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Stella Whyte

Maisie is a 14.2hh, 6-year-old Gypsy cob mare who was rescued from what can be best described as 'benign neglect' by her current owner just before Christmas 2009. Lack of knowledge by her former owner about the nutritional needs a mare in foal, and while feeding the big foal that resulted, had left Maisie considerably underweight (360kg on the weightape) and infested with lice. Maisie came to me on loan at the beginning of February 2010, a month after her foal had been weaned, for lots of TLC and to be fed back up and brought back into ridden work. Nicola Bryers, Simple System's distributor for Shropshire and North Wales, advised me on a daily feeding regime of 1kg purabeet and 2kg lucie nuts to help her gain weight and build muscle respectively, and Total Eclipse for her coat, feet and general well being. Together with unlimited access to hay and haylage, this twice-a-day nutritional programme has delivered a steady weight gain of >10kg a week and hair has regrown on the bald patches. In mid-March (5 weeks on), Maisie now weighs in at a healthier 414kg but probably needs to gain at least the same again to fill out her top line and hind quarters. I am a complete convert to forage-based feeding and Maisie, who took a few days convincing that corn was not going to be forthcoming, tucks into her breakfast and supper with considerable enthusiasm. The pictures show Maisie week 1 (left) and week 5 (right).