Lauren Crooks is an accomplished international-caliber show jumper and trainer, having been surrounded by horses for all her life. As one half of the management team behind Crooks Show Jumping in Washington, Lauren has extensive knowledge and experience both in and out of the saddle, with her repertoire including riding, training, sales and care. As a contender in elite competitions around the globe, Lauren understands the paramount level of importance that horse health contributes to her career and is a newfound proponent of the iFEED automatic feeder both at home and on the road. After purchasing a new mare about a year and a half ago, Lauren quickly ran into health troubles with the horse, as multiple instances of colic kept her out of the showring and frequently in a state of diminished fitness.
“I purchased her as a 7-year-old to to be my next big time grand prix horse, and we had her for three months before her first colic surgery. She colicked again, both times from large colon inflammation which was believed to be caused by her inability to process large, stemmy feed, like hay. Basically, she can’t process any sort of foliage or her colon gets really irritated. At one point it was not looking good, as she was colicking every six days,” commented Lauren.
Enviro Equine & Pet and its partner iFEED share the sentiment that nature is best at determining how horses should eat. In order to bring that ideal to life, the two companies are making it simple and cost-effective to feed horses small portions dozens of times each day, mimicking the horse’s natural grazing habits. By automatically delivering feed and supplements up to 48 times, up to 15 portions each time, over the course of each day and night at pre-scheduled times, the patented iFEED automatic feeder allows a horse to practice grazing the way her gastrointestinal system intended. Horse owners can rest assured that their horses have constant access to feed whether inside or outside, thus reducing instances of intestinal distress, colic, ulcers or other disorders.
Seemingly running out of options after her mare colicked multiple times, Lauren was directed towards iFEED, and the results have been life-changing.
“After two colic surgeries, we were recommended to try the iFEED. We put her on it as somewhat of a last resort for an all-grain diet so that she gets fed constantly throughout the day and night, which is more naturally normal for horses. It’s actually been pretty incredible!” remarked Lauren. “It’s helped her intestinal comfort level to be able to have food that processes through her body without actually irritating it. Since she is constantly eating means she’s happy, and she now has a pretty normal lifestyle with a feed program that allows her to stay comfortable and healthy. The whole thing has made a world of difference.”
Not only a problem-solver for horses with gastrointestinal issues, iFEED is a wonderful way to increase fitness and health levels for horses, especially when the feeder is used with appropriate feeds and supplements.
“Her topline has totally changed, so I think she is getting all the nutrients she needs. She also has good energy and muscle tone, she’s almost fat right now. I actually just started a second horse on it per the recommendation of a few internal specialists because she has a strange bowel disease,” noted Lauren.
With many of iFEED’s users splitting their time between their home base and horse shows, installation in either location is a major factor in the useability of the product. Luckily, iFEED will professionally show you how to install the feeder, as well as how to program and transport it.
“The company was really helpful in installing the feeder and telling us how to use it. It’s nice because you can customize the program for the horse and you can fully manage the situation. We just took her to her first show as a test run to make sure it would work there, and we had it running at the show 24/7. It was really easy to move back and forth. To be able to take it to the show was really an important factor because obviously my horse is meant to be a high level competition horse, so it has to be able to go with her to places,” said Lauren.
Backed by independent research conducted at the Colorado State University, iFEED was shown to significantly reduce the severity and incidence of ulcers after 24 days of use when horses were fed their daily ration in small fractions as opposed to twice per day. Plus, barns that have iFEED installed report a 30% reduction in feed costs due to better feed digestibility. Using iFEED allows you to feed in a way that honors more closely the way your horse was designed to be fed.
If you want to give iFEED a try, a representative will help you install your automatic feeder system for a free four-week trial! For more information, please visit our iFeed product page.