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 anhydrosis (the medical term for non-sweating). Only his head and nostrils could be seen while his remaining body remained below the surface of the water. More common are the horses standing in front of fans, nostrils flared, rib cage heaving as they struggle to remain cool without the benefit of the cooling effect of evaporating moisture from their skin.

As a vet student at Cornell, not much was said about this condition of horses. Little was written about it. Treatments spread about the horse world with anecdotal evidence to their effectiveness. Guinness Extra Stout ale, other dark ales, any beer are all common remedies. Acupuncture, the Equi-Patch, 1AC, misting fans, Ventipulman (albuterol) and prostaglandin injections all have reports of working to some degree in some horses.

Some Degree – Some Horses

No one has determined why some horses in the same environment stop sweating while others do sweat but we know that every horse is different with different responses to triggers. And no one (to my knowledge) has determined the mechanism behind anhydrosis.

Accidentally we have found a cure that seems to work in every horse we try it with and we need your help to give us more examples of this treatment’s success. It is August and it is hot. Will you help us figure this out?

Research has shown that if you add the temperature in Farenheit with the % humidity and the sum is greater than 185 then there is a good chance your horse will have diminished sweat.  They did not relate this observation with their diet and they did not use celcius.  For example, a 90 degree day with 95% humidity = 185.  This was just an observational study so there is some variability just as my observation that horses resolve their anhidrosis when grain and grain byproducts (and this should also include ALL treats and supplements) are removed.

Most of you already know that we are not big fans of feeding grain to any horse. This includes corn, oats, wheat, or any seeds (flax, chia, sunflower) and especially the byproducts (wheat middlings, rice bran, oat hulls, sugar beet pulpand others)  which are inconsistent in nutritive value and are very inflammatory in most horses. As we convinced horse owners that grains and byproducts cause inflammation in the gut with unwanted behavioral events, we also heard that some non-sweating horses started to sweat. We need more numbers to confirm this so if your horse isn’t sweating (to any degree), please try this and tell us.

What To Do

Step one – stop feeding your horse all grain, carrots, sugar, treats and red trace mineral salt licks (sugar). Only feed pasture, hay (grass or legume), mined salt and water. NOTHING ELSE. Adding a handful of hay pellets or hay cubes to a bucket at “feeding time” is allowed.

Step two – wait about 4 days while continuing on this simple diet of grass, hay, salt and water. If past experience is true, then your horse will start to sweat about day three and really sweat by day 4 (assumming there is no cold front that comes on).

Step three – report back your results in the forum.

I must assume that digestive tract inflammation, leaking gut and/or general malaise is behind anhydrosis, I would like to understand the physiological principles behind this but as a horseman, getting an effective treatment is what counts. If horses start to sweat after removing grain and other common simple sugars, then all the other benefits might also be worth considering.

Grain Intolerance

If your horse shows one or more of the following then there may be a degree of grain intolerance and gut inflammation.

  • Chronic poor body condition (thin) despite feeding large amounts of grain
  • Chronic spasmodic (non-surgical) colic
  • Squirts or dribbles fecal matter when defecating – stains the stall wall
  • Girthiness (shifts feet, swishes tail, puffs up)
  • Uncomfortable being brushed
  • Unwilling or difficult behavior on the ground or while ridden
  • Bucking or hopping when moving into the trot or canter
  • Unwilling to load into a trailer or difficult when trailering
  • Non-sweating to any degree

All of these have been resolved in client’s horses by taking the 2 week no-grain challenge. Learn more about grain problems at Why Horses Should Not Be Fed Grain. Take the 2 week no-grain challenge with your non-sweating horse and post the results. No harm in this and no cost either. You can’t lose though your horse might sweat a bit.

Results of others

There are 268 comments below!  Reading them will help you gain more information.  The comments are closed but members can still report their resuults in the forums.  Thanks in advance! – Doc T


  1. Hi Doc T!

    I stumbled upon your site a couple of weeks ago and decided to try this out with my new rescue who is a non-sweater and a recently off the track TB. I had him on grain and omega oils when I first got him (about 2 months ago). He is under muscled and I have not worked with him off the ground since I got him, as he came to me with a nasty heel bulb injury. I am in Florida and am very concerned about his longevity here if I can’t find something that works soon!

    I’ve kept a journal for him since I started him on only soaked alfalfa cubes (about 3.5 quarts 2x a day), free choice orchard and alfalfa, and 24/7 bahia pasture, and a plain salt block. We are on day 7 of no grain and he has only sweat twice (when it was quite cool! Once in the morning and once in the evening). He is still needing to be hosed off once a day and is huffing and puffing between 10am and 7pm… Am I doing something wrong??? Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Autumn – I live in south FL too and it is very hot here. If you add the temperature in F with the percent humidity and the sum is 180 and above, most horses will stop sweating. An example is 95 degrees x 90% humidity = 185.

      With this in mind, then your horse sweating on these cooler days is a good sign that your horse will start to sweat once reasonable weather returns (October). Remember that if you horse has had gut inflammation for a long time (the horse is older) then it will take longer to have sweating return to normal. Please also remember that horses will make their “omega oils” from the short chain fatty acids made by the gut bacteria from cellulose. To understand this more please read those blogs or enroll in the nutrition course. Most oils as a rule are inflammatory to the gut and bind to LPS molecules that pass through the gut wall.

      Please be patient and stay the course. Consider adding soybean meal as a HIGH QUALITY protein source to help him return to optimum health. Doc T

  2. Hi . I’ve been reading your blog and want to do your grain free challenge. Foxy Tonight is 25 yo OTTB adopted from rescue 5 yrs ago at age 20. She stopped sweating in July 2017 and starts back up every year on Oct when Va Beach VA humid weather stops. We started on One AC 2017 and did nothing. She started sweating in Oct 2017.
    March-April 2018 started One AC before she stopped sweating, delayed it by a couple weeks but stopped again same 2019 stops sweating July and starts back up in Oct. This year 2020 still sweating but we’re are mid July. She is still active used in lessons, comes in 8-9 am goes out currently 3-4 pm but prior years, turned out 6 pm or later.

    Fed 1.5 scoops Purina Sr Active 2x day
    1.5 tab Equioxx 1x day
    3-4 flakes straight 2nd cut Orchard
    **Was feeding all prior years but this year
    1-2 flakes alfalfa

    No issues w ulcers, girthyness, but her hair loss associated w not sweating looks like mange case!
    No supplements other than Himalayan salt block.
    She is night turnout year round

    She looks good shiny coat etc and good weight currently but again still sweating so far.

    She does need to have some teeth removed due to bone absorbing the teeth. Trying to hold off till fall. She has always been a sloppy eater/drops feed and teeth regularly done.

    Any feedback helpful.
    Kari M.

    1. Most people feed a “Senior” feed because 1) their horse looks good and 2) they assume the older horse needs a special food. I have looked everywhere for senior feeds for squirrels, birds and humans but there is none. It is only made for horses. Could this be a marketing gimmick?

