Daff's New Diet

By Rhoni from Horseward

Back in early 2018, while we were working on the launch of the Horseward website, I had a message from Judith Evans from Auchmillan Arabians about her daughter Kate Jones’ dressage horse Daphne III (Daff to her friends):
This mare of Kate’s is a nightmare to feed - so bl fussy - won't eat damp/wet/soaked feed and is allergic to all sorts - alfalfa, barley, linseed, wheat, ryegrass, meadow fescue - the only thing I can get her to eat easily are OATS! so a balancer of some kind would be great. I managed to get a single grass species of nuts but she's become fussy about those!!! She's a huge horse,
18hh, and looks like a racing ferret!!!” 

 Daff Racing Ferret

An 18 hand racing ferret, there’s a challenge!


Judith was getting very frustrated being told on commercial feed company helplines that she was barking up the wrong tree, and to try yet another processed concoction, even though as a breeder with decades of experience she knew that food allergies were the problem: “She had awful reactions of blistering hives and couldn’t stop scratching and making herself red raw”.
After a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing was able to supply Judith with a clean ration balancer that would provide Daff with her requisite vits and mins and balance out the quantity of oats she was eating. We also discussed a feeding programme that would reduce the amount of starch she was getting in each feed, by dividing her hard feeds into four rather than two meals a day. I created a very low input, calorie-dense conditioning mix to add diversity and interest to her ration. It comprised wholefood ingredients, minimally processed, and nothing she had demonstrated a sensitivity to. However, none of this would be much good if the fussy mare wouldn’t eat it! so it was designed with palatability very much to the forefront.


All of a sudden her huge potential could start to be unlocked. She blossomed. Her focus improved and she started to demonstrate so much more controllable energy and power. At eight, she was just coming into her prime, judiciously and sympathetically produced to be a magnificent competitor with the promise of a long and lustrous career in front of her. 

Daff June 2018

 Judith and Kate were sufficiently impressed to transition the entire yard, from broodmares and youngstock to competition dressage horses and liveries, onto a clean, minimally processed diet. It’s amazing how many niggling problems evaporate when you do that! And when an issue arises, Judith gets in touch and I formulate special supplements for any that have special needs. It’s apparent when you have your horse on a clean diet how you can see subtle differences very quickly, and how peaceful and relaxed your yard becomes. More of that in another blog post – coming soon*.

So, back to Daff… she was out competing regularly, looking wonderful and getting her best ever scores.



And then, as horses do ... she did a ligament in the field. Verdict was a year off. Argh, quite frankly 😱

However, Judith Evans has a secret weapon at home, her HOYS winning Arab stallion Toman.

Toman HOYS

TOMAN - the secret weapon

He’s one of those Arabs who has size, substance and movement combined in a beautiful package, with a temperament to match. He’s the sort of Arab who people who don’t like Arabs say “he’s a proper horse”.   

Toman Jump

Toman Trot

He’s doing very well in retirement and I’m proud to say he is also a “Horseward horse”, kept in great order by Judith’s unstinting care and an anti-inflammatory, minimally processed diet. He’s helped along with Horseward's gut balancer, Yeasty Magic, and any stiffness is kept at bay with Golden Power Plus. At 21 he is looking as good as ever


He’s also got rocket fuel for semen, a single frozen straw got the maiden Daphne in foal. She came off all of her oats, of course, but stayed on her special Horseward balancer and conditioner, which we tweaked as her pregnancy progressed to make sure she was cooking baby properly. And this is the result!  

Daff and Foal

A spectacular filly foal, born on April 11th 2020, a perfect combination of sire and dam  - and already eating mum’s ration at three days old.

I asked Judith if Daff is less fussy with her feed now and the reply was, "she's got to be or the baby pinches it!"

Daff's filly has been named Acacia. I was pleased to be able to tell Judith that a variety of Acacia is used in some herbal traditions to heal - wait for it ... allergic hives! 

Daff Foal


It’s going to be a real treat to watch this young lady growing up. 


We offer a range of organic mimimally processed supplements in the Horseward webshop, such as Toman’s Golden Power Plus and Yeasty Magic. Some of the products we make for Judith are specially made for particular needs and circumstances. If your horse has specific problems that can’t be addressed with off the shelf products do please contact us at Horseward. I’ll help if I can and I’ll tell you if I can’t!

 Daff Foal Lie

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