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Mareile Bowditch

When I first bought my Clydesdale X Appaloosa Nikolaus he was 4, very docile and friendly. I tried him in very hot weather in early summer. Once I had him home he started to change, got very bargy and later downright dangerous - more in the air than on the ground. At one point my riding instructor wanted him off the yard because he was so bad. He also started to scratch himself bloody. After several vets visits we did a blood test and found severe allergies to: maize/corn, certain pollen, moulds and midges. He also has scurvy patches in the bend of his knees on both fores. The skin gets very rough and scabby. Over the last three years I tried all kinds of different feeds, including things that were safe for laminitics and horses with cereal and sugar intolerances as I thought maybe too much sugar might make him fizzy. Only to find out that even so called 'lite' products are often coated with molasses! Most feeds also contain mould inhibitors and preservatives. I grew up in Germany and believe in pure foods - organic if possible. And I have also seen the problems artificial additives and sugars can cause in children's diets - cases of ADHD and hyperactivity can sometimes be supported by cutting down on those. So I thought maybe it's the same for horses? With patient training (lots of help from Kelly Marks' books - excellent) he got better behaved, but remained very spooky and fizzy - not good in a heavy horse - so much damage potential. And he was just not quite happy in his skin. I injected a monthly course of desensitization serum for a year to help him settle and he had to be in sweet itch rugs constantly from February to November to protect him from the midges. A fortune in vets fees, expensive feeds and supplements (did I mention that his feet were falling apart?) and very expensive sweet itch rugs (worse one was £190 and didn't last two weeks, shredded to pieces on rough ground) Best sweet itch rugs for him are £180 and last two seasons (plus the cost of occasional repairs). At the worst times he cost me £400/month (all inclusive - vet, livery, farrier, feeds, insurance..etc, pp...) Then - two months ago - I found Simple System through Karen Ruggles. I use her Oil and Shampoo System to help his skin and repel insects and he's out 24/7 with just a normal fly rug - much happier - and the scurvy skin at the knees is softening, showing good skin underneath now! But the most important change in his life was the feed: he's on Lucie Nuts, Total Eclipse and Garlic (btw: can't you please make a mix of those two?). Everybody on our yard has commented on how much more relaxed Nikolaus is and how well he looks. When we hack out now he is forward going, interested, ears pricked up, quick step, full of energy...BUT without spooking, hyperactivity, wonderfully controllable and willing to cooperate. We had the vet for annual checks last week and he has seen an immense difference in Nikolaus. He took one look at Nikolaus' condition and the 'messy muzzle' and instantly recognised Simple System feed! Said that he has clients that had very good results with this feed with lots of different horses. I have now two other people trying my feed on their horses. All costs are cut down dramatically to £200/month (all inclusive ). The second photo shows Nikolaus when I bought him and the first and third ones are what he looks like now (last one with my 15 year old daughter riding him - no problem at all).