      I recommend removing all grains for all horses unless they are plowing fields and are not getting enough energy. This is how grains were introduced to horses when the plow horses were overworked to supply the food for the ever-expanding city populations during the industrial revolution. However the calvary who rode hundreds of miles never brought grain with them.

      I have developed a hypothesis about grain as the cause of EOTRH of the incisor teeth (the resorption you talk about). Here is the blog: and another about removing the incisors here:

      I do not see a high quality protein source in you feeding list. almost all horses I see have chronic protein deficiency. I have many blogs on this and a nutrition course available to help you understand haw feeding grain every day will cause muscle loss. Many horse owners agree to remove all grain from the horse’s diet but when they do, the body fat loss reveals a poor top line. What is seen here is the chronic protein deficiency but many horse owners are shocked and return the horse to grain to cover it up again with fat.

      You have a 25 year old mare that seems to look good and is doing her job without complaint. Yet there are signs of inflammation in that she stops sweating when the temperature (in F) added to the humidity (without the percent) is 180 or above. (example 95 degrees + 90% humidity = 185). The other sign of inflammation is the EOTRH. You also say a “good shiny hair coat” that “looks like mange.” You also say she is in “good weight” which usually means she has a good fat cover.

      At 25 it is not too late to help with removing the inflammatory ingredients and to add high quality protein. This will help her continue to be an asset to your riding program. Please take the time to read ALL the nutrition blogs, enroll in the nutrition course and join the private Facebook group “The Horse’s Advocate” for all the information about how to feed horses for health. No agenda here where I try to sell you a supplement. Just trying to help all horses thrive in a human world.

  3. I have an Anglo “Magic” that is 19 years old. He foundered at 11 and was found to be Insulin resistant. We soak his hay and use all low sugar feeds. His sugar levels have remained low since soaking his hay. At 17 is was determined that he has cushings also, and we added Prascend (Pergolide). Within 2 months he needed major colic surgery and moved him home. He has been on Neigh Lox and Smart Digest Ultra pellets (Smartpak) for years due to all the meds he takes. He currently takes Isoxsuprine, cyproheptadine (for head shaking syndrome), and Prascend. After his colic surgery he stopped sweating. We thought it was due to all the meds for the colic surgery. We added Platinum Refresh and acupuncture and got him sweating again somewhat normally. We figured it was in the past. We live in Arizona and it is pretty dry. This past summer he stopped sweating again when it became humid and lows did not drop below 80 degrees. We quickly added Refresh and did acupuncture. It helped to some degree, but he had to live under misters and fans for all of July and August. He sweats pretty well all winter until the humidity changes and the lows don’t go below 80 degrees. I am trying to be proactive before it gets hot and see if anything will help him sweat besides large amounts of Refresh. I am considering pulling him off all grain products (Wellsolve, Outlast, Enrich) but am worried about all the meds on his stomach. He only gets soaked Bermuda grass hay and a small amount of Ontario Dehydrated cubes (guaranteed below 10% NSC). What is the best way to ensure his stomach does not get upset without Wellsove etc? I am not sure I could get the meds down him without grain. It is not really an option to pull him off any of the meds at this point. I have read through a lot of the posts and did not see anyone who had their horse an as many meds as Magic is on. Thanks for any help in advance.

    1. A message to everyone reading this – never alter medications for your horse without the help and advice from your local vet. This said, you also need to realize that what you have been feeding this horse has given you exactly what you have. All bodies (horses or human) react to what they live in including their food. Continuing to feed what you feed coupled with the “epigenetics” of this horse (how his genes respond to these factors) are giving you the results you see.

      I far as I can see there is no downside to removing all grains other than fat loss. No grain has less sugar than any grain (low starch or not) so removing grain will help with the IR and laminitis. As a side effect it has also helped horses to sweat again. In high temp and high humidity it takes longer in some horses but overall they do better than when on grain.

      Adding soybean meal (SBM) will give the needed amino acids to strengthen the hooves and possibly resolve the Cushing’s disease. It has in many horses. Please read the several blogs on protein. If worried, just add a handful at first and work it up over a week or two to 1 pound per day per 1200 pound horse.

      Removing excess sugar (starch / glucose) will help to eliminate the inflammation and adding the SBM will give back the lost amino acids. To understand this be sure to read all the blogs or take the nutrition course. Once the horse starts to feel better and repair himself then with the help of your vet, you may find that a lot of these problems resolve.

      Back in 1980 when I was in vet school there was only 1 paragraph discussing non-sweating and there was no such thing as a head shaker. Hmm…. Wonder what has changed since then? Let’s go to the feed room and think about that.

  4. I am from Darwin Australia. It is our Wet Season at the moment , so high temperatures and high humidity. my daughter’s TB mare stopped sweating today and I am going to follow your diet as I have seen the results in my friend Teresa’s TB gelding Joey and have been very impressed. Up until today Abbie had been sweating but after a two week spell, the first ride back she only had a tiny bit of sweat, by the afternoon, she was really struggling, no sweat at all, puffing, dilated nostrils and trying to find relieve her distress leaving the herd to stand under trees ( which she never does). After 40 minutes under a fan, with cooling towels, she was no longer hot to the touch. I decided then to try up your diet. Teresa has given me a run down on what to feed and I have read all the comments above so I feel armed with enough knowledge to proceed. I will keep you posted to how things go

    1. Thanks – please return with the results.

      There was a study where the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit added to the percent humidity (without the percent decimal) gave a number that when above 180 produced anhidrosis in most horses. So 90 degrees plus 90 (%) humidity = 180. It was something like this. Anyone wanting to correct or substantiate this?

      It seems like when your temp and humidity achieved highs your horse was triggered not to sweat. What we are finding is that when horses are off grain this threshold goes higher. So even some horses now sweating by removing the grain will struggle with high temp and humidity – at least in the year they go grain free. No one has reported back a year or two later to say the threshold is now so high they their horse always sweats. Maybe you can add a note for a year from now to report back.

      1. Hi
        I just wanted to let you know that Abbie, my daughter’s TB finally started sweating on day 15 of lucerne hay, Lucerne chaff and paddock grass ( not much feed quality here). We put misting fans in her stable and on fence line to help her and this certainly kept her cool during the hottest parts of the day. She appears to be sweating well now and we will try riding her tomorrow to see how she copes. We started her on soya meal yesterday, but the full fat one, which is the only one available in Darwin, yesterday. However she has lost a lot of condition so just wanted to know what we can start feeding to put weight on? My daughter is so happy. That her horse is sweating again.

        1. Thank you Jane for this update. It is too bad that the oil has not been extracted from the soybeans. But SBM also needs to be cooked to deactivate the trypsin inhibitor enzyme and I’m not sure if that can be done with the oil in it. Please keep looking for accurately made soybean meal. Ask others in your area if they are feeding this full fat SBM and what results are they getting. If trypsin inhibitor is still present in the meal then the enzyme trypsin found in the stomach will not be able to digest the protein in the SBM leading to it being ineffective.

          Please update us on this when you can.

