Wow Geoff, interesting you should send this info about sugar now. I have just in the past few weeks stopped feeding my 12 year old Quarter horse equine senior. He was actually only getting 1/2 cup twice daily as a little meal and he really didn’t need it for feed, his weight is fine and lots of grass. He has however had some serious behavior issues that seemed to be getting worse. Rearing, very reactive and heard bound especially under saddle. He is now getting a small amount of whole oats though. He is a different horse.
No longer reactive ground work is really getting so much better. I feel like I can make contact with him so much deeper that I have is a very long time. The trainer I am working with was really amazed at the improvement in his attitude.
She goes on to say…..
Hi Geoff, here is the grain free info on Cowboy. He is dong great, I have taken him off the oats And giving him hay cubes while Sally is eating. I do believe she needs a meal and I will be modifying What she eats. Leaving later this week for my Branson’s first birthday. Will work on Sally’s diet when I get back. Let me know if this is what your looking for and if it is too long.
Have fun, Ducka
My no grain challenge started a bit differently. I was having behavior issues with my 12 year old Quarter horse. He was not giving me respect and had been rearing on the lunge and under saddle, bucking at times but rearing seemed to be his go to move. It was pretty effective when he would square up with me and rear and stay there. I tried to trot him in hand he started trying to bite. All of this was very upsetting and difficult to deal with. I knew I needed help with him. In my search it was recommended to me to take him off the 1/2 cup of Equine Senior I was feeding him twice a day.
Now mind you he was only getting it because Sally my 30 year old mare eats it. I just gave him a little so he felt he was getting something and of course mealtime is a great time to check them out and make sure they don’t have any injuries. Really and truly I felt like 1/2 cup grain to a 16 hand horse, how much sugar could he be getting?
I actually only did it because I feel that when you ask some one for advise you should give them the respect of taking it. I had also begun working with a trainer and things were progressing well. Working with him diligently, especially in the cool NC mornings lately. Usually he was running rearing and bucking when I would get to the barn in my yard to feel. He began to be calmer in the
mornings and just come in for the 1/2 cup if outs I had switched him to. Each time I worked with him he was more and more responsive and less reactive. After about a week I really thought it was the diet change. At about 1 and 1/2 weeks into the diet changeI let the trainer work with him for about 10-15 minutes and asked if he noticed a difference and he said yes, what did you do. He is like a different horse. So I told him it was diet change. About a week later I saw Dr. Tucker’s grain free challenge. I was
so excited that he was validation my observations.
Geoff and I go way back to Ithaca. He was so encouraging about what I had observed and suggested I take Cowboy off the oats too. Again I asked for advise and took the advise I was given. I am giving him a couple of soaked hay cubes. I am so pleased with Cowboy’s behavior. He is happy working well and playful. I must say on of the first things I really noticed was I could make contact with him. I could see into him and he me. He began seeking the information I was giving him. Now I realize I do not know enough about nutrition. My challenge will be to learn more.
Thank you Geoff.
Update June 13, 2016
I just wanted to update you on my grain, sugar free horse.
Wow, he is amazing. When I first took him off that tiny amount of Equine Senior he had immediate changes. It was late enough in the riding season I did not get to really get the full benefits of the behavior improvements. I have not been able to get a trainer to come here and work with me. A bit worried about going ahead alone, since he had gotten bad enough that I not only always wear a helmet I also bought a riding vest. Rearing is not a fun time for me. So I have started again alone.
Well for the past month I am riding him in the round pen and small field near my barn. He is doing great. Walk trot all over, listening, calm and very light. Still keeping it easy for him. Buddy sour is his big challenge. I challenge him a bit and bring him back to comfort. No rearing, no bucking. Even began to canter a bit yesterday. Riding about 3 times a week. Life is great.
Love to get to report this.