When Laura Gulliver’s dressage horse Woodcroft Natalia went off her food while staying away at a competition she knew instinctively something was wrong.
The Milton Keynes-based rider and Natalia had been together for three years and in that time had developed a strong bond which saw them take part in their first international para-dressage competition this summer.
A grade lV para-rider, Laura has trained the black, Trakehner mare up through the levels and although she has always been quite highly strung and can stress at times, going off her food while competing at Bishop Burton was the final straw.
Explains Laura: “As the week went on Natalia ate less and less and when I put my legs on her side she reacted quite aggressively and I knew she was uncomfortable.
“She had completely stopped eating and when we arrived home we took her to the vets and had her scoped to see if they could find anything.
“The tests immediately showed she was suffering from acid attacking her gastric lining and that was the cause of her discomfort. The vet suggested we contact the helpline at TopSpec to get some advice about her diet and feeding regime.”
A veterinary nutritionist at TopSpec discussed Natalia’s feed requirements and it was decided that an important part of her diet would be TopSpec UlsaKind Cubes and that TopSpec Joint Feed Balancer would form the perfect low-starch base to add the cubes to.
Added Laura: “About a month into the new feeding plan I knew she was getting better and she had really started to improve.
“Her tense and stressed behaviour was disappearing and I was left with a calm and easy to handle horse that I could see was enjoying life.
“We also noticed a big change when she was turned out in the field. Previously she wasn’t really bothered about the grass but now she really enjoys it and relishes her time out.
“She really does look fantastic and is carrying much better condition as we head into the winter months ready for some serious training before our competition schedule in 2017.”