          1. Hi Geoff
            I have checked and the full fat soya meal is cooked to remove trypsin inhibitor. I will let you know how things go.

  5. Can you feel coastal? We have a round bale in the winter the horses share. We are in the north florida area.

    1. I “feel” coastal anytime I’m in FL! LOL.

      There are many who avoid feeding coastal hay for fear of impaction yet there are an equal number of horses fed coastal without any problems. In my mind I think there is a dysbiosis in the gut where the gut microbes are unable to digest the cellulose of that type of grass. The result is an impaction. But in reality the problem is not the hay. Unfortunately no one has looked at the git lining, the microbe environment or correlated the other feeds given to the horse that colics on coastal. If you have a spare million dollars, lets start a study…

      1. Im not feeling a million in my pocket right now, lol. The horses ate it. Im moving my horse to no grain and timothy alfalfa pellets. Ill let you know how it goes.

  6. FYI for Teresa – my horse loves the roasted peanuts in a shell. I also use them one at a time to do his stretching to the hip exercises which used to be done with a carrot or sweat treat. He loves his peanuts! We have been doing the No Grain since summer (in Florida) and even in October and November when he was in training in Ft. Lauderdale with very high humidity, there was absolutely no problem and plenty of sweating!!

  7. Hi, I am based in Darwin Australia and am about to try my 8yo TB on the no grain diet. I bought him in April of this year (from a state with a cooler climate), he has always been a great sweater, however about 2-3 week ago it just decreased dramatically and i noticed he had the puffs. I have set up a misting and fan system in his stable which keeps him cool during the day, but i want something more than just treating the symptoms. I am a little confused by some of the terminology here, so i have some questions before i start the diet.

    Is alfalfa like lucerne hay? Essentially a legume (dark green) hay?
    What are hay pellets? do you mean what we would call a biscuit of hay (being the hay bale is made up of 8 -10 biscuits of hay)?

    Currently my horse is on a diet of wheaten chaff, lucerne chaff, and a number of Hygain premixed feeds as well as a pangola hay / humidicola hay (which is i suppose i like a grass hay). He also has a supplement for just about everything! I joke that federal police are going to arrest me for the number of packages that contain white powder that turn up at my house!

    My plan is to feed the following for the next two weeks and monitor the change:

    – unlimited access to pangola hay;
    – access to pasture (although there is very little pasture of any value in the paddocks at the moment) and humidicola hay
    – biscuit of lucerne hay each day;
    – a mix of wheaten chaff and lucerne chaff at feed times (so he doesn’t think he is dying); and
    – salt added to the hard feeds.

    The following supplements i’d like to keep him on, but happy to hear your comments before i decide:
    – Sweat up (made by mitavite, especially to encourage sweating, not sure if this is similar to AC one)?
    – Cosequin – supplement for some joint issues caused by a medial lateral imbalance (which is being addressed); and
    – pentosan (vet prescribed for early signs of arthritis)

    Since starting the sweat up, i have seen some improvement, mild sweating under the mane, but not the shoulder or back sweating of the good days.

    I really appreciate your feedback and input, so i can start the grain free diet, There are a number of other horses at my stable with similar issues, although they are worried about going to a grain free diet because their horses aren’t carrying as much weight. My horse could afford to lose a few kilos!

    Apologies for the long winded post, and thanks in advance.

    1. Howdy Teresa (that’s Hello in southern USA) – lol

      Lucern is what the Australians and the British call alfalfa. It is the same legume.

      Hay pellets are where forage (all kinds) are made into hay and then ground into a powder and then formed into a pellet. The pelleting machine produces the pellet using various processes including pressure, adding a lubricant (food grade oil) or spraying the pellet with a binder to prevent crumbling. Hay cubes are when the hay is chopped into small bits and then pressed through a machine and extruded into a square form (about 1 inch or 2 ½ cm on each side) that varies in length (usually about the same length as width which is a cube). Friction keeps the cubes from falling apart.

      What you call a biscuit is what we call a flake, a section, a wafer or a pad. When hay is baled into a square bale, the baling machine bites the dried hay from the wind row and ingests it into the machine. This forms the section in the bale. Then the machine folds these sections together and after a set number are taken in, the machine ties them into a bale. Round bales are also done this way but the sections are not segmented or folded but is more of a continuous process.

      Chaff is the same here but is not generally used to feed horses. We instead call the stuff found on the floor of the empty hay mow the chaff. We sweep it up and either feed it to the horses or throw it out. If hay is chopped and bagged and sold it is called “chopped hay.”

      Feeding chaff from wheat (wheaten chaff) is not common here. In stead, hay made from wheat is called wheat straw and is used for bedding horses. They prefer grass and legume hay and will usually not eat the wheat straw unless they are very hungry. Oat, rye and barley are also made into straw though oat straw can be fed to horses (making their manure yellow). Straw, by definition, has had the grain removed while hay has not.

      Pangola is not common in the US but my friend from the Dominican Republic has explained to me that it is a common tropical grass well tolerated by horses. Humidicola is a tropical grass known by many names throughout the world and is used as animal forage in poor soil areas.

      The Hygain premixed feeds have inflammatory ingredients (from the ingredient labels online). In addition they have an article (The truth about pasture only diets revealed!) that I disagree with. The gut microbes, when healthy, make all the vitamins (except D) and supplementing with vitamins are unnecessary unless there is a specific vitamin deficiency. Minerals should be absorbed from water, mined salt and forage and are regulated by the horse’s chelation process. Adding chelated minerals bypasses this regulatory process if in fact the chelated minerals remain chelated after the acid and trypsin enzyme in the stomach.

      To get your horse sweating, try feeding only pasture and grass hay with the biscuit of lucern, water and mined salt. Be sure the salt is from a mine (Himalayan for example) and not just sodium chloride or with additives such as molasses. Eliminate the chaff as this and hay are the same. After a week of forage, water and salt only (no treats) observe how he is doing especially in the sweating department. Then add in a protein source such as soybean meal. It is a lack of protein that is making this horse hungry (not satiated) requiring you to add the chaff. See my protein blogs. They are not really “hungry” but rather they are looking for something not in what they are being fed. The diet you are suggesting has very little protein and does not give him all the essential amino acids. The supplements you are feeding are expensive and have inflammatory ingredients. An 8 yr old should not have arthritis unless the joint has been injured. Removing all inflammatory ingredients is the best way to remove joint inflammation (proven in humans and seen by many people moving their horses to a no grain diet). Adding protein will help to repair the injured joint as all connective tissues are proteins. Joint fluid is a medium chain sugar (oligosaccharide) but feeding joint supplements are really just binding to the inflammatory lectins in the diet removing them before they can invade the gut wall and travel to the joints (again from human medicine). Getting the gut healthy restores normal joint function.

      Go 2 weeks on forage, water and mined salt only. After this if you feel the need to go back on any supplement, add only 1 at a time and wait to see if there is a change worth spending your money on. After all, living in fear of the federal police showing up…. That can be a lot of stress for you!

      1. Thank you so much for your information. I cannot thank you enough.

        Since 1 Jan 2020 we have been on what i am calling the Hay only diet, but is essentially Lucerne hay, pangola hay and then two hard feeds of chopped hay (both lucerne and wheaten). He acts as though he might die if don’t put something in the feed bin at night and morning, and the chopped hay wet with water is a good way to ensure he eats all the salts i am putting in. I will need to check the salt brand as it has been transferred out of the original packaging, but it is rock salt.

        I have cut out the sweat up, Cosequin, hoof supplement and all other feeds. He remains on the pentosan with a once monthly injection (he has poor joint confirmation and the x-rays have showed some arthritis developing, i assume because he was raced until he was seven and has suffered some injuries during that time).

        He continues to be under a misting system and fan during the day (this means he has developed a but of rain scald on his hind, but nothing unmanageable.

        After day 3-4 i noticed that he started to sweat little under the mane, although i wasn’t sure if it was the misting system keeping his mane slightly damp. He went out for a run in the paddock with another horse (and by run i mean they ran around like idiots for 5-10 mins) when i got him i noticed sweat further down the neck as well. I’ve been avoiding working him, other than walks to the beach for a quick swim. On Wednesday this week, i had a schedule lesson which i decided to do, it was going to be overcast and bit cooler at about 33 degrees Celsius. I literally almost cried when i looked down at his neck and saw all the sweat!! He was sweating from ears to withers down is neck, all down his shoulders and then it was continuing under the saddle cloth and onto the legs! He used to be a massive sweater before these issues, normally my saddle blanket would be soaked. My instructor was so surprised at the difference in one week.

        Now i can start riding again i will add some protein into his feed, i’m keen to stay off as many supplements as i can although i will need to add back in some minerals (like calcium) as many of the grasses and hays here are oxalate blockers. I will research was soybean meal and see what i can find, i haven’t fed it before and its not really common here.

        Thank you again and again! I will provide another update at 2 weeks!

        1. Thank you for this complete report. It will help others throughout the world. While the absolute reason why horses stop sweating is still uncertain, it is apparent that gut inflammation from inflammatory ingredients has something to do with it along with high temperatures combined with humidity. Can you add to this the humidity on the 33 degree day?

          We all look forward to your future updates.

          For those still living in the imperial world, 33 C = 91.4 F 😉

          1. Day 14 update!

            I pleased to report that the increased sweating continues and i would even go so far as to say it is back to normal. I had a lesson on Sunday afternoon, it was again a cooler overcast day, about 33 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity of about 80% (very comfortable for riding). He sweated well in the float on the way to the lesson and by the end of a 45 min lesson, mostly trotting with some canter work at the end, the sweat was dripping down his shoulders.

            Yesterday he spent the first day in the herd (so not misting fan in the stable). It was an overcast day again and probably cooler (around 31 degress with 91% RH) . There was plenty of sweating, no puffing and he was generally happy. I was even confident enough to put a lightweight mosquito sheet on him tonight to stop the bites (something i wouldn’t have even thought was possible two weeks ago).

            I have had so many comments about how well he is sweating, a few others at the stables who had to send there horses south to a cooler climate over the wet season are keen to try the diet on their return. I have noticed a significant improvement in the shine in his coat, it is softer and more chestnut in colour. He is much happier in his demeanor when being ridden and generally quieter . He does not appear to have dropped any weight or lost any topline, nor have is energy levels decreased.

            I have purchased soybean meal to add into his feed slowly, and i plan to keep the supplements out at this stage (except the pentosan injections). We still have a few good months of the wet season to go and i will update if there are any significant changes.

            Sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you! My horse Joey really is a family horse and my husband and children were all as upset as i was seeing Joey in distress and struggling to cool himself.

            For anyone in Australia that might be considering a similar diet, he is currently on pangola hay, humidicola hay, lucerne hay. He is then getting 3/4 of a 20 litre bucket morning and night of lucerne chaff, wheaten chaff and rock salt (three heaped table spoons). I plan to add the soybean meal bit by bit until we reach about 450 grams per day.

            He is missing the carrots though – he is very dissapointed when there is nothing in my pockets!

            thank you again!

          2. You are so welcome! But the gratitude is from me to you for trying this and trusting me. Thank YOU!

            For a treat, have you tried a peanut in the shell? Roasted and salted is fine. Feed just 1 at a time.

  8. Hi Dr. T,
    I am very interested in trying your approach to anhydrosis. I will give you a quick summary of his details.
    I have had him since Jan 2017. When i first got him, he was just retired from racing at 6yrs old and a stallion and seemed to be sweating normally. I had him gelded and he would not eat any treats (mostly carrots i was offering), so i started making him oat treats with molasses and honey. He loves them! Suddenly i noticed that he had stopped sweating as before. We live in Barbados and it is very hot and dry. I have tried one ac, fans and he is suffering.
    I will start your protocol tomorrow. Can he have alfalfa pellets as the pasture hay is not that good right now? We do have hay, but i am not sure how good the quality is. I will also get him a himalayan salt block.
    I will let you know how it goes, here is hoping this will work as he is the most amazing horse 🙂

    1. Looking forward to hearing about your results. I don’t think the alfalfa pellets will be a problem as long as you feed no more than about 4 pounds a day (equivalent to 1 flake). However if you don’t get the results then temporarily remove the pellets as there may be some hidden ingredients in them such as a binder (they use several and are not required to list them).

      1. Hi Dr..T
        My TB has been doing much better he is no longer huffing and puffing and dipping his head in the water bucket. He seems more comfortable.
        He is currently on 4lbs alfalfa pellets, 1lbs soya bean meal and grass which is of poor quality . He has a himalayan salt block also.
        I find he is a little thin across his hindquarters and neck and would like him to put in some weigh . What would you suggest to add or adjust to put some weight on?
        Looking forward to hearing from you..I hope you are well during this strange time.

        1. Thanks for this update. The top line improves starting from the croup and moves forward over time. This muscle building requires time – from 6 to 12 months depending on the age of the horse and how severe the muscle loss is.

          In humans, the muscles are regenerated every 6 years. Assuming this is true in horses, then every 6 years the top line is replaced. However, when the building materials are not available (low protein sources containing branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine) AND when amino acids are being converted into sugar (any grain and inflammatory diet) then this regeneration cannot occur. The result is a loss of top line and other protein structures (hooves, neurotransmitters, enzymes, immune complexes, etc) in 6 year increments. Race horses with extreme wear and tear being fed high grain diets will have broken connective tissue by 6 years. Horses worked later in life will show signs of chronic protein deficiency (lost top line, poor hooves, hay belly, unsoundness, etc) around 12 years. At 18 years we can add to this list Cushing’s (a neurodegenerative disease treated with a neurotransmitter replacement). At 24 years most horses just look old, are lame, are sick or any combination of this. Between 24 and 30 most horses die not looking or feeling young at all.

