WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FEED A HORSE THE WRONG TYPES OF FEED?
Poor feed conversion
Poor hooves or heat in hooves
Conditions that your horse can show when on a junk food diet, that you might think are your horses’ normal traits.
These are not normal traits; they are your horse’s body trying to show you that they need you to help. Your horse needs your help to remove the toxins, inflammation, pain, and damage to his or her systems.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
Horses are strict herbivores, they are non-ruminant. They are hindgut fermenters, where the large intestine is the main site of fermentation of fibrous food.
The horse’s digestive system is very sensitive to sudden changes in feeding, poor feeding, chemicals, overeating the wrong feeds, changing feeds too quickly and obstructions. When we are looking at changing from a poor feed to a natural feed that is more suitable for the horse, we need to take our time so as not to aggravate the digestive system and shock the horse.
If we feed junk food (poor quality feeding) we can cause colic, diarrhoea, and gut
disturbances such as bloat, nervousness or gastric ulcers.
A quick swap with feeds can upset the gut microbiome which can account for things such as laminitis, colic, mood changes and condition.
Have you ever looked at the ingredients to see EXACTLY what is in your bag of feed? If you do, you will start to understand.
Grains and seeds have husks or outer layers and once they have been crushed, cracked or broken the nutritional worth has been lost within 24 hours due to oxidation. Numerous feeds on the market today contain cracked, flaked or rolled grains, so this is really saying that your feed could potentially be rancid by the time the feed bag reaches you, the customer.
These feeds can also contain by-products (hulls, cracked grains, distillers grains etc), Genetically modified ingredients, fillers, flavourings, chemicals, additives, sugar, salt, emulsifying agents and colourings. All of these products are very damaging to the metabolism.
We also need to look at if the horse feed is made in a facility where cattle feed or ruminant feeds are produced as they use ingredients that are very toxic to horses.
If there is cross contamination your horse could be ingesting poisonous elements within their feeds, this should also be applied to supplements that you give.
If you are feeding multiple supplements/balancers that are made with junk food, synthetic minerals and vitamins, it can cause issues with your horse too.
These feeds can cause all sorts of symptoms to your horse that you may be totally unaware of.
You may think that your horse is in good condition with a great topline but is it really great or is it just fatty deposits that take on the appearance of muscle?
A sudden switch between feeds can upset the gut microbiome, which might explain why some horses experience colic or laminitis
A lot of feeds can have by-products, fillers, additives, flavourings, colour and sometimes things that we have never heard of.
So, the idea of changing from junk food to a natural feeding system is a brilliant idea.
HERE IS HOW TO DO THE SWITCH
It is recommended to make the transition over a period of 10 days to 4 weeks. Anything less and you could see signs of colic, bloating, mood changes, laminitis, stress. Many of the junk foods contain sugar which like us is an addiction, so the gradual changeover will assist with the taste buds and the decrease of sugars in the diet minimizing the stomping of hooves at the lack of sugar!!
You will start by adding in a small amount of the new feed to the existing feed and gradually every couple of days decrease the old feed and increase the new feed. Remember if you make the swap too quickly you may get an upset horse.
TIP: It would be of great benefit to do a detox to remove any nasties from your horse’s system. Give them a clean slate to start their new natural feeding regime.
Natural Feed adheres to strict guidelines for a strict herbivores diet, grass, plants and herbs. Anything outside of this is alien to your horse’s digestive system, it has been that way for over 2 million years.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU TAKE YOUR HORSE OFF THE JUNK
When you change your horse over to a natural way of feeding you will see some changes happening and is always best to understand before you start.
YOU MAY THINK THAT YOUR HORSE IS LOSING WEIGHT, this is in fact your horse losing the bloat from eating feeds it was never designed to eat (junk food).
YOU MAY ALSO THINK YOUR HORSE IS LOSING TOPLINE, whereas in fact there never was topline, it was fat.
By bringing a horse back to the natural way of feeding you will have a healthy horse and one that you can build healthy muscle and topline through correct feeding and exercise.
YOU WILL NEED TO ALLOW TIME for your horse to remove any toxins from their internal systems.
YOU WILL SEE CHANGES in your horse such as the removal of fatty deposits, decrease in inflammation, increase in energy, a MUCH happier horse, changes in skin and coat quality, and the development of muscle.
You will see with natural feeding and the use of Oxydane or LeisurVit daily supplements changes appearing with your horse.
No longer will the shine come from a cosmetic product it will be there year round coming from within, those dapples you will never get from a bottle.
The skin will become healthier and the coat will become soft and sleek.
Hooves take a bit longer but growth comes from a healthy gut, natural feed combined with Oxydane or LeisureVit can assist with healthy, strong growth and the closing of white lines.
The immune system will be functioning correctly helping your horse on a daily basis.
The circulation will be flowing to all limbs correctly and this will help with any inflammations, stiffness or pain.
Above all the gut microbiome will be functioning correctly.
For those with spooky horses or ones that do strange things from time to time, you will notice that these behaviours tend to disappear. The gut/brain axis will be functioning correctly and your horse’s second brain will behave as it is supposed to.
The inclusion of BioEquus as part of their natural diet will assist with the gut microbiome.
Yes, there are some horse’s who need a little more help with focus and concentration but for the vast majority it is fixing the cause rather than the symptom that pays huge dividends – no more calmers!!
So the question is, what are you waiting for?
Karyn Campbell, Naturopath & Equine Herbalist