Jeannette and Texan
Jeanette struggled with her horse’s weight and he was often stressed and anxious so she decided to take the EquiBiome Test.
Texan, is a 12-year-old gelding bought by Jeanette eight years ago directly from his breeder. He is an early cross-breed of the Henson horse developed in the Somme estuary and surrounding marshlands, 60% Fjord and 15% Anglo-Arab.
Said Jeanette: “Texan gains weight just looking at grass! He is barefoot and lives out 24/7 in a small herd with natural shelter and ad-lib hay in winter, plus daily supplements.
“We were ‘happy hackers’ for a few years, exploring the countryside, beach, forest and salt marshes, but both became a bit bored with the same circuits. I saved up for a trailer and started taking Texan to my riding school for lessons, but he was so overweight, it was hard for him to last out the hour.
“Being the owner of an extremely good-doer, I had been following Carol's (Carol Hughes of EquiBiome) Facebook page when she first began very generously sharing her work which led to the development and commercialisation of Phytolean and subsequent PhytoOrigins products. I continued following her exciting breakthroughs in genetic sequencing of the gut biome and the creation of EquiBiome.
“With support from Phytolean and then Phyto GI, I managed to bring Texan down from 670kg to 520kg and with his weekly lessons plus three active hacks per week, he developed a good musculature.
“Texan was often very stressed and anxious and it was also a permanent battle to keep his weight off in spring and autumn. So in September 2018 I decided to take the EquiBiome Test to find out if any of his issues were linked to his gut health.”
The test revealed metabolic dysfunction linked to bacterial imbalance, confirming the link to his weight problems and probably high stress levels. Texan would always need support to maintain correct levels of hind gut bacteria which did not surprise Jeanette, given his genetic Fjord heritage
Following the test, Texan was put on the Biome Foods recommended in the test report, continuing with his daily Phytolean and Phyto GI mixed with dried plants (vervain, lemon balm, camomile, nettle, marigold, garlic, fenugreek, dog rose hips) and low sugar chaff.
After the one month of Biome Foods treatment, Jeanette took Texan on regular "forage walks" (mounted or in-hand), allowing him to self-select from hedgerows and trees.
Said Jeanette: “Texan became calmer in lessons and at shows and his metabolism seemed to function better, with less weight gain on the spring grass. He also ‘grew’ withers and his morphology changed so much, I had to change his saddle from a special wide type Haflinger, to a standard GP.
“We now participate at local shows: showjumping, western barrel race and pole bending, equifeel, TREC and in particular, horseback archery, in which we qualified for the national championships 2018 and 2019.
“I did a re-test last spring and will be doing another shortly as my horse has since changed pastures and integrated a new herd. I have just bought a yearling and will be testing him also.
“I would definitely recommend the test to others. It may seem expensive but can also be a source of economies as one can target the specific problem of ones horse without going through the trial and error of expensive supplements. Once a year EquiBiome testing will become part of my regular care routine, like the dentist, osteopath, worm counts, etc.”