Prebiotic or Probiotic – when to use and how

horse winter

This is a nice follow up to the flu season “nanosill” post as digestive issues typically correspond with sickness or “stress”.

While many owners typically use either a prebiotic, or probiotic during the show season (or sometimes both), it’s important to understand how each one works and when it is needed.

Also keeping in mind that foaling season being just around the corner, and the importance of keeping everyone digestively happy pre and post parturition.

The digestive microbial population is made up of several hundred different types and strains of organisms. The numbers and ratios are constantly shifting as the horse eats and drinks, but a healthy balance is usually maintained. Illness, modifications to feed or exercise schedule, or any other kind of stress can cause a large enough change in the intestinal environment to allow one type of microbe to multiply quickly or another type to decline in numbers.

The result of these changes may be mild problems such as diarrhea, or more serious conditions such as colic or laminitis.

 Probiotics:

Probiotics are live microbial cultures. They may include bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus faecium, and Bacillus subtilis; fungi such as Aspergillus oryzae; and yeast strains such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Included in a feed mix in powdered or granulated form, probiotics continually introduce beneficial organisms that may be depleted by daily management.

Research with horses indicates that live yeast culture supplementation helps to limit undesirable changes in the intestinal ecosystem, reducing variations in lactic acid concentrations and pH levels after large grain meals. In growing horses, yeast increased the digestibility of ADF, NDF, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Prebiotics:

Prebiotics are substances that support intestinal microorganisms. By providing easily utilized nutrients or creating a favorable environment, prebiotics encourage the growth of a microbial strain that may have been depleted or overwhelmed by a digestive upset. Yeast, a common prebiotic, furnishes amino acids and oligosaccharides that nourish desirable bacteria. There is also evidence that some prebiotics enhance the equine immune system.

There are several supplements on the market that combine both Prebiotic and Probiotic components, and can help keep your horses digestive system running efficiently, and keep them working happy.

To find the supplement that is right for you contact us via email, or phone.

Jen@thefigureseven.ca   |    519-699-0303

Collodial Silver – Flu Season is here!

nose

Living through the flu season with school and daycare aged children at home is no easy task.  Dealing with a bug running through the barn isn’t much different and can sometimes be harder to manage.  You can’t simply keep your horse home to avoid getting sick or getting others sick.

So how do you prevent the flu bug from hitting your horse?  There are a number of immune boosters out there that aim to help the system in the event that they are exposed to viral or bacterial sickness.  There are also antibiotics that can also help depending on the cause of infection.  Otherwise, are we stuck with waiting it out??

Enter stage left – Colloids

In the European horse world, which is extremely strict when it comes to administering anything to your competing horse, colloidal silver has been used to heal everything from respiratory infections, to skin abrasions.  It is capable of killing several viral and bacterial strains that are untouchable by other methods of cure.

Colloidal Gold has long been used to increase mental acuity, improving calmness, manage inflammation – specifically in the joints, and treat skin conditions.

After a great deal of research, The Figure Seven is happy to announce an addition to our already great lines of supplement. Nanosill is a combination of colloidal silver and gold with an endless list of health benefits.

nannosil

To learn more about keeping your herd healthy with Nanosill, visit our info page here.

Wishing everyone a healthy, phlegm free few months!

The Results are In – Top Selling Supplements of 2013

Recovery_EQ_Extra_1kgEquiShure_190VitE_Sel1

I consistently tell my clients that the best part about my job is that we get to represent the very best supplements and recommend from a vast number of options without loyalty to a certain brand.

Being able to carry the supplements our customers love makes our job that much easier.  If anyone is interested, the proof is in the sales “pudding”.  Here were our top 10 Sellers in 2013.

Click on to view a chart of our top 10 sellers:

http://www.thefigureseven.ca/documents/Sales%20Chart.pdf

Top Convenience Pack combinations were

1. Recovery EQ Extra Strength + Omega Alpha Equicel Lyte

2. Equishure + Certaflex

3.  Vitamin E/Se + Apple Eh + Certaflex

When it comes to most commonly used categories, the Joint supplements won, followed by Digestive Aids, and Electrolytes.

Post a comment on your favourite combination of supplements, and get a $10 discount on your first Convenience Pack order.

Following Maya and Lumiere at Stillpoint Farm Dressage – Florida Show season

stillpoint

Sponsored rider Maya Markowski and mount Lumiere have now settled in the sunny south – somewhere many of us wish we were after the crazy weather this season has thrown at us.

Here is the most recent update on what the two will be up to for the next three months at Stillpoint Farm Dressage in Wellington, Florida, owned by top dressage rider “Tuny” Page.

The two will obviously be enjoying lovely weather and a gorgeous facility while training with David Marcus, alongside many other top trainers and riders from across Canada, the US and Europe.

Nearing the end of July, the team will be competing in the GDF3 CDIW held at the Global Dressage show grounds.
As well, Maya has declared Lumiere for the 2014 Nations Cup this winter in Wellington. She hopes to qualify and represent Canada in the GDF7 CDIO3*/3* and National show Feb 19 to 23 at the Global show grounds.
We will be cheering Maya and Lumiere on over the course of their show season, and posting results.
Best of luck!

Equine Choice Probiotics – The Newly formulated Gen 2 replaces “multi vitamin”

healthy_horses_Aug20_2011_007It has long been used and recommended by horse people across the country. Although, through necessity of registration, it was labeled as a “multi vitamin”, wide spread knowledge on the product put it in the probiotics and digestive aid classification of supplements. Many have found this product to not only increase their horses over all health, but to fix problems such as hay belly, excess gas, and runny poop.

