Health and Success for Sporthorses with Fairy Tale Farms
We sat down with Fairy Tale Farms Barn Manager Lynn Morgan and Head Trainer Megan Rosenthal to talk horse care philosophy, training programs, and how the integration of BioStar’s whole food supplements for all their horses has improved overall performance, health, and happiness. Read on to learn more about the Charlotte, North Carolina-based training, boarding, and showing stable and their BioStar experience:
How would you best describe the horse care philosophy at Fairy Tale Farms?
“It’s important to every staff member here that our horses always show up looking their best and going their best at the horse shows. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of building a reputation in our area that no matter what, our care is top notch. It’s something that we’re never going to cut corners on, we’ve been so happy with our recent change in our supplement program with BioStar, the horses are going better than ever.” – Megan Rosenthal
How does your attention to horse care go hand-in-hand with your training philosophy?
“We have a pretty full operation, about forty horses on our property. The majority of those are show horses, ranging from baby green to international derby and grand prix. We have little kids, amateurs, and a few junior riders. The biggest thing for us is number one, the horses’ nutrition, but number two, the horses’ fitness. We take their fitness really seriously and we have a small academy program as well with a few up and coming cross rail kids and some older retired horses.
They all get treated the same, they all are in a trot step program, they run on the treadmill, they don’t jump every single day. Some of our kids will take a few lessons a week, but we don’t jump each of those days. We take a lot of pride in teaching a foundation in flatwork education. Across the board everyone has the same goals, we want the horses to be strong, feel healthy and no matter what their level is we take pride in the fact that they are all treated like athletes.” – Megan Rosenthal
How does traveling for shows impact your attention to nutrition?
“We are on the road probably two weeks every month. Some months are heavier than others, a lighter week would probably be around ten horses showing. Our first real test with the BioStar products was in Kentucky this summer. We were there for two weeks with eighteen horses, and that was the first show where we had everyone on BioStar. For us it’s really important that we keep the nutrition pretty constant so they’re always on the same grain and supplements. We did feed a preventative amount of gastric guard type medicines. Switching to the BioStar product was really nice and we saw a big change in a lot of our horses. They are more relaxed and happier to be on the road.
We have four full time trainers now, so we’re able to divide and conquer pretty well. Especially with indoors coming up, we’re going to be taking smaller groups to Harrisburg, Washington and Kentucky, and we have two other trainers that will keep the academy going. My mom [Jamie Rosenthal] is going to be getting the show horses ready, and they will actually be in Tryon going back and forth between weeks. With all those moving parts, the feeding program and the supplement program stays constant. We’ll probably have two different show groups this winter, one will go to Florida and the others will stay home and show in the Aiken, Raleigh, and Tryon area. We really try to cater to the individual and their individual goals, what they want to accomplish and how we can tailor programs especially for you. We are pretty good at not being a one size fits all program, everything gets very individualized for each horse and riders’ individual goals.” – Megan Rosenthal
How did you first learn about BioStar and how has implementing the supplements made an impact on your program at Fairy Tale Farms?
“My mom [Jamie] did a lot of her own research, because probably about a year ago we switched grains to something that came highly recommended by a lot of top show barns. We’ve always had really glossy coats and really good dapples, and we were finding this past season that their coats weren’t coming in as nicely and their toplines weren’t quite as strong, and nothing had changed in our program other than the feed. Another thing we were experiencing was a lot of stomach problems. We had never had to worry about colic cases or ulcers, but we found we were treating a lot of horses with gastric guard to try to get them a little bit better.
We finally decided we needed to change something. My mom did a lot of her own research and came across BioStar. Using it before Kentucky was kind of our big test. All of our horses who ran everyday were on the Tri-Gard syringes, and also on the Thera-Gard and Thera-Calm powders. We used Zen-Max for performance, and they were amazing at the horse show. They were happy, comfortable, and eating all their food. We have a couple horses that usually get a little bit picky and slower with their eating when they travel, and everyone came home fat and happy. It was a really good test that was very successful, and since then, that’s all we use when we show: BioStar products.” – Megan Rosenthal
Can you talk about the change you saw in some of your performance horses after switching to the BioStar supplements?
“One horse belongs to an amateur client of ours. We’ve had him in the barn about two years now, he was one of our first test candidates [for the supplements]. Before Kentucky, he was just on a normal feed program with a little bit of the BioStar supplements, like five other horses were. He was one of the horses that was always very quiet and simple, and he started acting spooky, flighty, and nervous. It was not typical behavior for him. He’s been on the BioStar products since April and he’s back to being quiet, relaxed, easy going and easy to prepare. He was often an ulcer candidate and the BioStar really helped him get back on track.
Another horse I’ve had a lot of success with as far as horse show preparation is my sister’s amateur horse, The Pirate Bay. She just recently went to graduate school so we’ve taken him over and are lining him up to be an international derby horse while she is doing her school work. He just won the Southeast Regional International Derby class two weeks ago in Aiken. He was never a spooky horse but he was always a work horse, always ready. It always took him a little bit to get hunter relaxed in his transition from Europe. He was another one we put on some of the supplements this summer, and he went stall to ring every day at the horse shows. He didn’t need to prepare, didn’t need to see the jumps, walked right in, scored a 90 and won the class. So he has been another one that has really thrived on the BioStar program. For him in particular, the Zen-Max for horse show prep makes a big difference in his focus. He walks in happy, relaxed, and ready to perform.” – Megan Rosenthal
Can you tell me what it was like to have such an individualized experience with BioStar?
“Tigger went through almost all of the horses and individualized programs for all their diets, she’s been great to work with. We just really appreciated working with Tigger; Jamie and I spoke to her for a couple hours one day. We changed our feed and are now doing component feeding with her supplements, then we went through all the individual horses and all their individual needs. She really took the time to find out what each individual needs, and not just try to sell us a lot of products. We just really appreciated the time and individualized attention that she is able to give us. One of our clients has a retired horse and was looking for some specialized products for him, and she reached out to Tigger who took the time and just let her know what was going on and what she recommended.” – Lynn Morgan
“It’s a really good supplement to our training program in general too, just how the farm takes the time to get to know each client, horse, looks at the overall picture and where we want to end up and how we can best help set them up to get there.” – Megan Rosenthal