To say the past few weeks have been a mix of winning moments and washouts would be an understatement. We’re certainly a team who’ve been affected by the unseasonably wet weather and the abandoned events. With the horses all feeling on top form it was so disappointing to withdraw from Catton after show jumping, especially when they were all on such good dressage scores, but we picked ourselves up and headed to Farley, where the sun came out and we won!

It was a hugely exciting win for Monbeg Pompeii (or Foxy to her friends) who’s owned by our very good friend Rosie Williams. We were absolutely thrilled that Foxy finished with a sub-thirty dressage, two very good jumping rounds and just a few speeding points – oops!

Emily Phlip at Farley Hall Horse Trials 2024

Foxy’s confidence has improved so much across the country in the last few months, and she flew round an influential track like an absolute pro. I’ve been riding her while Rosie is at university but I would quite like to steal her permanently! We’ve looked at each of the different areas of her work and care to identify where we can make small improvements. One thing we noticed was that her dressage saddle wasn’t quite right, so we made an emergency call to our super saddler Helen Leedham and Albion Saddles. They worked some magic with a new dressage saddle that seems to have made a huge difference. Foxy was noticeably more comfortable and was able to deliver a more relaxed and overall brilliant test.

Then came Offchurch, again in the dry which was a nice change, and again some super results, with a 3rd in the BE105 for Stan! Despite deciding he couldn’t remember how to go backwards in a dressage test we ended up second after the first phase! He went on to jump two super rounds for 3rd place, which we were absolutely thrilled with!

One area I can always be confident of is that the horses are on the very best nutritional plan, thanks to the support of the Dengie Nutrition team, in particular Claire Akers and Hannah Turner. Both Foxy and Stan have very good temperaments and hold their weight well, however, they wouldn’t be excessively good doers. Together with Dengie we’ve found that Dengie Hi-Fi Senior suits them both incredibly well. The straw-free formulation makes it ideal for performance horses and not just seniors, and that certainly seems the case with these horses. The addition of rapeseed oil in Hi-Fi Senior gives them a fantastic shiny and healthy coat too. Foxy’s speeding ticket certainly goes to prove there is no need to overcomplicate things with heating feeds, just a good base diet that suits the horse is all we need!

Sarah-Jane Brown has always dreamt of competing at Bolesworth International and this year with Fliss going so well, it seemed like a good time to give it a go!

The Cheshire event is a 6-hour drive from Cornwall but with two weeks of competition on offer it seemed a good time for a ‘holiday’.

It was my first show jumping international and we were lucky enough to have some top riders at the show, to warm up in the same ring as John Whitaker, Scott Brash, William Funnel et al. was both daunting and educational. Mind you I did nearly run Geoff Billington over on one occasion as he put up jumps for a pupil.

Sarah-Jane Brown competing at Bolesworth International

I for one suffer a bit of imposter syndrome and wondered if I should be at these events. We were competing at the lower 1* level with classes 1.25-1.35. I shouldn’t have worried Fliss excelled, she knew she was at a special event with a big atmosphere. She loved the people, the large ring and the courses. We jumped three classes each week, the first week we were 7th in the 1.25 speed, 11th in the 1.25 two phase and 13th in the 1.30 Grand Prix, many of these classes had 80 plus entries.

Horse with rosette

The second week we consolidated our form and had a 6th place in the first 1.25. This meant a lot as we were able to go in for a prize giving and receive a rosette, we were then 7th the next day and on the last day we jumped a super round in the 1.30 Grand Prix only for me to have a pole at one of the easier fences which I could (and did) kick myself about. However, five out of six classes placed was far better than I hoped.

The whole experience was eye opening, it was great to watch the pro-riders and the big grand prix classes as well as the fun classes such as the ride and drive. I walked the course for the Eventers Grand Prix and would have loved a crack at that. Nice to be able to walk around the estate and the dogs were certainly on red alert when they saw the resident hares!

Despite two weeks away from home Fliss maintained great energy levels and looked fantastic on Dengie Alfa-A Lite, as she can do rather well at this time of year!

Horse eating from bucket

It’s the time of year when, as a nutritionist, I spend proportionally more time speaking about laminitis either giving advice via the Dengie Feedline or during talks at client evenings.

