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Rider Spotlight: Top Eventer Lynn Symansky
Lynn Symansky first represented the United States as a college student and has now represented the USA in seven international championships. It could be eight soon: Lynn is currently on the USEF’s Pre-Elite Training List with two horses, RF Cool Play and Under Suspection.
Haygain is thrilled to welcome veteran U.S. eventing team member, Lynn Symansky, to the “steam team”. The “steam team” is a phrase being used to describe those who have discovered the benefits of steaming hay for their horses.
Lynn admits to being “a little late to the party” on bringing Haygain steamed hay into her horses’ program. That was until one of her up-and-coming horses developed a respiratory issue and it became critical to reduce inhalable irritants in the respiratory tract. A simple tie back restored the horse’s normal breathing, and hay steaming, she says, is critical to keeping it that way. “Anything that reduces the amount of inflammation in the airway is going to help with stamina on cross-country.”
Adding steamed hay to several of her horses’ diets has helped in other ways, too. A few have allergies Lynn predicts will get worse with spring season pollen and with the transitions between her home base in Virginia and her winter base in Ocala, Florida. “When the horse is already dealing with other allergies, any sort of dust in the hay is going to add to the inflammation problem.”
Haygain hay steaming has been scientifically proven to eliminate up to 99% of the dust, mold, fungi and bacteria that are found in even top-quality hay.
Another horse has a “stranger danger” worldview, making him finicky and unpredictable about what he’ll eat on a given day. Since getting steamed hay, he’s become an eager eater, making it easier to maintain his weight and condition and, equally important, getting food into his stomach to maintain gut health.
While Lynn was slightly worried about incorporating the additional step of steaming into the barn management routine, she says it’s been easy and straight forward. In the past, if horses developed mild coughs or other signs of mild respiratory issues, Lynn’s team addressed it by wetting their hay. “Steaming is much easier!”
Steaming is also more effective in reducing dust, mold, fungi and bacteria from hay and it does so without leeching nutrients. That is always an issue with soaking or wetting, as is the reality that soaked hay is prone to rapid bacterial growth.
Lynn is one of the top three-day event riders in the world. She has competed at the international level for the last 20 years, and has an accomplished resume which includes representing the United States on seven senior teams— 2011 Guadalajara Pan American Games team gold, 2014 Normandy World Equestrian Games team, 2015 Aachen Nations Cup team bronze, 2016 Rio Olympic Games traveling reserve, 2017 Great Meadow Nations Cup team gold and individual silver, 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games team,
and 2019 Lima Pan American Games team gold and individual silver. In addition to her team appearances, Lynn has completed 12 CCI5* competitions around the world at Kentucky, Badminton, Burghley, and Pau.
Haygain is thrilled to count Lynn Symansky as a member of the “steam team”, our affectionate term for those that have discovered the respiratory benefits of steamed hay for their horses. Also members of our honorary "steam team", fellow top ten USEA eventing riders; Lauren Kieffer, Tamie Smith, Liz Sharp, Buck Davidson, Will Fandee and Will Coleman.
Haygain is committed to improving equine health through research and innovation in the respiratory and digestive health issues. Developed by riders, for riders, we understand the importance of clean forage in maintaining the overall well-being of the horse. Our hay steamers are recommended by many of the world’s leading riders, trainers and equine veterinarians. Find out more by clicking on one of the links below.
Photo Credits: Thank you to Lynn Symansky, Jenni Autry/Eventing Nation and Leslie Mintz for the wonderful photos.