Testimonials for Balanced Equine Nutrition
I first contacted Carol back in August 2009 to develop a diet for a possible insulin resistant 14.2hh riding pony, Harry.
He was a very lazy horse to ride, difficult to motivate and not forward and I was loathe to liven him up with grains as he had been a bit scratchy following shoeing a few times, and I was concerned he might develop feed induced laminitis.
I had been searching for equine dieticians and happened upon Carol from her website. Since my initial contact and Carol’s dietary expertise, Harry has turned into a completely different horse. He is achieving a higher degree of collection and is nailing his half-pass, shoulder in, travers, 10m circles and sequence changes every time I ask. When I request a gallop in the show ring, he is now obliging without my constant nagging, but most importantly he has not had any subsequent soreness following shoeing since swapping to Carol’s prescribed diet.
I have been so impressed with her work, that I have since swapped my 13.2hh riding pony who had suffered a very severe bought of laminitis to one of Carol’s diets and he has not looked back. At one stage we thought he would never be rideable again, however he is back in full work and looking a million dollars. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Carol to all of my friends and have done so several times, and all of my friends have had the same fabulous results.
Shonagh Kelly, Duffys Forest NSW
Just wanted to thank you for all your help and great advice in 2010.
2010 was my 2nd year of doing endurance rides and I started the season very badly - my mare, Excessable tyed up on a 40km trainer ride in March. It was a very frightening experience. The good news is that I ended the season on a 'high' - winning 'best condition horse' at Woodstock 80km ride in October. What a transformation! and THANK YOU so much. I started transitioning to your diet in June and the results have been outstanding - I haven't had any tye up issues since March and my mare is going really well and looking happy and very healthy - even after doing a 80km endurance ride!. Sue Todd was also a great help - giving me tips & tricks of managing a mare prone to tying up.
So a BIG thank you to both of you and look forward to catching up on the track in 2011.
Elaine Kirby, Glenworth Valley NSW
Sam looks so healthy the other day during our vet in (and TPRing) the Horse Health Judge smelt him????? I asked her what she was doing and she said she just wanted to know if he smelt as healthy as he looked. She said “and he did”. Diets working!!!
Jeanne Robinson, Bli Bli, Queensland
I have been working with Carol (Balanced Equine) since September 2009 to come up with a solution to several problems I was having with my then 3½ year old Warmblood gelding.
Carol was recommended to me by my ever patient barefoot trimmer (Rob Howden) after somewhat exhausting every possible greasy heel treatment known to man (various multiple daily treatments such as, iovone scrub, various ointments, wrapping with glad wrap, quartozone injections, and bucket loads of prednoderm (and money), all to very little effect). This poor horse had already put up with this nightmare for a good 6 to 9 months already; NOTHING seemed to do any good. If you’ve never had it, think yourself very very lucky, as it is a horrible, disgusting, completely annoying and unbelievable frustrating thing to have to deal with.
Also, after 3 separate instances of a tiny little scratch on a leg resulting in the leg blowing up then turning into a huge system infection, (the whole works including 40 deg temp, hot panting horse, and the inevitable $500-$700 vet bill from the emergency out of hours visit), I began to suspect that with the greasy heel and the infections my horse may have some kind of immune deficiency. So I thought that taking a look at his diet to try to get the horse healthier wouldn’t hurt.
Carol, after hours of patiently listening to my problems and reading my many emails on the subject, gave me the flexibility of choosing between a recommended diet, or sticking with my original diet and tweaking a few things as well as balancing my minerals. This was unbelievable helpful as I was agisting at the time, where it is not always easy to start mucking around with complex feeding regimes.
Carol’s knowledge of equine nutrition seems to know no boundaries (and is admittedly a tad bit scary). I was (and still am) a little embarrassed to find out exactly how much I didn’t know, I really was just taking a stab in the dark with choosing what to feed my horse, and spending an extraordinary amount of money whilst doing so. Balanced Equine has taken away the guess work because I know exactly what I am feeding, and I know that his diet has the correct mineral ratio balance, and he is getting the things he needs to stay happy and healthy.
Well, I am pleased to report that the greasy heel is completely gone. Looking at his beautiful white hairy legs now (instead of the red, bald, inflamed, scabby legs) it is hard to believe it ever was there.
