The Arena

Jackie Ganter

Vita Flex Welcomes Professional Barrel Racer Jackie Ganter to the Vita Flex Victory Team Rider Family

Vita Flex, leading producer of advanced equine performance products, recognized 20-year-old Jackie Ganter’s dedication and continued success in the discipline of barrel racing by welcoming her into the Vita Flex® Victory Team Rider family.

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Vita Flex® Unbridled — Gallant Reflection HU

Gallant Reflection HU, known as “Reef,” is a seven-year-old Zweibrücker stallion (Galant du Serein x Romaine, Rohdiamant) owned by Horses Unlimited Inc. and ridden by Olympic dressage bronze medalist Lisa Wilcox. We checked in with Reef earlier this season in Wellington, Florida.

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Oxidative Stress

Does your horse need antioxidants?

Oxidation of nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) provides the energy needed for normal muscle function. Exercise causes a dramatic increase in this oxidation, resulting in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These free radicals, or ROS, can damage DNA and contribute to degenerative changes throughout the body. Natural antioxidant defenses (endogenous antioxidants) help prevent free radical induced damage.

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Quality Girl

Vita Flex® Unbridled — Quality Girl

Quality Girl is a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Quidam’s Rubin x Dodirka, Dobrock) owned by The Quality Group and ridden by international show jumper Todd Minikus. Minikus took over her reins in 2013, and the two have earned numerous top honors and substantial prize money in the Grand Prix arena, most notably winning the 2014 Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix and the inaugural 2015 Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach. We stopped by her stall to find out what goes into making Quality Girl the champion that she is.

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Passport front

For International Travel Horses Routinely Fly the Friendly Skies

If horses received frequent flier miles, some top competition horses would rack up as many as a business traveler. When it comes to international travel, today's equine athletes routinely ship by plane, and the process is both efficient and safe.

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horses in trailer

Keeping Horses Healthy While Shipping

How many times has it happened? You take a trip, either for pleasure or business, and end up with the flu or a nasty cold. Definitely not the travel memories you had in mind.

Travel-related illness can also be a reality for equine athletes who often ship long distances to compete.

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horse drinking water

Water Consumption in Winter

It’s the summer time, warm days, plenty of time in the saddle, horses dripping wet with sweat. Every horse owner can envision those times and easily remember how much water both the rider and horse consumed every day. In another scenario, the horse is on lush green pasture and “drinks” from the trough or creek very little. Fast forward to winter when the horse is not dripping wet, the grass is dried- up and dead, and the trough or creek is frozen.

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Blanketed Horses

Bundle Up! Advice on When and How to Blanket Horses

Nature provides the horse with protection from the cold with an insulating hair coat that usually does a fine job. Many horses thrive and do well through cold winters without being closed up in a barn, but they must have shelter, a windbreak, good nutrition and a thick coat.

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Horse tied to a trailer.

Down the Road Safely: Take Care When Hauling Horses

Whether you’re traveling to a competition or just heading to the local trailhead to meet up with riding buddies, you want to get there and back safely.

Having a trailer opens up a world of options, but it also comes with responsibilities. You’re hauling precious cargo and you want to do everything possible to ensure an uneventful trip, no matter how long or short the journey.

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Horse Hydrotherapy

Water as Therapy

Water makes up nearly 70 percent of the horse’s body weight, so it’s not surprising that water plays a major role in treating equine injuries and in conditioning and rehabilitation.

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Horses in a field

Equine Allergies:Dealing with Allergies That Can Affect Your Horse’s Performance

Something’s not right.

You know your horse, and when something’s “off,” you pick up on it in a hurry. You plan on entering an event at the end of the month and he needs to be at peak performance because the competition is going to be tough.

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Horse Stable

When the Dust Settles: Barn Air Quality Can Negatively Impact Equine Respiratory System

How many times have you noticed dust motes dancing in a shaft of sunlight spilling through your barn window? To a photographer, it’s a tranquil moment waiting to be captured. But those dancing particles can be a constant source of airway irritation to the horses in that barn.

