N). Aloe Polysaccharides Inhibit Influenza A Virus Infection-A Promising Natural Anti-flu Drug; Sun Z., Yu C., Wang W., Yu G., Zhang T., Zhang L., Zhang J., Wei K.; Frontiers in Microbiology 2018 Sep 27;9:2338.

Aloe vera squelches free radicals that increase equine flu virus pathogenicity

It is racing and competition yards that want to know how to reduce the risk of equine influenza. Theirs are young susceptible horses that are frequently transported and mixed extensively. The entry point of the A2 (H3N8) strain is the upper respiratory tract. In humans, ultra-marathon training and competing seems to lead to a depression of the immune function with an increased prevalence of infections of the upper respiratory tract… So what is it with über fit humans and über fit horses that renders them vulnerable to infection? Changes in redox homeostasis in infected cells are one of the key events that is linked to infection with respiratory viruses and linked to inflammation and subsequent tissue damage. In case you have not heard of this before, redox biology embraces events involving shift of balance between reactive oxygen or nitrogen species (ROS and RNS, respectively) production and their scavenging.

How to reduce the risk of equine influenza: Aloeride feeds aminoacids in antioxidant cascade

In a horse, equine flu viral subtype A2 (H3N8) + nasal nitric oxide (which normally increases the uptake of oxygen into horse’s blood) produces highly reactive nitrogen oxide species, such as peroxynitrite. This suppresses type 1 helper T cell-dependent immune responses during infections, leading to type 2 helper T cell-biased immunological host responses. An i2-skewed milieu is also created by grouped aberrant cells, which allows them to escape eradication by type 1 immunity… i.e. a shift from TH1 to TH2 helps the equine flu virus venture past the mucociliary barrier. How might you stop that from happening? By feeding the antioxidant cascades! Both glutamine and vitamin C are known to have beneficial effects on upper airway infections in ultra-marathoners. For the vets among you, the intake of vitamin C does not lead to a change in various infection parameters such as immune cells, interleukins, or interferon (Nieman et al., 2002). Nor does the intake of aloe vera necessarily, but both translate into a lower susceptibility to infection.

Free radicals (reactive oxygen species ROS) are rendered harmless by the electrons donated by vitamin C which, in turn, becomes a (less harmful) vitamin C radical. Then vitamin E donates an electron to the vitamin C radical (restoring it back to a healthy vitamin C) and you’re left with a (lesser harmful still) vitamin E radical. As you can guess, glutathione now donates an electron to the vitamin E radical. Your horse needs glutamine, glycine and cysteine to make glutathione. Training and racing use up these protective nutritional resources. The concentration of glutamine in the blood is reduced by up to 20% after an ultra-marathon (Castell and Newsholme, 1997) which means that less redox protection is available for the upper respiratory tract. Makes a competition horse a ‘welcoming’ host for subtype A2 (H3N8).

Aloe vera contains 7 out of the 8 dietary essential amino acids (Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Valine, there’s no consensus on Tryptophan yet). Aloe vera contains 12 dietary non-essential amino acids (Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Histidine, Proline, Serine, Tyrosine, Glutamine, Aspartic Acid). With Aloeride feeding 2,000mg = 400ml per serving, you would need to add a daily dosage of natural vitamin C as part of the feed mix. All three of the horses affected at McCain’s stable had been vaccinated which prompted immediate concern that a new strain of the equine influenza could spread rapidly through the racing industry. Perhaps an open minded review of the feed mix could advance how to reduce the risk of equine influenza.

How to reduce the risk of equine influenza

We have assumed that, beyond the above advice on how optimum nutrition could be useful in equine influenza, you know the general advice given on equine influenza. Still, it doesn’t hurt including the BHA endorsed Animal Health Trust advice in this webpage:

  • Signs of influenza may include lethargy/poor performance, loss of appetite, coughing (dry/harsh/hacking), fever (> 38.5° Celcius), nasal discharge.
  • Flu vaccination should provide your horse with good protection against flu. If your horse was to encounter flu, clinical signs will typically be much less severe, your horse would get better much faster and will also spread less virus, meaning, other horses will be less likely to get sick. Vaccination should be used in conjunction with the below other important preventative measures.
  • Protocol for new arrivals: Flu often occurs shortly after the arrival of new horses on to a premises and yards should have protocols in place for quarantining new arrivals for a period of time (ideally in isolation facilities for 3 weeks) before mixing them with resident horses. Before arrival, confirm the new horse is vaccinated against flu and discuss other infectious disease screening tests with your vet.
  • Good general hygiene practices: Wash your hands between handling different horses and use designated equipment for each horse. Events are good places for the circulation of infectious diseases. When away from the yard, take your own equipment, including water buckets and water. Avoid communal areas and contact with other horses. Disinfect all equipment including your trailer, when you arrive back at the yard. Closely monitor your horse too, as movement and mixing with other horses means your horse is at a higher risk of getting an infection, like flu.
  • Be prepared: Do you have yard facilities if a horse requires isolation? A completely separate stable, ideally 25m from other horses and no shared airspace is needed. You must use separate equipment, handlers (or if this is not possible; protective clothing, gloves, separate boots and care for the isolated horse after all other horses) and muck heap when dealing with a horse in isolation. Temporary isolation can be set up by moving other horses away from the stable area/block and using it just for the isolated horse. Taping off the area and using clear signage makes others aware to avoid the area, with disinfectant foot dip and hand washing at the entrance/exit.
  • If flu is suspected on your yard: Call your vet and they can take a swab sample from your horse’s nose and a blood sample, to confirm if your horse has flu. If your horse has been sick for a while before you call the vet, it can be harder to diagnose your horse correctly. Swabs are best taken early on in the course of the infection. Samples can be tested for free through the Animal Health Trust’s equine influenza surveillance scheme. This scheme is kindly supported by the Horserace Betting Levy Board. If your vet hasn’t signed up to our scheme, ask them to contact us. If you suspect another horse on your yard may also have had flu-like signs, they can also be sampled through this scheme.
  • Steps to take if a case of flu is confirmed at your yard: Your vet will advise you on treatment for the horse. Measures to prevent the spread of flu will be yard specific and tailor-made by your vet, with assistance from the Animal Health Trust’s veterinary epidemiology team and will include: Isolation of infected horses. All horse movements on and off the yard should be stopped. Monitor all horses on the yard for clinical signs and record their rectal temperature daily, it should be less than 38.5˚C (your vet can advise you on how to do this if you are unsure). A rise in temperature can be an early sign of an infection. Booster vaccinating all in-contact horses, even if they are not yet due their annual booster, has been shown to provide horses with even more protection against flu.