And I have remained (touch wood) free from leg blow ups since then also (even after a nasty gash 3 weeks ago from an errant leg strap).
Chad is now rising 5, and looks magnificent. He has an amazing top line, great condition and a beautiful shiny and luminescent coat. Not that he didn’t look nice before, but now he’s kind of like WOW. And it is lovely to receive many complements about how fantastic he looks, every time he ventures out to competition.
Thanks to both Carol and Rob for being a great team to work with!
Deborah Bardell and Revelwood 'The Chad' Jukebox, Williamtown NSW
In 2009 my beautiful three year old palomino quarter horse gelding, ‘Peanut’ was diagnosed with OCD (Osteochondrosis Dessicans) which is characterized by an abnormality in the cartilage-to-bone transformation in fast growing young horses. I had high hopes for him as a performance horse and after thoroughly researching I came across some studies pointing to the connection between nutrition and OCD. I wasn’t sure if getting his diet balanced at the time would help, but knew that it couldn’t hurt and I was willing to do anything to support Peanut. In the process of working with Carol I have learned so much about the importance of a balanced diet and understand now just what a difference it can make.
My husband and I compete regularly, with barrel racing being my passion and team roping his. When fractions of seconds determine placings it’s really nice to feel as though our horses have an edge. The biggest ‘ah ha’ moment came when I realized that figuring out what grain/minerals/supplements to feed our horses completely depends on the hay test results - as that makes up the majority of the diet. It all seems like common sense now and is a concept that I try to share with other horse owners. We can feel confident that our horses are getting the nutrients they need without a lot of what they don’t need. We’ve completely eliminated any second guessing when it comes to our feeding program. The education I’ve received and the actual proof (in our thriving horses) is worth it’s weight in gold. It all gives us such peace of mind knowing that we are truly doing what is best for our horses.
Carol has also always been so responsive and helpful to my many questions, which has really helped make the process of balancing diets not just easier but actually pleasant! Carol is without a doubt the first person I’d send anyone to who has a question, concern in the area of equine nutrition or just wants to give their horse the very best care possible. Although my young horse’s diagnosis was unfortunate, I will be eternally grateful for the journey it has taken me on. There is no doubt that because of Carol’s help, the life of each horse that comes my way will be changed for the better.
Heather Smith, Gillette, Wyoming, USA
I just wanted to send you a quick email to tell you about Jack's coat at the moment. Since moving to Victoria I had to clip him several times earlier this year due to the heat and I think I sent his coat changes a little ‘haywire’ with it all! His summer coat came through earlier than usual and for some reason longer as well. With the weather heating up here it was looking like I was going to have to re-clip him with his summer coat having already come through and risk losing the lovely gold he has over summer being a pali! I really didn’t want to clip him and risk taking all his gold away and also the tips of the hairs that make them nice and shiny reflecting the sun, and to add to that reading horror stories of people clipping late and having horrible dry coats that look terrible etc….... But doing endurance we know welfare over-rules vanity LOL. So after all that waffling on I am emailing to let you know when I re-clipped him I was so pleased to find his coat was still glossy, shiny, and golden as well as silky silky soft to touch straight after the clip! So really I just wanted to mention that to you as it obviously shows that your recommended diet for him is keeping him healthy from the inside out :) I was so pleased with his remaining colour and shine and that he still felt beautiful and healthy to touch :). I have found he has also been holding condition the best he ever has since being on your diet as well.
Kylie & Go Get Em Jack, Victoria
If you are seriously interested in the health and well being of your horses I can highly recommend Carol's services. We have been using Carol's diet for about eight months and the horses are in fabulous health. I was interested in looking at our horses diets as a process in making their lives as happy and healthy as possible. We have been involved in endurance riding and if you are to participate in such a taxing sport, your horses really need to be in top health.
I became more interested in the feed as our feed bills were getting expensive with six horses. Also I felt so lost going into a stock feed place and really having no idea of what I was buying, and what was in it. If you are new to horses then it all seems like a secret science. I gave the horses what other endurance riders were feeding theirs, but still had a feeling that I was so uninformed about the whole process. It is just so logical that if you test the grass and if it is their main source of feed, then you will know what extra they need in their diets.