For horses that have restricted grazing, the reliance on conserved forages increases and one of the common questions we have is “how do I know if my forage is suitable for my laminitis prone horse?”. In addition to this, there are some perpetual myths regarding the suitability of certain forages for laminitis-prone individuals that cause concern. One of the most common is that last year’s hay is safer than this year’s hay which isn’t always the case. My answer to these queries is always the same – if you can, get your forage tested.

 

Horse Hay bag

What affects the nutritional quality and suitability of forage?

Environmental conditions during growth and at the time of harvest, the type of grass and the age of the plant at the time of harvest all have an impact on the nutritional profile of forage. You can’t tell by looking at a forage what it will supply, particularly in relation to its sugar content, and so testing is helpful. For those concerned about laminitis-prone individuals, levels of non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) in a forage are a key factor to consider. This is an analytical term and is the sum of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and starch added together. Water-soluble carbohydrates are simple sugars plus fructan which is the storage carbohydrate for grass. The current consensus is that less than 10-12% NSC on a dry matter basis should be aimed for, but for some individuals this may still need to be lower. In addition to the NSC content the amount of Digestible Energy (DE) in the forage is also of concern as keeping horses at a healthy weight is half of the battle when it comes to managing laminitis risk.

For many years now Dengie have offered a forage analysis service where we send forage to an external laboratory for testing and translate the results into practical information and advice for horse owners. Recently I re-named the different tests so it’s much easier to identify which ones to carry out to determine if a forage is suitable for a laminitis-prone individual. As harvest is in full swing it seemed like the ideal time to review the results from the last 12 months.

Types of forage tested

Historically we have always tested a greater number of hay samples than other types of forage. Increasingly though, we are testing more forage that we would describe as wrapped hay rather than haylage. Of the wrapped forage samples that have been submitted in recent years, only around 20% of them have been true haylages by which we mean fermentation has taken place. We are now defining the rest as wrapped hay as they have a dry matter greater than 65% and so little or no fermentation has taken place. This means that nutritionally they are more like hay than haylage even though they are wrapped in plastic.

NIR analysis process

Digestible Energy

The forages tested supplied very similar levels of DE with an average of 9.8MJ/kg and ranging from lows of 9.1MJ to highs of 10.5MJ. A 500kg horse consuming hay to appetite, which would be approximately 12.5kg dry matter, would consume 122.5MJ based on the average. A 500kg horse at rest only requires around 70MJ DE to maintain weight and so it’s no wonder that ad-lib hay is likely to result in weight gain based on these results.

Water-Soluble Carbohydrate

The percentage of water-soluble carbohydrates on a dry matter basis for the forage samples tested can be seen in the graph below. The tests were conducted using wet chemistry techniques. In a true haylage where some fermentation occurs, the level of water-soluble carbohydrate can be lower than hay as it is the sugar that is fermented to create volatile fatty acids (VFAs). However, a lower sugar content needs to be considered along with other key factors such as the energy level in the forage and rate of intake to determine suitability for good doers. As little or no fermentation occurs with wrapped hay, the WSC levels are typically like hay.

Graph showing wsc in analysed forage

Of the forages tested for starch the maximum value we saw was 2.3% which is typical of the 2-3% averages. It is interesting to note that if we calculate the NSC values for these forages (the sum of WSC and starch) only 14.3% of the samples tested last year would meet the target of 10-12% NSC which is advocated for laminitis-prone individuals.

Putting this in to practice

If you have a good do-er and your forage falls into the 85.7% of less desirable NSC results or it is not practical to test your forage as you don’t have a consistent supply, what steps can you take?

Other than switching to an alternative forage source, soaking is one option to reduce the NSC content of your forage. There are disadvantages to soaking hay, not least from the amount of water used and its effect on the environment, but it also results in a very heavy net for us to lift and is more difficult to put into practice in the winter during freezing conditions. Another more sustainable option is to consider mixing straw through the forage ration to lower the overall NSC intake whilst also significantly reducing the DE intake as well. We discuss all of these issues and more in our Weight Management and Laminitis Guide.

Horses eating hay

A final thought

Forage analysis is only one part of the picture. Whilst 10-12% NSC is given as a guide, it is just that. Some laminitis prone individuals may be managed well on forages that are potentially higher NSC than this whilst for others this may still be too high – there is a lot of individual variability in relation to metabolic issues. If you are the owner of a laminitis-prone individual, our advice would be to work with your vet to monitor your horse’s insulinaemic response to feed. These results will help to demonstrate your horse’s risk of laminitis and inform their dietary management too.

