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Joanna and Woody

Joanna’s 23-year-old TB x Shire, Woody, had not been right for months so when she heard about EquiBiome through a friend she looked them up on Facebook to find out more.

It was spring 2018, when Woody was presenting with bloat, gut pain and had saddle fit issues. By October 2018 he was lame behind and Joanna’s osteopath had never seen him so sore all over.

Apart from a previous diagnosis for PPID, Woody had always been in good health so keen to get to the bottom of his problems Joanna decided to take the test that October.

Woody’s EquiBiome test results revealed dysbiosis in his gut, with high levels of the more pathological bacteria and less of the good guys. The results also flagged up sugar sensitivity.

Joanna said: “I was advised by EquiBiome to use their Biome Food for four months to help reset the gut and within two weeks I saw improvements.

“He went back to light riding late February and seemed much better. Unfortunately the bonkers spring grass upset his system a bit so I used Biome Food 4 again with RiteTrac to support the fore and hindgut. He was great for two months but then rain on summer grass caused bloating again.

“I fell into a bit of a merry go round of trying this thing that thing and being too scared to then stop any! I got brave last week and stopped all supplements. I am letting his system settle and then I am going to use the Biome Foods again. There is a maintenance one coming out which I am very excited about.”

Joanna did a retest in early May when Woody was struggling with the spring grass, it showed some improvements but there is still a way to go to balance the gut further.

Woody has been with Joanna since he was a three-year-old and they have evented with British Eventing and at riding club national level. Now Woody is in his senior years they enjoy hacking and do the odd local show. Joanna said: “We do working hunter - small jumps only - and ridden veterans, although Woody thinks that’s tame as he still thinks he is five!

“I moved to North Wales with my job on the wind farm in early 2013, he was diagnosed with PPID that summer which is controlled on Prascend. He used to always want to come in at night (if not lunchtime!) in winter but now refuses to stay in stable so lives out with a shelter and his mini Shetland girlfriend.”

Joanna added: “I do recommend the EquiBiome Test but people need to understand it’s a diagnostic tool with recommendations. Generally by the time people are doing this test they have poorly horses/ponies, have exhausted all vet avenues and are desperate. Many seem to think it’s going to be a magical fix. Unfortunately the gut is complex and there are never any quick fixes!

“Doing the test has started me on a journey of research and learning, with some sideways veering off too - I was asked if I would start an EquiBiome lounge group on Facebook for people that wanted to discuss their test results. It’s great and really good for new testers who get results and think ‘eek’ what on earth is all this!”

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