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The proof is in the hoof

The proof is in the hoof Aloeride Bold Pixel
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Sorry about the pun, but this is going to be the running commentary on Thoroughbred Bold Pixel and her owner Simon Fernandez. They live in South Africa and ‘BP’ (Simon trades petrochemicals!) is a shining example of how timely-started, ongoing nutrient loading with Aloeride makes a monumental difference to (young) race horses. Simon became interested in Aloeride because Bold Pixel developed typical Thoroughbred hooves with the difficulty of keeping shoes on. The proof is in the hoof, read his feedback after having started BP on 1 sachet a day:

19 Jun 2013 “My filly is really looking good, we are now into our 5th month on Aloeride. As a 2 y/o she had her first race… Although working very well at home, she was outdone by being very green and was quite overwhelmed by all the horses around her when they jumped. We believe she had a good experience and will go on from here. After the race she pulled up sound, so no problems there. Also must admit that since she’s been in training we have had no vet issues and she is very healthy… Thanks to Aloeride.”

The proof is in the hoof Aloeride aloe vera
Although this thoroughbred was put on Aloeride for her hooves, other benefits soon became manifest. Her condition rapidly improved and this muscular development wasn’t lost on her trainer. Training times also took a leap for the better, so much so, that her trainer pulled up Simon to ask what on earth he was feeding her: Aloeride next to her standard feed, nothing else. Further comment on 15 Feb 2014 “Been on Aloeride for just over 1 year. Her maiden win on 5 Feb 2014, we had another run on 22 Feb 2014. Good run for first one out the maidens.. close up 3rd at long odds. Needless to say, she pulled up very well from her run.”

The header image shows Bold Pixel thundering to the post at Kenilworth (RSA) on 5th Feb, winning distance 1¼. His trainer Carl Burger of Powerhouse Racing, jockey Christopher Puller and owner Simon Fernandez were suitably delighted. Beyond a good win it was noted just after the race, how completely nonplussed, no sweat and looking very easy BP was. This is how you want your racehorses to look after delivering a win. Simon sold BP to Carl J. Burger, who discontinued with the Aloeride. BP continued to race at Kenilworth but failed to break its maiden status and has concluded its racing career with her last running on the 10th Aug 2015 at Kenilworth.

Valid observations by Han van de Braak: when it comes to cost per horse per day, the increased lean muscle mass would increase the value of this young thoroughbred at auction, with every race won her value goes up, less money needed to be spent on specialist farriery, less money needed to be spent on veterinary care other than on routine work, no money needed to be spent on electrolyte supplements as recovery after racing is excellent, no money needed to be spent on other supplements full stop. Many thoroughbred racehorse owners buy Aloeride in shippers because of the excellent savings, and feed it because it increases profitability.

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Philippa about Irish’s itch

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I have ridden for 20 years and competed in a number of disciplines including: showing; eventing; show jumping; endurance; racing and hunting. Irish (also known as Nightnews) is a 10 Year old ISH by Last News out of a Carroll’s Flight mare. I’ve owned Irish for 5 years, ever since my Dad swotted a wasp away from his wine at a sale in Ireland… SOLD to the gentleman over there! Oops.

Why I’m excited about Aloeride

Aloeride has given Irish a chance to be steroid free, I am able to compete her using a non-banned substance that is helping her with her dermatitis. It was heart-breaking to see Irish itching so much and to see her now, not rubbing herself raw is such a weight off my mind. I was so close to pulling my own hair out before I started using Aloeride, now when I take her rugs off she’s no longer taking to attacking her skin. I am looking forward to the Spring when I can notice a lovely healthy shine on her coat.”

I moved from Hampshire to Banbury to progress and became a working pupil for Jodie Amos in 2011. This was our first season eventing and we went from BE90 to Novice and qualified and competed at the Tri-zone eventers challenge at Blenheim Palace. Once I had finished working for Jodie Amos, I then stayed at Washbrook Farm, Aston-le-Walls and rode out for a local National hunt trainer Alex Hales, whilst grooming for Matt Heath, Ann and Nigel Taylor as well as Jodie Amos.

