Rachel Edmunds feeds Aloeride: I bought Fiddler in November 2011, after losing my previous horse (he had the op for kissing spines and couldn’t cope with the rehab) and it was love at first sight. I was looking for a horse to show, as my dream had always been to take a hunter to Devon County Show. Unfortunately we didn’t make it there in our first year of ownership as Fiddler was diagnosed with hind PSD and we spent most of 2012 rehabbing very slowly.
We seemed to take 2 steps forward and 25 back for the first few months but things slowly improved as the work was gradually upped. In May 2013, I finally realised my dream of riding at Devon County Show and had the most amazing time being finally pulled in 6th. So, not only did I compete, I came home with a rosette. In 2014 I thought we would give it another shot but for the first time the class was a HOYS qualifier and very well attended so I was overjoyed to again come away with a 6th place against some well known professionals. By now I was well and truly bitten by the showing bug and decided to give SEIB Search For A Star a try.
We travelled up to Summerhouse Equestrian in Gloucestershire on a very hot day, getting lost along the way, and trying to do a 3 point turn with a trailer on a country lane certainly did not help with my nerves. When we finally arrived the place was a hive of activity and the Hunter Class was huge with 28 entrants. I almost gave up and came home. Finally the time arrived for our class which was split into 3 because of the amount of entries, Fiddler felt good and once the class started I forgot my nerves and enjoyed the class. I couldn’t believe it when we were pulled in first. We then had a half hour wait for the next batch to be judged and then the top 3 from each section were brought back in for final judging. The day was very hot and Fiddler was struggling but he kept going for me and when we were pulled in 2nd I cried. I couldn’t believe it we were going to HOYS!
In a former life, pre children I worked for a pharmaceutical company so I quite enjoy a bit of technical information to get the brain working occasionally. I found the EGUS article very interesting, it was nice, for once, to read something that provided more than basic information. Fiddler was found to have Grade 3 ulcers which were clustered around the pyloric sphincter which as you mentioned in the article, were quite hard to treat. The interesting thing for me is that I have always had him on an ulcer friendly diet and when looking back, I strongly suspect that he came to me with ulcers. The ulcers were worse by the second scope and I do think that Helicobacter has a role in some ulcer cases as when we added in antibiotics the ulcers cleared within a month and the worsening of the ulcers could be explained by the raised ph level of the stomach allowing the helicobacter a more friendly environment . I tried many forms of supplement though admit I didn’t try Aloe Vera and researched his diet thoroughly but in Fiddlers case the only thing that cleared them was omeprazole and antibiotics. I am now very careful with diet but do wonder why when I provide Fiddler with a well balanced diet, good forage and plenty of turnout that he does not maintain mucosal health in the same way as the horse next door to him or any other on the yard for that matter.