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Equestrian Alice Hirst – GastroAID Digestive saved my Eventer

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Kelato - Alica and Mighty William - showjumping

Alica and Mighty William

She’s only 22 but talented Tasmanian rider Alice Hirst knows all too well the highs and lows of the sport of Eventing.

With her bold as brass thoroughbred Mighty William, the pair have celebrated huge success at the elite level in the junior ranks, while also enduring their fair share of moments when things haven’t gone to plan, one of those moments landing Alice in hospital for shoulder surgery.

By far the biggest challenge she’s faced though has been finding a treatment that would work to eliminate the gastric ulcers that plagued Will for the first year of their partnership, leaving Alice at her wits end.

What made you think Will had gastric ulcers?

I got Will in 2012 and had problems almost right from the beginning. He was a textbook ulcer case - really stressed out, nippy. He was really girthy and no matter how much we fed him we couldn’t keep weight on him.

How did it affect his performance?

Competitions became almost impossible because he wouldn’t eat and he’d get so tense, then just explode in the dressage arena. It all came to a head in 2013, over the period of a few months we’d travelled from Tasmania to Sydney for the 3DE, then all the way home then back across the Strait for the Melbourne 3DE. It really took its toll on Will and he wasn’t eating. We just didn’t know what to do.

What treatments did you try?

Oh, you name it! Powders that he refused to eat, pastes that he would spit out. Most of them were expensive, and others were just difficult because you had to give them multiple times a day. At the same time, we had his saddle re-fitted and got him a soft girth to try and make him more comfortable. Nothing made a difference.

How did you come across GastroAID Digestive?

There was a Kelato representative at the Melbourne 3DE who we spoke to about Will and she suggested we try the GastroAID. We had nothing to lose but to be honest I didn’t have high hopes. We started him on it straight away and honestly within two weeks we saw a huge difference.

Kelato - Alica and Mighty William - trot up

Alica and Mighty William

What changes did you see?

Well he was eating and keeping the weight on. I could do up his girth without him trying to lie down and he actually started coming up to me in the paddock rather than running away. It was like he turned into a normal horse!

Was it easy to administer?

I was actually a bit skeptical because it’s a powder and I hadn’t had any success with the other ones I’d tried and Will is without a doubt the fussiest horse on the face of the Earth but he just ate it up with no problem.

How successful has GastroAID been for Will?

I still find it hard to believe how easy it was after a whole year of trying and failing to fix the problem. The GastroAID just worked and we went from coming last after the dressage to being at the top of the leaderboard in the first two events after we started the treatment. But even better, I had a horse who was happy, healthy, so rideable and was enjoying going out competing.

Would you recommend GastroAID?

Definitely! It changed everything for us. We really were at the point of having no idea what to do for Will and I feel like the GastroAID saved us. It was easy and it worked when nothing else did. I’m so relieved we found it.

 

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