Horse Care Materials – Nutrition

Horse Nutrition Materials

Please click and read the “Feeding Horses – Frequently Asked Questions” article first (opens in a new tab).

Articles, podcasts and other materials here all in alphabetical order. Remember the search option 🔍. Members get more details in the forums, Rounds and comments (discover membership here).

A Question About Soybeans

A simple question came to me recently that needs to be discussed.  A horse owner asked, “The above link is an article circulating on FB; I was curious if you’ve read this? Thoughts? Thank you so much!”  Here is the link for those interested: ...

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Betrayal

I was born in an era where stores were closed on Sunday, truth and hard work were the norm, alcohol was the only drug available and horses were mostly owned by men. The wars with Germany and Japan were still fresh and our men were now fighting in Korea. We had never...

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Cheating On The No Grain Diet

I need to come clean with all of you. I have been cheating on the no grain diet. Please forgive me but I and Melissa have been put into an impossible position. Tis the season where fabulous clients find time to head to their kitchens to make baked treats or stores to...

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Cheese Doodles, Chocolate Bars and Candy Won’t Hurt You

Did Doc T just say OK to eating Cheese Doodles, chocolate bars and more tasty things?  Yup! But only with a condition. What sparked this idea was a story I heard about a Norwegian explorer who walked to the South Pole and back by himself.  Along the way he would bury...

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Chronic Protein Deficiency In Horses

This is a very important article for all horse owners to read and understand.  I know that a lot of horse owners don’t have time to read this, but I promise you that reading and understanding this article will be life altering for your horses. If your horses are...

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Chronic Protein Deficiency In Horses – HorseTalk

Discussion: Does you horse have any of the following? Poor top line Poor hair coat Breakdown of connective tissue like suspensory ligaments Laminitis and other lamenesses A hay belly Metabolic syndrome (obesity, Insulin Resistance) Hormonal dysfunction...

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Complexicate

Welcome to a new year and to a new word – complexicate! I like getting older. Why? Because the layers of confusion people add to life become more clear and are now easier to peel off. Yes I know. This is a sure sign that I am becoming a grumpy old man. Guilty as...

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Constantly At War

Are We Really Constantly At War? Is there a never ending battle between us and them where if we win, we live and if we don’t, we die? Is this going on right now in the guts of our horses? This has been a tough week with the insane shootings in Las Vegas. Today I...

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Decomplexicating Equine Nutrition – Introduction

Clouds shroud these hilltop wind turbine generators hiding their true giant size – much like the misinformation in feeding horses creates a cloud of mystique in what is truth. This is a series on my approach to feeding the horse. I introduced the word...

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Doughnut Hole

Think of the Doughnut hole, the space filled with air going from the top to the bottom of the Doughnut. Now place your finger in the Doughnut and wear it like a ring. Is there any question that the hole is NOT the Doughnut? Yet without the Doughnut, there would be no...

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ECEIM Consensus Statement On Equine Metabolic Syndrome

The European College of Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM) issued a consensus statement on a problem affecting a lot of horses called in general, Equine Metabolic Syndrome or EMS. I want to summarize here some of the key points and then add my 2 cents. Obesity The...

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Feeding Horses – The Frequently Asked Questions

Contents What Is The Two Week No Grain Challenge? Is it OK to abruptly remove the feed he is used to? What will I feed my horses instead while the other horses in the barn are fed their grain? What is the theory behind the no grain challenge? What is sugar? What is...

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Feeding Salt To Horses

(This blog’s header photo is of a white salt block in a stall.) When we see a salt shaker near our food, many of us grab it and shake it all over our plate.  The tiny white crystals scatter off the plate, continue to bounce chaotically across the table and...

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Feeding Senior Horses

When Is A Horse A Senior? I don’t know when a horse becomes a “senior.” Age is a human concept of marking how many times we circle the sun. If instead we were traveling in a straight line through space, how would we mark the passage of time? The idea of us or our...

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Feeding The Horse As Simple As 1-2-3

(above) A bucket with hay pellets and soy bean meal. This plus grass hay, alfalfa cubes and pasture is all this horse eats. Keep It Simple Doc I hear this all the time from horse owners who feel that in making horse nutrition simple, I have missed the mark. “Just tell...

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Food Does Not Equal Love

It was Valentine’s day yesterday and I made a HUGE mistake. I had worked all day in the northern part of Louisiana and my scheduled hotel last night was in Pearl Mississippi. I had 4 plus hours of driving that included 2 stops for charging the Tesla and grabbing...

