04/11/2021

Izzy Lane: Aspiring Equine Veterinarian Already Savvy on her Horse’s Respiratory Health

"I often tell friends that if you just try a Haygain Hay Steamer you are going to realize how brilliant they are."

By Kim Miller  | Equestrian Writer

Eighteen-year-old eventer Izzy Lane hopes to become an equine veterinarian. She has a head start in understanding equine respiratory health and allergies thanks to her partner Secret. Izzy bought the Irish Sport Horse in 2019 accepting that the mare could not be fed hay because of dust allergies.


Secret came to Izzy's stable in Essex in the summertime and started out fine on haylage. That winter, however, was very wet and all the rain wound up turning the haylage off. While wondering what to do about that, Izzy stumbled upon Haygain's stand at the Olympia Horse Show. "I'd never heard of it before and I thought it would be complicated." Learning that Haygain Hay Steaming reduces up to 99% of the respirable dust in hay had her attention and she decided to give it a go.

Shelley G Photography

"It's actually very easy to do," says Izzy. She bought a half-bale steamer and "we've never looked back." The cough and runny nose Secret had even on haylage are things of the past. The formerly picky eater was "digging into it straight away" and she hasn't looked back either.

Easy Peasy

As for ease of operation, Izzy sets a timer at night to start the steaming process first thing in the morning. "I come into the barn in the morning and walk into the lovely scent of steamed hay." The barn cats share Izzy's appreciation for the Hay Steamer, especially on cold winter mornings. "I find them sitting across the steamer every morning."


This past summer's highlights for Izzy and Secret included contesting the U18 National Eventing Championships and U25 National Dressage Championships. During this quiet part of the eventing competition season, Izzy and Secret sharpen their dressage and jumping skills at shows in those disciplines. "She is a multi-talented mare who turns her hooves to everything," Izzy reports.


Haygain Steamed Hay goes along to events of all durations. If it's a one-day event, Izzy steams hay in advance and hauls it in the Haygain Hay Bag. If longer, she brings the easily portable HG 600 model along. The model has a pop-up handle and wheels, so it’s easy to roll onto the lorry and into show stabling.


At their home barn and at shows, Izzy and Secret are big advocates for Haygain Steamed Hay. "I've had a friend just recently buy one and all the people in our yard love the smell."

Pickles enjoying the warmth of the Hay Steamer. 

As an aspiring veterinarian, Izzy understands the value of simple measures like reducing airway irritants and allergens in the horse's environment. She's surprised to see some friends "putting up with a slight cough or runny nose" in their horses. She knows that both can be early symptoms of respiratory problems that are, ideally, prevented and, second best, nipped early in their progression.


"I hear people say, 'Oh, I can make a steamer myself or soak the hay.'" The reality is that home-made steamers often add more harmful mould and bacteria to the forage because they don't attain and retain the high temperatures needed to kill those things. Soaking hay can also increase the quantity of harmful particles in forage. It's a messy bother for the owner and often unpalatable for the horse.


"I often tell friends that if you just try a Haygain Hay Steamer you are going to realize how brilliant they are."

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