Re: Diet Components


Hi, and welcome to the list.  

Between 80% and 90% of laminitis is due to endocrine issues, which is to say: IR, Cushing's (PPID), and a tiny minority of mare issues. If your horse suffers from spring laminitis, then it is more than likely that IR and/or PPID are involved. What makes you and your vet say that your horse is not IR?

There is an amazing amount of opinion on the internet. There is not quite as much information based on evidence.

Rinsed/soaked/rinsed beet pulp is A-OK; however, your vet is 100% correct in suggesting that the alfalfa and rice bran could be problematic.

Alfalfa causes foot-soreness in some IR horses, but the actual compound that causes it is not known.  Until an IR or PPID horse is doing well, it is best not to have alfalfa in the diet.

Rice bran is not only too high in fat, it is too high in the pro-inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids, but they need to be in the correct ratio with the Omega 3 fatty acids. Rice bran is not appropriate for any horse, and especially not for a horse with laminitis.


To be double sure we are answering your questions correctly, we need a little more information. Please take a few minutes and join EC History 8:



Follow the instructions to download a case history template; then fill it out, save it to your computer, and upload it into the EC History 8 files section (make a folder, first, with your name on it)


The list philosophy is Diagnosis, Diet, Trim, and Exercise.


Diagnosis is by blood tests: blood should be pulled from a non-fasting horse (or pony) in a quiet barn; blood spun, separated, and frozen or chilled asap, then sent to the lab at Cornell on ice. Ask for insulin, glucose, leptin and ACTH (ACTH is to check for Cushings or PPID - please ask for it if your horse is 9 years or older)


More information here:


and here:



Diet is supremely important, in some ways more for what is not fed: no pasture, sweet feeds, oats/grain, carrots, apples, iron-containing supplements.  Diet consists of grass hay or haylage, with ESC (soluble sugars) and starch of less than 10%, plus minerals balanced to the forage, plus vitamin E, salt, and flaxseed or flaxseed oil.  One can use a carrier of beet pulp (rinsed, soaked, and rinsed) as a safe feed to get the supplements in.   The Temporary Emergency Diet uses hay soaked for 1 hour in cold water, or 30 minutes in hot water, with the water drained where the horses can't get at it; plus vitamin E, salt, and ground flaxseed in a safe carrier such as beet pulp (rinsed, soaked, rinsed).  More info on Temporary Emergency Diet here:


Trim:  This is a trim physiologically balanced to the internal shape of the coffin bone, with short toe and low heels.  Trim is often a neglected or mis-understood piece of the puzzle.


Exercise: This is the best EMS buster there is, but only if the pony/horse is comfortable and non-laminitic.  A horse that has suffered laminitis needs a good 6 to 9 months of correct hoof re-growth before any kind of serious exercise can begin.


There is also a ton of good information on the website.




Give us a little more information; ask any and all questions.


Jaini (BVSc),Merlin,Maggie,Gypsy

ECIR  mod/support


Join to automatically receive all group messages.