"My pony, Furnace Bright Spark, is rising 23 years old and still happily competes regularly in affiliated dressage and occasional veteran showing classes.
Following national advertising by “Talk About Laminitis” offering free Cushing’s blood tests we did his first test in August 2013 which came back with an ACTH level of 60. Another test was done in September 2014 which came back with an ACTH level of 124. This was quite shocking as he shows no clinical signs of Cushing’s. He does not have a long, shaggy coat, does not suffer from laminitis and has his weight monitored regularly by his vet on a weighbridge. His diet is a simple, no sugar, high fibre diet based on alfalfa chaff and soaked hay. He is turned out in a grassless paddock.
He had some serious competitions immediately following the blood test in September and October including the Veteran Horse Society National Championships and the British Dressage Home Internationals as part of Team Southern representing England. As pergolide (the only drug available for the treatment of Cushing’s) is a banned substance under BD and FEI rules it would effectively prevent him from attending the competitions and end his affiliated dressage career in a flash. My vet knows the pony very well and advised that we do not start him on pergolide straight away but monitor him carefully and retest at the end of November and, in the meantime, introduce Equi Life Vitex4 Equids to his diet as she had seen some good results from other owners using chasteberry products. No other changes were made to the pony’s usual feed, turnout or work routine.
He attended both shows and achieved the title of National Dressage Champion 2014 at the Veteran National Championships and was part of the winning country at the BD Home Internationals.
His retest took place at the end of November 2014 came back as 19.5! Amazing. Nobody was expecting such a reduction even taking into account seasonal fluctuations.
My vet has recommended that we refrain from putting him onto pergolide, and continue with Equi Life Vitex4 Equids. He will be retested again in six months.
This is great news as he can continue his affiliated dressage career for the time being. Although he will be tested in May or June 2015 it will be the August/September 2015 which will ultimately show if he is improving. In the meantime, I have every confidence that Equi Life Vitex4 Equids will have the desired effect and prolong the time until he may need to be treated with pergolide. I have recommended this product to two other owners on my yard whose ponies are currently treated with pergolide. Watch this space."