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Haygain: The What, Why & How
Innovative horse health products provide multiple benefits.
Equestrian writer, September 7, 2020
Interest in supporting horse health and peak performance in natural ways is propelling Haygain into a global brand.
Haygain was established in the U.K. in 2009 after developing high-temperature hay steaming in conjunction with the Royal Agricultural University. ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring became part of the Haygain brand in 2018. The products are revolutionizing equine care through benefits to respiratory, digestive, and musculoskeletal health and improved hydration and appetite – substantial cost savings for owners are a bonus.
Haygain's patented high-temperature hay steaming reduces up to 99% of the dust, mold, fungi, bacteria and other allergens found in hay – even in hay of top nutrient quality. These microscopic particles cause respiratory challenges that affect over 80% of active sport horses, often without obvious symptoms. Allergy symptoms are greatly reduced, too. Steaming also adds water to the horses' diet and improves palatability.
These benefits are accomplished by injecting steam evenly throughout hay in a thermally sealed chest. The key is maintaining temperatures high enough – up to 100ºC (212ºF) – to kill mold, fungi and bacteria. The process was developed in part as an alternative to the common practice of soaking hay to reduce dust. Haygain's extensive science confirms that the messy and laborious process of soaking hay is far less effective in removing respirable particles. Unfortunately, soaking can lead to an increase in mold, fungi and bacterial growth and the effluent is toxic to the environment. Plus, many horses don't like the taste of wet, soggy hay.
Steamed hay is helping horses across a wide spectrum. Elite international equestrians value Haygain's ability to provide clean, consistent forage anywhere in the world. It's helped horses with conditions on the Equine Asthma Spectrum – from mild cases of Inflammatory Airway Disease to those suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at the most severe end of the Spectrum. Haygain steamed hay can both prevent these conditions and help horses with them live and work comfortably.
ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring
ComfortStall consists of a layer of orthopedic foam, covered by a single piece of durable rubber that is sealed to the stall walls with anchor strips. Co-developed with the Cornell University Veterinary Hospital, this unique flooring cushions joints and encourages deep rest and sleep.
The surface emulates a gymnasium mat: its slight give prompts horses to make tiny muscle movements to maintain their balance. The resulting proprioception has the therapeutic effect of prompting blood flow and minimizing inflammation. Equine physical therapists recommend this flooring characteristic to accelerate healing, whether from everyday work or during injury or surgery rehab. In daily use for over 10 years at Cornell Veterinary Hospital's surgery center, ComfortStall is easily cleaned and sanitized.
Shavings and other bedding are not needed for cushion: only enough to absorb urine, which is easily removed. The wall seal prevents urine from seeping and accumulating harmful ammonia build-up, as happens with traditional stall mats. Reductions in bedding, maintenance and waste removal costs are substantial with ComfortStall. Customers regularly report savings of 50% to 75% on shavings alone, with initial costs often recouped in less than a year. The flooring has a six-year warranty and a typical lifespan of 15 years.
Equally important, less bedding contributes to cleaner barn air, a benefit for horses and their caregivers.
Well-established throughout Europe and the United States, Haygain is available in over 20 countries. Early Haygain adopters in Canada include Olympic eventer Selena O'Hanlon and hunter ring star Kristjan Good. Haygain is an Ontario Equestrian partner and has stepped up to sponsor several competitions this year.
How can Haygain help?
Haygain Hay Steamers eliminate up to 99% of the dust, bacteria, mold and fungi found in even the best quality hay that can have a detrimental and irreversible affect to a horse's health. Find out more: