Steamed Hay helps three horses with three different health challenges.
By Kim Miller | Equestrian Writer
Along with his Olympian father’s gift with horses, Joe inherited his open mind toward “any way we can improve the yard and give our horses that little extra percent that makes all the difference,” Joe says. “All the little bits make a huge difference in their performance.”
In an expanded partnership with the talented young horseman, Haygain now provides Joe with three of those “little bits” that positively impact his horses’ well-being and performance. In addition to Haygain Steamed Hay, ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring and the Forager Slow Feeder became part of Joe’s program earlier this year.
“For us, it’s all about going with the products and partners that we believe in and that we use,” Joe says. “It’s important to have partners with whom our morals and everything else aligns.”
ComfortStall – Give & Stability
“When I first saw ComfortStall I knew it would not only be an upgrade to what we had in our stables, but that it is a product that’s leading the way in its field. It’s a new idea and new technology and ComfortStall is doing what no other product is doing.”
ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring consists of dense foam cushion topped by a durable rubber, single-piece cover that seals to the stable wall for an impermeable surface.
Joe’s partner in the historic World Championships team bronze, Equine America Cacharel, took to ComfortStall as quickly and enthusiastically as Joe did. “She walked straight into the new stall, took a few sniffs and steps, then got right down on it. After a few moments of realizing it was something new, 90% of the horses got right down on the new flooring and had a play on it.”
The cushioned surface encourages horses to lie down for the deep rest and sleep that all athletes need. And the smooth, tractioned surface makes for easy ups and downs.
“We had normal rubber matting over concrete before, with massive amounts of bedding, but it didn’t really do the same job as ComfortStall. ComfortStall’s cushion is great and being fully sealed to the stable wall eliminates shavings, dirt, muck and moisture that used to get under the matting.”
More Than Comfort
Joe thinks ComfortStall will provide much more than comfort to his horses. He describes it as having the perfect balance of give and stability. “When the horse is standing still, they’re solid – they’re not losing their balance. As they walk on it, they are using all those little muscles around the foot because of the extra give. It’s like them walking in a field.
“In the long term, I think it may make them stronger.”
In exercising his horses, Joe believes in working them on a variety of surfaces, including slightly uneven ground. It builds proprioception and natural balance that helps with agility, flexibility and strength. He thinks the time his horses spend on ComfortStall will also help build those qualities.
“Cash,” a now 11-year-old mare found by Joe’s dad, is also a big fan of the Forager Slow Feeder. The Forager is the third piece of kit in The Haygain Way’s management-based approach to long-term horse health. Its most popular use is for horses that need to eat more slowly.
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