Thursday, 30 November 2017

Co-Products, not By-Products

There is a trend these days to label many highly nutritious feed ingredients as worthless wastes.  This particularly falls on anything that might be classified as a by-product, including beet pulp, wheat mids, soybean hulls and distiller’s dried grains.
Do you consider such things are semolina, wheat germ, rice bran, linseed meal, corn meal, couscous, molasses, copra (coconut meal), Psyllium, and bran cereals to be by-products? Probably not, but like the ingredients listed first they are all co-products generated during the processing of a food to remove certain portions of it.
        Psyllium products are made from the thin coat surrounding Psyllium seeds
Soybean meal, like all seed meals, is a co-product of the oil extraction industry. They have all of the protein, carbohydrates/fiber, vitamins and minerals of the original food, just not the high fat. As a plus, reducing the fat considerably boosts the protein percentage in the meal.
Some of the prejudice against co-products likely arises from unfamiliarity. You won’t find beet pulp on the shelf in human food stores because people can’t digest it – but horses can. Beet pulp is a low sugar, essentially zero starch, high soluble fiber that is easily fermented in the horse’s hind gut, is prebiotic and yields more calories/energy than hay. The same is true of soybean hulls.
Some co-products have unique characteristics. Feeding distillers’ or brewers’ dried grain instead of corn, etc. means starch and calories have been reduced to very low levels via fermentation of the grain but palatability is retained and protein is significantly higher than in the grain.
Psyllium (Plantago) husks are another specialty co-product. They are the thin outer coating on Psyllium seeds and are rich in mucilage, a form of soluble fiber.  When fed on an intermittent basis they are an effective way to enhance sand removal from the colon. When fed on a daily basis they become a prebiotic as the hind gut organisms adapt and begin to ferment them.  An added bonus is that wet Psyllium gives a distinctly slippery/slimy coating to a meal which makes it easy to swallow.
Co-products may be criticized because they are not whole foods but the whole foods mentality can be carried too far. Do you eat peanut shells or walnut hulls when you eat those foods?  Lemons, bananas or oranges with the peel? Of course not, because they are largely undigestible and/or unpalatable.
Co-products may actually have enhanced nutritional qualities for the horse. Beet pulp, distillers’ dried grains, brewers’ dried grains are safer because of greatly reduced sugar and starch levels.  Seed meals have reduced calories because of fat removal and higher % of protein. Brans and seed coats have very good to high protein levels, low sugar/starch and are good mineral sources. Wheat co-products have all the concentrated nutrition of wheat without the starch, which was processed out to make white flour for people.
Not all co-products are appropriate for horses (e.g. oat hulls or cottonseed products) but those you find in feeds and supplements typically are. Be fully informed before you make a judgement call.  There’s a good chance your own diet contains co-products.
Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Saturday 11th November - Lesson - Indoor School

Need to get back to it, post the bullying, post the back issues.

SI on left rein need to really ask LH to step under, it simply won't strengthen without use.

Half pass has improve as has use of outside rein on circles

Monday, 18 September 2017

Monday 18th September - Lesson - Indoor School

I really need to get my head sorted

If there is an issue with the pony it WILL NOT only show up at the A end of the school (where I lose attention) , the school surface is consistent all over so an issue will not just show up in one place.

Need to keep him to the bridle and to KEEP riding not just flop around the corners

Today's exercises post warm up

  1. Figures of 8 in trot
  2. Leg yield to centre line, leg yield back to track

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Tuesday 5th September - Lesson - Indoor School

So explained to Ros how pony went yesterday

Usual walk warm up then onto trot warm up

  • SI long side
  • SI -> circle -> Travers
  • Half pass to centre line
  • Half pass all the way across

Pony was golden :-)


  1. Left leg creeps back and heel creeps up
  2. Right hand starts to bounce and elbow straightens (related to 1) 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Monday 4th September - Schooling - Outdoor school

So the plan was to simply do an easy session in trot, the reality was different (!)

Started off in walk on right rein as usual, all good, swapped to left rein and got the yawing at A because I'm on my own my brain goes to is he OK and from there we spiral into a small pit of doom.

Logically if he wasn't OK would it only happen at the A end of the school which is where I loose my concentration. So after a pep talk to myself we did get some reasonable work.


  1. Retain concentration at A end of school
  2. Activate left hind leg
  3. Persistence, insistence and consistent  

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sunday 3rd September - Lesson - Outdoor School

So was originally booked to ride in indoor as rain forecast but changed to outdoor to enable better comparison with yesterday.

Temperature was normal at 37.2C

So usual walk warm up then onto trot warm up all felt good

Shoulder in and half pass in trot

Finished with travers on a 20m circle in trot :-) clever pony

Oddly enough today I was struggling with my left leg (lost a stirrup a couple of times)

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Saturday 2nd September - Lesson - Outdoor School

Usual walk warm up pony felt less forward

Trot was 'lumpy' so stopped session

Chorrie was sound but feeling 'flat'

Trot up in hard was normal

Temperature was 37.5C normal AM temperature in 37.2C

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Thursday 31st August - Lesson - Indoor School

So usual walk and trot warm up.

Then in trot commence lateral work (both reins)

  • SI long side 
  • SI ->  15m circle -> SI
  • SI -> 15m circle -> Travers
  • Half pass to CL
  • Half pass to CL -> Half pass back to long side
  • 20m circle in travers
The circle in travers really highlights if you have the pony in the outside rein (!)

Got some absolutely stonking trot large to finish, pony was soft and forwards and manoeuvrable 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Tuesday 29th August - Lesson - Outdoor school

So lesson outdoors not as warm as yesterday but still pretty warm.

I love the warmth and the sunshine especially after the miserable days we've had recently where it has felt more like October and Autumn  than July/August

Usual warm up -> walk on inside track with half circle at short ends starting on right rein

Then walk 20m circle 15m circle then change rein to left rein and repeat

Need to think about is he flexing left ? Also am I assisting him on the left turn, is my body turning am I sat where I need to be?
Legs long (mine)
Poll high

If walking out well and flexing then onto warm up trot. Allow him to go at his pace but keep him balanced and keep same rhythm long sides and half circles

Trot work having done trot warm up (20m circle 15m circle then change rein to left rein and repeat)

Shoulder in 15m circle shoulder in (long sides)

Turn onto centre line leg yield to change rein

Half pass from long side to centre line -> half pass back to long side

What I need to remember

If I stop to adjust girth / whip /whatever then make it a PROPER transition down to halt and a PROPER transition to walk/trot

Watch and guard the left flexion

Legs long (mine) and poll high

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Saturday 15th July - Lesson - Indoor school

So lesson at 09:30 in the indoor with Ros.

Main learnings from this lesson

  • No we no longer get the 'lumpy' trot on the left rein nor have we for a long time I need to recalibrate my expectations and not just be satisfied with an OK trot but to ride for a GOOD trot
  • Corners riding a good corner will help with the trot half pass F -> X then X -> M as it gives more room
  • Balance him 
  • Ride at home schooling as you would for a test, prepare and ride corners 
  • Ensure consistent bend / flexion when on left rein.

Poor neglected blog - Getting back to it

So I'm now having lessons with Ros Wade the mother of Jessica Wade, because Ros has more availability than Jessica so it just fits better with my limited availability.

I've been having lessons for about three months (?)

Ros has a very detailed eye for rider  position and horse way of going.

My riding has improved and I'm paying more attention to detail

The pony's physio was pleased with how he felt last time will be interesting to see if we've retained that improvement.

Our barn has been pressure washed and repainted and is looking very smart as we've had a major tidy up.