The role of nutrition is nowhere to be seen in the official communiqués about equine influenza. We champion the view that, if you feed your horse the nutrients and antioxidants that fight off viruses, you thereby reduce the risk of equine influenza. The fact that all three of the horses affected at Donald McCain’s yard had been vaccinated prompted immediate concern that a new strain of the disease could spread rapidly through the racing industry. It prompted me to write about what competition yards and racehorse owners may want to consider beyond vaccination. Nutritional suggestions may inconvenience those who promote animal health and welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines.

Update from BETA’s Philippa Macintosh on 13/02/19: “The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) notes the latest update from the Animal Health Trust (AHT) that there have been three further positive tests for equine flu in Kent, Derbyshire and central Scotland. Although there have been a relatively small number of positive tests from the thousands of samples taken by the AHT, the BEF continues to urge horse owners to be vigilant for symptoms of equine flu and to call their vet if they think their horses are showing signs. Vaccinations are vital in tackling the spread of the disease so all owners must ensure that their vaccination records are up to date, and if it’s been longer than 6 months since the last vaccination we recommend discussing a booster with their veterinary surgeon. The BEF also notes that the AHT reports that in all 3 cases, the horses that tested positive were recently imported from Ireland or had had contact with other recently imported horses. Therefore the BEF asks owners to consider that any contact with recently imported horses represents increased risk as there have also been outbreaks of equine flu in other member states including France and Germany. All owners should follow veterinary advice by isolating any recently imported horses for a period of at least 21 days.”

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Is aloe vera safe for horses

Is aloe vera safe for horses explained by Aloeride
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Is aloe vera safe for horses and, if so, is aloe vera always safe for horses and for smaller ponies? Several questions rolled into one, so let’s unravel this: 1 Can aloe vera do harm? (harmful molecules, contamination, degradation) and 2 Can aloe vera be overdosed or underdosed? and 3 Is it evidence based i.e. proof that aloe vera works?

Is aloe vera safe for horses 1

One type of molecule within aloe vera can be troublesome. Its laxative anthraquinones cause diarrhoea. Since horses are naturally on a high fibre diet, constipation is never your problem. Your feed merchant cannot tell you whether or not the aloe vera for sale contains laxative anthraquinones because labels don’t declare this (if they test it in the first place). Should you feed your horse aloe vera properly according to body mass, then you may find that he/she redecorates the stable walls. But, because aloe vera is expensive (discover how affordable Aloeride is) , dosage given is rarely in proper ratio to body mass, so the quantity that is fed rarely causes droppings to become too loose. Is this however the best way to go about things? Imagine if aspirin would cause diarrhoea and you would take a child dosage so as to avoid diarrhoea… would this solve your headache??    Precisely, so why not dose properly with aloe vera that doesn’t contain laxative molecules.

Contamination can be due to soil and processing. Aloe vera is grown commercially below the equator and in the ‘dustbowl’ of Spain (that froze over one year and decimated their aloe vera plants because they forgot to put the antifreeze in – that last bit is a joke) and in Greece. Feed merchants rarely know where the aloe vera they sell was grown. We have lab measurements of South African aloe vera ferox that, according to their B2B marketing material, is used keenly by the beauty industry and yet it had the most atrocious nutritional values but… good enough to put aloe vera on their label! Laugh if you like but not so funny if you bought that product for your horse. China also has started to grow aloe vera commercially. The science director of an internationally accredited via ISO 17025 forensic food science laboratory wrote the book ‘Food Forensics’ which details the heavy metals analysis of over 800 foods, spices, superfoods, pet treats and dietary supplements imported from China, contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury. Buy from safe sources, from those who are upfront about where their aloe vera comes from and are upfront about their lab values of nutritional profile.

Dr. Ivan Danhof MD PhD – head of one of the laboratories where Aloeride quality control takes place – wrote to us that some aloe vera products contain β-linked polysaccharides from konjac root (contains approximately 49%–60% glucomannan with a glucose:mannose ratio of approximately 2:3). This is how some manufacturers inflate MeOHPS results to make cheap aloe vera look better in the hope to sell it for more money. Specialist tests however can differentiate between konjac and aloe vera! Sometimes it is not the plant that is degraded but the people who make the product.

Liquid aloe vera goes off. To slow down (but not avoid) bacterial degradation you must put liquid aloe vera in a fridge after a tankard, jug or bottle has been opened. Stabilised aloe vera aims at offsetting oxidation but that doesn’t phase bacteria. What worries bacteria to the point of meeting their Maker is ‘no H2O’. Other than bacteria that produce spores or MRSA (neither are present on the leaf of aloe vera) most bacteria cannot survive without water. That is why Dr Ivan Danhof MD PhD proposed to freeze aloe, extract the water and use only the working solids within aloe vera. Why not deliver all the goodness of aloe vera in dry powder form and outsmart the bacteria.

Is aloe vera safe for horses 2

More often than not, horses are underdosaged on aloe vera. This is because horse owners struggle to afford dosing right. We know this because we are being asked specifically about this. Salespeople do the children’s aspirin trick that makes aloe vera use more affordable but it predictably lowers beneficial effect. Aloeride aloe vera takes into account that there is a 5.88x difference between average human weight and that of an average horse, and with a known polysaccharide binding site occupancy, our serving of 2,000mg/day (400 milliliter equivalent) is a proper dosage for an average horse. Aloeride makes that affordable for your horse.