Carol takes a huge worry off your mind. I know now exactly what to feed my growing foal and the others. The diets were very easy to follow and Carol takes great care in giving you explanations for everything. We have a diet for the rides , before and during. Best of all we have saved about $80 per week in feed bills. A huge saving over the year. Carol has always made herself available for any questions at any time. She is passionate about the nutrition and I feel lucky to have found her help and advice. It was the best thing I have ever done for my horses, apart from taking off the shoes and buying a treeless saddle!
I just remarked to my husband Steve the other day that I don't think our horses have ever been so happy in their herd. Their coats are amazing, and the chestnuts have a deep darker sheen. Their hooves have improved remarkably. My darling 19 year old mare completed her last 40km with the lowest heart rate in her endurance career. I am convinced a diet with balanced protein, fibre, salt and minerals is a major contribution to her fantastic health.
Tracy Broadbent, Central Coast NSW
My horses look and FEEL so much better! I like brushing them with my hand, cause they feel nice and soft and sleek, LOL. I've seen friends with horses as shiny, but they're rugged or under lights, they're pumped so full of rich feed, its bad for their feet and not to mention it costs a fortune! What I love is that my horses' diet is economical and there is no rich/sweet feeds.
I can certainly now understand why the minerals need to be in the correct balance and ratios. She has since foaled a colt and I am delighted with the result, he is just wonderful and more than i could have asked for. Even through lactating my mare is still looking amazing and holding her condition extremly well. I am so rapt with the diet that I have since got Carol to do one for my endurance horse. The changes coming out in him are really fantastic, I look forward to next season when we will be back in competition with a horse in optimum health.
The day in June was overcast but still.. she wasn't 'glowing' and looking as radiant. I recommend Carol to everyone I talk to with horses as I couldn't be happier.
Nicole Cameron, Queenland
My boy had mucky eyes (both) for over 18 months. Vet had been out and flushed his tear ducts etc. but the 'gunkiness' would return.I would have to bathe his eyes every day or two. After less than 4 weeks on Carol Layton's mineral balanced diet his eyes have cleared completely and remain crystal clear to this day (6 months now). I figure his immune system must be far better equipped these days now that his minerals are properly balanced. It is also worth noting that I did have him on *** Pellets (Vit/Min supplement) before Carol balanced his diet. At one stage I ran out of pellets (supplier sent the wrong type) for a week or so, and in that time his eyes deteriorated. When he resumed the pellets his eyes improved noticably, however they were never completely clear. It was only when the minerals were correctly balanced by Carol that the problem disappeared completely.
Their coats really are shiny even though they are all woolly bears at the moment. In the flesh, the changes in Gideon's feet are very obvious. You can see a definite line of demarkation on all four feet, and you can also feel a slight ridge when you run your hand down the hoof wall. This is the one I find most interesting, because if you remember, Gideon was the one horse who had been on continuous (expensive) vit & mineral supplements for over 18 months. It just seems to reinforce that unless it is balanced, it's useless.
Kelly Crombie, Metung Victoria
I discovered Carol Layton through a book [Natural Horse Care The Right Way by Dr Ann Nyland] I read in the summer of 2009. I doubt very much without this book I would have ever found her but I can honestly say I am sure glad I did. Although the idea of a custom diet seemed overwhelming to me at first and even expensive it only made sense that one must analyse what your horses are eating to know what they may be missing and supplement accordingly. Carol immediately made me feel this was possible and that overwhelming feeling was reduced to a firm knowledge that I was doing the right thing for my horses and Carol was helping make it possible.
I would be lost without her knowledge and insight into the nutritional care of our friends of the equine world and cannot express enough gratitude in regards to how patient and understanding Carol has been and continues to be. She is always willing to answer my questions and has made herself available even well after the diets were implemented. Additionally, I am quite pleased with how my horses are beginning to look. Specifically, thanks to the much needed copper in my gelding’s diet, his coat has never looked so rich even in the harsh months of intense sunlight in my area of the U.S.
Thanks Carol for all you have done to help make the transition from commercial feed products to feeding my horses more nutritionally sound and closer to what nature intended.