The last eventing season is where we competed the least as I took to BSJA competitions in August, winning our first try at Discovery followed by 4 further wins at Discovery and 1.05m. I qualified for the National Amateur Championships at Aintree on my first attempt at both the first and second rounds, something I later discovered whilst at the championship that riders spend all season trying to qualify for. We competed at Arena UK, coming 9th out of 72 competitors to confirm our spot at Aintree.
The championship was held at Aintree Equestrian centre and was very daunting for my eventer turned show jumper, meaning that we did not jump as well as hoped on the first day. Our second day was much better and we missed qualifying for the final by 1 second and 1 place. Although I was gutted I had to remember how far we had got in the 3 months of BSJA competitions. On the final day we competed in a ‘fun class’ and came a respectable 11th place out of 40 in the top score, clearing the 1.20 joker.

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BETA 2014

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From 16th – 18th February, Han van de Braak shall be at the British Equestrian Trade Association exhibition (BETA 2014). The Aloeride stand is number C-3-1 and he shall be delighted to talk to stockists and distributors. We are very actively looking to expand abroad, not least because we already sell into Europe and America. If you are looking for an outstanding equine feed supplement then come and talk to us.

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Way too much rain!!!

Way too much rain!!! Aloeride aloe vera helps to protect your horse from rain and damp.
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It is Valentine’s Day today and the Met Office predicted another ‘terrible day’ of storms. Way too much rain!!! As if we needed any more… The weather’s been horrendous and our heart goes out to all who found their property submerged in rainwater. Many horses had to be rescued and relocated and it is in these circumstances that our telephonists find themselves busy answering queries from owners with horses in trouble. The obvious things to give out with this much precipitation and dampness are coat and hooves. Mud fever, rain scald, itching, hoof rot, brittle hooves and many callers are already doing all they can, yet aren’t getting on top of it. You can’t change the weather, you can’t change the dampness but what you can change and should change is your horse’s ability to stand up to it. Follow the example of Barbour who changed a permeable cotton coat into the trusted Land Rover of weather protection. ‘Wax’ your horse!. Barbour’s waxed-cotton stockman’s coat has kept countrymen dry for decades. That is precisely one of the ways in which Aloeride aloe vera for horses offers HUGE support to your horse. Its resilience to the wet is the fat content and fat quality of its coat. Its resilience to bugs is very broad spectrum nutrition to fuel fighting back effectively. This is what I call Safer By Sebum. This is explained in Coat Health and Natural Coat Shine and if your horse too needs help, then choose which is the best purchase option for you and your horse.

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Top Show Rider & Producer Loriane Homer On Preparing Your Horse For Bigger Shows

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In this short video (click the below YouTube player) Aloeride sponsored show rider and producer Loraine Homer gives viewers her top tips for preparing your horse for bigger shows. Aloeride is a natural aloe vera supplement for horses which has wide reaching health benefits.

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More shiny and less stressy

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My TB x dressage horse ‘Princess’ is true to name and by nature – she hates going out in the field when its cold and miserable and loves being pampered. She likes to be admired and the first time I rode her in an arena with mirrors, she spent most of her time garping at her reflection!!! We currently compete at Novice level dressage but we are seriously focusing on our training and are having regular lessons with our instructor in the hope one day Princess and I will be out competing at Medium level! We’ve had Princess on Aloeride for over 7 months now and she looks amazing on it -more shiny and less stressy- and everyone always comments on how good her coat is and her rubbish TB flat feet can actually keep shoes on now and aren’t as crumbly. I don’t know if Aloeride helps with temperament but she’s a lot less stressy (Even when we work her in the rain or goodness forbid sleet!!)
Love Lilly and Princess Penelope xxx

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Topline and hindquarter beefing up

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Our friend Julie, who lives near us, has just bought a new horse from Belgium that holds great promise but needs ‘beefing up’ a bit. Coming from a big yard, she now is one of four horses in private stables and grazing. Most attention is on her topline below the saddle but also on the gluteal area. Her coat isn’t perfect with rub marks of the reins and improvement to her coat will happen simultaneous to her building up condition. This first video was shot on Saturday 08 February 2014 and we’ll follow this up so you can see the progress also. My forecast is that this horse is going to look spectacular, I’ll keep you posted!

