Olympic eventer Will Coleman talks about steamed hay as one of the “little things that make a big difference.”
Kim F Miller, Equestrian Journalist
“Ensuring dust-free forage has been a turning point for us and for our horses.”Will Coleman
When it comes to equestrian sports, it is notoriously difficult to devise long-term competition strategies, because with a horse and an athlete involved in achieving goals, the variables double. “You focus on your short-term plans because that is what will lead you to your long-term goals,” explains U.S. team organizer Will Coleman, who has participated in the Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games.
For Will Coleman Equestrian, maintaining the health of the horse is the most important aspect of these short-term goals. That is why Will and his wife Katie have added Haygain to their horses’ daily routine, both at their stables in Florida and Virginia and at competitions in North America and overseas.
In Ocala, Florida, the Will Coleman Equestrian team is coming out of winter and early spring: “With the windy days of spring, we end up with a lot of pollen and dust blowing around.” A 60-minute steam purification cycle with Haygain removes these irritants and adds an appetite-boosting texture to the hay.
Will and Katie get most of their Timothy hay from a reliable source in tightly tied 50-pound bales. Before Haygain, they would thoroughly shake each bale to reduce dust and other particles and to check its quality. Now, before purification by steam they only give a gentle shake, followed by subsequent inspection that reveals “beautifully fragrant hay with a good smell.”
Will is a regular on USET’s high performance list, from the 2012 Olympics to last fall’s World Equestrian Games. With several top horses in top form, and more on the way, it looks like it can maintain these levels even after the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
“My horses performed remarkably well this year,” Will comments. “The variables are many, but certainly respiratory health plays a huge role. For the level at which we compete, success is nothing more than the result of all the little things you do to achieve your goals. Steamed hay is one of those little things that can make a big difference.”
With 20-25 horses in their program, Will Coleman Equestrian’s HG600 purifier is constantly running. “Haygain is a great system that is very easy for stable staff to use. The whole hay delivery process is efficient and quick.”
Horses with allergies benefited the most from steamed hay, Will notes. However, he is grateful to be able to feed all their horses. At the stable, the intermittent coughing has virtually disappeared and, he knows it is helping his horses get better and perform better. “This is great for any performance horse. They are under a lot of stress, and there is no doubt that they can run and function much better when they can breathe easily.”
Horse owners around the world are increasingly aware of respiratory disorders in horses, and how much they limit their performance. So they follow the Colemans’ example by adding steamed hay to their horse’s daily diet.
Haygain is committed to improving equine health through research and innovation in respiratory and digestive health. Developed by horsemen, for horsemen, Haygain understands the importance of clean forage in maintaining the horse’s well-being. Haygain steamers are recommended by world-renowned riders, trainers and veterinarians.
To learn more, click on the links below.