Today, as horse owners our mind boggles with so many feeds, clever marketing, complicated supplements, juggling contradicting expert advice, spending fortunes on jars of this and that, scientific research papers, feed extra metabolic cofactors, balancing minerals, cutting out sugar till our horses are virtually eating cardboard and still they fall sick. Fructose is the culprit. Oh no, now its not. Sugar is the baddie. Starch is evil. A horse eating grass – OMG!
But still they fall sick. Dairy grass is to blame. But my laminitic has never eaten dairy grass? The mineral iron is now wicked and must be to blame. But still they fall sick. Don’t clothe them with rugs, make them exercise more, we coddle them too much. But still they fall sick. They need more oil in their diet. No they need less. No it needs to be a certain type. Now I am confused.
Metabolic horses fed Jiagulan. Fed Alcar. Fed nitric oxide. Fed chelated calcium. Fed turmeric. Fed some chemical thing I can’t pronounce (but its backed up with lots of research). They seem to work. Cushings (PPID) continues to rise. Four year olds put to sleep with Cushings? Where did that come from? Laminitis continues to rise. We just diagnose it better though don’t we? Pergolide and Metformin – keep popping the pills – that will sort it. Vets own horses with metabolic syndrome – if they can’t keep a horse healthy then who can? Oh well , carry on. More horses than not have ulcers. Its ok, we have drugs for that too.
Cereal free. Molasses free. Obesity epidemic. Metabolic syndrome. Fat pads and swollen eye sockets. Facebook, forums, discussion groups, scientific research conferences, information overload! But still they fall sick. Horse owners now need a PhD in nutrition to understand the jargon. Farriers remedial shoes. Barefoot remedial trims. Angles of rotation and theories abound. But still they fall sick. How on earth did horses ever survive as a species before all this? How on earth did our grandparents keep horses before all this techno-babble? Well the answer is simple. Mother Nature. There is a great old saying. It goes like this.
“Any fool can make things complicated, but it takes a genius to keep things simple”.
Mother Nature is a genius. She evolved horses to eat grasses, browse, herbage and drink clean water. And that’s it. No chemical processing, no pesticides, no fungicides (killing those precious hind gut microbes that control our metabolism), no high nitrate fertilisers, no bedding coated in weedkillers to nibble on.
If you have tried a whole heap of the above mentioned treatments but your horse is still sick then take your next bit of advice from Mother Nature. Feed your horse organic/ non chemically treated hay. Bed on shavings/wood. Don’t feed wheatfeed, oatfeed, chemically treated straw or genetically modified soya ingredients in your feed (highest levels of pesticides in these ingredients – we know – we’ve tested them). Don’t let your horse be subjected to local crop sprays and clean out field water tanks afterwards. You can continue to feed the minerals, the drugs, etc, for now. Let’s try to take away the main non-natural parts of your horse’s diet and environment first. Try for a month or two and look for gradual improvements. If you like what you see – you know you are on the right track. At last.
All 7 horses in the Thunderbrook herd live on organic hay and a cup of Base Mix per day. That’s it. No supplements (not even our own). Formerly metabolic, laminitic, high ACTH levels, high IR levels have gone. Fat pads – gone. Barefoot and rock crunching feet. Happy to eat ryegrass (organic). When your mind is open and you are ready to question whether pesticides and chemical processing are the real baddies, then come and talk to us. If you don’t agree – that’s fine. There’s plenty more supplements and drugs to try, and its your choice. Please share – let’s open a few more questioning minds .
*** We originally posted this in July 2014, re posting as we think its a message worth sharing***