We are a full time breeding, training, and lesson barn
Focusing on breeding Connemaras/Connemara halfbreds for eventing and Gypsy cobs/vanners for all around family horses.
Offering private one hour riding lessons, training, and sales
Operating as usual
Though we don't know everyone's birthday here on the farm, we do know most of them.
Three of our handsome men share this day of birth 🎉
Happy 31st birthday to the man who started it all, JR Comet. Not looking to shabby for his age and still galloping up for his breakfast every morning😍 Comet is a national show horse (Arabian X American Saddlebred)
The senior stallion of the farm, Sterling Spring Call Me Sir, turns 17yrs young today. He doesn't look or act a day older and still takes his job of watching the mares very seriously 💪 Sir is a Gyspy
The youngest of the boys today is River Boyne's Gideon who is turning 1yr old. He is Sirs side kick and ever so loyal pasture mate. Gideon is a Connemara sport horse (1/4 Connemara, 1/4 Thoroughbred, and 1/2 mustang)
With all the hype of new babies, we forgot to post of another special birthday on the 26th, River Boyne's Miss Susie Q also turned 1yr old. This stylish girl likes to strut her stuff and never go unnoticed, which how could you miss her with those looks! 😎 Miss Q is a Connemara/Thoroughbred
On saturday May 22nd at 3am we welcomed a new c**t into our barn. Might I add, the largest foal that we have had born here at River Boyne Farm to date 😳
Please say hello to RBF August Duesenberg aka Duesy 🚙
By our solid blue roan french imported stallion, Rolls Royce Merlin of RBF and out of our largest mare, Galway Girl of RBF
This giant c**t is named after August Duesenberg, one of two brothers whom were self taught automobile and engine manufacturers that built American racing engines. These gentleman set records and won at Daytona beach, the French grand prix at Le mans, Indianapolis 500, and the Bonneville salt flats in the 1920s and 30s.
Best known for their masterpiece luxury cars, the Duesenberg.
Have you ever been curious about where the term "That's a doozy" or "A real doozy" came from? One of the speculations since the nick name for these cars was ""Duesy", is that the phrase was coined by this prestigious automobile. To call something a Doozy/Doozie, is to say it is exceptional, outrageous, unique, remarkable, or perhaps even Bizarre.
Duesenbergs were built and marketed as "The world's Champion automobile- Built to outclass, outrun, outlast any car on the road"
These cars were so well built in engine and design that they were even set apart from the Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz
We could go on and on about the incredible history and performance of these phenomenal cars, but we're here to talk about horses..
We have sent out for genetic testing to see if this giant c**t carries any fun color genes. Stay tuned for the results.
As you scroll through the pictures you will see that Galway Girl sure passed on her tobiano pattern to her son. These two could almost be twins! ❤ Not to mention the size. We fully expect this guy to reach all of his dams height of 15.1h or even more
This boy will be available once genetic results come in
We would like to introduce the newest member to our herd!
Born at 1:30 am Wednesday May 12th. Please welcome our filly, RBF Call Me Honey 🍯
Honey is by Sterling Spring Call Me Sir ( SD Jim x Her Majesty) and out of MV Tupelo Honey (D'Jango Jazz-Lion King son X Oakfields Jessie)
We are already so in love with this little girl and her sweet and bold personality.
More pictures to come as well as color genetic results.
PM us if you would like to make this little girl yours
Back in march we shared a video of our liver chestnut stallion, RBF Lugh Mac Ethlend, taking a nap next to his ladies and snoring away.
Today we caught the same video of his just turned 2yr daughter, RBF Fires of Beltane, making the same noises.
Like father, like daughter 🤷♀️😂
We are so happy to announce that one of our adorable barn favorites has found his new home!
RBF Lugh's Enbarr aka EB will be leaving soon to head to Texas! (By RBF Lugh Mac Ethlend and out of MV Tupelo Honey)
We're excited for the adventures that he will have with his new owner❤ EB is going to dabble in the dressage/jumping world and hit the trails like the true curious explorer that he is.
We look forward to seeing updates and sharing his progress down the road.
His best buddy, Roy, sure is going to miss him.
Enbarrs dam, MV Tupelo Honey, is due to foal in the next few weeks. If you have had your eye on this guy and would love a sibling, please send us a message about his brother or sister who should be here soon 🐎🧸
Rolls Royce Merlin of RBF is turning 3yrs old next month and boy is he starting to grow into himself 😍
Keep an eye out for his first foals hitting the ground this season!
The boys are still looking for one last lady to add to their spring breeding line-up.
Approved mares only. Please PM us with questions about breeding to one of these handsome hunks
It has been a hectic week at the farm so I am a bit delayed in my announcements.
RBF Dock of the Bay aka Otis has found his new home and will be leaving us in the next month or so. I could not be happier with where he is going and I am so excited for Otis and his new mom ❤
This is the perfect fit for him and I just know he is going to adore all of the attention and adventures!
Keep an eye out for our 2021 arrivals and what we have available 🍀
Even muddy and shedding, this guy is the cutest little thing❤ Enbarr has the sweetest personality and an absolute willingness to please. Picks up new things quickly and isn't scared of much.
2019 GVHS registered gelding, RBF Lugh's Enbarr aka EB. By RBF Lugh Mac Ethlend and out of MV Tupelo Honey.
EB currently stands 13.3 1/2h at the withers and 14-1/2" at the hip. I expect him to reach 14.1h
If you're looking for a family member, here is your guy. Would excel in dressage, driving, trail, and even lower level eventing. Could easily be a kids horse in the future
Life as a stallion is sure tough 🙄🤣
RBF Lugh Mac Ethlend taking a nap next to his ladies.
I heard this noise from half way across the property and thought it was the neighbors the road over running a chainsaw.
For everyone who has inquired about our connemara crosses in the past, we are expanding our program and have a few available!
Pictured are some of our current and past resident's. Please shoot us a message if you'd like to add a connemara to your family ❤
*Not all Pictured are available*
For everyone who has been asking about our connemara program...we added two new additions to our broodmare band this week!
Please welcome these two lovely thoroughbred mares.
Hannah Catherine (16.3h) and Eighty Six Mets(16.1h) 🐎❤
With the addition of these girls it has us ready to part with a few others.
Message us to find out about our connemara crosses that we have available as well as our upcoming 2022 foals
It's Valentine's Day!! ❤
Don't forget about booking your mares a date for this spring. We have three registered boys to choose from.
🍀 Sterling Spring Call Me Sir
Black/white tobiano Standing a hair over 14h with plenty of bone and hair to add to your mare. By SD Jim (Bob the Blagdon X The Sweeper Mare) and out of Oakfields Her Majesty (The Old Horse of Wales X The Baye mare)
GVHS Registered Ee Tt aa PSSM negative
🍀 RBF Lugh Mac Ethlend
Solid liver chestnut Standing 14.2h with fabulous uphill movement that he passes to all of his foals. Imported from Ireland, this guy is by Old Red Ned (Son of the Lob) and out of The Brownie Mare.
GHRA Registered ee aa tt and PSSM n/p1
🍀 Rolls Royce Merlin of RBF
Solid Blue roan Standing 14.3h currently and still growing. Roy has the sweetest attitude and gets along with everyone. At just coming 3yrs he impresses us with his heavy bone and hair. Imported from France. By GW Abe and out of Silky Alana ( SD Flash Harry X Alaska by The Lion King)
GVHS registered Ee aa tt RN/rn W20 and PSSM negative
To approved mares. Contact us about how to book your mare a date with one of these handmade men.
Live cover and LFG
Will be offering shipped/cooled in 2022
Our blue eyed girl of 2020 left for her new home today. We are going to miss this opinionated little fluff ball, but I cannot wait to see her in the show ring someday.
RBF Goddess Boann is going to be one to watch.
By Sterling Spring Call Me Sir and out of WR Heavens Hope.
We wish the very best of luck to her and her new family ❤
Most of our pictures at the farm are captured at a moments notice if we are lucky enough to get our phones out in time. Today I was able to catch a few grainy photos of our coming 3yr and 2yr gypsy fillies.
❤ Solid black coming 3yr, RBF Emerald Isle (Sterling Spring Call Me Sir X CiCis The Black Dahlia) Home bred
❤ Solid Buckskin Pearl coming 3yr, Epona of RBF (One In A Million X Cream Beauty)
❤ Solid Chestnut coming 2yr, RBF Fires of Beltane (RBF Lugh Mac Ethlend X CiCis The Black Dahlia) Home bred
Because personality/temperment is key....🤣🤣
Rolls Royce Merlin of RBF, 2018 France imported GVHS stallion....and the photo bomber Irish Draught gelding, Huey
We have many buyers ask what and how we feed our horses so that they can keep them on the same plan when they are brought to their new home. This is how we feed all of our horses here at the farm..
Round bales with slow feed nets and Tributes Essential K ration balancer. Our geriatrics or mildly hard keepers are fed Tributes Kalm-N-Ez
Everyone lives outside 24/7 with a shelter, auto waterer, and salt block. The only time our horsed are stalled is for foaling season. 2 weeks before and after foaling the mares come in at night and out during the day.
We have always abided by the rule of absolutely no more than 3hrs without hay🌾🐴
What is the longest a horse can safely go without food?
More and more I see horses and ponies stood for long periods of time with no hay or haylage. Usually under the guise of a “weight control diet”. So how long can a horse be without food before damage is done? And what damage is done?
For those with a short attention span, I’ll give you the answer to begin with - 4 hours, maximum.
Horses are grazers. They are designed to eat constantly. They have no way of storing their acids and digestive enzymes, they’ve never needed to. They have no gall bladder to store bile and their stomachs release acid constantly, whether or not there is food in the stomach and intestines.
A horses stomach only holds approximately 8-15 litres. Depending on the substance eaten, it takes on average 4-6 hours for the stomach to completely empty. After this, the acids and enzymes start to digest the inside of the horses stomach and then the intestines. This causes both gastric and intestinal ulceration. It has been estimated that 25-50% of foals and 60-90% of adult horses suffer from ulceration. But I won’t go into detail about this, there is a lot of information around about ulcers.