For more information on what to feed your horse or pony or for help and advice on all aspects of feeding call the Dengie Feedline: 01621 841188 or complete our Feed Advice Form.

In her spare time, Dengie Feed Advisor Katie Evans enjoys riding side-saddle in a wide range of disciplines including dressage, showing and jumping. In her latest blog, she updates us on how her showing season has gone so far.

May is always a busy month with shows, but this year seemed to be particularly full on! We started the month off with Royal Windsor Horse Show on the first weekend in May, a week earlier than normal meaning one less week of prep! Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side and by the Sunday when we were competing, the lorry park looked more like a ploughed field than a showground. The walkways, warmups and grass rings had also gotten pretty churned up. The Windsor team were brilliantly organised with a team of tractors to tow everyone on and off, as well as putting straw down on all the walkways and rolling the rings. I have to say, I did feel very grateful to at least not be riding a grey!!

Katie Evans and Pearl at Royal Windsor Horse Show 2024

Next up was Hadleigh Show who had side saddle classes for the first time this year. This is the first time we have been to Hadleigh which had a brilliant atmosphere and a lot going on for a one-day show! Pearl was quite disappointed that the Working Hunter fences had been left up from the class before and she wasn’t allowed to jump them, but I was very pleased with how she went to come second in both her classes.

The following weekend we had an early start for Hertfordshire County Show with the side saddle classes being in the ring for 9am. Again, to Pearl’s disappointment we warmed up next to the show jumping but didn’t get to jump round, but she felt absolutely fantastic in the ring to win the Best Horse or Pony Ridden Side Saddle class and second in the Ladies Show Horse class, just missing out on our London International Horse Show ticket. She then stood Reserve Side Saddle Champion which I was thrilled with. Herts is always such a lovely show with so much to do and see but unfortunately, we didn’t have time to look around this year as we had to shoot straight off to get to my friend’s wedding, which I thankfully made just in time!

We finished the month off with two days at the Suffolk Show and as we stayed for the duration, we had plenty of time to look round, shop and watch some other classes. On the Wednesday, Pearl won the Side Saddle Concours d’Élégance class and on Thursday she was pleased to finally get to jump in the Working Show Horse class. She jumped a fantastic clear which I was thrilled with, to come second, again narrowly missing another London International ticket!

June is not quite so busy, we have one show planned, our side saddle area show, and a couple of dressage outings which we will also do side saddle as we are hoping to qualify for the British Dressage Associated Championships again this year. We also have a couple more London International qualifiers planned for July at Kent County and Tendring, as well as our Side Saddle National Show at the end of the month.

horse eating from bucket

Pearl is fed Dengie Ulser Lite with a performance balancer to provide her with a balanced diet which is high in fibre but low in calories, sugar and starch. She is a good doer but this diet provides her with plenty of slow-release energy and stamina for her busy workload, without promoting weight gain. Pearl also has a small amount of Dengie Alfa-Beet with plenty of water to help keep her hydrated, she has this and salt in her ration every day, but an electrolyte supplement is added on her harder working days. I keep the Alfa-Beet in her ration every day, to ensure no sudden changes are made to her diet by only adding it in on show days which could cause digestive disturbances.

A big thank you as always to my mum who is top driver and groom and gives up her free time to come to shows with me!

Katie Evans and Pearl with her mum

It is now widely accepted that equine obesity is a major welfare concern in the UK. In 2023, 56% of the horses we saw at weighbridge and feed advice clinics were overweight, which reflects levels of obesity regularly cited in the literature. Owners of overweight horses and ponies are often keen for advice on the best ways to manage their horses’ weight whilst still ensuring their welfare and nutritional needs are being met.

In situations when these horses need to be stabled or turned out on ‘no-grass’ areas to limit their calorie intake, it can sometimes become a challenge to keep them entertained without being able to supply ad lib forage. Providing diversity for the stabled horse has become popular in the form of a hedgerow hay net, where hedgerow plants are mixed with or fed alongside the normal forage ration. From conversations with horse owners, it’s become clear that many are feeding these plants, sometimes at high levels, assuming that they offer no calorie or sugar contribution to the diet when that’s simply not the case.

