Challenge of keeping horses

Our family have had horses on this property for fifteen years. We never had any problems with rye grass (pictured Right) until about ten years ago when the children started on larger horses and the small pony paddocks weren’t big enough. It was then, on the larger farm paddocks that had been sown down with rye and clover, that we started to notice problems, with horses hair falling out and leaving itchy bald patches, misbehaviour and one of our horses had trouble putting on weight, no matter how much hard feed we fed him. All of our horses have had a different range of symptoms from rye grass staggers, nose bleeds, anxiety and sensitivity to the touch. None of the horses had all of the same symptoms, which in the long run, has made it harder and longer to work out what our problem has been.
We had one horse in particular, a mare in foal, that came to stay for a few months in springtime when the grass was growing at its best. We noticed her hair was falling out and leaving large, bare, itchy patches. We rang the owner and she took the horse home and she has never had any trouble again. We thought then that it was due to the grass but we weren’t sure what grass was causing the problem and why it was.
After these numerous problems, and one particularly bad case of rye grass staggers, we asked around the area to see if anyone else had been having trouble and one of our friends suggested we try the Gotcha Equine feed plan. After talking to Lucy she emailed the detailed feed plan to try with the worst affected horse. After a month or so we started to notice his behaviour had improved dramatically, but it took a good six months for him to improve to the point where we could once again take him out to lessons.
Since this horses improvement, we decide to try our other horses with the On Grass Vit & Min (mulit vitamin supplement) and we also use DeTox (toxin binder) during the spring/early summer and autumn months, when grass is at its worst.
A couple of years ago, we got Max, an aged Thoughbred. He was to be my confidence booster to get back into riding. Within a couple of months I noticed a lump had formed in his throat and his hind legs had started to look quite weak. We started him on Vit & Min and DeTox until summer had dried off the grass. When the green grass in autumn started coming through, I noticed that his tongue had started to hang out of his mouth. I got the dentist to come and do his teeth. This did not solve the problem.
I then rang Lucy and talked to her, she recommended
we put him back on the DeTox. 
He has improved enough to take out and ride again, but occasionally his tongue will still stick out a little bit (see pics).

All of our horses have set us a different challenge. It takes time to know what will work for each individual horse. For example, one of our horses is almost permanently off grass, only getting a few hours of grass a day depending on the time of year. Being hard fed and given lots of non rye grass hay, plus a reduced dose (dry grass rate) of the On Grass Vit & Min. Where as  the other horses are coping on grass full time in paddocks with less rye grass plus the higher dose rates of
‘On Grass Vit & Min’ and DeTox.
Julie Nicoll - Fish Creek, Victoria
Bennison Adult Riders

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