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Todd Minikus

Vita Flex Victory Team Member Todd Minikus Wraps Up a Remarkably Successful Year

For Todd Minikus, every oxer and every standard mark the fine line between good and great. The champion show jumper has repeatedly crossed that line throughout his incredible year of accomplishments in 2014. Todd is thrilled to be a member of the Vita Flex Victory Team that provides top-quality supplements to his talented horses.

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Horse eating hay

Feeding the Older Equine Athlete

In today’s world, there are organizations or associations where older human athletes can still compete with their peers. In the equestrian world some associations also have divisions based on the rider’s age, but the age of the horse is usually not a factor. It is interesting to note that with the exception of the young athlete, age of the horse is not a consideration when it comes to competition.

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Adrienne Lyle

Q & A with Victory Team Dressage Rider Adrienne Lyle

Coming off a fourth place finish at the Dressage National Championship, Vita Flex® Victory Team rider Adrienne Lyle sat down with us and talked about her success.

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Young performance horse

Proper Nutrition for Young Performance Horses

A variety of challenges can present themselves when deciding what to feed young horses that are either in training or some other type of structured exercise program. When feeding young horses, remember that we need to supply nutrients for maintenance, growth and finally exercise (work). Nutrients that are supplied will first be used for physiologic maintenance, followed by growth and exercise.

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Al Dunning

Vita Flex® Victory Team Member Al Dunning Shows and Trains the Best

Wellington, FL – Vita Flex® Victory Team member Al Dunning is one of the most prolific and successful horsemen of our era. Along with his students, Dunning has garnered 33 World and Reserve titles, including 9 AQHA World Championships in Reining, Cutting, Working Cow Horse, and Western Riding; 9 AQHA Reserve World Champions; 7 AQHA Amateur World Titles; 500 Arizona Year-End champions; 3 AJQHA World Champions; and 11 All-American Congress Winners. Dunning also placed in the 2001 NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman contest and was a finalist or semifinalist at every NCHE major event.

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Horse drinking water

Water, Electrolytes and the Performance Horse

It is a good time of year to discuss water and exercise. Summer is usually the prime time of year for most of us to ride our horses. It is also the time of year when most competitions are held. While warm weather encourages us to spend extra time in the saddle, it also demands extra caution in caring for our horses and providing for their water needs.

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Victory Team rider Todd Minikus

Oxidative Stress and the Performance Horse

Nutrients are broken down and converted into energy for normal metabolic function. Energy metabolism is generally divided into two types, aerobic and anaerobic. In aerobic metabolism, oxygen is used to produce energy, with carbon dioxide and water as a by-product. However, 1-2 percent of this oxygen is not used, resulting in the formation of free radicals, or reactive oxygen species (ROS). These free radicals can damage DNA and lipids and contribute to degenerative changes throughout the body. Antioxidants are responsible for removing and inhibiting the formation of ROS.

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Victory Team rider Adrienne Lyle

In the Arena with Adrienne Lyle

Born and raised on a small cattle farm in Washington, Vita Flex® Victory Team member Adrienne Lyle has always had a passion for horses. The family had two Shetland ponies, Mopsy and Flopsy, and Adrienne would spend all day playing cowboys and Indians on horseback and riding on the beach. She did Western games and barrel racing for awhile, then decided to learn how to jump, so she joined the United States Pony Club at age 8.

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Vita Flex® Victory Team rider Jan Byyny wins Fair Hill

In The Arena with Jan Byyny

Jan Byyny, an accomplished international event rider and a member of the Vita Flex® Victory Team, began eventing at the age of 10 through the Platte Valley Pony Club in Colorado. This led to an opportunity grooming horses for Nancy Winter, who Byyny says was a major inspiration for her decision to make eventing her lifetime career. Her work with Winter also led to an introduction to Bruce Davidson, who became another major influence for Byyny as she worked and trained with horses under his direction for many years.

