Horse Feeding And Nutrition – A Book Report – The Horse’s Advocate Podcast #037

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 to me were these several points:
  • I know personally the people who were referenced as the scientists, researchers and students after each chapter.
  • The information here is exactly what I knew when I attended vet school at Cornell.
  • The author quickly points out that there is little known about feeding horses that has a scientific basis and that most of the information presented in the book is from pigs, chicks and ruminants.
  • The feed companies took this information and ran with it creating most of the feeds and feeding information we have today.
  • Most of the “new” research has been driven by feed and supplement companies and that this bias has been harming our horses since this book was written.
This book has strengthened my conviction that the food and the way we feed our horses has to change. Only research in humans has recently re-worked their plan fighting back the bias of food and drug companies. However all of this has led only to more confusion. I don’t want this for you the horse owner. However it was necessary for me to step back in time to understand where we have all come from in our education. And like ghosts, the people in this book have reached me on a personal level and have given me insights on the level we would never see otherwise. Because of this, I will continue to honor their work but challenge it all the same.

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