Horse eating willow in stable

To help put these figures into perspective for horse owners, we have recently been reviewing analyses results for various hedgerow plants and weeds which we’ve previously sent to the lab for testing. The table below shows how much 1kg of each of these plants will provide of various nutrients per day. We can see that the levels really vary between different plants. Of particular note is the fact that the DE (digestible energy, or calorie content) and WSC (water soluble carbohydrates including the sugar and fructan) contents of poplar are very similar to levels found in an average hay. Whilst the other plants contain lower levels of DE and WSC, they definitely still cannot be classed as being calorie or sugar free. It’s important to remember though that these results should just be considered as a guide, as they only represent a snapshot in time and levels may vary depending on lots of different factors.

How much does 1kg of different hedgerow plants provide?

Nutrient*Sticky WeedCow ParsleyHazelHawthornWillowAshPoplarAverage Hay
Digestible Energy (DE) (MJ)1.4722.313.793.954.998.156.5 - 10
Dry Matter (g)135186216332380451828840 - 920
Crude Protein (g)15284938525611540 - 130
Oil (g)588141624388 - 28
NDF (g)437575133182178434420 - 600
ADF (g)425549107147146266250 - 370
Starch (g)1613173514214 - 28
WSC (g)2825101426287275 - 100

*Analysis reported on an as fed basis

More information on hedgerow hay nets can be found here, but these are some key things to remember if you’re thinking of incorporating any of these plants for your horse or pony:

For more information on what to feed your horse or pony or for help and advice on all aspects of feeding call the Dengie Feedline: 01621 841188 or complete our Feed Advice Form.

Being a very keen gardener with a particular passion for roses, I listened to a Wild Inside podcast about aphids recently with interest. Aside from being amazed at how it was possible to dissect an aphid well enough to still see the anatomy of its digestive system, I was taken aback at the fact they rely on bacteria to help them maximise the nutrition they can obtain from plant sap! When one thinks about it, it probably isn’t that surprising as aphids are herbivores and so like the horse, need some help to make the most of the plant material they consume. The contrast in scale though, is quite amazing, with the aphid’s gut being fractions of a mm long whereas the horse’s is tens of metres long!

This also reminded me of the studies investigating the bacteria in Honeybees’ digestive systems and how the types of plants they feed on could be impacting their health and resilience when exposed to pathogens or harmful substances. Researchers are showing that a diverse diet for bees may help them to develop a more resilient microbiome both in their food store and consequently their digestive systems too.

Katie talking at EGS

All of this was running through my mind when I was asked to give a talk on the equine gut in health and disease at a recent meeting organised by the Equine Grass Sickness Fund kindly hosted by Norvite. Health can often be most easily defined as the obvious absence of disease but, in the case of the horse’s microbiome, a healthy one can very quickly change to an unhealthy one. It is often the case that the acute symptoms apparent to us, have actually been building over time so in fact represent a much more chronic challenge to the horse’s health and it was this that I tried to articulate in my talk. There are good reasons why the minimum forage intake for a horse is recommended to be 1.5% of bodyweight on a dry matter basis for the long term health of the horse and one of them is because it helps to keep the bugs in the digestive system well fed and therefore able to proliferate and keep harmful pathogens at bay aka competitive exclusion. It also helps to ensure a healthy layer of mucus – more on that in a future blog – but the take home message was very much if we want to keep our horses healthy, we have to look after the bugs they are host to.

horse eating grass

The talk was really well attended and it was lovely to join in recognising some of the fantastic fund raising achievements by volunteers. Equine Grass Sickness (EGS) is a disease that leaves those who experience it desperate to do something so that others don’t have to go through what they have and so it is wonderful that Dr Beth Wells and her fellow researchers at the Moredun Institute are taking the research forward again.

It will be fascinating to see how our understanding of the equine microbiome evolves particularly in relation to diseases like EGS in the coming years, and how research in other species informs our overall knowledge of the interaction between the microbiota and the host animal. I also await with interest to see how the researchers exploring the digestive anatomy of the aphid, use this information to help create tools to control them and stop them eating my roses!

