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7 Epic Competition Fails You Won’t Want To Admit To

Competition Horses Meeting
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1. Arriving At The Competition 20+ Miles Away & Realising You Forgot Your Girth/Bridle/Passport/Entry Money/Horse * Delete As Relevant.

2. Learning The Wrong Dressage Test (Even Worse: Riding The Wrong Test).

3. Having A Fantastic Warm-Up, Feeling Overly Confident, Entering The Arena/Ring/Starting Box And Falling Off (Horses are great levellers!).

Exit The Arena
British Dressage Summer Regional Championships Addington Manor 2011 Friday and Saturday 12th&13th August. Photo in Horse & Hound post “12 of the world’s biggest rider frighteners.”

4. Agreeing To Make Up Numbers For Your Yard’s Dressage Team For A Forthcoming Competition, Then The Grim Realisation On The Day That Your Horse Thinks The Letter ‘B’ Stands For ‘Bolt’ & ‘E’ Stands For ‘Exit’ The Arena.

5. Not Practicing Riding With Other Horses At Speed And Discovering In The ‘Novice Hunter’ Showing Class That Your Horse Could Rival The Winner At The 2.45pm At Epsom In The Gallop Phase. (You’re Considering Changing His Show Name To ‘Fast & Furious’).

6. Packing The Lorry With Everything But The Horse, Then Trying To Load The Horse For 45 Mins. Arriving At The Competition Late, Having A Horrendous Performance Under Saddle. Then Having To Spend A Further Hour Trying To Load The Horse In Order To Return Home & Cry.

7. Forgetting To Remove Your Tail Bandage/Boots/Bandages. Entering The Ring/Arena & Thinking Everyone Is Staring And Commenting Because They Are Admiring Your Amazing Riding Skills. #epicfail

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checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farEnjoyed reading this blog, then you might enjoy reading ‘9 Things You Need To Do For Competition Success‘.

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How To Completely Transform Your Horse Into A Showing Superstar

Alice Homer feeds Aloeride aloe vera for Showing
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Alice Homer feeds her show horses AloerideWhether you are aiming at success at your local show or have your eyes set on a future competing at HOYS https://hoys.co.uk getting the basics right can make the difference to winning or losing in the showring. In this blog, we share our top tips for transforming your horse or pony into a showing star. How To Completely Transform Your Horse Into A Showing Superstar!

Hi Have had my young horse on aloeride for 6 weeks in effort to combat insect bite sensitivity. Shine on his coat is now so amazing I have put my veteran on it too and yesterday the physio asked if I was showing him as his condition was “glowing”! Philippa Birtwell.

“Since feeding Aloeride, my horses now have a wonderful, natural bloom to their coats: An essential ingredient for that winning appearance!” Loraine Homer, show rider, judge and top show horse producer.

Presenting The Perfect Picture

Presentation is everything and when it comes to your horse, it is important to display the right image from the start.

Your Tack

Showing saddle Showing numnahA brown leather bridle that fits well is the first thing to look for. Old tack is normally the best but you can now find specialist makers for tack designed for the show ring. Tack must be supple and clean. Always shine your bits up too.

Most show horses are ridden in a double bridle, however, if your horse is young or inexperienced, you can ride in a snaffle or start with a simple rugby pelham.

You would normally find coloured brow-bands on Riding Horses or Hacks, but be careful not to go too heavy on the bling!

The show saddle should be straighter cut then a GP saddle to show off the shoulder but above all, comfortable for the judge to ride in. You can wear a brown numnah under the saddle but it must fit the saddle to the same size. At lower levels, it is normally acceptable for you to ride in your normal saddle.

Your Horse’s Turnout

Always plait up using thread and not elastic bands. A well-pulled mane will help with the correct size and number of plaits.

