The other issue with commercial and processed feed is the glycemic index. Just like in the dog food industry, feed companies now have 'disease-specific' diets, for pathologies that were caused by their 'original' version. We now have diets for obese horses, and horses with Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Soon there will be kidney diets, diets for horses in liver failure and so on. When food is processed, pulverized, cooked, the absorption in the small intestine is almost instantly, hence the blood sugar will spike no matter the starch content. This is often the cause of OCDs, colic, horses being 'hot' and slowly but surely, horses develop insulin resistance. The good news is that it is reversible.
First, we have to heal the digestive tract by reducing the total amount of grain fed- no more than 1lb/ day for insulin resistant horses, and by feeding real, whole food.
No horse should ever receive supplemental iron, and for IR , cushings and laminitic horses, it is critical to remove any and all iron containing supplements. The iron in hay , grass, and algae is natural and will not contribute to an iron overload.
We also have to make sure that these horses do not receive any ascorbic, citric, or propionic acid, as those will increase iron absorption by up to 43%. When you read your commercial feed tag, you will notice that while Ferrous Sulfate (iron) is added to the mix, there is no iron content mentioned on the feed tag.
Horses that are obese need extra iodine, especially if their thyroid is sluggish after a life long soy based diet. The iodine in Kelp will help with the recovery of their metabolism.
We also need to rid them of any inflammatory process, which increases cortisol levels and therefore blood sugar levels and can cause cushings disease. Tumeric mixed with some coconut oil will help to reduce any chronic and/or acute inflammation.
Horse Feed has changed a lot over the last 20 years. While we used to feed horses mainly oats and timothy hay, the feed industry realized that there were waste products from human food manufacturing that could make for a big profit. A new horse feed industry developed: The Added Ingredient industry.
Floor sweepings of wheat middlings, soy bean hulls, and distillers dried grains were pelleted with molasses and chemical binders. Feed mills were frequented by sales representatives of feed additive companies that were presenting an increased profit margin by adding cheap, synthetic vitamins and minerals that would not be utilized by horses, but in fact disturb the very fragile balance that nature had created perfectly.The results are illustrated below.
real food-real results
whole food for horses