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Honesty – A True Story

This is a true story and all of my true stories are true but this one will seem a stretch for a moment. You will nod your head (or shake it) as you either agree with it’s honesty or become shocked when the words this man said to me settle into your consciousness. This...

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Hormesis, Hay And Horses

(This blog’s header photo is of a modern 6 wheel tractor tedding the hay field before baling.) In our Facebook group, “The Horse’s Advocate,” a member had a concern about her horse. The “diet” is feeding only pasture and hay, salt...

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Horse Nutrition – An Introduction

There are two things to be said about nutrition in horses.  The first is to feed horses the way they were created to eat.  The second is that no one remembers how they were created to eat. Ask yourself this.  Who taught you how to feed?  Then ask, who taught them? ...

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Horse Nutrition – Body Condition Score

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material The Henneke horse body condition score was published by a professor at Texas A&M University in 1983 and is named after him.  He wanted to use a simple system for horse owners to score the body condition of their horses. It has...

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Horse Nutrition – Carbohydrates (Sugar)

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Carbohydrate is a word that describes sugar.  Other words include saccharide, monosaccharide, disaccharide, polysaccharide, glycogen, starch, cellulose, soluble fiber, non-soluble fiber, structural carbohydrate and non-structural...

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Horse Nutrition – Concentrate Feeds

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Concentrate rations are the opposite of forage for horses.  They developed a while ago when people moved from the country farms to the industrialized cities.  In order to feed these people, horses worked more to harvest more food...

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Horse Nutrition – Fats

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material It is not necessary to feed a fat source or supplement to horses.  The reason for this is based on understanding what a fat is and where the horse gets fat in a field of grass. Other words for fat include triglycerides, fatty...

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Horse Nutrition – Feed By Weight, Not Volume

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Horse owners feed by volume which most will call a “scoop.”  This is irrational.  If we all decided to pick one size for a “scoop,” would that “scoop” of feathers weigh as much as a “scoop” of rocks?  Obviously not.  The density of...

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Horse Nutrition – Feeding Signs

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material A variety of signs I have seen around the farms. Related material – Sometimes I have a lot of material here that I have written, podcasted, video blogs and other things.  They will be listed in this tab. Use the browser back button...

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Horse Nutrition – Ground Plants

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Horses are one of 3 groups of animals with similar digestive tracts in the world.  Beside all equids (horses, asses and zebras), the other two are the tapir and the rhinoceros.  They all feed on ground plants and use the bacteria...

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Horse Nutrition – Growing Horses

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Feeding growing horses is simple.  Feed a high quality protein source (a pasture filled with a variety of ground plants or a supplement such as soybean meal that offers ALL of the essential amino acids) and enough supplemental...

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Horse Nutrition – Hay

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Hay is last summer’s grass.  It is a new supplement and it could also be called the original supplement.  The purpose of hay is to add calories to the diet when winter is hard on the horses.  Adding hay in winter to sustain life is...

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Horse Nutrition – Lectins

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Lectins are defensive chemicals made by plants that cannot run away from predators.  While it sounds funny, it becomes more clear when you discover that plants have been on this Earth for 1.5 million years longer than any ground...

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Horse Nutrition – Minerals And Electrolytes

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Minerals and electrolytes in horses are elements (atoms) that are NOT carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.  They include the macro-minerals of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chloride and sulfur.  They also...

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Horse Nutrition – Physiology

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Knowing how nutrition works in the horse down to the cellular and molecular level is important. You may not think so or you may not feel capable of understanding the complexities.  If you try you will not only help your horse...

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Horse Nutrition – Proteins

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Protein has become a mystery for most horse owners and people in general.  Few have explained its importance in life so let me give you some facts to help.  Proteins are a group of molecules in our body that make a lot of things:...

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Horse Nutrition – Supplements

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material I don’t believe in any supplement for horses unless there is a deficiency.  With the exception of starvation, mineral and vitamin deficiencies are rare in horses. In every area of the country horse owners tell me their area is low...

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Horse Nutrition – Top Line Score

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material The Top Line Score came out in other animals, primarily meat animals (hogs, cattle), as a way to determine how much meat was on the hoof.  And ultrasound machine would be scanned over the backs of hogs and the back fat was measured...