Near the end of December, Animal Pro announced that due to much needed changes in regulations, they are able to alter the labeling and ingredients in their “multi vitamin” product to reflect the uses they had originally intended. As a result, these changes have not only created a superior product, but kept it at a cost that is within everyone’s budget.

Paying great attention to the mycotoxin levels present in other carriers, they have changed their carrier from a corn based product to oat based products (oil/flour). They have added Mannan Oligosaccharides (MOS) to give it a prebiotic effect, as well as adding L-Glutamine and L-Threonine to aid in digestive healing for compromised horses. Lastly, they bumped up the active ingredients (enzymes, bacteria, and yeast) added a salting of B Vitamins, and VOILA.

I know the word is slowly getting out there of the changes, and it’s only a short matter of time before people restock and figure it out for themselves – if they haven’t already heard. I know we are excited to re-introduce Gen 2 to our customers who already love the original product, and recommend it to more.

For more information and details, click HERE to see the new label. You can also visit http://www.thefigureseven.ca to see pricing and Convenience Pack details

www.thefigureseven.ca| jen@thefigureseven.ca |            519-699-0303

Succeed vs. Equishure – What IS the difference??

succeed1   VS    EquiShure_190

One of the most common questions that I get across the board is “What is the difference between Succeed and Equishure?”

Given that these two supplements have completely different purposes, it is important to understand when to use which, or when to use them together.

Succeed is typically given as an omeprazole follow up for horses that are prone to relapses in ulcers. It has several beneficial digestive qualities, and can be used long term as a energy booster and digestive aid.

The prebiotic component in Succeed aids in hindgut health by providing essential nutrients to the digestive bacterial allowing them to flourish and properly digest feedstuffs.  It also contains several other ingredients geared towards soothing, healing, and maintaining the digestive system to provide the best energy possible for your horse.

Equishure on the other hand, has one main ingredient.  Encapsulated baking soda.  Known for it’s neutralizing properties, baking soda has long been used as a buffer to raise the pH of the horses digestive system allowing a proper environment for flora growth and digestion.

The encapsulation allows the baking soda to pass through the acid environment of the stomach without being processed or digested.

A common misconception is that the Succeed will quickly deal with hindgut acidosis.  The principle behind the healing properties of Succeed in the hindgut are limited.  It uses the concept of creating a healthy foregut, and providing building blocks for a healthy hindgut to create a positive environment for proper digestion in the hindgut.

In cases of severe acidosis, where the pH has been consistently low and caused a complete disruption in the digestive flora, it can take a few treatments to get your horse back to a digestively efficient state.

This is when it is much quicker to use the Equishure to work on hindgut acidosis from a neutralization point.  Because it is encapsulated for time release, it proceeds through foregut digestion untouched and becomes active in the hindgut creating a pH that is beneficial for digestive bacteria and enzymes.

Quite often, it is recommended that the Succeed be used with the Equishure for the first month or two in treating hindgut acidosis.  This practice is not only safe, but very efficient.  The buffering of the Equishure provides a healthy environment for the Succeed’s building blocks to quickly rebuild and healthy hindgut.

For more information or further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

www.thefigureseven.ca | jen@thefigureseven.ca |519-699-0303

Icy Cold Exercise – Ensure Health and Safety

horse snow

It has now become apparent that this winter seems to be settling in nicely.  It has challenged us with ice induced power outages, frigid temperatures and a lovely dumping of snow.

While we’d all like to be snuggled up next to the crackling fire and forget about looking out the window, the outdoor work won’t look after itself.

During these times, and for the duration of the winter, it’s important to keep in mind what our horses require for activity.  After all, they don’t appreciate a crackling fire quite like we do.

Exercise should not stop during the winter months. During extreme winter weather, many horses are often confined to stalls for longer periods than they are used to. As well, their valiant riders tend to reduce the number of times they tempt frostbitten toes in the arena.

Confinement and limited exercise can lead to lower leg edema (stocking up).  Efforts should be made to provide turn out or exercise as often as possible.  Although these periods of exercise may be shortened due to the cold, even shorter bouts are better than none.

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, caution needs to be taken when riding in deep, heavy or wet snow as this could cause tendon injuries and is extremely hard work for an unfit horse.  Sometimes we forget the extra effort it takes to walk through a foot of snow – especially for our horses.

Avoid icy areas for both horse and rider safety.  This is especially important given our current weather conditions.  Spreading sand or salt on icy patches will help reduce injury from slipping.

One of the greatest challenges with winter riding involves cooling down a horse with a thick winter coat. Leaving a hot, wet horse standing in a cold barn can lead to illness. If horses are exercised regularly to the extent of generating sweat through the winter months, a ‘trace clip’ can be used

With a trace clip, the hair is shaved to about 1/8 inch in length from the underside of the neck and abdomen to the sides of the horse and from the elbows to about a quarter of the way up the body. Other types of clipping patters are often used as well.

It does need to be kept in mind that clipped horses have higher energy needs to simply maintain their body heat, and should be fed accordingly.

Clipped hair will not grow back as rapidly in the winter as it does in warmer temperatures. Once horses are clipped, appropriate shelter and blankets must be used throughout the winter and into the early spring months.

So, enjoy the snow safely and with health in mind, whether it be from the back of your horse, in a heated tack room, or beside the crackling fire.

www.thefigureseven.ca   |  jen@thefigureseven.ca   | 519-699-0303