Nicole L. Womack, Dothan Alabama U.S.A
We offer rehab agistment, so I deal a lot with horses that have ‘issues’, either behavioural or physical. I had done a lot of research myself into equine diet. I thought I was pretty up to date, but I still had niggling problems with skin condition, maintaining topline in the older horses, and muscle tightness in the younger ones. Also many of the horses here were overweight and I couldn’t shift it. Every few months I seemed to be trying something new. Carol’s diet incorporated many of the ideas that I thought I was doing, but she showed me how what I was feeding was not balanced. I can now feed confidently, knowing that the mineral mix is perfect for our pasture. Best of all, my feed bill has been cut by two thirds. Carol’s consult paid itself back in just one week.Most horse people think they already know what is best to feed their horses. Even if your horse looks good and is going well, Carol at Balanced Equine might be able to suggest a way that reduces waste and is cheaper. If you can have your horse looking as good or better at half the price, it's definitely worth a try.
We fed this older TB all the 'good' brand-name feeds. He was costing close to $70 a week to feed and I was embarrassed about the way he looked. I kept his rug on to hide him from my friends and neighbours. I was starting to wonder if he had cancer. After six months on a Balanced Equine diet he now costs us $25 a week in work, and I'm so proud of the way he looks. His health has improved overall, hoof quality, soundness, as well as temperament and attitude. We couldn't be happier.
Alyssa Brugman, Hunter Valley NSW
For the past few years I have been struggling with my 13hh riding pony, Clemy. A very nervous and highly strung pony, difficult to manage and ride at times. After a 6 month spell to refresh his mind he came back very much the same and incredibly underweight. We had a lot of trouble getting the weight back on and having him working well under saddle.
My friend had contacted Carol regarding her show pony and the results were amazing, she was so happy. So I immediately contacted Carol myself and not long after we had Clemy on his special diet formulated just for his needs. The transformation is amazing. He has since stacked on the weight and is working the best he has ever worked before, his movement is extravagant!!! He is also much quieter making him easier to handle and ride, but still keeping his natural flair and character, essential for the show ring!
I would definitely recommend Carol to anyone and everyone. Her dedication and commitment to the individual horses needs and their progress is overwhelming. Always seeing how we're going and always happy to answer the thousands of questions I keep coming up with. So thank you Carol for your continuing hard work and interest in my wonderful pony.
Priya Mason, Duffys Forest NSW
Raheim was the older horse who l was mainly targeting to improve condition as he'd just come into my care (he was/is my sister in law's horse) so l wanted her to know and see l was making every effort to look after him and improve his health and wellbeing. Needless to say, we are both very impressed (gives me goosebumps looking at the photos) at the results, 10 weeks into his new feed regime. Another interesting fact is that he hasn't had diarrhoea since his new diet so l'm rapt about that too.
You have been fantastic with the amount of information and guidance you have provided me over the last 3 months and l can confidently say l would recommend you.
Kylie Wendell, Queensland
I can unreservedly recommend Carol Layton's feed and mineral balancing service to any horse owner who really wants to optimise their horses' health and performance.
I have seen an amazing improvement in the general health, athletic performance and hoof health of my endurance horses since following Carol’s balanced feed plan.
At the Toongabbie endurance ride in April 09, the head vet Vic Stockil stated that there were two ‘stand out horses’ entered and one of them was my mare Promise. She had been on the balanced program for only a few weeks by that stage but the change in her was amazing. She went on to win her division and was awarded BC for the 100 km event.
The other area I have noticed a huge improvement is in hoof health. During winter my horses would suffer terrible thrush in their feet, despite my best efforts with daily hoofcare and anti thrush treatments. Now that I am supplying copper and zinc in adequate balanced amounts, there is no thrush at all despite wet, muddy conditions! Without Carol's expertise I would have been struggling to find the correct amounts to feed – and probably spending way too much money on wasted supplements and expensive feeds.
Carol has simplified the feeding process and optimised the benefits to my horses – and saved me money as well.
Jenny Moncur, Gippsland Victoria
Anyway, whatever it is it's great and I'm so happy. The cost of this diet compared to a prepackaged feed is much less. We are getting great results, calm yet responsive horses for a fraction of the cost of some performance feeds.
Karen Dickson, Queensland
Thank you very much for your detailed report. I have read it twice and I know I will continue to use it as a valuable reference. There is so much contradictory advice out there in horseyland, it is difficult for a person like me with limited knowledge and scientific understanding, to disseminate the information and make sound diet choices. Your report has answered many questions for me and provided clarity in my approach to Othello's diet, who being a Thoroughbred and not a hardy stock or quarter horse - is reliant upon correct nutrition to keep him sound.