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Horse Nutrition – Treats

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Most treats fed to horses are not only filled with inflammatory ingredients but are fed for the wrong reason. Many mixed treats are made with grains and grain byproducts.  Some have added minerals, vitamins, “essential” ingredients...

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Horse Nutrition – Water

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material Most people don’t “think” about feeding water – they just do it.  Water, along with air, is more important than food as removing either will bring death within a minute to a few days.  This is because water is made of 2...

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Horse Nutrition – Weight Control

SummaryArticleVideosRelated Material I see weight control as two issues in horses.  Either the horse remains underweight no matter how much they are fed or the horse remains overweight no matter how much restriction is applied to the diet.  Weight needs to seen as...

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How Long Do I Need To Feed Soybean Meal To My Horses?

Answering this question requires a review of the 2 causes of chronic protein deficiency in horses.  The first cause is the absence of a complete variety of amino acids in the diet and / or not feeding enough “high quality” protein. The second cause is the continuous...

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Lectins

Here is a new word for many of you but we have known about them for a while. A lectin is a protein made by plants. OK so far? The things I will be writing about here are mind blowing – and very new. I am excited about this information for a lot of reasons. The...

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Lectins – Decomplexicating Equine Nutrition Part 11 of 12

This Is Really New Stuff The things I will be writing about here is mind blowing – and very new. I am excited about this information for a lot of reasons but the most important for horse owners is that lectins are, for the most part, not good. For example, about...

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Mineral Deficiency In Horse Hay And Pasture

There is a common thought among horse owners that the mineral content of the soil and hay has been reduced to a point that horses are becoming mineral deficient. I do not see the data to support this nor do I see the horses developing a mineral deficiency. So I asked...

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No Sweat!

I mean, no sweat as in your horse has stopped sweating. For anyone in the latitudes where it never gets above 85 degrees F or the humidity is moderate, you will never know what I’m talking about. I wish I had a picture of the first horse I had actually known with...

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Nutrition In Horses – a HorseTalk™ Webcast

December 12, 2015 A sign found outside of a stall – Yea! Someone gets it! Discussion: Nutrition in horses requires understanding the basics and busting the myths. Here are the key points about nutrition in horses: Take the 2 week no-grain challenge. Allow the...

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Podcast #002 – Carbohydrate Dependency in Horses

What is carbohydrate (sugar) dependency in horses and how does it lead to chronic protein deficiency and insulin resistance? This is a fundamental question every horse owner should try to understand in order to 1) feed horses correctly and 2) prevent most diseases in...

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Podcast #006 – The Calcium To Phosphorus Ratio

Calcium (Ca) and Phosphorus (P) are two of the most plentiful minerals in your horse and are required for bone structure, muscle function and hundreds of other metabolic functions. However they compete for uptake in the digestive tract. When there is more phosphorus...

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Podcast #017 – Is Soybean Meal OK to feed horses?

This is a question asked on the FB group – If all seeds cause gut inflammation in horses and the core belief of this group is to go back to feeding horses the way they were created, how then is feeding soybean meal (SBM) a good choice for horses? This podcast...

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Podcast #019 – The Role Of Oils In Horses

Oils and fats seem to confuse a lot of horse owners and because of this, terminology such as “Omega 3 oils” are used a lot but without understanding what they are. As a result, horses are fed a lot of oils with good intentions for their health. But does it? This...

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Podcast #020 – How To Feed The Competing Horse

Most horses are used for strenuous competition and we would think that they need to be feed differently from retired horses that are in the field. This podcast looks at the requirements of these athletes from a point of view where the basic foundations of nutrition...

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Podcast #024 – The Mighty Mitochondria

Within the cells of our horses are power stations where fuel is converted into energy. Without this power station called the mitochondria, the cell and thus the horse dies. In reality, the mitochondria are organisms living within our cells as a symbiotic relationship...

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Podcast #025 – Hormesis, Rapamycin and Horses

All things in life experience an ebb and flow much like the seasons, the loss of leaves of the oak tree, the tides or the birth and death of all living things. What seems to be the challenge for all of us and our horses is not just having a long life but to be healthy...

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Podcast #027 – Protein In Horses

Protein is a word in nutrition that horse owners have difficulty understanding. There is good reason for this – because it is more complicated than carbohydrates (sugar) and fat. But why? Horse owners aren’t stupid and on top of this, they want to do the...

