21 Mar Managing Competitive FEI Horses at Winter Equestrian Festival
Barn Manager and Groom Extraordinaire Margo Thomas Talks Enviro Equine and Its Many Uses at Sharn Wordley Equestrian
With 18 horses in her care, Margo Thomas serves as the point person for Olympic show jumper Sharn Wordley’s extensive roster of equine athletes, managing their daily exercise and feeding regimens with fine-tuned structure. Currently located in Wellington, Fla. while Wordley and his string compete at the infamous Winter Equestrian Festival, Thomas oversees horses all the way up through the FEI level of competition. Placing the utmost importance on the horses’ health and fitness, Thomas relies on Enviro Equine’s GastroBalance PLUS, ElectroBalance and OmegaBalance to keep Wordley’s high-level horses in peak physical condition and feeling their best.
At any given time this season, Thomas has been charged with four to seven FEI horses to tend to depending upon the sales of the horses. With three horses recently sold, it is clear that the impressive show ring performances of Wordley’s mounts have attracted the attention of top-level purchasers. To reach the elite status of the sport and garner respectable sales prices, each horse partakes in a carefully-tailored system under Thomas’ watchful eye to ensure proper health and training, while also keeping the horses’ happiness and comfort of prime importance.
“Typically our horses aqua-tred three to five times per week, and they exercise on the treadmill every day. All of the top horses get a lot of turnout, a couple hours a day if we can,” said Thomas. “Of course they all get ridden for at least an hour a day, and typically Sharn will do some small jumps and gymnastics exercises with the FEI horses in the week before they go to FEI competition. We’ll do a big jump school a few days before they jog. We typically try to make sure our horses get out of their stall four to five times per day and are constantly exercising so they are not cooped up all day. We really value them being outside of their boxes as much as we can.”
Though training and physical fitness serve as two major cornerstones of the equestrian sport, so too do gastrointestinal health and skin and coat quality in horses ranging from trail ponies to premier performance athletes, a concept Thomas understands well.
“I feel like we maintain pretty good vet health in my barn, and we haven’t had any ulcer or colic issues at all, so I think that the GastroBalance PLUS is definitely helping with the acid production in their stomachs. Physically, they are all staying in good weight and they’re very shiny and healthy!” noted Thomas.
Frequent doses of the trifecta of ElectroBalance, OmegaBalance and GastroBalance PLUS keep Thomas’ charges both looking and feeling their best, with results obvious from the inside out.
“I have seen a difference in their overall health and their coat quality. All of my horses are shiny and beautiful to the point where I’m getting compliments from other FEI-level grooms on how good they look! They ask me what product I am using to make them look so good,” commented Thomas.
Prior to competition, Thomas mainly sticks to each horse’s usual regimen, but does boost a few of the Enviro Equine products to ensure that the animals are perfectly primed and ready for the increased workload.
“I make sure that they are still getting their balanced diets, and I try to make sure that everything is consistent, more so than adding anything in particular. I increase their ElectroBalance and some of the OmegaBalance they get in their grain,” commented Thomas.
Additionally, Wordley’s farm subscribes to the regimen that the horses should be able to consistently eat throughout the day instead of only at set feeding times, allowing for the horse’s gastrointestinal tract to more closely act in the natural way it was built, a practice for which Enviro Equine is an advocate.
“I like to keep them entertained and keep their stomach going, so they do get a little bit more hay. Part of our program, as far as nutrition goes, is hay nets for all of the horses,” said Thomas. “That way we can make sure throughout the day that they are getting hay 24 hours per day instead of just a few times a day, which I think helps make sure they are getting enough hay so that they don’t have any acid build up in their stomachs.”
Implementing a steady usage of three of Enviro Equine’s most favored products, Wordley’s farm is a prime example of how to build and maintain health and fitness in an equine athlete performing on a global scale. With accolades accrued in competitions across the world and horse health as a tenet of the program, it is clear that this high-level team has cracked the code to give each horse the best chance at success.