Eleanor Kellon, VMD <drkellon@...>
P.S. I just want to emphasize that for those of you struggling to
get an IR/laminitic horse or pony under control, the LEAST of your
worries should be "feed".
The focus on feeding stuff from a bag has been skillfully driven
into your heads by feed companies. Fortified grains fed in their
recommended amounts have actually done a lot of good in alleviating
mineral deficiencies, much less so in correcting mineral imbalances.
Every horse owner has been conditioned to think they *must* "feed"
the horse from some bagged product. It just ain't so.
Yes, there's a good chance any horse needs supplementation of one or
more minerals above what they are getting in their hay, but you
don't have to tie that supplementation to a high carb grain. Another
consideration most people don't think about is that the amount of
additional minerals your horse gets from the supplemented grain
depends directly on how much of it you feed. If you are feeding
amounts significantly below the manufacturer's recommended daily
feeding, it's not doing much. It's like taking your own One A Day
supplement pill, shaving a corner off it and only taking that.
For a horse that's in trouble, the only function of the "feed" is to
carry the needed vitamins and minerals into the horse. Nothing is
safer for doing that than rinsed/soaked/rinsed beet pulp - which has
other benefits as well such as lowering triglycerides. If you have
your mineral supplement customized to your hay and mixed in a base
of generous flax (2 to 6 oz/day), it won't take more than a small
amount of beet pulp or other feed to get the horse to eat it. Your
goal should be to maximize hay intake, even free choice, and
minimize "feed" when dealing with a horse in trouble.