Introduction - IR and EPSM horse

Ute <ute@...>

I am a massage therapist who specializes in horse and rider
imbalances and have recently also turned barefoot trimmer - for me
this was simply a natural progression of what I do.

I own an IR miniature pony that was given to me for free , because
the previous owners did not want to deal with his sugar sensitivities
anymore (he foundered at least once prior to me taking him). I also
own a QH/ASB x Selle Francais cross, who, unbeknownst to me, had
developed mild EPSM symptoms while on a processed grain and alfalfa (
1/2 alfalfa and 1/2 grass hay). This diet also caused him to
overreact and often run on a sugar high in his pasture and one day,
in Feb 2005, he probably managed to slide and hyperextend his RF
suspensory by doing so.

He is out 24/7, and stall confinement was not realistic. At the same
time I also started to see the connection between his overrectiveness
and his diet, so I completely changed his diet, pulled all grain and
alfalfa and added BOSS instead, plus vitamins and minerals. He has
since been on only grass hay, some BOSS, Vitamins and minerals as

He healed within 6 months. During this time, some other
symptoms/behavior also started to disappear, like not being able to
keep up with me when walking, hind end sensitivities, intolerance of
having his hind legs up for any length of time, etc. . This is when I
started to put things together and knew that he had also developed
EPSM while on the former diet.

Since the diet change his hooves have also improved tremendously and
I am certain, that over time, he probably would have developed IR as
well. The suspensory strain truly was a blessing in disguise on many

My mini is doing well but I continously struggle to get my friends
(where he lives - they have fed straight alfalfa and grain to their
horses - Arab crosses - all their lives) to understand how sensitive
he is to sugars. It is very frustrating. He had another very mild
flare up recently after they let him out on grass in the driveway and
then I hear stories how they gave him a few oats because he was not
eating his mineral supplement....sigh :-( I hope to be able to move
him out of there as soon as I possibly can.

I truly appreciate the enormous amount of information of this group
and the fact the "unconventional" treatments are considered and
followed as well. We need to be open minded and listen to the horses
to find the best possible treatment approach for each one. Ideally
conventional and unconventional medicine should always compliment
each other, as both have strengths and weaknesses. Thank you for all
your efforts!

Ute Miethe

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