From Endurance to Dressage
I can't say that I've ever found a supplement that actually did what it claimed. Most of the time I feed whatever it is in hopes that it's working, but I never actually see results. Izzy gets a daily scoop of a good quality vitamin/mineral supplement in an effort to improve his overall health and maybe prevent his coat from fading. He's healthy, but his coat still fades. He also gets a full cup of milled flaxseed to help his skin, but he still got eaten up by the gnats last year. Would things be worse without those products? I don't know. They're certainly not hurting him, but I can't tell if they're helping either.
In early January I started Izzy on GastroElm, a blend of Slippery Elm Bark, Milk Thistle, Marshmallow Root, and Dandelion Root. According to the manufacturer, it forms a smooth gel when mixed with water that coats and soothes the stomach and digestive tract to help the animal feel better almost immediately. After six weeks of use, I have to say that the product does exactly what it says it does. This is the first time that I've used a supplement where I can actually tell that it is working.
Within one or two days of beginning GastroElm, Izzy's tummy was clearly feeling better. He quit being sensitive to grooming, his poop piles began firming up, and he was a lot less grumpy. For the first three weeks, I syringed the first dose and top dressed his feed with a second dose. For the past three weeks, I've only top dressed his feed. There was one day where he was again sensitive to being groomed on his left flank and his poop got ploppy, so I both syringed and top dressed his feed that day. By the next day, he was back to normal.
Not only did the grooming sensitivity and ploppy poop go away, but his face is even more relaxed. After I give him his daily cookies, his eyelids droop as he licks my hand. For so long his face has had a bit of a worried expression on it. Even that has changed. He just looks more relaxed. His appetite is also more consistent. He has always had a tendency to eat a lot for a few days and then eat less for a few days. His appetite was just never very regular. That too has changed over the past month, and he has definitely put on weight. His girth is now one hole lower. I am looking forward to our spring vet visit so we can weigh him. At his heaviest, he clocked in at 1,350 pounds, The last few times he's been weighed, he was under that at around 1,275.
I am so convinced that the GastroElm has helped that I just ordered a six month supply. It's easy to feed - I add a tablespoon to a little plastic container, fill it with ½ cup of water, cover, and shake vigorously. I fill both boys' buckets with their beet pulp and other stuff, and by then, the gel has formed. It dumps out in one solid clump. Once I mix it in, Izzy gobbles everything up without leaving a trace. It's great to have found something that I can actually see working.
Expensive poop that isn't ploppy, is worth the price of admission.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: