Cayleigh Triggol – named South Africa’s young rider of the year in 2016, 2017 and 2018 – has experienced huge positive changes in her horses’ overall condition after discovering Equine74 Gastric. Originally, it was her father Covett Triggol who came across Equine74 Gastric while in Europe. “My dad was campaigning in Europe for about two years ahead of the 2018 World Equestrian Games. At the time, he had a horse here in South Africa that really struggled with colic and ulcers,” Cayleigh explains. “In order to help her, she was on a very special feeding program and was predominantly given omeprazole to keep her going.”
“In Germany, where my dad´s friend Christian Dietz, founder of Equine 74 Gastric, is based we came across Equine74 Gastric. As feeding omeprazole-based supplements long-term is not necessarily healthy for the horses, we wanted to find an alternative. We tried Equine74 Gastric on my dad’s mare and it changed her completely: We were able to take her off omeprazole, she did not colic and her whole condition changed.”
The first factor that the horses struggle with: Adapting to the dryness.
As there was a demand in South Africa for a maintenance product for horses with gastric ulcers and reoccurring colic, Cayleigh and her family introduced Equine74 Gastric to the market. “In South Africa, colic is very common as there are a number of factors that challenge our horses here,” Cayleigh tells. “I think first and foremost, there are a lot of horses competing here that are imported from Europe. Our climate is obviously very different than what they have been used to. It is very hot and dry here, and in the winter months it gets very cold. I think that is the first factor that the horses struggle with: Adapting to the dryness. The second difference is the grass: It is a dry and a harder type of grass and some horses struggle with adapting to that. Furthermore, when there is a change in season here, it goes from very hot to very cold and the horses tend to not drink enough water then.”
In general, different stressful situations dispose horses to gastric issues. “The transportation of the horses from Europe to South Africa is very stressful for them: They fly and spend a month in quarantine, where they have to all of a sudden climatize and adapt to the different type of feed,” Cayleigh explains as an example. “I think a lot of horses that are very stressed and highly-strung struggle more, because they produce more gastric acid which makes them more prone to gastric ulcers.”
Prevention is better than cure
“I definitely believe that prevention is better than cure. As we work with animals who can’t speak to us, we have to try and understand what their behaviour tells us,” Cayleigh continues. “You might think your horse is just being naughty, resisting your leg or trying to bite when you do up the girth, but the underlying issue might be something you are not aware of. I think preventing problems is one of the core foundations of competing – and not only competing but for leisure riders too. Keeping your horses happy and healthy is really important.”
“We have an equestrian facility near Johannesburg. In total, we have 34 horses stabled here,” Cayleigh tells about the family’s operation. “Our horses are in different stages of their careers. My dad has six young stallions at home, as well as a few young mares that have just come in and that are in the beginning phase of their careers. Also, there is a fair amount of horses that are in proper competition, with some horses jumping in the 1.50m classes and World Cup qualifiers – so we have horses jumping on all levels at the moment.”
Every single horse on Equine74 Gastric as a maintenance product
“We have a big yard, so things area bound to happen. While varying in severances, we used to witness frequent colics. With Equine74 Gastric, this has changed. At our yard, we have every single horse on Equine74 Gastric as a maintenance product. They get fed Equine74 Gastric every morning and every night. Not only the horses that we know have stomach ulcers, but all of them get fed with Equine74 Gastric because we believe it works.”
“Obviously every horse has been different, so across the board I have seen varying results,” Cayleigh tells about the changes she has seen in her horses. “The horses have gotten better in their general condition; their coat has changed completely. With my best horse, I struggled to get her to gain weight and I tried everything. By adding Equine74 Gastric to her diet, she became a completely different horse. She has put on weight, I have been able to work her better because she has calmed down and because I have been able to work her better she has put on not only weight but muscle. It has helped her be calmer at shows. She is still quite a tense horse – obviously it is not going to take away her actual personality – but I have seen an improvement in her behaviour.
Equine74 Gastric balances the Ph levels in horses’ stomachs and their whole system
Because Equine74 Gastric balances the Ph levels in horses’ stomachs and their whole system, they are better able to absorb all the nutrients we are feeding them. You could be feeding you horses a great food, but if the Ph levels are out of balance, they can’t make good use of the nutrients you are feeding them. Equine74 Gastric has definitely helped in this regard too.”