          The bottom line is to be patient. Now that you have removed the inflammation and have added in all the essential amino acids with the soybean meal the regeneration will begin. The first evidence of muscle replacement is usually the loss of the hay belly. Slowly the hind quarters will fill in and this will move towards the withers and shoulders. In senior horses the masseter muscles (cheeks of the jaw) will fill in as well. You are on the right path.

          Remember to NOT CONFUSE “weight” with muscle and fat. Most horse owners wanting to see “weight” add inflammatory ingredients which will add fat which just starts the loss of muscle. Eating summer pasture will also add fat but when this is gone and hay (LAST SUMMER’S GRASS) is limited or eliminated through the winter then the horse will lose fat but retain muscle. This recovery therefore may take several years to fully happen. Each day, though, will bring improvement on the cellular level. Be patient, you can’t rush this.

          1. Thank you for your comments. Very interesting re the muscle regeneration. My gelding is 9 years old and hasn’t been ridden much in the last 2 year . I am now starting back riding him 3 to 4 days a week, so hopefully that will help with his muscle as well.
            I am happy to hear that what I am feeding him is adequate and to be patient. Thanks again for your wealth of knowledge. I wish I had known this when I had my last horsr who was also a non sweater and I gave him loads of carrots as treats :

  9. I am in Central FL and have 2 OTTB mares. Lacy is 5 and has moved from CA to GA to FL in the last year. Haddie is 15 and moved from OK 3 years ago. Both were on 3 pounds of Triple Crown Senior/day. In August, both horses started shutting down, Lacy more than Haddie and she was heaving so badly that she would just stand in her stall with 2 fans. I tried the no grain challenge on both girls and am happy to report that 5 weeks later, both horses are sweating. Lacy is not as sweaty but she recovers much quicker and is not heaving and miserable. They are eating a small amount of timothy and alfalfa pellets, alfalfa cubes, and free choice timothy/alfalfa/orchard and peanut hay and they are on pasture for 12 hours a day. I had another horse last year that stopped sweating and after trying everything from beer to acupuncture to supplements(and a ton of $$), I had to move him up north where he sweats fine now. Thank you Doc T, I’m so grateful I don’t have to let go of another great horse!!

    1. Thank you Tab for this report and for trying the no grain approach to anhidrosis. Usually it takes less than a week to see the results. Is there a red mineral salt block because it is loaded with sugar. Also did you eliminate carrots, apples, candy, sugar cubes, treats and supplements? All of these have carbohydrates and gut inflammatory ingredients. They should only have forage, mined salt and water. Let us all know, but honestly it is great news that they have turned on the sweat glands again no matter if it took this long. I will also say that it has been very hot in FL this year and trying this approach in Aug and Sept is challenging in itself and may be why it took so long. Thankfully the cooler weather is fast approaching!

      1. Doc T, thank you for the reply. There are only Himalayan salt blocks, and no treats or supplements of any kind. Lacy does not enjoy the salt as much as Haddie. Should I add salt to her cubes/pellets? It was incredibly hot and miserable this summer but it is finally starting to cool down and I cannot be happier about being able to ride again! Thank you again!

        1. Yup – the hot weather was tough on everyone. No need to add salt if it is available free choice.

  10. Dr Tucker. My mare started the no grain diet in April. I was diligent about nothing but pasture, coastal 1 flake alfalfa, Timothy pellets and SBM.
    She does not exhibit symptoms of gut inflammation except trailering issues.
    However last week she had severe respiratory and coughing problems. I took her to Texas A&M They diagnosed equine asthma. I have never seen this problem in her in 20 years. However, I am wondering if she Has had a low grade asthma all this time and that is the source of inflammation causing the anhidrosis.. Is that possible. Your thoughts.

    I am getting tremendous pushback from the barn because of her condition. She quit eating her pellets SBM and CoolStance. She does look bad but I believe this is all because she had been sick.

    What do you think?

    1. Equine asthma (COPD) is difficult and not associated with gut inflammation as far as I can tell because it does not respond to any diet changes. COPD starts as allergic bronchitis usually but an inciting incident (bad/moldy hay) can cause an acute onset. If the breathing difficulty is severe enough then that alone or with high temperatures can cause a horse to go off feed. Treating the asthma should help her to eat again.

      As far as the “pushback” goes, take some time to explain to them what you have learned from these blogs and ask them to help you learn more by trying to explain it more. Engage them by asking them top add their observations to your diary that you started when you changed the diet. Have them ad all their observations and then meet weekly to reassess them.

  11. Just a quick update – we have been doing the No Grain diet since July 10 and we continue to have great success. Levi is sweating really well – it helps to walk or stand in-between our working…that seems to help trigger him to sweat. He might puff a little, but it is very slight. He is drinking water well and thinks his alfalfa pellets are great! He cools out pretty quick, returning to normal breathing, and the bad hair coat that he developed from not sweating shed out and he is shiny and slick! I may go ahead and do the Equiwinner patches again to see if that stabilizes the sweating so that he starts sweating more quickly during our workouts. He continues to maintain a good weight so I have not added any soy meal or increased his hay or pellets. I have passed the information and the blog address onto several people and they have become nice to have the horses feeling better!

    1. Thanks for this update Karen. I am unsure why you have not added soybean meal.

      Our horse was taken off SBM for 2 weeks this summer here in FL and soon greatly reduced her sweating. Within 2 weeks of returning SBM to her diet the normal sweating returned. I don’t have all the answers but I see chronic protein deficiency affecting so many horses all over this country in so many ways. So give it a try – 1 pound SBM per day for a 1200 pound horse. No downside.

  12. Hi – I imported a gelding from Europe FL 7 weeks ago (he was body clipped just prior to arriving). He sweated fine and seemed to have no problem with the heat & humidity. But he did have chronic watery poop (not diarrhea) until we switched him from Strategy to a plain forage-type pellet mixed w/ a bit of Strategy for taste (I need to look at ingredients of pellets). About 2 weeks ago, he started struggling with being out of breath after jumping a course, but was still sweating (& his coat had grown back), this past week he stopped sweating entirely, watery poop is back & he is swapping off at the canter behind & generally not going 100% and is severely out of breath after very light work. Immediately stops huffing when hosed. His winter coat has started & his summer coat is shedding but his coat looks dull now and he has lost some weight (we have no grass turn out just alfalfa/timothy mix 6 flakes per day & they get beet pulp at lunch). He get Smartpak Ultra Combo & SmartCalm and i just started him last night on SweatAgain. I would be interested to try this 2 week challenge, but what happens after? does he stay on this diet? what about the supplements after 2 weeks? and how do you feed the salt so they eat it? he has a Himalayan Salt lick now but i don’t think he uses it. He also is not drinking enough (we have auto waterers which I hate, so I put a bucket in his stall and he sucked it all down immediately). Sorry for the long email, but I am very worried about him – waiting for my vet to call me back. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ann – the sudden sweating from horses with anhidrosis was an incidental finding with horses that removed all ingredients from their horses diet except for forage (pasture and hay), mined salt and water. Everyone who has had this improvement realizes that going back to feeding grains and grain byproducts (especially the supplements) is not in their horses best interest.