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Illustration of places on a horse for determining body condition score

Body Condition Scoring

While lecturing all over the world, I have discovered some common themes among horse owners. It seems that a very large percentage of horse owners learned how to feed their horses from someone they know who has owned horses longer than they have. In every country, I am asked the same question: “I feed X scoops of Brand Z feed and 4 flakes of hay per day to my horse, what do you think of my feeding program?” I am also often asked to comment on a particular feeding program based on whether a horse is fat or thin. Making a sound feeding recommendation based on this subjective information is close to impossible.

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In The Arena with Lisa Wilcox

Lisa Wilcox grew up on a farm in Larkspur, Colorado, learning to ride under the tutelage of her father on Western horses. She learned the virtues of competition early as one of seven siblings, and the experience of growing up with a large family prepared her well for her current work as a top competitive dressage rider and member of the Vita Flex Victory Team.

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Exercise Physiology and the Performance Horse

Most horses at one time or another are used for some type of athletic activity. This includes halter, endurance, racing and working horses. Regardless of the discipline, every horse requires energy to fuel muscle activity.

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In The Arena with Patty Stovel

Patty Stovel is known to most as both a champion rider as well as an expert hunter/jumper trainer. Patty has had a lifelong passion for horses, literally riding before she could even walk. Patty began training ponies at a young age as part of her mother’s business and to this day preparing young equine athletes for careers in the ring remains a favorite aspect of what she does.

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Feeding the Hoof

Most people involved with horses have probably heard the saying “No foot, no horse.” While there is no question as to the importance of the hoof, this article delves deeper into what the hoof is and what can be done to feed the hoof in order to maintain its health.

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In The Arena with Caroline Roffman

Vita Flex Victory Team dressage rider and trainer Caroline Roffman on Sagacious HF is the first American rider to not only compete, but place 2nd in the highly competitive Under-25 division at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen, Germany this summer. At just 24-years-old, Caroline also competed in the small tour on Her Highness O in the first European tour. For a peek into who Caroline is and how she came to be so successful, read the full story here.

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Supplements Help Equine Athletes Achieve Optimum Health & Performance

Proper nutrition is vital to not only ensure that equine athletes can perform at their top levels, but also as a preventative measure against injury and harm. Vita Flex offers supplements based on scientific research that improve athletic performance, delay fatigue and reduce injuries in high performance horses. Read more about how top competitive equestrians trust Vita Flex to help and protect their horses.

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Joint Health for High Performance Horses

Equine nutritionist Dr. Richard Godbee shares his expert knowledge for maintaining soundness, preventing reduced joint function and alleviating joint pain in high performance horses.

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In The Arena with Todd Minikus

Todd Minikus started riding when his grandfather bought him a pony as a gift for his first birthday, and he was soon graduating from ponies to hunter jumpers. His accomplishments over the more than thirty years since turning professional have shown time and again that Todd is an equestrian not to be underestimated.

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How to Achieve Maximum Performance and Endurance With Your Competition Horse

Equine expert Dr. Godbee and international dressage rider Lisa Wilcox explain how using the right horse supplement is a valuable component to both protect equine athletes as well as improve their performance. Read more about how to help your horses perform with maximum energy and endurance.

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In The Arena with Lauren Hough

Coming from a lineage of equestrian athletes, Lauren Hough was riding horses even before she could walk, and her passion and success only continues to grow. Here we share some of what we learned about her childhood, how she came to compete, and what helps her cross that fine line between good and great.

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The Arena: Inside News for Equestrian Athletes and Enthusiasts

Welcome to The Arena, where you can get an inside glimpse of the 2013 Vita Flex Victory Team and learn secrets from champion equine athletes about what it takes to win.

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Meet the 2013 Vita Flex Victory Team

Vita Flex is proud to introduce the 2013 Vita Flex Victory Team. The Vita Flex Victory Team consists of leading competitive riders from multiple disciplines who use Vita Flex products and horse supplements to support peak performance in their horses.

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Vision: When You Want Your Horse Brilliant, Calm and Focused

"Brilliance is what makes a horse special, but the key to success at showtime is not only having a horse that is absolutely brilliant, but also extremely calm, focused and completely with you as a rider." – Caroline Roffman

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