Average horse weight chart

When you weigh your horse on an equine specific weighbridge or by using a weigh tape (about 90% accurate) you need to remember that body composition is as important as the kilograms/pounds. A para-dressage rider with a horse on Aloeride (header picture in Coat Health and Natural Coat Shine) at 1 sachet/day reported back that her horse had increased weight on the weighbridge but had not increased girth measurement. Yes that means that lean body mass increased i.e. it is a healthy weight increase with more muscle support for joints and so on. Optimum nutritional intake, optimum nutritional uptake. Draft breeds range from approximately 16 to 19 hands and from 1,400 to 2,000 lb (640 to 910 kg), and at 910kg you may consider 1 sachet twice a day if 1 sachet once a day has not already delivered the beneficial effect hoped for. Small ponies have ½ sachet a day (you must close the sachet quickly after dispensing and seal it). Once all the polysaccharide binding sites in your horse’s gut have been occupied, it poops out the excess polysaccharides. Quite frankly overdosing on aloe vera would be very difficult to achieve. Underdosing is commonplace but not with Aloeride.

Is aloe vera safe for horses 3

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' coat of arms RCVSMany vets in both large and small animal practice recommend that patients take aloe vera. This can be applied externally in which case laxative anthraquinones do not matter. When aloe vera is administered by mouth many vets are moving away from liquid aloe vera to aloe vera in sachets. This avoids diarrhoea, dramatically improves dosage and there are other practical advantages. Vets can be hesitant about ‘natural remedies’ because often it’s unknown how they are made (no standardisation like drugs) and often there’s little research. In case of aloe vera, there’s a timeline of 4,000 years of use plus a hefty pile of proper research. Aloeride is produced by a UK pharmaceutical clinical trial company. Being safe with aloe vera is a choice.

In July 1844, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons was granted its arms and, due to aloe vera being used widely for the treatment of animals, the RCVS chose to include aloe vera in its coat of arms. The crest displays a wreath of the colours, a centaur proper, holding a shield argent, charged with aloe vera barbadensis miller, also proper (proper indicates natural colouring). The centaur on the crest is presumed to represent Chiron the centaur, the Greek mythological ‘father’ of all medicine. The horse, bull and horseshoe were all included to represent branches of the veterinary art, while the healing arrow pierces the serpent of disease. We are very proud to supply veterinary surgeries with Aloeride.

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Victoria Bax Eventing August Adventures

Victoria Bax Eventing August Adventures
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Here goes if you too are interested in Victoria Bax Eventing August Adventures: Earlier this year while coaching at a Riding Club camp, I was persuaded, more so begged to join part of the “Quad Squad” as their 4th team member is currently on maternity leave! I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, however, after a last minute change of horse for me which meant that Alberta’s Rose only had two practices and a 200-mile round trip returning home at 11.30pm last night – we did it! Not sure I’m ever going to live this down, but secretly I have to admit I rather enjoyed being part of it!

Inter County Freestyle Victoria Bax feeds her horses AloerideThe brief we had for the Inter-County Freestyle event was “Toys and Games”; we chose to perform The Nutcracker. Who would have thought that the four-year-old, unbacked, full Thoroughbred that we bought at the Ascot sales in June 2014 predominately for eventing would turn her hoof to becoming part of a Quadrille! Alberta’s Rose certainly did not let me down as we finished a very respectable 2nd!

Later in the month, I was absolutely thrilled to pieces and so so very proud of my amazing little grey horse, Alberta’s Rose at Little Downham. She absolutely stood her own in a decent Novice section to produce a super dressage test for 28 penalties (72%) and an outstanding double clear with a handful of time penalties (which cost us the win) however finished superbly for 3rd place from 35 starters round a testing course which causes plenty of problems. I simply couldn’t be prouder of this girl; she has taken the step up to Novice this time completely in her stride. I think I’ve had the best three phases I have ever had with her, in fact probably any horse today. The dressage was supple and smooth, the showjumping positive and flowing and the cross country very confident. What an amazing young horse I have, and it feels fantastic to be back at a decent level again.

Our last trip this month was up to Swalcliffe in Oxfordshire, to contend the British Riding Club National Horse Trials Championships at 100+ level following our win in the Area qualifying event last month. Sadly having made the 140-mile journey there, I was hugely disappointed with the ground conditions. They had promoted that they would be aggravating the ground, but unfortunately, I could see no evidence of this, therefore leaving the ground in a very firm condition, not only on the cross country course but also the dressage and showjumping arenas and warm-up areas. As a result of this, I decided to withdraw following our dressage which had left us 5th going into the cross country day. This was obviously hugely disappointing as Alberta’s Rose is definitely on form this season and in my eyes stood an excellent chance of a great result. However, I was not prepared to risk causing her any damage considering every other event I have attended this season has made enormous efforts with the ground, and I have happily run at all of them.
So the long drive home began; A costly weekend!

Alberta’s Pride appears to be fit and well following the splint forming on his leg, so his work will be stepped up and back to normal including jump training as it has now been two months since it appeared. He will be aimed at Wellington BE100 at the end of this month, so I’m keeping everything crossed he feels fit and well on the day.

Still, lots more to look forward to this season, so until next time… best wishes, Victoria.

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Growing A Strong Thoroughbred Racehorse Foot

Growing A Strong Thoroughbred Racehorse Foot
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We suggest that you abandon the myth that growing a strong Thoroughbred Racehorse foot is difficult. Pretty much without exception all Thoroughbred Racehorses on the Aloeride have grown strong hooves and healthy feet. They no longer have the problems commonly associated with TB’s hooves and they become easier to shoe.

