Each day whether your horse goes to the track or not, it will have its front legs iced and all four legs will be rubbed down and/or poulticed and done up in standing bandages for their protection. All four feet are dressed in various topical aids and the horse is brushed vigorously. The results can be seen when your horse arrives in the saddling paddock on race day.
Grant will be in regular communication via phone, email and text messages letting you know how your horse is doing and to discuss future plans for your horse. Little things like a text message or email to let you know everything is going well mean a lot. Grant tries to be in constant contact with all of his owners.
Nutrition and Health
Nutrition is the key to horses’ health and the foundation of any training program. We continually monitor and adjust our feeding program to each individual horse’s needs which includes the best possible quality of Timothy hay and the best available straw and shavings. Our goal is to maximize energy conversion and performance, while at the same time ensuring a speedy, natural recovery from works and races.
The backbone of our feeding program is Hallway Race 13 and products from the Dynamite Specialty Products in Idaho. These products have been chosen because of their quality and focus on the overall health of our equine athletes. These and other companies we deal with take a holistic approach toward equine health that fits perfectly with the Team Forster philosophy. We feel that maximizing natural nutritional supports gives us a fundamentally healthier horse that is less susceptible to injury and disease.
Nowhere is this more apparent than our focus on eliminating pulmonary bleeding. We have been successful in not only eliminating most bleeding by our horses, we have taken horses that others had given up on and won races. While we still believe the use of Lasix can be helpful we have also won races with horses not on Lasix.
We have a multipronged approach to limiting bleeding starting with a number of nutritional supports in our feed program. There are ingredients that strengthen lung tissue and make them more pliable and therefore less susceptible to breaking. Other ingredients increase oxygen carrying ability thus decreasing overall stress. This also has the added benefit of helping stamina and muscle recovery.
Through our relationship with Clint Joiner of the Jiffy Steamer Company in Union City, TN, we are fortunate to have use of two Haygain (TM) Hay Steaming Systems as well as a prototype oat steamer that Clint and his folks have developed. By steaming all the hay and oats our horses eat we are able to greatly reduce allergens, increase palatability and digestibility. This has greatly reduced our instances of respiratory issues and gastrointestinal disorders. To that end, we also have a Flexineb nebulizer that we use on your horses as another significant aid to their respiratory health.
Veterinarian and Blacksmiths
While our feed and stable management program is aimed at insuring the healthiest horse possible, when we need a veterinarian we employ the best experts in their field. In Kentucky we use the Northrop Equine (www.northropequine.com) veterinary practice led by Dr. Foster Northrop, who is also a member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Dr. Northrop is one of the top lameness vets in North America.
The same is true for our blacksmiths. In Kentucky we are fortunate to retain the services of Todd Boston, regarded as one of the best in the country and indeed the world. Todd was the private blacksmith for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley and Godolphin Racing Stables where he was based in Dubai and France.
During the winter in New Orleans, we employed the Kentucky Equine Veterinary practice led by Dr. Kevin Dunlavy and Dr. Tyler Frazee. Our blacksmith, Skipper Shinn is regarded as a top craftsman in Louisiana. These folks don’t just work for us; they’re friends and proud Team Forster members who always are willing to go the extra mile for us. We believe in stopping and fixing small problems to avoid developing large ones. To accomplish this goal we employ several different people in the areas of massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and Magna-Wave Therapy. We pride ourselves in creating a happy and stress free environment for your horse so that it can reach its full potential.