On May 4, 2011, Kimberly Fairchild got a call from the barn that her nine year old trakhener/thoroughbred cross mare, Sidney, might be colicing. Kim rushed over and discovered her mare pawing up her stall but , unable to move: her right hind leg was hot and swollen. Had she broken something? The vet diagnosed the issue as cellulitis and put Sidney on antibiotics. But the next day the mare still wouldn’t move. The vet advised to make Sidney walk, so Kimberly convinced Sidney that she could move. The swelling started to come down. Everyone thought Sidney was on the mend….
Then she started showing neurologic symptoms – taking stuttering steps occasionally. A specialist assessed her and tested her for EPM twice; no definitive diagnoses. So they injected her hocks, and Sidney went back into light work, but she refused to push from behind.
In August after a jumping school, Sidney’s whole left side started to spasm. Vet treated Sidney for colic, but Kimberly wasn’t convinced that the spasms were colic-related. Suspecting ulcers, Kimberly put Sidney on a course of Omeprazole.
In September the equine dentist discovered an enclosed tooth in Sidney’s mouth and mouth ulcers. The tooth abcessed in October and Sidney was rushed to the clinic for surgery. With a high white blood cell count, the vets were afraid to do the necessary surgery. Sidney had a hard time coming out of anesthesia, and refused to let the vets or techs touch her. She would not eat. Even after the surgery, the vets commented,”there is something not right with this horse.”
In November, while taking a lesson on one of the sales horses at Diane Creech’s barn, Diane told Kimberly that she had read about what diet had done for Lauren Sammis’ grand prix horse, Sagacious, and maybe Kimberly should look into BioStar. The surgical hole in Sidney’s jaw had not healed, and kept getting re-infected. Kimberly was growing more and more concerned.
Kimberly: I went to the BioStar website, and then started investigating this concept of the whole food diet. I called BioStar, and got a consultation with Tigger, and when I hung up the phone, I immediately went to look at the labels on the Smartpak supplements I was feeding. When I really looked at the labels I realized that these supplements were not really food. Sidney at that point was just on hay and Smartpaks. I decided to make a change to the whole food diet.
What does her whole food diet consist of?
Kimberly: She now gets a grass/alfalfa hay mix, molasses free beet pulp, chia seeds, and some alfalfa pellets with her beet pulp at night. I give her various fruits: apples, pomegranates, oranges, strawberries, papayas, and almonds.
What changes have you seen in her since you started her on whole food?
Kimberly: She is much friendlier now. Her temperament really changed; my vet saw her two weeks after we made the diet change, and my vet couldn’t believe how calm Sidney was. Sidney stood quietly to be examined, and was now eager to be hand walked. It was obvious that Sidney was much happier.
How did her surgical site finally resolve itself?
Kimberly: I put her on BioStar’s Colostrum; it stopped draining after 2 weeks on Colostrum, and finally closed a month later. I think her immune system was so compromised, that she just couldn’t heal. Changing the diet and adding the Colostrum was just what her body needed. And now she has the best coat in the whole barn!
What supplements is she on now?
Kimberly: The hemp oil, Optimum, and chia seeds. I give her Comfort Zone when she is in season. The fact is the whole food diet and BioStar saved my horse’s life. I don’t know where we would be now if we hadn’t found BioStar and hadn’t changed the feed program. Her temperament has been a total turnaround, and she is so much happier. I am so less stressed about her. I will never go back to processed feeds and supplements. My vet has been so impressed with Sidney’s improvement that she is now recommending the diet to her clients.
Kimberly started riding at an early age, worked at an eventing barn and then got a job backing young thoroughbred race horses and conditioning them. Sidney was Kimberly’s first dressage horse, that she purchased as a two year old. Kimberly has trained with Diane Creech, then switched to jumping when Sidney made it clear that she didn’t want to be a dressage horse. Kimberly enjoys starting young horses, and does that for selective clients.