Thoroughbreds are known for having two different front feet, they seldom match. If they are left to grow unevenly and aren’t balanced with regular trims, it is like you wearing a sneaker on one foot and a work boot on the other. You just couldn’t jog evenly like that.

Thoroughbred Racehorse Foot Problems

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farIt is assumed that the relative thinness of walls and sole of the Thoroughbred foot make it more susceptible to trauma, injury, and hoof capsule distortion. Actually thin + hard would be just fine. It is only thin + softer that causes flares, cracks, underrun, collapsed and sheared heels. Quarter cracks, grass cracks, sand cracks, toe cracks, dry or moist corns, while line disease (seedy toe) are unheard of in horses supplemented with Aloeride, often it is why horses with hoof trouble started on Aloeride. Thoroughbred Racehorses on Aloeride get an abundance of natural-in-ratio nutritional building blocks with which they build much stronger walls and more resilient soles. This is where affordable, unrivalled quality and proper dosage of organic aloe vera comes into it: Aloeride.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farHoof capsule distortions are slow sprains due to semi-static weight bearing lasting hours. This is you getting plantar fasciitis standing still for 20+ hours at a drinks party. Hoof capsule distortions are sprains because the line of gravity doesn’t move through the foot at a time when it has little or no arch support from the ground (therefore relies solely on the perimeter hoof capsule for support). Hoof architecture is designed for top-down dynamic pressure and ground-up arch/sole support from the track.  Hoof structures are grown from the building blocks you choose to feed, it is your easiest handle on a common problem. Aloeride not only makes growing a strong Thoroughbred Racehorse foot easier, it also helps your TB cope with the inflammatory aspect of sprains. In compromised feet, a temporary arch support bandaged onto the feet when stalled may be helpful.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farThoroughbred Racehorses’ feet need not be sensitive to moisture. This is as self-explanatory as stating that, without wearing a Barbour, you get soaked standing in the rain. Thoroughbred Racehorse’s feet become sensitive to water ingress only if their naturally protective fatty acid and phospholipid barriers fail. That same barrier also protects feet from drying out and becoming brittle. Growing a strong Thoroughbred Racehorse foot should not be difficult when the horse ingests the right feedstuff to build with.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farAs you know, the sole grows from the third phalanx (P3, coffin bone, pedal bone is much lighter than other foot bones because it is perforated by numerous vascular channels). For a healthy circulation under P3, the sole of your Thoroughbred must be at least 15 mm thick. If circulation gets compressed (i.e. solar papillae blood vessels that project down into the sole are short to nonexistent in the compressed foot) → fewer nutrients are delivered to tissue → the sole is not growing at a healthy rate → the hoof capsule changes → you’ll start to notice an underrun heel → the walls get thin → the walls become brittle. The anti-diabetic effect of aloe vera helps peripheral circulation, semi-static weight bearing hinders. Horses that are fed an optimum diet have an 80% increase in hoof-sole-border size compared to those fed a limited diet. Optimum nutrition encourages maximum bone and hoof size development. Importantly, hoof size proportionate to body size encourages soundness. Aloeride helps you reach optimum nutrition (intake as well as uptake).

The nutrition hooves need and get with Aloeride

Soil Association Certified Organic Aloeride aloe veraAloeride gives your horse 7 out of the 8 dietary essential amino acids (Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Valine, there’s no consensus on Tryptophan yet. Aloeride gives your horse 12 dietary non-essential amino acids (Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Histidine, Proline, Serine, Tyrosine, Glutamine, Aspartic Acid). Aloeride gives your horse vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12 and vitamin A and C. Aloeride gives your horse the inorganic minerals Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Iron, Phosphorus, Manganese, Molybdenum, Copper and Chromium. Next to these nutrients, Aloeride gives your horse other, aloe-vera-specific nutrients that you can never get from even the best feed. Next to that, by firmly supporting digestion, Aloeride promotes the uptake of nutrients in regular feed. Aloeride is a 100% pure, natural product with Nature’s own nutrient-to-nutrient ratios. Frankly this unique wide spectrum of nutrients would do little if it wasn’t delivered in a properly meaningful quantity! No worries, each sachet of 2,000mg equates to a very generous serving of 400 ml of original and organic juice!

Thoroughbred Racehorses are worth you knowing what’s behind a label

Your horses are extremely valuable. You don’t know the nutritional difference between aloe vera products/labels until you do laboratory tests. For an objective view on proven premium quality, unadulterated product samples of Aloeride, Aloequine, Barrier Animal Healthcare Pure Aloe Vera Juice, Forever Living Stabilised Aloe Vera Gel and Hilton Herbs Aloe Vera were presented for independent measurement by an accredited laboratory equipped for industry standard evaluation of aloe vera. It’s an eye opener:

AloerideProduct

2a
Product

3b
Product

4f
Product

5h
12 litres optimised to 30 palatable powder sachets per carton12 litres = 3.17 x (3.785 litres @ £35.00)12 litres = 2.4 x (5 litres @ £37.76)12 litres = 12 x (1 litre @ £21.62)12 litres = 2.4 x (5 litres @ £63.00)
£55.20 (that’s before you choose your multi-carton discount)£110.95£90.63£259.44£151.20
Nutritional Density:5.31 x fewer nutrients23.4 x fewer nutrients3.23 x fewer nutrients2.39 x fewer nutrients
4,680 mg/L880 mg/L200 mg/L1,450 mg/L1,960 mg/L
£4.60 per litre (that’s before you choose your multi-carton discount)£9.25 per litre£7.55 per litre£21.62 per litre£12.60 per litre
We can supply you with a multi-laboratory proven better aloe vera at vastly deflated cost because we don’t have expensive offices, we don’t finance a multilevel marketing pyramid, we don’t have much staff, we don’t transport liquid aloe, and we don’t seek rapacious profit.
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Are smart simple aloe vera pellets a clever idea

When aloe vera is only on the label
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Laurel is a Contact of ours in America who asked “are smart simple aloe vera pellets a clever idea?” She said that she was looking forward to the convenience of pellets over the aloe vera juice she had been using, and she liked the low price of $19.82 for a 28-day supply. The label she looked at read “Aloe Vera Pellets provide 10,000 mg of aloe vera gel in a convenient pelleted form”. Because of where that product is sold in the US, Laurel’s friends flagged up a big issue that I wrote about in my web page When aloe vera is only present on the label. Laurel  was keen on our Aloeride but was considering value for money, meaning looking for a (seemingly) financial bargain… So, are smart simple aloe vera pellets a clever idea or not? Click to jump to the Conclusion straight away.