Some useful links:

Wild Inside – The Aphid – BBC Sounds

Honeybees are struggling to get enough good bacteria | Lancaster University

EGS Evening at Belwade Farm – Equine Grass Sickness Fund

It was lovely to be back at Badminton Horse Trials again this year, slightly dryer underfoot than last year with deck shoes being the footwear of choice rather than wellies! Having studied at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester and spent many a day following the Beaufort hounds around the beautiful Badminton estate, it always feels slightly nostalgic being back. The Horse Trials is a great opportunity to catch up with old ‘Ciren’ friends who come back each year to watch the eventing…or in some cases spend the weekend shopping and enjoying a Pimms or two without managing to see a horse at all!!

Brownies at Badminton

Badminton Horse Trials is one of the biggest 5* events in the eventing calendar and is a fantastic opportunity to watch top class riders from all over the world. We were particularly proud of Dengie supported rider Alex Bragg and Quindiva who, after a fantastic cross-country round and being one of only three to go clear in the show jumping, climbed from 51st place after dressage to finish on the podium in 3rd place. Quindiva is fed on Dengie Alfa-A Oil with a balancer, which obviously gives her plenty of slow-release energy to compete and just goes to show, horses can compete at the top on a fibre-based diet!

Alex Bragg at Badminton 2024

Working on the Dengie stand is always a great place to chat to customers, both old and new, offering nutrition advice for a wide range of different horses and ponies as well as some other species too. Dengie Meadow Lite with Herbs, which we launched at the end of last year, was very popular and it was fantastic to hear how well customers had been getting on with it.

Dog on the Badminton Stand

During the quieter part of Sunday when the final ten were show jumping, we gained a new temporary team member ‘Ozwold’ who belongs to a friend of mine who went in to watch the jumping. He definitely brought the cute factor to the stand and thoroughly enjoyed all the attention and posing for photos!

There were some great bargains to be found in the shopping village with us all taking home goodies for ourselves and our horses. Food is always a strong talking point amongst the Dengie team and we enjoyed some brilliant brownies from the Pudding Waggon, who we visit each year at both Badminton and Burghley.

As a bit of a side note, I’d like to give a big shout out to the lady on the Sunday who was armed with baby wipes and helped when I managed to cover myself in duck sauce while trying to eat my lunch… Thank you!!

Thankfully, the traffic home was kind to us as we were all a little tired by Sunday evening and very much looking forward to being back to our own beds. Thank you to the team at Badminton for all their hard work that goes into organising such a fantastic week. I can’t wait to go back again next year!

At the end of April, Katie Williams, Claire Akers and I took a trip down to the south west, during which we enjoyed paying a visit to James and the team at GUL Outdoor Therapy in Wiltshire. GUL provides various outdoor activities, including equine assisted therapy, to individuals and groups to help improve mental and physical wellbeing.

They currently have 16 horses and ponies who are used for therapy, all of whom have been selected for their role based on their gentle temperaments. They are fed a Dengie fibre diet, which works well for them because it is high in fibre but low in starch. This means that the feed shouldn’t increase excitable behaviour, which is of course an essential consideration for therapy horses. Last year, GUL were involved in trialling our new Meadow Lite with Herbs before it was launched, and we are so pleased that they’ve had great success with it and have continued to use it ever since.

GUL Outdoor Therapy Team

After catching up on how the horses are all getting on, we weighed them on our weighbridge, which the team at GUL found interesting to compare to previous records. We are also continuing our previous work on weigh tapes, and the horses and ponies at GUL were ideal candidates to take part. They have a variety of horses of different shapes and sizes, ranging from Anna, the 11.2hh Welsh pony, who weighed in at 296kg, through to William the Highland who was over 600kg.

Horse being weighed on weighbridge

The horse with the biggest difference between the weigh tape and the weighbridge on the day was Betty, a lovely 16.2hh cob, who was 586kg on the weighbridge but just 461kg on one of the weigh tapes – a difference of 125kg! Brenin, a 14hh Welsh Section D gelding, had the smallest difference of just 2kg between one of the weigh tapes and the weighbridge. Whilst weigh tapes can be useful for monitoring changes, this shows why it’s so important to see how your weigh tape compares with a weighbridge if you have the opportunity – then you can work out what the difference is likely to be for your tape and your horse.

Despite the extremely blustery weather on the day, none of the horses batted an eyelid about walking on the weighbridge and being weigh taped, demonstrating why they are so perfect at their jobs!