Most judges prefer to see horses looking natural, so if you are planning to use make-up on your horse do so discreetly. Check society rules on this as it is becoming unpopular with judges. The same goes with overdoing the products on the coat sheen. Aloeride gives horses a lovely natural bloom to their coats, which doesn’t rub off over you or look artificial. It also helps support your horses’ immune system, which is important if you have a busy competition season ahead of you.

Your Showing Outfit

You need to look the part too, so make sure that your show jacket fits well and is clean.

A Navy show jacket is used in hack classes and children’s riding pony classes otherwise a tweed jacket is correct for all other showing disciplines. You should always wear a well-fitting shirt and tie with tiepin and never a stock. Long black leather boots with a pair of cream or canary coloured breeches and brown gloves are essential, and a show cane is the finishing touch.

More and more shows are now requesting that riders wear a hard hat with safety chin strap and we agree it’s best to be safe in the saddle and for in-hand classes.

Good luck and remember not to get despondent if you don’t win. There is always another day/show, and hopefully, these tips will help you and your horse move up the line-up by catching the judge’s eye for all the RIGHT reasons!

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Enjoyed reading this blog, then you might enjoy reading 9 Things You Need To Do For Competition Success.

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9 Things You Need To Do For Competition Success

7 Things You Need To Do For Competition Success
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As the clocks go forward this month and we start to focus on enjoying those extra daylight hours with our horses, many of us will be planning our competition schedules. In this month’s blog, we offer our top tips for a successful competition season ahead. Here are 9 Things You Need To Do For Competition Success:

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far1. Forward planning: From your training through to your saddle checks, feeding and farrier appointments. Plan your competition schedule and stable management to ensure that you and your horse are fit and ready for the season ahead.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far2. Get established with a great trainer and stick with them. Even if you can only afford the odd lesson, spend that money wisely on someone whom you feel confident with and understands you and your horse. A great trainer who can give you ‘homework’ until your next lesson will provide you with a great focus and help you and your horse progress. Having the occasional lesson with a different trainer can be hugely beneficial. A different pair of experienced eyes can be very useful. Having lots of different trainers at the same time, however, can confuse you and your horse.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far3. Look after your horse. If the ground is rock hard or we’re experiencing above average temperatures, put your horses’ welfare before a rosette and stay home. There is always another day, another competition and another opportunity but your horse is one in a million.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far4. Look after your equipment. It might sound strange, but caring for your tack and equipment is crucial. Some loose stitching on a girth strap can easily result in an accident if it goes unnoticed, so check over your equipment regularly.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far5. All work and no play is no fun. Remember to keep your training varied and also to have fun with your horse away from the arena. Boxing up and going for a long ride with a friend somewhere new is just the tonic to break up the routine.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far6. Be realistic. It’s great to have ambitions but be realistic in your capabilities and current level of training. Get established and confident at one level before moving up to the next and make sure you are comfortable working at a higher level at home before attempting it in a competitive environment.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far7. Don’t focus on the negative. Everybody has good days and bad days, so instead of reflecting on the bad, learn from it and work on those areas that need improving before your next competitive outing.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far8. Feed your competition horse Aloeride. Many competition horses are thriving on it, not just for health reasons, but for interesting ‘opposites’ like natural calmer and racehorse performance and recovery. Not only is Aloeride NOPS tested but it is full of natural organic aloe vera goodness. Our super strength taste-free sachets help maintain a healthy digestive system and support great skin, hair and hooves. When you feel good, you do good!

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by far9. Remember to enjoy your competitions. Most of us do it for fun, but if your dressage is becoming more stressage and showjumping is turning into a leap too far, take some time out of the arena and have some fun with your horse. Remember your relationship is a partnership inside and outside of the competition arena so make sure you both look forward to your competition outings! Sometimes taking a break can do you both the world of good!

If you loved this blog, you might enjoy reading our TIPS for THOROUGHBRED FEET.

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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.

UPDATE: The latest figures from the Animal Health Trust reveal that the number of recorded cases of equine influenza in June has now surpassed any other month since the start of 2019. As of 21 June, a total of 37 confirmed diagnoses had been made – February, previously the month with the highest number of outbreaks, saw a total of 35 diagnoses. The total number of cases since the start of the year has now exceeded 130.

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 (equine flu). 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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10 Things To Remember When Feeding Your Competition Horse

Aloeride aloe vera eventing Victoria-Bax
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Feeding your horse the right amount and the right type of fuel can make the difference between a lack lustre performance in the arena or fireworks under saddle. Here are our top tips to remember when feeding your competition horse:

  1. Keep an eye on his weight. Using a weight tape allows you to monitor his weight more effectively than just by the naked eye. Increasing your horses’ workload and traveling can take their toll on his weight so make sure you feed accordingly to his work load and temperament.
  2. Remember forage is vital for a healthy digestive system. If you are spending your days on the road and competing, make sure your horse is still getting enough roughage.
  3. Get expert nutritionist advice to help get the best out of your horses performance by feeding the right type for temperament and level of work.
  4. Water is essential for horses and if your horse Is working hard, he’ll need to replace water lost through sweating. Make sure you supply fresh, clean water at all times and electrolytes if necessary.
  5. Health and vitality come from the inside and show on the outside, so feed the best quality feed and ensure that your feed barn is kept clean and feed is stored in a rodent proof container. Regularly clean feed bowls and utensils.
  6. Competition days are bound to mean a change of routine where feed is concerned, so ensure that your horse has plenty of roughage to support a healthy hindgut.
  7. If you are out for the day, waiting to feed your horse his evening feed, even if a little time later than his usual routine should be fine alongside water and forage.
  8. If you are planning a longer trip or to stay away at a competition venue, make sure you have enough feed and hay with you for the duration and then add in some extra, just in case your stay is longer.
  9. Feed Aloeride. Aloeride is natural organic aloe vera which has wide reaching health benefits for your horse. From supporting healthy digestion, skin, coat and hooves in one easy to feed daily taste-free supplement.
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The Magic Of Aloe Vera Is Not In Its Water

The magic of aloe vera is not in the water
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Let me explain why the magic of aloe vera is not in its water. When anybody tells you that aloe vera gel or aloe vera juice is ‘best’ because ‘it is more natural’ or ‘it contains its natural medium’ then remember this: Nature uses water to move stuff from A to B. That is why your body as a whole contains some 60% water, your brain 70%, your blood 83%, your lungs 90% and that is why aloe vera contains 95% water… so it can move its nutrients about and doesn’t run dry during droughts (after all aloe vera is genetically a desert plant).

Nature’s biochemistry works because of the transported stuff and not because of the water. So when it comes to aloe vera, you can get water perfectly fine from your tap water (we think it’s better when you filter it). What you seek is that what fuels the magic, and this is what laboratories measure in abundance inside Aloeride… high levels of working molecules. We freeze the water out which means that all heat-sensitive molecules within whole leaf aloe vera barbadensis miller remain intact (note that Aloeride gives you the water-soluble nutrients via the inner gel as well as the lipid-soluble nutrients from the rind).

Up to 23.4x more nutrients

We assume that you too prefer ‘fact via objective measurement’ over ’emotive marketing’. You see, what aloe vera gel enthusiasts may not know is that independent laboratories time and again measure that Aloeride aloe vera contains very significantly more of the molecules that are responsible for the accolades attributed to aloe vera. By taking the water out responsibly, we are able to put a very great deal more working molecules in a vegetarian capsule or in a sachet. Taking the water out responsibly of course also prevents bacterial degradation, so we don’t have to use (and one can’t react adversely to) stabilisers.

Aloeride gives you those 5% working (incl. beta-linked polysaccharide) molecules because they work the magic, notably the orchestration of the other molecules. Aloe’s 95% water is just the medium that enables movement from A to B (true within soil, within any plant, within any mammal outside its cells). Water is not what aloe vera’s many accolades are based upon, otherwise water would have received that same praise. That’s deliriously simple isn’t it. Beware that for some manufacturers the magic of aloe vera is in its water… check out Product 2a and 3b in the independent laboratory tests. Yep, watering down aloe vera don’t stop them from charging high prices.