Pelleting heats aloe vera

Almost all livestock feeders agree that animals make better gains on pelleted feed than a meal ration. The most logical reasons are that (a) the heat generated in conditioning and pelleting make the feed stuffs more digestible by breaking down the starches, (b) the pellet simply puts the feed in a concentrated form, and (c) pelleting minimises waste during the eating process. Beyond the ingredient feeder, pelleting starts in the Conditioning Chamber. This is where moisture and heat are added to the feed mash. The most effective way to do this is by Dry Saturated Steam i.e. approximately 190° Fahrenheit (88° Celcius) and a 17% w.b. moisture content. Every pelleted or cubed horse feed goes through such a process and, as you may know from other articles I wrote, there is a significant microbiome downside to that.

Exposing aloe vera to approximately 190° Fahrenheit (88° Celcius) denatures the beta-linked long chain polysaccharides that are critical to making aloe vera the unique substance that it is. It also denatures other temperature-sensitive molecules, like enzymes and the plant microbiome. Just to put this into perspective… Aloeride’s process, that was co-designed by gastro-enterologist and world renowned expert on aloe vera Dr. Ivan Danhof MD PhD, uses freeze drying to preserve all the heat-sensitive molecules. The polar (pun intended) opposite of using dry saturated steam. It reminded me of a lady who made soap with aloe vera. She wanted to buy Aloeride to use in her soap. For most soapers, the preferred temperature of soaping lye and oils is 120-130° Fahrenheit (48-54° Celcius), so I asked her what colour the aloe vera powder she used at that moment turned into as she put it in the bowl. “Brown” was her reply… you don’t need to be Heston Blumenthal to figure out that she’d caramelised the sugars in aloe vera. That means curtains for their physiological effect! Sure enough, the B-vitamins may survive, as may the amino acids or the inorganic minerals. The words ‘aloe vera’ are great for any product marketing, yet smoke and mirrors when the aloe content is denatured and rendered ineffective.

Aloe vera species

There are many different species of aloe vera. These differ genetically in nutrient density even before you consider farming practices and soil quality. Laurel’s smart simple aloe vera pellets don’t disclose what species these are made from, which by inference means ‘not from the best species’ because using best species would proudly feature on their label. Aloeride only uses the most nutrient dense species and gives you this wholeleaf, not just the gel. Laurel’s label reads “10,000 mg of aloe vera gel” and since 95% of gel is WATER, you get 5% x 10,000 = 500mg of aloe vera working solids meeting 190° Fahrenheit (88° Celcius) in the Conditioning Chamber. The label reads “Aloe vera gel is known for its soothing benefit on gastric tissues, making it an ideal ingredient for supporting horses at risk for gastric upset or horses who are being managed for occasional stomach issues.” If aloe vera pellets do anything for digestive issues then it might be useful to examine the listed inactive ingredients. You may think this a little harsh but, years ago, one of the laboratories we use told us that they had tested a Grapefruit seed extract product. It was widely used for fungal infections and on Google you will read that it is an all-time best seller. Their testing revealed that it contained an anti-fungal to preserve the grapefruit seed extract…

Alfalfa Meal inactive ingredient in aloe vera pellets

Good alfalfa is good for (most) horses, just like good aloe vera is good for all horses. Alfalfa meal often isn’t good alfalfa. Beyond a positive-by-name association*, the main disadvantages of alfalfa meal are its dustiness and the fact that it is difficult or next to impossible, to determine its quality by a mere inspection, without chemical or microscopic analysis, and to tell whether it is made from a choice quality of leafy alfalfa hay or from an inferior grade of overripe, stemmy alfalfa. Perhaps this is why it is labelled as an inactive ingredient. It bulks a pellet which keeps your horse’s stomach occupied, but it’s not helpful in the way straight alfalfa might be. Simply put, the more your horse chews, the more your horse buffers and mops up gastric acid secretion, the less your horse will complain about his gastric lining erosion.

* Feeding a variety of grass fibre is the basis of all good equine nutrition. Alfalfa is fermented chopped Lucerne hay. Controlled fermented Lucerne products have higher digestible energy values, and other potential benefits, relative to dry lucerne chaff. Lucerne needs longer chewing before swallowing (i.e. increased intake time) and unsurprisingly, horses that are fed Lucerne hay and fresh grass, produce twice as much saliva compared to when a grain-based meal was offered. New Zealand research claims that gastric ulcers can be healed by feeding fermented chopped Lucerne. A research study used 12 horses diagnosed with ulcers. During the study, all the horses were fed approximately 15 kg (33 lb) of modified bio-fermentation chopped Lucerne per day for six weeks. There was no control group reported. By 14 days, 67% of the horses had no ulcers, and by 28 days all the horse in the study had no ulceration. Lucerne contains higher levels of protein and calcium, both of which buffer gastric acid. Lucerne cell wall contains certain indigestible compounds such as lignin that gives it a greater buffering capacity than grasses. As a rule of thumb, feed at least 1% of a horse’s body weight in fibre per day, and ideally 1.5%. A-500 kg (1,100-lb) horse should be offered 5 to 7.5 kg (11 to 16.5 lb) forage. Free-choice hay is best.

Corn Distiller’s Dried Grains with Solubles inactive ingredient in aloe vera pellets

Corn Distiller’s Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) is a by-product of the biofuel industry, of dry-grind ethanol processing during which the whole corn kernel is fermented, resulting in two main co-products: Ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles. The composition of DDGS can vary considerably. The nutritional value of DDGS can be influenced greatly by the proportion of grains vs. solubles and by processing technologies. Precisely this makes DDGS a cheap ingredient. The high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids of corn DDGS (10.5 %) is linoleic acid in particular. Note that horses are very susceptible to fumonisin poisoning from mouldy corn. Fermentation during Ethanol production doesn’t destroy the mould, like the nutrient (protein) threefold concentration, mould becomes threefold concentrated [(CFIA 2009; Bothast et al. 1992; Wu and Munkvold 2008)]. The mycotoxins that may concentrate in the DDGS are aflatoxins, fumonisins, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and ergot alkaloids. Equine leukoencephalomalacia (ELEM), more commonly known as moldy corn poisoning, is the most common mycotoxin-related syndrome in horses. It is the result of a fungus called Fusarium moniliforme, which often invades corn fields when crops are stressed by drought or when conditions are very wet at harvest. Fusarium produces a toxin called fumonisin. Ask if smart simple aloe vera pellets are tested for this.

Lignin Sulfonate inactive ingredient in aloe vera pellets

Lignosulfonates are derived from lignin, a naturally occurring polymer found in wood that acts like glue holding the cellulose fibers of pulp together. It is commonly used as a pellet binder. It neither helps nor hinders your horse.

Sodium Propionate inactive ingredient in aloe vera pellets

Sodium propionate is a common food preservative/additive that is industrially manufactured but also occurs in nature. Since it is toxic to mould and some species of bacteria, it is an especially effective additive in baked goods or other products that are susceptible to spoilage. Inhibitory concentration of 0.1-0.5 percent affects bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhosa, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Bacillus cereus, Serratia marcescens) and fungi (Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Epidermophyton interdigitale). In higher concentrations different bacteria are inhibited but there is no effect on fungi at higher concentrations.

Vegetable Oil inactive ingredient in aloe vera pellets

Vegetable Oil (Cold Pressed) also meets 190° Fahrenheit (88° Celcius) in the Conditioning Chamber and this denatures some of the health beneficial qualities that cold-pressed vegetable oil may have.

Are smart simple aloe vera pellets a clever idea

If you want aloe vera to do something for your horse, then buy independently proven quality aloe vera. If you want alfalfa to do something for your horse, then buy proven quality alfalfa, not alfalfa meal. When $19.82 for a 28-day supply sounds like an attractive supplement, consider what you found out on this page as well as how you might spend your money wisely. Consider the effect of quality CF Lucerne on equine digestion, consider feeding your horse what your grandparents knew to be useful, and definitely take note that one horsey aloe vera product we had tested contained 23.4x fewer nutrients than Aloeride and, being a liquid, it had not even been exposed to heat like aloe vera pellets are… Sensibly most American and Canadian customers prefer the six carton option which gives them 20% Discount + Free Delivery and, from feedback on the phone, they also love our honest advice. So there’s Laurel’s episode for you.. are smart simple aloe vera pellets a clever idea ever, sorry no they’re not.

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When a racehorse jockey breaks his back

When a racehorse jockey breaks his back
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During a chat at a racing yard that uses Aloeride, banter moved from the benefits of Aloeride and the training of Thoroughbreds to a detailed talk about an injury sustained by a young jockey. When a racehorse jockey brakes his back twice, what can one do and what should one do? This page offers help.

The header picture shows the old L5 pars fracture on the right. The gap you see isn’t a vacuum but a connection known as a soft callus; cartilage and fibrous tissue exist in the fracture gap between the broken fragments. The recent pars interarticularis fracture on the left also occurred at the L5 vertebra, the brightness confirms the inflammatory stage to be active when the scan was made. Imagine both left and right rein breaking at the bridle… where does that leave the horse’ head. Potentially out of control, so you can understand the jockey’s concern. It is called spondylolysis which is commonly the result of axial (vertical direction) loading of a spine in extension (bending backwards). It is a common fracture in adolescent gymnasts, in bowling cricketers and may occur in jockeys who become unseated. The jockey saw two Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons and got two differing opinions.

Surgery

The first Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon recommended internal fixation of the fracture. Placing a screw directly across the fracture site(s) and using bone morphogenic protein – a synthetic protein that induces the patient’s own stem cells to turn into bone healing cells – to speed up the healing process and increases success rate of fusion. Surgical repair typically takes about 3-6 months to unite but it may take longer. The young jockey neither had significant degenerative disc disease nor a significant slip of one vertebra on the other, hence was a good candidate for fracture repair. But some adults with bilateral pars fractures don’t develop lower back symptoms in their lifetime, many adults with bilateral pars fractures will develop degenerative disc disease and/or a slip of one vertebra on the other (isthmic spondylolysthesis). The thing is, so do people who have never fractured their spine or have ridden Thoroughbreds at any speed… A young daughter of friends of ours had titanium screws-rods fitted to correct her scoliosis. Her Consultant confirmed that her transpedicular fixation had broken – by doing yoga of all things – and she now faces revision surgery. Fortunately the jockey’s pars fractures would only need screw implants.

Conservative Approach

The second Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon advised a conservative approach. This is what unintentionally occurred after the undetected fracture on the right side. The fact that you see a gap, known as a soft callus, means that this didn’t go well: cartilage and fibrous tissue exist in the fracture gap between the broken fragments that prevented healing. It is not bone hard. My suggestion is that conservative treatment should consist of concerted efforts to encourage a hard callus to form. The advice given in this web page aims to help with what to do when a racehorse jockey breaks his back.