For more information on GUL Outdoor Therapy and the work they do, please visit: https://www.guloutdoortherapy.org.uk/

This year we were delighted to be involved once again with Pony Magazine’s Big Day Out. The three sold-out events were held across March and April and were extremely popular. Meet and greets were held in the morning and the afternoon, with the opportunity to also browse the shops and trade stands, while the middle of day involved a fantastic range of demos and performances to suit all equestrian interests.

Dengie stand at Pony Mag Big Day Out

At the Arena UK and Bury Farm events, spectators had the opportunity to have a meet and greet with Dengie supported social media influencer, Georgia, aka Lil Pet Channel, and it was great for us to catch up with her and hear how Percy and Snip are doing on their Dengie diets. Bury Farm also saw a brilliant ridden demo, which went down well with the crowds, from Dengie supported rider, eventer Alicia Wilkinson and her fabulous horse, Pogo. Alicia has regular support and advice from Claire Akers, Dengie’s Performance Horse Nutritionist, to ensure her horses are in top condition to perform at their best. Pogo is fed on Healthy Tummy because he struggles to maintain his weight and he benefits from the added digestive support. Her other horses are currently fed on Alfa-A Molasses Free and Alfa-Beet, alongside a balancer, which she finds is a good combination to help maintain their condition and support performance without making them too fizzy. Fun fact – One of Alicia’s other horses, Rambo, features on our Healthy Tummy bag!

In the trade stand area, it was lovely to work alongside Claire Williams from the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) who was sharing valuable information with the young equestrians about the importance of a correctly fitted riding hat and body protector as well as offering free hat and body protector checks on the day.

Pin the Feed Scoop Game at Pony Mag Big Day Out

On the Dengie stand, we hosted a variation of the classic game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, with the difference that participants had to get the feed scoop closest to the pony’s mouth for the chance to win a feed bucket full of prizes. We were certainly kept busy with lots of people (both children and their families!) wanting to take part throughout the day at every venue. We also loved helping out with people’s feeding enquiries for their own horses and ponies – if you missed us and would like help with your horse’s diet, do contact us on 01621 841188 or click here to fill out our Feed Advice Form.

Abel is my friend Clare’s homebred and on Friday it was his 2nd Birthday! I wanted to share his story as I have been visiting him regularly to weigh him and monitor his growth which I find fascinating.  When I first weighed him at just a week old, he was 56kg and now age 2, he weighs 426kg.

Abel the foal

Abel’s mum Piglet was fed Dengie Meadow Grass with Herbs & Oil, Alfa-Beet and a balancer appropriate for supporting pregnancy. This was the same ration she had been on for a couple of years prior to being put in foal and so we decided to keep her on feeds we knew she liked and worked well for her. The quantity of balancer was increased in her last trimester, and again once Abel had been born, to provide her with additional nutrients to support a growing foal. The amount of Meadow Grass and Alfa-Beet was also adjusted alongside according to her body condition.

Piglet and Abel

Monitoring and plotting your youngster’s weight every couple of weeks is a great way to measure whether you need to adjust the ration. If you see a very steep growth curve forming, you may want to reassess the diet, reduce energy intake, and consider making changes to the ration. In contrast, if the curve is very flat it’s an indication the foal isn’t growing very well which may indicate an underlying health problem or simply that the mare isn’t milking very well and so may require more feed. For further information on feeding youngstock click here.

Abel's Growth Graph

At around 1 month old, Abel developed ‘ballerina syndrome’ where his bones were developing quicker than his tendons, causing him to stand and walk on the tips of his toes. This was monitored closely but it resolved of its own accord and no veterinary intervention was needed. Throughout this time, the mare was kept on the same ration to ensure she was receiving a high specification of vitamins and minerals to support Abel’s growth and development.

Abel started sharing his mum’s feed from a young age and when weaned at around nine months, he went onto the same feeds; Dengie Meadow Grass with Herbs & Oil, Alfa-Beet and a balancer. This ration provided Abel with quality protein to support correct growth and development, good levels of calcium for bone development and hoof support as well as being fully balanced with regards to vitamins and minerals.

Abel aged 2

Abel was actually born and raised on one of Dengie’s farms in Essex surrounded by alfalfa! It has been lovely following his progress and watching him grow and I’m excited to follow his future. Clare plans to gradually back and bring on Abel herself when he is old enough, and hopes one day he will make an event horse.

For further advice and guidance on what to feeding your broodmare or youngstock please contact the Dengie Feedline on 01621 484182 or click here to fill in our Feed Advice form.