Magic of water

For fullness of information, certain water is  magical.  Inside healthy body cells  (yours and those of your horse), water models itself with protein carboxylate groups into low-density clathrate structures. However, in order to achieve this, a strong potassium bias and ample adenosine triphosphate is necessary. The point is, water inside aloe vera does not contribute to your clathrate structuring, but eating loads of (raw) vegetables and certain fruits does (daily turn out on large, varying pasture for your horse), reducing the amount of sugar you ingest does, reducing the amount of sodium you ingest does… So, talk about aloe vera ‘original medium’ (aloe vera water) alludes to the magic properties of water that it possesses INSIDE healthy body cells. It’s the marketing talk of smoke and mirrors. The magic of aloe vera is not in its water…

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Comfortable Movement and Suppleness

Aloeride aloe vera comfortable movement suppleness
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Comfortable movement and suppleness is necessary for a winning performance, whichever equine discipline you enjoy. Training for power, stamina and coordination will only become free and graceful movement if your horse has comfortable movement and suppleness. Aloeride helps achieve comfortable movement and suppleness and we would love to explain how that works. Whatever your equine discipline, here are 5 make or break points for comfortable movement and suppleness.

The Biochemical Soup

Biochemical soup affects suppleness and movementThe ground substance of the various tissues and organs in your horse is known as connective tissue which on cellular level is called interstitial tissue. The space in between this tissue is called the interstitium which is filled with interstitial fluid.

Interstitial fluid is the all important biochemical soup that pretty much every tissue in your horse depends on. Its composition is affected by toxic burden, detoxification capacity*, blood sugar regulation*, hormones*. The pH of interstitial fluid is not constant (*these are nutrient-dependent factors). If the ‘soup’ goes wrong, your horse goes wrong. Nutritionists talk about alkaline-ash forming food/feed and acid-ash forming food/feed… feed changes the acid-alkaline level of ‘the soup’ and this has implications for comfortable movement & suppleness: a horse on a high protein diet is more likely to be prone to tissue stiffness, is likely to have less tolerance for lactic acid loading. A more acidic interstitium renders connective less flexible and thus it becomes more prone to strain and subsequent (micro)inflammation. Microinflammation in turn sets off a degree of reactive spasm. These are precisely the issues you are trying to find a solution for! Muscle stretches as shown in the header picture, or deep massage, or any type of joint mobilisation (by chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist, massage therapist) works better when the interstitial tissue is neutral-alkaline. That is why many of them recommend that you use Aloeride. Between its support for digestive health and a unique, very broad nutrient spectrum, it contributes to a healthier ‘biochemical soup’ and enhances the efforts of your chiropractor/osteopath/physiotherapist.

The natural suppleness supplement

Chloe Ammonds-Nutt feeds Aloeride

After 23 days on Aloeride the difference was obvious. His behaviour, performance, and settled attitude is fantastic. The changes I have noticed are:
• He no longer fidgets or is unsettled, constantly moving about when tied up.
• He no longer feels like he’s about to explode/shoots off as soon as you mount
• He doesn’t bolt his food (he still eats fairly quickly but not with as much tension)
• He is much more relaxed when travelling and at competition
• He is more accepting of the leg and willing to flex in his neck and body
• His neck/neck muscles in particular are much softer, which has improved his flatwork
• His jump is positive and athletic
• He no longer feels like he’s behind the leg or ‘backing up’ he is forwards and free moving
• He is off all other supplements except his magnesium calmer now. How’s that?!