Fracture Repair

In order for a fracture to knit back together 1) the two pieces must remain close enough together to be able to fuse, 2) minimal movement at fracture site encourages the formation of a hard callus (e.g. low-magnitude high-frequency vibration), 3) tissue pH, tissue oxygenation and micronutrient levels should be such to encourage/fuel healing. Fracture repair happens in three phases.

  • The inflammation phase is the first stage: fracture > a blood clot forms which brings inflammatory cells to the wound area > a cytokine cascade brings repair cells into the fracture gap > these cells immediately begin to differentiate into specialized cells that build new bone tissue (osteoblasts) and new cartilage (chondroblasts). Over the next few months, these cells begin the repair process, laying down new bone matrix and cartilage. At this initial stage, osteoclast cells dissolve and recycle bone debris.
  • The reparative stage is the second stage. Two weeks after fracture > proteins produced by osteoblasts and chondroblasts consolidate into a primary soft callus > in the presence (!) of micronutrients this hardens into a hard callus over a 6 to 12 week period.
  • The remodeling phase is the third stage: the callus begins to mature and remodel itself. Woven bone is remodeled into stronger lamellar bone by the orchestrated action of both osteoblast bone formation cells and osteoclast bone resorption cells.

Later into the reparative stage, gentle and strictly isometric muscle setting exercises help low-magnitude vibration over the fracture site. Note that the tissue formed (hard or soft callus) is determined by the microenvironment: high oxygen concentration and mechanical stability favours bone formation whereas low oxygen and instability leads to formation of cartilage. During the inflammation phase, when you are immobilised, you cannot boost tissue pO2 by fitness but you can boost it with daily alkaline clever smoothies in which sulphur-rich proteins (such as those found in fermented diary products) increase oxygenation of the body: add 3-6 tbsp flaxseed oil and 4 oz. (1/2 cup) cottage cheese or natural yogurt or 125ml milk kefir in the 1.6 pint (32 fl oz) Nutribullet smoothie. A ketogenic diet will increase your lung oxygen intake levels per minute as will Buyeko breathing.

More nutrients, better healing

Inflammation is a very necessary phase but too much inflammation hinders healing. Nutrients such as vitamin C, bioflavonoids, flavonols (e.g. Quercitin and Proanthrocydins) and omega-3 fatty acids moderate the inflammatory cyclooxygenase enzymes COX-1 and COX-2.

A 2006 Swedish hip fracture study found fracture patients given complex multi-nutrient supplementation containing protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, trace minerals, and lipid soluble vitamins, had only a 15% rate of complications as compared to a 70% complications rate among the non-supplemented group. A Swedish meta-analysis of 17 such clinical hip fracture trials which reported that oral multi-nutrient supplementation (including nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, arginine, zinc, and antioxidants) reduced deaths and complications from hip fracture by nearly 50%. A placebo controlled, multi-nutrient study from India administered vitamin C, Lysine, Proline, and vitamin B6 to tibial fracture patients. In those receiving multi-nutrient therapy, fracture healing time was reduced by approximately two weeks, with a larger percentage healing in 10 weeks (33%) as compared to the 11% in the placebo group. As an aside, aloe vera contains 20 of the 22 necessary and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids next to raft of other nutrients, hence why research found aloe vera to be helpful in fracture healing.

A lesser known nutrient for bone health and repair is Boron (we obtain it from food primarily as boric acid H3BO3 which is naturally present in chickpeas, almonds, beans, vegetables, bananas, walnuts, avocado, broccoli, prunes, oranges, red grapes, apples, raisins, pears, and many other beans and legumes). Another such nutrient is inorganic Silica (best food sources for Silica again come from unrefined food, notably Equisetum arvense, but who puts leaves and stems of common horsetail in their smoothies… In April 2015 a report by Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies again highlighted the rise in rickets, a disease that many people would have assumed died out in Victorian times, with one quarter of infants –more in some areas– deficient in vitamin D. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fractures can be reduced by 25%-50% via improving serum vitamin D levels. Magnesium, in particular, pays bone-health dividends by suppressing parathyroid hormone release and thus decreasing osteoclast activity. Vitamin K2 (MK-7) is a ‘Calcium chaperone’ and activates the protein osteocalcin which enables it to shunt Calcium out of circulation and into the bone, where it strengthens the collagen-mineral matrix.

Bone stress reaction i.e. diagnosis with lumbar stress fractures is prevalent among cricket fast bowlers. From research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it is interesting to note that there is no consistency in the relationship between pain and CT scan results. Which is why this jockey’s first pars fracture remained unnoticed until the recent scan. CT scans do not provide objective evidence for ongoing management or decision concerning return to sport in fast bowlers (cricket), nor does it in racehorse jockeys. Taking 1 Aloeride vegicapsule 2-3x a day provides support for the skeletal system as well as for the greater uptake of nutrients from your diet.

Force versus Strength

As you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. The thin ice with a conservative approach is that no comprehensive guidance may have been given to the patient about prevention. ‘See how you get on’ doesn’t cut it. A conservative approach should embrace 1) improving/maintaining mobility i.e. how movement is distributed throughout the spine so as not to get abnormal focal loading and 2) improving/maintaining bone density i.e. all of the above in respect of building bone that is as strong as can be and 3) improving/maintaining core stability, so that’s training. A pars fracture of course may be caused by ordinary misadventure, based on a practice with 5,600 patients however, I know that diet in youngsters may not give a spine all it needs to stand up to force. The greater your innate strength, the better you can cope with force.

