And so to September, and probably my favourite month as the humidity starts to lessen giving us cooler air, and the grass pollens pretty much gone now. We still get lovely late-summer days but with the intense heat of summer fading, there are hints of autumn mists in the air as the daylight hours noticeably shorten – perfect trail-riding weather!
For our horses, September’s the month where their endocrine system reacts to the cooler days/longer nights by bringing on their autumn/winter coat in readiness for winter. The autumn coat change is a particular burden on both the kidneys and liver, with many horses tending to store lymph pads, their coat starting to look rough, some becoming itchy and often poor quality hooves.
If you watch a horse in nature, you'll see them enthusiastically head for nettles, the last of the green birch leaves, field horsetail, thistles and what’s left of the yarrow, many of these all supporting the natural function of the liver and kidneys to make the coat change a little easier. Hence why we have our LKL-CARE as a September Featured Product to support liver, kidneys and lymphatics. Also useful is our WildFed blend sprinkled over their hay, which adds beneficial nutrient diversity to their diet.
If you’re seeing clear early markers for kidney issues, e.g. poor coat quality, hoof horn problems such as thrush, abscesses or white line disease, or immunity issues, i.e. a tendency towards infections or poor wound healing, then this is definitely time to consider a full-body detox with our OptimaCARE programme.
As for us? We're already noticing changes in our Cushing’s pony, Cookie. She had a brilliant winter coat shed and the sleekest, smoothest summer coat I've seen on her in years, yet last week, barely out of August, her coat started thickening up almost overnight. So, if she's doing it, maybe other Cushing's-affected horses are doing it to. Hence, both our CushTonic blends - Mk.I & II - are also featured in our September's Featured Product selection (differences being Mk.I includes Ag.castus, Mk.II excludes Ag.Castus, reasons on the product pages).
As per our most recent Blog post I'm also really happy to see the rested pastures now bearing long, seeded, standing-hay grasses, full of fabulous fibre in those long stems. This standing-hay grass has now pushed all its nutrients into the seed in readiness to re-seed itself, which means the plant itself has now lost a fair amount of its nutritional value. Great news for our metabolic horses, hence why I'm always happy to see it for our three metabolics, but not so great for our poor-doers, i.e. our TB, Carmen – just as she gets some decent weight on her from the summer forage, the last thing I want to happen now is for her to drop it as we head into autumn.
I keep my herd permanently on 24/7 hay as well as their pasture - they actually prefer their hay to the grass! - but now they're virtually ignoring the grass and mugging me for their daily hay. So, I'm now upping the micronised linseed measure into their feedbowls to compensate for the loss in omega-3 rations from their pasture and hay. As a result, our micronised Linseed is also in September's Featured Products.
So there we have it - one month away before MacAttack's sweet itch rug hopefully comes off, alongside cooler temperatures, shorter days, and less nutritional value in our grass. October's all about getting our horses ready for winter, so it'll be detox time and lung-toning.
Till then, happy September 😉