Re: Laura & Hope - 22 yr old TB mare

Laura Cull

Hi, I should have said that I've read the whole website so I am familiar with your philosophy, the diet, etc.

I did have the hay tested and results are already attached in the file. I have also uploaded the details on Equi-Cal, which was specifically recommended by two vets as it is low sugar and starch but high fat and fibre. I did not do your "emergency diet" as if anything she needed to gain weight not lose it. She has done well over the past month on her new diet and has even gained 50 lbs. I am not taking her off the Equi-Cal as I specifically switched to it when she was diagnosed. If I am going to make further changes to her diet then I need good reasons to do so.

I buy all supplements from Herbs for Horses as their products are all pharmaceutical grade and researched and tested at the University of Guelph in their equine program. I am not willing to change companies when it comes to supplements. Quality and efficacy are very important to me.

Her blood test was done also at the University of Guelph.

About Vitamin C, I've read that horses do make their own but as they age this declines. One of the first symptoms Hope had was a compromised immune system as she has battled skin infections for 5 years. I want to support her immune system as best I can, hence the Vitamin C & E. I guess I will know more about whether I should continue giving her the Vitamin C once she is tested for IR. The Vitamin E is a powder so if it needs to be given with oil then it is a good thing I am giving her canola oil.

I am surprised that the tripping could be from low grade laminitis as she does not show any tenderness. In fact, while trail riding she shows a great willingness to trot and canter. Could there be another reason for the tripping? As for her hooves, I am a little uncomfortable getting into posting photos. I have confidence in my farrier and while he is likely very open to having his work examined and receiving feedback, it is not something I am willing to do at this point. Maybe in the future.

Hope lives outside 24/7 year round. She has her own grass paddock as she is a slow eater and easily bullied. Where she lives is a small family acreage with her two buddies beside her in a large corral. During the spring, summer and fall they are all let out on pasture during the day and brought in at night. Given the circumstances I am not able, and not willing I should add, to restrict Hope from grass pasture. While that may be ideal from a diet perspective, there is also the issue of mental well-being. I want her to be able to graze with her friends. Sometimes we have to work with what we have and make the best of it.

One question ... why the white salt block?

Finally, now that you see my hay analysis is complete and the guaranteed analysis of the Equi-Cal is also uploaded, perhaps someone could have a look and provide feedback on her diet. If there is someone who is quite familiar with the Otter Coop products that would be most appreciated because one thing I've learned since Hope's diagnosis is that the label does not tell the whole story. I wish they were forced to provide all the details we need to make informed decisions.

Many thanks,

Laura & Hope
Kelowna, BC, Canada
Oct 2014

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