      The base idea in looking at nutrition is to REMOVE things and not ADD them. Please read all the blogs at to understand how things work. After the gut inflammation is under control from grain removal, add soybean meal as a protein source with a broad variety of amino acids. Read all the comments under the blogs to see how others have done with this. Also join “The Horse’s Advocate” which is a private Facebook group I started. There you can search or ask questions and learn from what others have done.

      Florida is hot and September is the hottest month. Be patient as cooler weather is about 45 days away. Be sure to clip off the winter hair coat to make him comfortable. That coat is coming in due to the decreasing daylight since June 21st. Can’t stop it cause you can’t stop winter coming. Its tough on horses living in FL especially those coming from Europe. It will take a few years to acclimate just as it does for humans moving to FL.

      1. It has been one year since I found this blog & took my 3 horses off grain in order to treat anhidrosis. This Sept is just as hot as last here in Florida & I am so grateful to DocT for his insight & advice. Now the only time I hose down my horses is to get the dried sweat & dirt off.

        1. Thanks for this update Janet. So many have had a better summer especially here in the hottest month for FL. Soon, everyone will discover this simple solution for anhidrosis.

  13. Quick update – Levi has been back at the trainers since July 26 – he is hot-walked, lunged and ridden probably 5 days a week. I was able to ride yesterday and we did a pretty intense workout. He was sweating well and the best part is that he was not panting or breathing hard AT ALL! My trainer is putting other horses in the barn on the No-grain diet and several of my friends whose horses have sweating issues are doing it as well with good results. There is one horse who struggles that is holding out, but if they change their mind and try it, I will update the results! Thanks for all of your help.

    1. Thanks Karen not only for trying the no grain diet but for giving others the opportunity to become their horse’s advocate. Thanks also for posting here so others gain confidence from your experiences. I am very grateful.

  14. Update for Levi’s progress. Through Day 10, he was definitely sweating more but most importantly, after exercise, he wasn’t panting and struggling and he returned quickly to normal breathing after unsaddling and rinsing. We ended up with a hot nail and he was ouchy for a bit, so his shoe was pulled and he was off work for a bit. He is currently in Ocala and my trainer has continued with the hay, water, alfalfa pellets (but not daily pasture for right now due to logistics) and a Himalayan salt block. He was taken out a few days ago and worked in the round pen after his shoe was replaced. When he was taken out of the stall, he was sweaty on his neck and breathing normally – it was pretty warm in the barn that day. After a good workout, he was sweating well and not panting. He was unsaddled and tied in stall for a bit and his breathing was good and he had great sweat. I am sold!!!

    So now I have a question about vaccines. We have just about every bug known to man in Florida and I have used both “shot” vaccines and homeopathic Nosodes for EWT, EEG, Rhino-Flu and Potomac Flu. I used the Nosodes on all of my show horses and at home horses for 20 years and had no issues – they are flavored with sugar. What is your recommendation for vacinating…we are not due until December? Also, what do you recommend for worming that won’t upset the balance – including for tape worms.

    I have been sharing our journey with all of the horse people I speak to…it makes sense, and there may be some people who make the change.

    1. Thanks Karen for this update.

      Adding a little bit of sugar once in a while should not be a problem with sweating. My theory is that it is the daily, year round feeding of a high sugar diet that is behind the inflammation of the gut and the subsequent anhidrosis.

      I see you did not mention rabies. This is too serious a disease for both you and your horse to not vaccinate for.

      My thoughts on parasite control can be found in another blog on this site. It is based on keeping the environment clean and not on medicating the horses. This is what we do in our own lives even though most of the horse dewormers are approved for human use and some can be found on the shelves of your local pharmacy.

      Please join the private Facebook group “The Horse’s Advocate” where you can post your question about vaccines and parasite control as this blog is about sweating. Also consider going my website where I have several discussions about vaccinations and deworming including how to make your own manure vacuum using a leaf blower.

      1. I will read the other blogs – and yes, there is a rabies Nosode too which I give. This has definitely been an interesting journey. I am just glad that my horse seems to be feeling good again!

  15. Dr Tucker. My mare has been on your no grain diet since April. She gets pasture, coastal hay, one flake of alfalfa and 1.5 pounds of soaked Timothy pellets split between 2 feedings. She has Himalayan and red rock salt hanging in her stall. Since May she has been getting a pound of SBM split between two feedings. She is not sweating. In July I took her off SBM to see if that did anything. It did not but in the meantime she has quit eating the Timothy pellets. I am going to add back the SBM to see if that encourages her to eat the Timothy pellets since they are mixed together and she seems to like SBM. But she is dropping weight and the barn owner is worried. She wants to put her on Coolstance.

    Your thoughts.

    On another note. I was reading about the patch in postings above. My mare was on the patch 5 or 6 years ago. It did nothing. I’m wondering if I should try it again. But realistically, in the 13 years my 20 old mare has has anhidrosis nothing has worked. My vet says her sweat glands have atrophied but could conceivably come back.

    1. We still are not sure of the cause of non-sweating and why removing grain reverses this in almost every horse. The Equiwinner patch has a good understanding of this condition and we have talked about it. Sometimes a horse needs both grain removal and the patch especially if they are older (30+ years).

      I’m sorry to ask but I know others will want to ask you – is there any chance that your horse is being slipped carrots, apples, cookies, grain or access to a red trace mineral salt lick? If she is only getting what you say then I need to know how old she is as 25+ horses take more time to respond.

      As to the fat loss, remember that body fat is a sign of inflammation. By removing the grain the horse will start to consume their body fat. This is actually good. However once removed the real muscle loss is now revealed. The knee jerk reaction is to add back grain which will add body fat. Adding Coolstance is an alternative and should be added as winter approaches. It is not inflammatory for horses.

      My final thought is that if she is older and you live in the hot climates, be patient. Cooler weather is coming. Then after a year of no grain plus the SBM, the following summer becomes the breakout year. I have seen this in haricots that don’t spring to life in chronically inflamed horses. But then the fall and winter coat comes in and it looks so much better.

      I think behind all of this is an altered gut microbiota which needs time to replace the bad bugs with the good ones. This takes from weeks to months to a year depending on the severity. Other than being patient, I have no other recommendations. However, please take notes and report back as time goes on. We all need to hear your experience as winter comes and then summer returns. I will be looking forward to your reports.

      1. My mare turned 20 in May.

        All things are possible but I would be shocked if she is being slipped anything other than the food I listed. People at this barn are pretty respectful of other horses diets. But I will reconfirm with the owner.

        I live in Houston and we are no where close to winter. Is it too early to start Coolstance.

        For what it’s worth my mare did not exhibit most of the symptoms you listed previously. Her only problems were with trailering.

        Also she will sweat modestly October through June.

        1. Thanks for your reply. 20 years isn’t that old and most horses this age respond quickly to becoming sweaters after removing the grain.