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Solly at Chatworth

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Here is my 21 years old 16:1hh part-thoroughbred and retired show jumper, and me at Chatworth. I have had Solly now for about five years, I used to hunt and enjoy unaffiliated show jumping. His weakness had always been his digestion and problems with weight maintainance, especially in winter when he needs hard/concentrated feeds. It limited the amount of work he was able to do. I then met Han at the Horse of the Year Show and decided to give Aloeride a try. All I can say is that it has transformed my horse.

Since I put him on Aloeride he now maintains his weight, has a healthy shiny coat, and has only rarely had digestive cramp . His digestive foe did return a couple of winters back when I tried to save money by stopping the Aloeride; I soon started it again realising this was false economy. Up until last summer I have been able to hunt Solly and jump occassionally at local shows, he now just hacks out but that’s due to a touch of arthritis and his advancing age. I live near Sheffield and our absolute best rides are riding out in the Peak District National Park. Great routes with stunning views over the valleys and villages at walk, trot and canter. There’s a really super ride around Carsington Water which is about 8 miles and I think it’s spectacular there. I wish you all the best, Sue Winterburn.

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Communicating With Your Horse

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Every rider knows that when you’re nervous, your horse will pick this up and behave accordingly. You certainly won’t have the leader role, that’s for sure. Much of this can be attributed to pheromones which most animals can smell and know how to react to. Body language as you approach your horse also speaks volumes to the prey animal which in essence your horse still is. All of this is old school, conventional and safely rational.

The video below may take you way out of your comfort zone. I find it interesting though because, whereas ‘modern man’ may have lost its ability to ‘mentally’ communicate with animals, it’s very likely that horses still have that ability between themselves. Many competition riders embrace the principle of visualisation and actively use this in their dressage. Cross country is probably way too ‘wild’ to keep one’s mind still enough for visualisation. In a dressage setting, what is visualisation if not communication, a preview without words. Not unlikely that this type of ‘communication’ helps the rider as well as the horse. You’d be wrong to label all this as wishy washy, there is plenty of proper research to confirm that visualization and mental rehearsal improves athletic performance. [1,2,3]

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’.  What Anna Breytenbach -a former Silicon Valley corporate business analist- does in this video is silently forming a sentence in her head or a mental image and ‘simply’ projecting that, and she imagines it landing in the animal’s space. The technique she uses goes back to ‘tracking’ like most indigenous people around the world do. When she gets a response from an animal, it comes in that same universal language, Anna is gifted for being able to receive and interpret it. Top competition riders (pro golfers as well as other top athletes) know that it takes two things to make such communication happen, concentration or rather, emptying and quieting your mind and practicebecause this is a learned skill, a trained brain. You too can learn it, so, next time you see your horse, quiet your mind and land a sentence or mental picture in your horse’s space… Use it for what it is, a tool, not necessarily in the way Anna uses it, but how top equestrians use it.

If that’s not your cup of tea and your life is ‘busy busy busy stress stress stress’, then just for a moment pause to see what those mental sentences or pictures might do for your horse.

By the way, Jurg Olsen still is alive and well as the manager of Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary. So is Spirit.

Sample References:
1- Brouziyne M, Molinaro C. “Mental imagery combined with physical practice of approach shots for golf beginners.” Perceptual and Motor Skills. 2005 Aug;101(1):203-11.
2- Isaac, A. R. (1992). “Mental Practice- Does it Work in the Field?” The Sport Psychologist, 6, 192-198.
3- Martin, K.A., Hall, C. R. (1995). “Using Mental Imagery to Enhance Intrinsic Motivation.” Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17(1), 54-69.

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Electrolyte Status During Exercise

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Every Endurance rider, Flat or Jump Racing jockey knows the importance of keeping their horse hydrated. Irrespective of what discipline you enjoy with your horse, for you too, that starts with allowing your horse to drink ad libitum and then, what can you do beyond that? What can you do before that to be precise! This post talks you through what you can do, should do, how it works and how simple it can be to get this right:

Anyone who did chemistry in high school knows about osmosis, that is, water following minerals. Anyone who’s spent time in the tropics will have seen that knowledge in action, it was the thought behind salt tablets… these stop us from drying out. So, whatever else influences the hydration of your horse, mineral loading is as basic as it gets when it comes to safety for exercise-induced heat management. Any water inside your horse is subject to two functional forces:

  • forces to keep water in
  • forces to let water out

Losing more than electrolytes

Equine sweat, beyond water, consists of electrolytes and glycoproteins, surfactants and proteins associated with skin defense. The main surfactant is latherin which greatly reduce the surface tension of water in sweat when this has a very low concentration, and this helps sweat spread out along the hairs for quicker evaporation (heat loss). The white lather you see on a sweaty horse is due to a lot of Albumin and a little Globulin in sweat and of course latherin. High-intensity prolonged exercise produces more dilute sweat (water content > solubles content) than low-intensity prolonged exercise does, which seems logical because it’s the water on the skin/coat evaporating that effects the cooling. In humid conditions, sweat doesn’t evaporate easily, thus doesn’t cool, so even more sweat is produced which increases the chance of dehydration. It’s reasonable to say that during Racing the ‘heat is on’ more so than during Endurance, so the cooling need is proportional and sweat composition differs. Confusion arrises when it comes to the solubles notably the electrolyte loss. Which ones does your horse loose?

An athletic horse must dissipate about 4x more metabolic heat per unit of body surface during exercise than human athletes, this is compensated for by a higher rate of skin and respiratory heat loss. The price to pay is electrolytes.

You may have read research papers on equine sweat reporting that ‘equine sweat has a higher Sodium concentration, a significantly higher Chlorine concentration and 10-20 times higher Potassium concentration than serum has’. Na, K and Cl is very narrow scope compared to the sweat mineral analysis I authorise via a London laboratory for my patients: Zinc, Copper, Nickel, Chromium, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium, Potassium, Lead, Cadmium and Aluminium. This merely highlights that you know as much as you measure! The sweat of your horse will contain every single electrolyte in its feed that was absorbed into its body, but obviously some in greater quantity than others This is where racehorse trainers, racing yards and competitive endurance riders should prick up their ears. Here’s an opportunity for competitive gain and, from my perspective an opportunity for cleverer equine husbandry.

W C is a racehorse that does extremely well on Aloeride.
“Both these horses were very expensive young horses and they have numerous problems which we try and manage… making the point that the horse had lost its way and we put his rejuvenation largely down to Aloeride!” Gloucestershire Racing Yard

Competitors who seek to counterbalance depletion often look beyond feed. 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. You’d be wrong to blame your horse. For example, remember Zinc’s function in leucocytes and the protection this offers a horse against for instance EHV. Nutrient depletion is easy to miss. If on the other hand supplementation not only delivers a wide spectrum of in-natural-ratio nutrients but also helps absorption of dedicated feed for your athletic horse, then you’ve created a double nutritional advantage.

The balanced loss wins

Water leaving your horse -we’ll leave urination out of the equation- happens via three routes: through the skin by diffusion, via the sweat glands by secretion and via the lungs by evaporation. You have a handle on the first two and you can improve both of them simultaneously. Skin lipids in the stratum corneum are the main barrier to water movement through skin (stratum corneum cells are embedded in a lipid-rich matrix which helps to hold them together). The quality of these fats determine how easy it is for water to penetrate the skin (ingress) and to be lost via diffusion, I discussed fats in the ‘safer by sebum’ paragraph in Support For Coat Health and Shine. That’s diffusion sorted.


Water (and solubles) loss via sweat glands is a functional response of their β2-adenergic receptors to adrenaline in blood circulation. During exercise, hard working muscles generate metabolic heat → increased cardiac output → increased circulation through skin → cooling by sweat gland water evaporating. As core heat increases further, sweat changes from a high electrolyte-to-water ratio to a comparative low electrolyte-to-water ratio yet the sweat glands do not have a control mechanism over what flows out. Why doesn’t a horse lose more of the same sweat composition? This is where inorganic-mineral-dependent osmosis provides a natural force to keep the water in.

The take-home message is twofold: 1) horses that are fed sufficient of a broad electrolyte base will withstand depletion by sweating 2) horses that are fed a sufficient broad electrolyte base have a good osmotic reserve to limit the water loss. Veterinary checks on horses participating in racing and endurance and that are supplmented with Aloeride in addition to appropriate feed, consistently pass such checks with flying colours. Aloeride is NOPS negative and doesn’t contain synthetic molecules.