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  • Writer's pictureJanine

FeedingMaster: this invention is worth its weight in gold!

We have received the following extensive review from Nienke de Jong, for which we would like to thank you very much. Nienke and her ponies have been using the FeedingMaster for two months now.

April 2021, Review FeedingMaster by Nienke de Jong

Two months ago I purchased two FeedingMaster hay machines. This involved a lot of thought and information, and I explain why below: I have three ponies; 2 Icelanders and 1 miniature horse. It was always a challenge to provide enough food so that they did not stand on an empty stomach for too long, and at the same time ensure that they did not become too fat.

My mare has actually caused me a lot of worry since I purchased it; an impossible combination of factors turned feeding into a higher art. On the one hand, she quickly became overweight, on the other hand, the 'fasting periods' between feedings led to stomach complaints, and she resolved her 'need to eat' by looking for edibles in the sand, which caused her to develop sand colic and was admitted to the clinic twice.

Unlimited feeding of hay made it too fat, in addition I fed threshed hay, but this is highly processed and produced poorer manure, barley straw was well tolerated but made the belly bulging and visibly unpleasant and also coarser manure. Every slow feeder has been tested here, I ended up using nets with a 2 x 2 mesh and was constantly worried about what I would find her when I came to feed. This meant that I sometimes had to leave meetings, dinners or other outings early to accelerate to the stable for feeding.

She was now retired almost full-time; her abdomen was often painful, she could not place her hindquarters properly and her back arched. So I didn't want to burden her. People often joked by asking if she was pregnant. But it was very sad. She was often slow, had a 'pain face' (painful expression on the face), often suffered from gas, yawned a lot, very bad mood, terribly fussy about eating and even aggressive at times.

I have spent literally thousands of euros on tests, medications, supplements, and although there was sometimes relief... the complaints often quickly returned. It has been suggested to me several times that I should consider saying goodbye to her. To be honest, it made me sad to see such a beautiful horse struggling with her health and would certainly have let her go out of compassion if things did not improve.

On the other hand, I had a gelding who got fat as hell from looking at food. Always feed analyzed batches, and often additional weeks to remove sugars. And also doing MANY, MANY miles. But even thousands of kilometers away, he remained a rollmops. That also caused additional metabolic complications: hooves and skin. The only fairly problem-free resident in the stable is my miniature horse. Never too thin, never too fat, no digestive problems and always cheerful.

Anyway, how do you keep such a mixed bag nutritionally healthy? And how can I achieve that with a device? I had a thousand questions, and I asked Jan and one of his customers who had been using more than a handful of these devices for a year. It took 3 phone calls and then I made the decision.

Less than a week later I had installed the bins, and now it's two months later and I wouldn't know what to do without the FeedingMaster.

During the day the horses walk together and eat from each other's troughs. At night they are kept separate, each with their own box.

So much has changed. Both have lost some excess weight. What is really striking, however, is what their bellies look like; quiet, smooth, not bloated, little gas. Both are happier, and there are no more arguments around dinner. They are also calm because they know there will always be food, so they just sleep, play or cuddle and don't stand near the device all the time.

The manure is beautiful, really well chewed and digested hay... no coarse pieces in the manure. It also seems that nutrients are better absorbed, because they look better in terms of shine and appearance. Also striking is the relaxed face, no more tension around feeding moments... after all, there is always food. My mare has started working again since last week because she is bursting with energy. When I see her tearing away, she puts her hind legs really well under and arches her back effortlessly. I can't stop looking at that. My miniature horse has been given a step stool and eats effortlessly with his larger friends. My gelding has clearly lost weight and looks fresher.

All those years I was willing to feed many times a day, not to go on holiday when it didn't feel good, to always prepare slops of probiotics, oil, and the craziest things so that everything kept running. Now they thrive on good hay and a good vitamin pellet.

And let's be honest: I sleep better, I can now go to the stable when it suits me, and I no longer arrive there with a knot in my stomach. What peace!

I am very grateful to Jan and Janine for creating something that can really take horse welfare to the next level. The veterinarians at the UU, who fortunately came for something innocent this time, were also pleasantly surprised by this device and saw that it really did good for my horses. Many friends are now also considering switching to the FeedingMaster.

The amount of horses with digestive problems (stomach and intestines), metabolic problems, esophageal problems, but also mental problems due to not being able to meet their grazing needs is alarming. How many animals could be helped by this? The purchase price versus welfare, but also the stress and veterinary costs it saves, makes it well worth it.

It's that there is no Nobel Prize for horse inventions, otherwise I would have nominated Jan! Haha!


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