Chloe Ammonds-Nutt (Wiltshire )

Tissue Comfort

Equine hydrotherapyAn uncomfortable horse underperforms. Direct trauma and neuralgia aside, the two commonest reasons for tissue discomfort are (micro)inflammations and lactic acid burden. If you need comfortable movement and suppleness in horses, you must be on top of both these issues. Lactic acid is produced during anaerobic energy production (oxygen deprived), so a better supply of oxygen to tissue will reduce the burden. Lactic acid is water soluble, so keeping your horse hydrated is vital for detox. The speed at which lactic acid is broken down depends on available intramuscular carnosine which in turn is limited by the amount of available β-alanine. This originates from dietary peptides such as carnosine or anserine and vitamin B5 in feed and in Aloeride plus made by bacterial flora in your horse’s intestines (Aloeride supports this). Ingestion of only carnosine results in only 40% becoming available as β-alanine; another reminder that Nature doesn’t work in single nutrients, it always works in a synergistic spectrum. Note also that discomfort caused by lactic acid is a defence mechanism to stop overworking and damaging; lactic acid tolerance can be improved greatly by anaerobic threshold training. Equine hydrotherapy (non-weight bearing, no fixed point) is a fantastic way to both address (micro)inflammation and lactic acid burden.

Besides help for lactic acid breakdown, Aloeride provides a unique spectrum of molecules that help to maintain normal tissue temperature. Localised raises in temperature cause reactive muscle contraction and this without fail reduces agility of movement (because a contracted muscle doesn’t stretch). Helping this is one of the reasons why Aloeride did so well in Tried & Tested with both the Veteran Horse Society and Blue Cross.

Soft Tissue Mobility

The active range of movement that a leg or the body of your horse has, can be greatly improved by passive stretches and joint mobilisations. Transverse frictions are best to mobilise cross-linkages of fibrous strands in muscle tissue. Applied pressure on myofascial points may relieve muscle tension but rarely does so for long if the trigger isn’t removed, reactive spasm is never caused by a fascia. Long massage strokes can improve circulation but then so do horse walkers and equine hydrotherapy. Ideally all this is followed by full limb and neck stretches such as depicted in the header image and a review of training in recurring issues is advisable. My point is that chiro, osteo, physio, bowen or equine massage people are called in because your horse is blocked, constricted, stiff, tense or goes short or worse still is lame. Beyond their physical ministrations, well-informed professionals recommend Aloeride because it broadens the help they bring.

Our advice to Chloe and to you is that adding Magnesium only ever works in horses that are Magnesium depleted and this is unlikely to happen in Aloeride nutrient loaded horses. I wrote about calmers and, in respect of movement and suppleness, these aim at the contractile fibres of muscle. If there’s reactive spasm, then calmers are unlikely to be effective on contractions without sorting the (micro)inflammation first. Passive stretches, as shown in the header image aim at the connective tissue inside the muscle (white in image), not at the contractile fibres (red in image). The massage technique of transverse friction mobilises connective tissue but does so very localised, it also improves local blood flow depending on how it is done.

Muscle Stability

One of our sponsored riders was fastidious about veterinary checks for her horse. Fairly quickly after it has started on Aloeride -already on an excellent feed-, its lean body mass improved (topline as well as muscle definition everywhere else). Her vet measured the total weight to have gone up by 60kgs in 2½-3 months whilst girth remained unaltered. In Dresssage for instance this can improve the back and hindlimb strength for better collection (Impulsion), in Eventing the stronger horse runs faster and jumps better, in Endurance stronger muscles cope better. Another practical advantage is that a muscularly strong horse has less chance of joint strains (muscle providing stability to a joint). However, improved lean muscle mass means little without it being trained and co-ordinated. The thing to appreciate is that you would train (and compete) from a greater abundance. More trained muscle literally puts your horse in a position of controlable strength. Kindly note that with Aloeride you cannot put on more muscle than what your horse is genetically predisposed to, Aloeride optimises naturally condition if there is an intake/uptake issue.

Coordination

Once your horse is comfortable and agile, coordination is a matter of training. Practice makes perfect and do make sure there is fun in it for your horse, you’ll achieve more by dominant persuasion than by force.