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Podcast #031 – Molds, Mycotoxins And Soaking Horse Hay

Reducing the extra body fat on our horses is the best, if not the only, way to improve and eliminate metabolic syndrome. But is there a cost to their health in the increased production of molds with mycotoxins when doing this? I attended a symposium put on by the...

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Podcast #032 – The AAEP Discusses Laminitis In Horses

On October 13th, 2021 The American Association Of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) had a virtual meeting of 4 professionals involved in the care of horses suffering from laminitis. This is a crippling and often life-ending painful affliction of the hooves of horses. I...

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Podcast #037 – Horse Feeding And Nutrition – A Book Report

I just finished half of an old book on feeding the horse written by a professor of nutrition. It is called “Horse Feeding And Nutrition” by Tony Cunha. It was first published in 1980 and this was the second edition in 1991 – 30 years ago.  What was so striking...

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Protein Bioavailability For Horses

 Discussion: This table lists the bio-availability of the various feeds used for additional protein in horses but they are based on human studies.  Values that have a range is because of different information available. The bio-availability of proteins can vary...

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Protein For Horses Revisited

Proteins And Their Building Blocks Of Amino Acids Protein is a word that describes a very large molecule that is made up of smaller molecules called amino acids. A good way to look at this is to think of a protein like a word and an amino acid as a letter. When you...

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Protein Sources For Horses

  Discussion: This table lists the variety of commercial protein sources available for horses. The ingredients often change so be sure to read the label for the most accurate ingredients. This list was updated December 2020 and I will not be updating it in the...

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Rhubarb Pie, The Orbiting Earth and Your Horse

When I was a boy my Mom grew rhubarb in the garden. She was very proud of the crop and while it grew she would dream of the rhubarb pie we were all going to be blessed with in late summer. I hate rhubarb pie. There was nothing good about it and I dreaded getting a pie...

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Starvation and Weight Loss

Discussion: There are 3 reasons for a horse to be underweight: the food isn’t available, the food is available but can’t be swallowed and the food is available, swallowed but isn’t absorbed. Let’s look at each. BCS 1 – Poor – Extremely emaciated with no...

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Summary – Decomplexicating Equine Nutrition Part 12 of 12

WE ARE DONE!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!Some Basic Rules Will Help You 1) Feed a horse as it has fed itself for a long time before us. Good pasture and water. 2) Where necessary (weather, lack of pasture) supplement with good quality of a variety of hay (grass and legume)....

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Symbiosis And The Horse’s Gut

I am trying to make sense of things but I keep coming up short when determining why grain causes so many issues in horses. My search has led me to an idea that is based on research in human nutrition.  In this and blogs I am writing over the next several weeks I will...

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Testimonial – Sweating Again In 3 Days

This is areport from the owner of a 27 year horse being fed with care but will not sweat in the summer heat. “I know you wanted an update on how he was doing so this is what I’ve got so far: Well, we’ve completed the 1 week “diet reset” where I...

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Weed Killer In My Beer And Wine

(above) Doc T gives a presentation on nutrition to horse owners at a “Horse Extravaganza” in Naples FL February 2019. Glyphosate (Roundup®) There are a lot of you out there who drink beer and a lot who drink wine.  Some drink both.  Today’s newspaper has...

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Why Horses Should Not Be Fed Grain

Everything you swallow is NOT inside your body. Think about this for a bit. The things you and your horse swallow is placed inside a tube running through you from the mouth to the anus. There are no little people inside of you opening little port holes in this tube...

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Why Is My Horse Girthy? – HorseSense™ With Doc T

Discussion: Girthiness is when the horse swishes his tail, stomps his feet, turns his head around to touch or even bite you when you tighten the girth. This narrated animation helps to describe the cause behind this behavior. Want to join the discussion? Click and...

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Betrayal

I was born in an era where stores were closed on Sunday, truth and hard work were the norm,...

read more

Complexicate

Welcome to a new year and to a new word – complexicate! I like getting older. Why? Because...

read more

Constantly At War

Are We Really Constantly At War? Is there a never ending battle between us and them where if we...

read more

Doughnut Hole

Think of the Doughnut hole, the space filled with air going from the top to the bottom of the...

read more

Feeding Senior Horses

When Is A Horse A Senior? I don’t know when a horse becomes a “senior.” Age is a human concept of...

read more

Lectins

Here is a new word for many of you but we have known about them for a while. A lectin is a protein...

read more

No Sweat!

I mean, no sweat as in your horse has stopped sweating. For anyone in the latitudes where it never...

read more