Every Horse is Created Differently, and Every Horse Responds to Food Differently.
Although the horse's main diet should always be forage, there are some exceptions to this rule. Forage provides bulk the horse needs to maintain their weight. Forage comes in different forms such as: pasture, 1st cut hay, 2nd cut hay, chopped forage, pelleted forage, and cubed forage. Each one has it's own benefits, depending on the needs of the horse.
THE AGING HORSE
Aging horses have missing teeth, and have a hard time with chewing. They require more fat and protein than most. Paying attention to the fat content on Senior Grain is so important, one of the key elements that is often over looked. Soaking their grain to pea soup consistency takes the chewing out of the equation. Chopped Forage, or soaked timmothy/alfalfa pellets are excellent for adding forage to the aging horse's diet, who has a hard time with chewing hay.
Many grains contain Corn or Corn Derivatives as a main ingredient, because it's a cheap filler. Corn is a useless carb that causes inflammation and is responsible for allergies and many health issues and disease. Problems with corn are even more prevalent now, as most corn is Genetically Modified (GMO).
Another popular ingredient is Molasses. Molasses is SUGAR, another useless inflammatory ingredient that has zero nutritional benefits. Sugar is another cause for many health issues, disease, crumbling feet and making a horse "hot". When feeding a Hot Breed, such as the Thoroughbred, avoiding these two ingredients is key to obtaining a sane TB with great feet and a sound mind. Sherrie has 15 years experience feeding OTTB's (off the trackThoroughbreds).
FAT & PROTEIN
Fats builds fat and protein builds muscle, in any horse of any age. Adding more protein to horses that are hollowed out along the topline and croup will help build these muscles.
*Some fat supplements are:
-Rice Bran Oil 100% fat
-Ground Flax Seeds
-Alfalfa, comes in pellet, loose and cubes. All should be soaked to prevent choking. Alfalfa is also great for healing and preventing ulcers.
At some point, our horses need to be supplemented with vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatories, amino acids, etc. Not all hay or grain provides the essential vitamins and minerals horses require in their daily intake. It is very important to test each batch of hay and supplement to balance the daily requirements. Each, individual horse is different. The only way to determin what a horse is lacking is through a trusted Veterinarian's blood test.
There's many different types of natural supplements used for specific treatments. Here's a few of my favorites:
GROUND FLAX SEEDS- are not just a great source of fat, but also Omega 3 fatty acids for joint stiffness. Ground Flax is also wonderful anti- inflammatory, as well as a source of high fiber. The seeds must be ground to obtain their full benefits, as whole seeds just pass through.
BENTONITE CLAY- Volcanic ash that has anti-inflammatory properties, boost the immune system and has a negative charge. This means it attracks anything that contains a positive charge like heavy metals, poisons, toxic mold spores, parasites, RX meds (be very diligent about feeding clay if treating with an RX med, like Bute.)
1 TBL 1-2xs daily, with plastic utensils, safely removes unwanted substances from your horse's digestive system. The length of time varies on the severity and substance. *Do not use metal with the clay as it decharges it.
TURMERIC- is an herb with wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that has the ability to reduce pain, heal wounds and reduce menstrual difficulties.
CAT'S CLAW- an herb that has anti-inflammatory properties, used for gastrointestinal and urinary tract problems, diarrhea, respiratory problems, PMS, prostate, and helps boost the immune system.
DEVIL'S CLAW- an herb used to improve digestion, involving the gallbladder, pancreas, stomach and kidneys. It has been used to treat arthritis, constipation, diarrhea and is a natural appetite stimulant. Should not be used in mares who are or may be pregnant, as it is believed to cause uterine contractions.
CBD- Hemp CBD containing less than the legal limit of THC is still legal in most states. CBD is an anti-inflammatory that manages pain. The topical CBD has the same properties as a drawing salve, but in liquid form. It draws out heat, toxins, inflammation and abscesses.
Click here for more information on American Shaman CBD and a large list of their products. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.
Holistic Horse Healing, LLC