Judi Vickerman, Mudgeeraba Queensland
I'd consulted nutritionists and even computer generated diet programs but they still didn't give me the accurate vitamin and mineral amounts or ratios relevant to my pasture & hay supplies.
I buried my head in the sand until 'meeting' Carol Layton via a cyber forum and discovering that she could analyse my horses' entire daily intake, advise on how to correct it and possibly save me money into the bargain. All this for only a small fee.
My two horses each have metabolic problems but within about 6 weeks, their form and physical appearance began to improve to the extent where the last 6 starts have produced 3 x 2nds, a 3rd and a 4th with an unplaced run on an unsuitably boggy track. I'm super impressed, to say the least and look forward to helping these horses reach their full potential.
Gay Harbord, Victoria
Thanks so much for helping me to get our horses on to a truly balanced diet. It was great to get our pasture tested so we know what the horses are getting out of our paddocks before we even feed them. All of the horses are in great condition and maintaining throughout winter. My endurance pony is completing 80 km rides and maintaining condition, whereas before it would take a couple of weeks to get him back to where he was before the ride. The feed is obviously giving him plenty of energy without any fizz, and until now had never even considered feeding oats. He is looking great and going great.
Our pregnant mare is also blooming, in wonderful condition, and has a great shiny coat. I have truly benefited from your expertise and appreciate the interest you have shown in our horses. I have nutrition books at home, but upon reading them came away more confused than ever. I just wanted someone that would put a diet together for me that would encourage the horses ongoing good health, I have found that in you. I know others have said the same thing, but your diets are practical, budget conscious, and allow me to feed with confidence. Thanks again, I will keep telling people of your service.
Chris & Natalie McIntyre, Queensland
We have had our three horses on Carol's suggested diet for a few months now and all their colours have deepened and have a lovely sheen, sometimes even a gloss ;)
Our buckskin, Maisey in particular is lovely and dappled and a gorgeous golden colour, she shines in the sun and the shine really defines her muscles beautifully when she is moving.
We are very happy with the diet and it's pretty easy to do.
Karen D, Samford Valley Queensland
Summer and I also got through our 80 km endurance ride 3 weeks ago and she just went bloody super - best she has gone! No joke, there were 10 hills in the 80km ride at Pyengana and they were as steep as you could get them. Summer cruised through the ride like a professional, had ever lasting energy through out the whole ride - she even started pulling my arms out at the 70 km mark instead of tiring out. I have never been so pleased with her performance and recovery. At the last vet check she looked like she had not even done a ride. She was not tucked up like she normally gets (she normally tucks up really bad), she pulled my arms out in the trot out still, we did the ride in 7 hours and this was out first 80km of the year and she was cruising past seasoned horses - just amazing, can not thank you enough for the diets, all your advice and help through out this year.
It is not just performance horses who you notice a difference in though, my young 2 year old looks fantastic also and her hooves look the best they have looked yet since her bad hoof days 6 months ago.
Danielle Coleman, Tasmania
We don't do anything fancy with our 8 horses. We are just a family who loves to pack up the bunch and take them riding in the Victorian High Country, or simply trail/ bush riding closer to home. Many of the list members have shaped our horse husbandry practices, whether it be trimming, bitting (or lack of), saddling, drenching or feeding. There is always so much more to learn, and it certainly seems like this forum, with its collective experience and intellect, is an excellent starting point. [Forum = Myth Busters Natural Horse Care]
Now, I must make special mention of Carol Layton. I know you all probably already know how wonderful she is, but I just wanted to reiterate what a brilliant service she is providing. Carol has balanced the diets of all our horses with excellent results, however we have recently acquired a very sick little `rescue' foal who was orphaned at 8 weeks of age and rescued by us 4 weeks ago at 5 months of age. Carol's dedication, care and attention in formulating his diet is second to none. She offers the sort of `old fashioned' service that most of us have forgotten existed, and for any younger list owners, probably never knew existed. The time that Carol spends both on this list and others, as well as privately, sharing her knowledge, is certainly very much appreciated.
Judy Hindmarsh, Landsborough Queensland
I am now looking forward to riding her again and her having a healthy happy life. She has been so tolerant through all this.
Once again - without your help I think i would have lost my lovely mare. You were very kind to help me out.
Kylie Reeves, Queensland
Carol Layton B.Sc, M.Ed