So is that it? Are ulcers the only concern?
No, having an empty stomach is a stress situation for a horse. The longer they are starved, the more they release stress hormones, cortisol predominantly. Cortisol blocks insulin and causes a constantly high blood glucose level. This stimulates the body to release even more insulin, and in turn this causes fat tissue to be deposited and leptin resistance. Over time this causes insulin resistance (Equine Metabolic Syndrome). All of these mechanisms are well known risk factors for laminitis and are caused by short term starvation (starting roughly 3-4 hours after the stomach empties). Starving a laminitic is literally the worst thing you can do. Over longer periods, this also starts to affect muscle and can cause weakness, and a lack of stamina so performance horses also need a constant supply of hay/haylage to function optimally.
Let’s not forget horses are living, breathing and feeling animals. We talk about this stress reaction like it’s just internal but the horse is well aware of this stress. Door kicking, box walking, barging and many other stable vices and poor behaviour can be explained by a very stressed horse due to food deprivation (we all have that Hangry friend to explain this reaction). Next time you shout or hit a horse that dives for their net, remember their body is genuinely telling them they are going to starve to death. They know no different.
But surely they spend the night asleep so they wouldn’t eat anyway?
Not true. Horses only need 20mins REM sleep every 24 hours (jealous? I am!). They may spend a further hour or so dozing but up to 22-23 hours a day are spent eating. So if you leave your horse a net at 5pm and it’s gone by 8pm, then by 12am their stomach is empty. By 4am they are entering starvation mode. By their next feed at 8am, they are extremely stressed, physically and mentally.
Now I know the cob owners are reading this mortified. I can almost hear you shouting at your screen “if I feed my horse ad lib hay he won’t fit out the stable door in a week!!”
I will say that a horse with a constant supply of hay/haylage will eat far less then the same horse that is intermittently starved. They don’t eat in a frenzy, reducing the chance of colic from both ulcers and over eating. Cobs included.
However I’m not suggesting you sit your cob in front of a bale of haylage and say have at it! There is a difference between ad lib and a constant supply. There is much we can do to reduce calorie intake and control weight whilst feeding a constant supply.
The easiest is small holes nets. There are many. Trickle nets, greedy feeders, nibbleze, trawler nets etc. My personal favourite is the Shires Soft Mesh 1”. They don’t cost the Earth, they are easy to fill and they don’t have knots so are much gentler to the teeth. Now often I suggest these types of nets to owners and the owner tells me “Oh no, *** won’t eat out of those” 🙄 this is nonsense. If he was left it, he would. Remember, you can give a normal net and one of these for them to nibble at after. Better than leaving them with nothing at all.
A few other tricks, hang the net from the ceiling/rafters, it’s harder to eat out of a net that swings. Soak the hay, a minimum of 4 hours to be effective. Mix with straw but be sure to introduce the straw slowly and make sure it’s top quality and a palatable type eg Barley or Oat, otherwise they won’t eat it.
Don’t forget exercise. The best way to get weight off a horse is exercise. Enough exercise and they can eat what they want!
And lay off the bucket feed and treats! Horses on a diet require a vit/min supplement in the form of a balancer but that’s it. The odd slice of carrot or suede won’t do any harm but no licks, treats, treacle, molasses, cereal based rubbish. Even if it says low sugar or the marvellously misleading “No added sugar”! Your horse would rather have a constant supply of hay, I promise.
Written by Vikki Fowler BVetMed BAEDT MRCVS
A few edits for the critics-
Firstly, feeding a constant supply does not mean ad lib feeding. It means use some ingenuity and spread the recommended amount of daily forage so the horse is never stood with out food for more than 4 hours. I am not promoting obesity, quite the opposite, feeding like this reduces obesity and IR. This can be done whilst feeding your horse twice a day as most horse owners do. Just think outside the box for your own situation.
Secondly I am in the UK and this post is UK specific, use some common sense when reading. Yes in warmer climates, soaking hay for 4 hours is dangerous and studies show 1 hour is plenty in hot weather but in the UK’s arctic climate, a minimum of 4 hours is required. Equally the UK feed exclusively grass hay. I can not comment on other types.
Thirdly, yes every horse/pony and situation is different, but this is a law of nature and all horses have this anatomy and metabolism. How you achieve this constant supply is individual, the need for it is not.
Fourthly, the use of hay nets in the UK is very very high. I’d estimate 95% of horses I see are fed this way and very very few have incisor wear or neck/back issues as a result. Yes, feeding from the ground is ideal, but a constant supply, I feel trumps this. Again with ingenuity both can be safely achieved.
Finally, straw can be fed to horses safely, introduced very slowly, with fresh water always available, plus a palatable and digestible type of straw which will depend on your area. Again many horses in the UK are bedded on straw and most of them eat it. This is not a new concept to us.
Breeder of Irish Cobs/ Gypsy Vanners and Connemara Ponies. Always striving for conformation, sound mind, and athleticism. River Boyne Farm offers sales, training, lessons, stallions at stud, and coming soon-AI/Stallion collection. Welcoming anyone who would like to learn more and visit these two wonderful breeds native to Ireland.
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