          I would like to know if she is comfortable in the heat or is she unable to keep her respiratory rate down. Are you able to keep her comfortable under fans and only turn her out at night? How are the other horses in the same environment and on the same pasture sweating? there are so many other questions to ask. What is your vet telling you? How long has she been a non-sweater? Is she on any medications or herbal supplements or topicals including shampoos? Many shampoos and soaps can disrupt the holobiome in humans especially if bathed every day.

          Unfortunately I am not your vet and cannot get in deeper with medical advice. From a nutritional point, if the no grain challenge doesn’t seem to be hurting her and if it has improved her trailering then I would hang in there until next summer and see what happens after a long period of decreased gut inflammation. Remember, no one knows the real cause of non sweating. But as you can tell here in these comments, horses from around the world have started to sweat after removing grain from the diet. Most do so in about 4 days. Some very inflamed horses (even with few outward signs) have taken until cooler weather comes especially when they start the no grain approach after the summer heat has started.

          We all look forward to your updates.

          1. I think of it this way. There are people who won’t fly because they always get sick when the movement in the air is anything but stable. You can’t get them on the plane to start with or if you do, they make the trip miserable for themselves and those around them. They still put a vomit bag in each seat pocket.

            The same is certainly true with horses who know they won’t feel good once they get in the trailer and it starts moving. Many won’t get in and those that do struggle with the trip due to the queasy feeling they get from the hind gut dysbiosis and subsequent ulceration. The testimony in the video from the one person on the page tells how her horse went from coming apart inside the trailer to walking on with the lead thrown over the neck. Going grain for was transformative.

            Thanks Maria.

  16. Today is Day 6…rinsed chest and legs and lunged 10 minutes – walk and trot mostly – a little cantering; rode moderately for 30-40 minutes with walking breaks or standing breaks in the shade in between working. Have been keeping track of the temperature and humidity – today was 78 degrees temperature and 75% humidity (153) which has been fairly consistent this week. Levi had neck and face sweat, under saddle pad sweat and even had sweat dripping slightly from under saddle pad – first time on his own! Yay! still not very good sweating on hindquarters and belly except at girth.

    I will stop the oil and the apple-cider vinegar this evening and see how that works. Weight wise, measuring every other day:
    started at 1049 (which is a bit chubby) – went to 1033, then 1016 and then back to 1033 (I checked 3 times to make sure). I thought that was kind of weird since the amount of hay and hay pellets is the same.

    I will get some roasted peanuts for a bucket treat – more for me than for him, LOL!

    1. Thanks for this update. It sounds like good progress. Remember that for many horses this is a slower process than for others depending on the amount of inflammation and the heat/humidity of the day.

  17. Please see my comment from July 11 – could you please respond. Thanks.

    1. I only see your July 10th comment which I replied to. If you had another question about non sweating horses it never came through. I’m working all day so it will be a while before I respond. You caught me early today in the pacific time zone.

      1. Maybe I didn’t send it the right way – Here it is copied and pasted:

        OK – starting July 11 with no grain, using Timothy hay pellets and the alfalfa 2 times per day, T & A 1 time per day. I will still be adding 1/2 cup twice a day of organic apple cider vinegar and a pump per feeding of Equine Omega Complete oil. I read somewhere in the preceding blog that for treats you can give peanuts, shell and all. Would that be raw peanuts like you can buy in the grocery store? I stopped the Ventipulmin and when the Equiwinner patches get here, I will do those. I weight measured Levi and will do that every other day as we go on. If need be, if in two weeks he is sweating normally, do I need to add some sort of protein or just increase the hay pellets or hay? Should we soak the alfalfa before feeding?

        July 15 – rinsed chest and legs before starting…45 minutes of walk, jog and lope…had his own sweat (not dripping but more than we have had) on neck, under legs, chest and under saddle pad. I decided to wait on doing the patches until the 10 day mark so that I can see if it is just a change in feeding. Thanks.

        1. Peanuts – any kind in the shell is OK. Just feed 1 or 2 as a treat.

          Apple cider vinegar – probably for flies. Unknown effect on the gut health.

          Any oils – unnecessary and probably inflammatory to the gut. This oil in particular has soybean oil and fish oil. The SB oil may bind to the lipopolysaccharides (LPS from the dead gut bacteria) and the combo of oil and LPS penetrates the gut lining (leaky gut) causing inflammation throughout the body (nerves, brain, joints and gut) according to human research. There is no horse research but I’m not seeing where horses get a lot of fish. The omega 3 and 6 information comes from what humans need while little is known about the need in horses. What is known is that if the gut microbes in the hind gut are healthy (not inflamed from grains and grain byproducts) then they will digest the cellulose into the fats they need.

          Let us know how it goes with the sweating. But the protocol is pasture, hay, mined salt and water. Nothing else so if it isn’t working as well as you hoped then try removing the oil and the vinegar.

  18. My horse quit sweating about two months ago – prior to that he had no problems. I am at a boarding barn, so I have to be mindful of all of the other horses – so my question would be, if I need to have a “grain” to feed when everyone else is getting fed, are the alfalfa pellets okay – or should I do another type of hay pellet. My horse gets a large flake of alfalfa (3-string size) for breakfast and lunch and a flake of T & A for dinner. Thanks.

    1. Any hay pellet should work. It’s what most people do in this situation. With all the alfalfa in your feeding I’d probably just use a grass pellet.

  19. I am so thankful that I found this blog from Dr. Tucker last September when my 28 yr. old saddlebred quit sweating even though she was on OneAC. I immediately followed his advice & in 3 days she was sweating even tho temps had remained in the 90’s with humidity in the 70’s (Florida). Now it’s the end of June with temps mid 90’s & humidity 70’s & she remains comfortable & looks good. Thanks, Dr. T.!!!

    1. Thank you Janet. I was reading my text book from the late 1980’s about anhydrosis and discovered that when the combined temperature (in F) added to the humidity equals 180 and half of this is humidity, many horses will stop sweating. Anyone been to south FL this week
      ?? We are there! But no where is there offered a treatment or even a cause. I have started to formulate a theory that I might post soon. Stay tuned. And thanks for this. It will help others with suffering horses in this heat.

  20. Hello –
    I just completed a second round using the Equiwinner patches on my mare – we first used the patches about 4 months ago and she started sweating on day 6th day of use. She continued to sweat up until a month ago when our Florida temps started climiging 95+. I contacted Equiwinner and they suggested trying 10 days of the patches again and cutting grain out of her diet which we did. She started sweating on day 3 but then stopped on day 8 and has not had any sweat since. Our temps are continuing to rise and she is having a really hard time in the heat. She is currently being fed a ration balancer by triple crown, triple crown’s alfaflox forage and orchard and alfalfa hay- we have no pasture where we are. Do you recommend continuing with the ration balancer and alfalfa? I also plan on taking her off all supplements and treats and adding plain salt. She also receives adequan injections bi-monthly, do you feel this could have any impact on why she is not sweating?
    Thank you,

    1. Thanks Paige and thank you Equiwinner patches (they are friends) for recommending not to feed grain. However from your comment here I see a misunderstanding of what you think is “grain.” Please take a look at the food you are now feeding your horses because they have grain, grain byproducts, sugars, lectins and inflammatory ingredients.

