As Holistic as possible.
From feed to living conditions, hoof care to training, our goal for everything we do with our horses is to keep it natural and holistic as is possible.
We feed based on proven principles of equine digestion. We base our horses’ diets on forage, first. This means 24/7 access to grass or hay. The equine gut is meant to always be working, and large, incremental meals cause a build up of stomach acid that can cause digestive issues over time.
Next, we add in the availability of free choice minerals, through the use of dynamite Free Choices 2:1 Calcium-Magnesium and Redmond Rock trace mineral salt.
For horses that need more, we then add a ration of ThriveFeed. Thrive is a high-heat extruded, forage based pellet which is basically a super-charged prebiotic. Its main ingredients are organic alfalfa meal, timothy meal, and kelp, which not only are high in protein, but they are also low in starch and high in digestibility. Through the extrusion process, the molecular structure is changed, too, making the absorbable surface much larger and more readily available. Add in diatomaceous earth, which acts as a deworming and detoxing agent, and live probiotics as well, and this feed repairs the gut, and supports horses with normal digestion and metabolic issues alike.
Finally, we fine-tune. For our performance horse string, we add fats, vitamins and minerals based on individual needs. Our “go-to” nutrition bible is “How to Feed Your Horse Like a Horse” by Dr. Juliet Getty, and we’re happy to talk it over with you for your horses if you’re interested.
We’ve all heard the expression “No Hoof, No Horse”. Here at LilliCrest Farm, we’re not opposed to shoes, but we don’t feel they’re a necessity in most situations. Fran is trained as a barefoot trimmer and works hard to trim each horse with regard to their biomechanical needs, with a focus on a hoof individually balanced to the horse, not to a “numerical standard”. We use casting wrap and boots to support the transition process for a horse who has been shod or struggles with hoof integrity like thin soles or underdeveloped
Natural horsemanship is not a dirty phrase! We believe that the use of equine psychology, and an understanding of prey-animal motivations and behaviors throughout the process of foundational training is the key to a successful partnership, no matter what your goals are. Fran used to be licensed as a Parelli Professional, so much of her education is seated in that philosophy, but she has also studied the work of Buck Brannaman, as well as classical dressage, and is educated in training jumping horses as well. Good training, no matter the discipline, is rooted in common principles, and we work hard to follow those principles as we ride and train; putting the horse’s needs first, and building on their natural abilities and expanding their capacity for emotional fitness at a speed that is comfortable for them.
Our Horse Care Philosophy-