Improving mobility

In a L5 pars fracture, after it has healed, you want to avoid overloading L5 and its L5-S1 joint level. This means that you want the spine above L5 to shoulder its proper share of mobility within the kinetic chain. The same goes for below L5 i.e. hip mobility, that is, the joint itself as well as the iliopsoas and hamstrings muscles. If there is any early morning stiffness then this may be overcome by dietary changes (all of the above) plus cardio-respiratory workouts. Your efforts to mobilise soft tissue will be more effective once early morning stiffness is sorted. The safest way to minimise L5/L5-S1 overload is with electro-acupuncture to visible contractions for a minimum of 20 minutes per treatment (apophyseal joint level L2/L3 – Bl23 Shenshu and apophyseal joint level L4/L5 – Bl25 Dachangshu; if you want to avoid L5 then use L2/3 and L3/4). Electro-acupuncture (pre)mobilisations must be followed immediately by active (mobilising) movement through the newly gained range. The most appropriate ones are those yoga exercises that allow you total control. Beyond that, osteopathic or gentle chiropractic mobilisations (not using L5 spinous process as a lever) may be possible later on when complete fracture healing is secured.

Improving strength

Ultimately the range passive of range of movement must be covered by active movement, so you will have muscle control at every stage. Back lifts from a position of semi-lumbar flexion is safe to start with. Low crunches with your heels nearly touching your buttocks is safe to start with. Side plank on elbows is safe to start with. Rotation against resistance definitely is not good to start with because it uses the spinous processes as a lever. Chartered Physiotherapists with a keen interest in and knowledge of sporting injuries will know more exercises than you can shake a stick at.

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Give Your Horse A Tune

Give your horse a tune
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Beyond my blogpost Horse Calmers Explained, here is a something that you may not have thought of… give your horse a tune! The positive effect music can have on animals is proven. A study conducted in 1996 assessed the impact of music on cows’ behaviour in a dairy with an Automated Milking System (i.e. the cows herd themselves to the milking machines). This study showed that, when music was played specifically during the milking period for a period of a few months, more cows showed up to the AMS than when music wasn’t played. A further study in 2001 showed that the tempo of music affects milk production in dairy cows. In this study, slow tempo music, like Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, increased milk production by 3%. A 3 percent increase in milk over a year is an easy financial gain for the dairy farm — no investment needed, just change your radio station to Classic FM, Spotify easy listening or smooth jazz. Might a 3% performance increase be attractive for your equine competitions?

Give Your Horse A Tune

Researchers from Poland[1] set out to determine the effect of music played in stables on the emotional state of race horses. Many horse owners have found that music has an apparent calming effect on fear, aggression and overall stress. Racehorses in particular, have demands of increased cardiac activity and speed that may be improved through music exposure.

Forty 3-year-old Arabian horses were placed in a stable where they listened to specifically composed music[2] for five hours each day. Their emotional state was assessed by measuring heart rates at rest, saddling, and warm-up walking. Racing performance and number of wins were also recorded. At the end of each month, for three months, data were compared to a control group of horses subjected to the same activity, without having listened to music.

The music positively impacted the emotional state and performance of treated horses, compared to the control group. What was so remarkable was that the effect was noticeable throughout every activity, even during the heightened excitement of being ridden at a gallop. Even more noteworthy was the positive influence the music had after the second and third months, improving with each subsequent month, exhibited by the number of races won. Beyond three months, however, the impact leveled off, presumably because the horses became accustomed to the music.

Implications for your horses

Horses are individuals and respond to stress in a variety of ways. This study offers one approach toward helping your horse calm down and better respond to performance demands. But all horses, not just athletes, can benefit from a relaxed, stress-free environment. Increased amount of box confinement, often seen with the onset of winter weather, can agitate many horses. Soft music, such as was used in this study, can be a useful tool in helping your horse cope with being indoors, as well as veterinary and farrier visits, travel, and other stressors. It complements what Aloeride does for horses as explained in Horse Calmers Explained and we would add that our suggestion to give your horse a tune means NOT playing Radio 2 or Radio 1 or suchlike ‘exciting ditties’.

[1] Stachurska, A., Janczarek, I., Wilk, I., and Kedzierski, W., 2015. Does music influence emotional state in race horses? Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 35(5), 650-656.

[2] Composed by Janet Marlow of Pet Acoustics, a specialist in music for animals (CD is called Relaxation Music for Horses).

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Victoria Bax Eventing Racehorse Retraining 6 years experience with Aloeride aloe vera

Aloeride aloe vera eventing Victoria-Bax
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Victoria Bax Eventing Racehorse Retraining 6 years experience with Aloeride aloe vera… as our first and longest-standing sponsored rider of Aloeride, Victoria Bax has been feeding her Thoroughbreds Aloeride aloe vera for six years. It seemed a good reason to visit her yard and ask her about her findings. The below video is the unedited interview. Victoria’s findings in a nutshell are:


Victoria Bax Eventing Racehorse Retraining 6 years experience with Aloeride aloe vera video interview.

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Top Tips for the Problem of Spring Grass Colic

The Problem of Spring Grass Colic Aloeride aloe vera
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Why don’t wild horses get spring grass colic? Why does the problem of spring grass colic affect domesticated horses? The crux of every article on spring grass colic is controlled introduction to a fence-to-fence carbohydrate load. Quite rightly articles warn you about gorging, explain about grass composition, but few articles advise on digestive interventions to help domesticated horses cope with spring grass more like wild horses do. To read my full article, click here. Here are a few Top Tips for the Problem of Spring Grass Colic:

  • Increase Spring turnout gradually
  • Avoid afternoon grazing
  • Possibly strip graze fields
  • Migrate to another field when grass is grazed down to 4″
  • Plentiful access to forage in stable is vital
  • Feed Aloeride daily and some live probiotics during winter stabling
  • Salt house in field with loose NaCl and sea salt rock near clean fresh water
  • If colicing, walk/trot for about 10 minutes (longeline/round pen) and observe
  • Collect vital signs, especially 4-quadrant intestinal sounds
  • Offer very sloppy mash which may stimulate intestinal motility, avoid grain and fermentable feed
  • Call vet if a colic doesn’t resolve completely within 30 mins
  • During significant discomfort allow your horse to rest (standing on feet or lying down)
  • Be sure to not put yourself in a position where you could be trapped or injured
  • Obviously your horse should have access to clean, fresh water