I can’t stop smiling today!

Trickle Net just won £10,000 after pitching to the judging panel at the finale of the Greenborough Management  10×10 Programme!

This has been an incredible experience. 10 small businesses have attended 10 intensive training sessions since we began in January. Many people who are amazing at what they do have given their time and expertise to us during the programme, and the training has been intensive. We covered aspects such as finance, goal setting, business plans, partnerships and collaborations, funding and growth, people and resources. So much information delivered by the most supportive group of people who want to see us go forward and succeed. We were also given individual mentors. Hugely wise and experienced business leaders who delivered coaching along the journey and opened up even more opportunities.

The finale involved all 10 businesses pitching for a £10,000 prize.

I was worried to say the least. The day had already started badly when I dropped my glasses down the loo, and almost arrived late to the event after the usual school run troubles.

I’d fluffed my pitch a hundred times to my poor bored family over the weekend. When I saw the other pitches I was amazed at the professional presentations. These businesses are all going places, and each one impressed me immensely.

Then it was my turn.

I was aware of my hands trembling, but I began to tell them about the terrible epidemic in equine obesity and laminitis and how equine nutrition is so badly misunderstood these days. About how most ridden horses will suffer with gastric ulcers to some degree. Then about how the first Trickle Net came from my horse Sully being so poorly with EMS, then losing him and putting the insurance pay out into the first batch of nets. About the customers who since tell us Trickle Nets have saved their horses lives. The Vets and the charities that use and recommend Trickle Nets. The customer testimonials and support, and the reputation Trickle Net has earned….

My pitch wasn’t so much about numbers graphs and data. In fact I stumbled when a judge asked me how many units I’d sold in the last 12 months. I didn’t have that answer ready, so I could only give him the turnover and the prices.

My pitch was about a huge and growing problem within the Equestrian Industry. 50% of our equine population is overweight. The Rescue societies are taking in more and more obese horses, and this is just as dangerous as being underweight.  We are speaking to distraught horse owners regularly, calling us because their beloved animals are in serious trouble with laminitis. Most often as a result of obesity, and owners are ignorant to the danger. Laminitis and associated equine euthanasia is increasing. How as a species we are destroying ourselves with processed food and reduced exercise, and we are inflicting the same on our domestic animals! How performance horses are virtually guaranteed to suffer from gastric ulcers at some point….. and all of this is preventable with education and some pretty amazing products from Trickle Net.

 

I thought I might be boring this bunch of predominantly non horsey folk. Could they sympathise without having the passion for horses that we do?

They really got it. They understood entirely the scale of the problem we are looking at and the solution Trickle Net can offer.

 

The judges left to consider the pitches, and we were all nervously congratulating each other on some fabulous performances. The 10 businesses have been working together for weeks now, and I have never felt such genuine comradery and support within any competition before. You don’t get that in horsey competitions, apart from Eventing where everyone just wants everyone to survive! Though we didn’t treat it like a competition at all. We had all won already from the amazing training and support we’ve received.

 

The judges came back after only a short time…… was that a good thing? I wasn’t sure.

 

It was announced. ‘The winner is Trickle Net!’

 

I was blown away! I thought they might be joking for a second. I think I remained seated for a short while, waiting for that Oscar moment when they apologise and reveal the real winner.

They didn’t do that though. So I became quite emotional while I took the giant cheque and tried to process the situation.

 

I can honestly say the whole 10×10 experience has been incredible, and I’m so happy to have been awarded this prize. The spend is planned already. This summer, we are making a digital media campaign to raise awareness of Equine obesity and laminitis and educate horse owners. We have vets on board to give interviews and endorse Trickle Net products as a part of the solution. We also have a celebrity rider who should bring a bit of fun to the campaign.

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. With this money, we will save more horses.

 

Ellen Chapman

Founder of Trickle Net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here at Trickle Net HQ, we can clearly see the effects of the Spring grass already.

Owners are calling in everyday to purchase Trickle Nets and get advice on avoiding or managing laminitis. It’s wonderful to finally feel the sun and see the grass grow. Though you must consider, is your horse in danger? Is your horse obese? Do they have EMS or Cushing’s disease? Or have they suffered any stress or trauma recently? Have they suffered from laminitis before?
If your horse or pony is in the ‘at risk’ group, you need to take measures to prevent the onset of laminitis. Spring brings the sun and brighter warmer days, but with the cold nights not yet over we see dangerous levels of NSC’s in the new grass. NSC’s are Non-Structural Carbohydrates. NSCs in grass can be split into sugars (fructose, sucrose and glucose), starches and fructans (chains of fructose) Eating large amounts of NSCs can cause trouble for horses with metabolic or digestive problems.

NSCs are produced through photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight energy to produce sugars. This means that NSC levels will be highest at the latest sunny part
of the day, around 3 to 4pm. However, if night temperatures fall below 4.5 degrees, the plant cannot use the stored
energy for growth. This means frosty morning grass can be particularly high in NSCs. What can we do to reduce the
risk of laminitis in our horses through Spring? Reduce sugar and starch intake. Look at the content of your horses feed, and question does he really need this? Soak hay and keep hard feed to bare minimum if any. Increase exercise. Even ten minutes daily, walking in hand can make a difference to insulin levels.

Walking burns 4 times the calories of standing! If there is frost in the morning,consider turning out after it has thawed. Once the frosty nights are over,
night time turnout will provide grass with lower sugar levels. Get familiar with your horse’s digital pulses. Learn how to check and monitor for changes. Use a weigh tape regularly. While it may not be very accurate, it will enable you to
keep a record of any weight loss or gain and make appropriate changes.

Consider grass free turnout. If you are lucky enough to have a ménage or crew yard, you can add low sugar forage in Trickle Safe grazing in Spring Nets to simulate grazing while keeping sugar intake minimal. If your horse is overweight, don’t rug! Horses burn calories to keep warm. Overweight horses in the UK climate do not need rugs. Consider the necessary evil which is a grazing muzzle. We don’t like them, but they do have a place. If your horse looks ‘footy’ at any time, get them off the grass and call the vet. If laminitis is caught early, management and recovery are much easier.

Prognosis on a mild attack is usually favorable, but a mild attack can quickly become severe if not managed. Lastly, don’t be under the illusion
that your horse or pony won’t get laminitis. ANY horse or pony can become laminitic when certain triggers are active. It’s up to you to look for those triggers and prevent them where possible. Preventing laminitis is the most
successful way to manage it, guaranteed! Happy Easter everyone!

For more advice on laminitis or
Trickle Net products, give us a call
on 01522 720972.
Trickle Net UK
www.tricklenet.co.uk