      Here is the ingredient label for TC ration balancer: Dehulled Soybean Meal, Wheat Middlings, Ground Limestone, Monocalcium Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, Yeast Culture, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Distillers Dried Grains, Anise Seed, Fenugreek Seed, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Kelp Meal, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Lecithin, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Magnesium Proteinate, Selenium Yeast, Soybean Oil, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta Carotene, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Folic Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cane Molasses, Stabilized Rice Bran, Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Flaxseed, Monosodium Phosphate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Cobalt Sulfate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Lignin Sulfonate, L-Lysine, DL- methionine, (Propionic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives)).

      The 2nd ingredient is wheat middlings – a grain byproduct which think has lectin activity interrupting insulin delivering glucose to cells. The 12th is Distillers Dried Grains. # 44 and 45 are Cane Molasses and Stabilized Rice Bran. In between are chelated minerals which may alter the horse’s regulation of minerals in the body. The vitamins added are also made by the horse or the normal gut microbiota. There is little evidence that any probiotic such as bacteria and yeasts ever make it past the stomach acid in humans let alone horses. And while respecting this company, I would certainly like them to verify the sources of all of these additional ingredients to prove to their customers that they are actually in the feed or have been made correctly in the bulk quantity they must purchase them in. Are they made in America and fresh or were they made in another country and stored for over a year in some shipping container? The addition of the inflammatory soybean oil is there to lubricate the machine making this feed. It was removed when making soybean meal so why add it back?

      Feeding ANY ration balancer or hay extender is not in the best interest of any horse. It is a marketing scheme. I wrote about this before here:

      The ingredients in Alfa-Lox are: Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Yeast Culture, Yeast Extract, L-Carnitine, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Wheat Middlings, Distillers Dried Grains, Cane Molasses, Flaxseed Oil, Soybean Oil, Butyric Acid, Zinc Oxide, Silicon Dioxide, Peppermint Essential Oil, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, (Propionic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives)). Note the similar ingredients. And both products need preservatives. Soybean meal and alfalfa do not need preservatives.

      Treats? Carrots are dicotyledon plants and horses eat monocotyledon plants (grasses). It is what they developed their digestive system for. Apples should be fed only when they can be picked from a tree. Candy is sugar. Treats have many grains in them. If you absolutely need to feed a treat, give a peanut in a shell. They are NOT a nut but are a legume like alfalfa and therefore are OK for horses. Feed 1 or 2 at a time.

      Now my thoughts on the heat in FL. I live here too and I know some horses are having trouble sweating. Removing all inflammatory ingredients helps many horses throughout the world living in hot climates. Adding soybean meal to a no grain diet helps to provide the ligands needed to naturally chelate the minerals found in the water, mined salt (ex Himalayan) and the forage. Most ligands are amino acids and looking at what you are feeding, your horses are not getting enough broad variety amino acids to do this job. The two reasons for this is the gut inflammation preventing the absorption of what is being ingested and the increased consumption of proteins due to increased inflammation and the gluconeogenesis from chronic carbohydrate dependency. At this point though you may need to hose the horse with water and add fans to the stable area turning out only at night. Remember that electrolytes are minerals with added or lost electrons. If the minerals are not available then this could be the reason for limited sweating of electrolytes.

      Please feed only grass hay, alfalfa hay, mined salt and water. Add soybean meal in about 10 days after the inflammation has calmed down. Report back in a bit with how things are going.

      1. Thank you so much for your reply and breakdown of the information, its extremely helpful! I will start the mare on this program tomorrow. Is there a particular brand mined salt and soybean meal you recommend and amount of each?

        1. Any salt that is from a mine with nothing added. Many like Himalayan salt for this.

          Soybean meal (SBM) is an ingredient and is sold my many manufacturers. The differences between these are the oil extraction process (pressure and solvent), the anti caking ingredient (minimal and usually not listed), genetic modification or not and organic or not. For any of theses the protein content is about 48% and the amino acid profile is the same.

        2. Any mined salt such as Himalayan ad lib. 1 pound soybean meal per day per 1200 pound horse. Any SBM will work but watch for bad brands that have poor quality with debris from uncleared hoppers. Join the private Facebook group called “The Horse’s Advocate” for more info on this.

  21. I undertook the “no grain challenge” because 3 of my 4 horses had issues that I was unable to address with my regular veterinary treatments. I am going to comment specifically on the OTTB gelding who did not want to sweat well in these hot SC summers. In the past I have used Guinness beer, ACTH and even the Much touted Equine Omega products that guarantee to have your horse sweating in days! The beer was not helpful but entertained the fellas at the liquor store where I bought it by the case for a horse. The ACTH worked ok – he began to sweat but not well. The expensive Equine Omega Complete – well, he looked at me after I dosed him with it, walked to the water trough and rinsed his mouth out. Funny, but he was clearly giving me “the finger” & adamant that he was not going to let me repeat that procedure. (Would not touch his feed if I put it in there)
    I opted for the “no grain” program and I am delighted to report that this horse is sweating better than I have EVER seen him sweat. He is staying very dark, does not seem to be plagued by bugs as he was previously, and gets foamy sweat between his hind legs which I have never seen him do before. It has reached triple digits already this year (in May). Normally I would be giving myself an ulcer worrying about him having a heat stroke but not now.
    The other horses are thriving as well! I kick myself for not doing this sooner. I admit, I was skeptical. Trying it and witnessing the changes has made me a believer and I routinely recommend this program to my clients. Thank you Doc for recognizing this issue, for educating the rest of us and always advocating for the horses!

    1. Thank you Heather for this delightful and humorous testimonial. You are helping all who read this and say, “Why not try it?”

  22. Dr T. I am starting to think I am seeing a reduction in my 20 year old mare’s sweat output even though she is on the No Grain diet. It seems a lot of geldings respond to various treatments but my mare does not respond to anything. I am wondering if estrogen could play a contributing factor. Given that I am wondering if SBM could be having a negative affect on her ability to sweat on the No Grain diet. She gets one pound a day split between breakfast and dinner. Your thoughts.

    1. I have not heard of any estrogen effects on horses from SBM. However it would seem logical to remove the SBM from her diet to see if the sweating improves. Remember that there are also other factors such as the increased sugar content of the grass. How long has she been on no grain? Is she being fed anything else such as carrots, treats, or a red salt lick.

      The logical thing to do is to eliminate everything but the grass, hay, water and mined salt. If she starts to sweat again add back only one item at a time starting with the SBM. then come back here to let us all know how things went.

  23. Hi Doc T. My ponies have been on the no grain diet for at least 2 months now. My smallest stopped sweating almost a year ago after vaccinations. I also live in hot, humid Florida. I saw promising signs as she started sweating under her tack. Today I’m happy to report that she is sweating all over and has been for a while. It’s now June and the daily temps have been 100-102 degrees these past few weeks. Something that I thought was interesting…she has always had a Himalayan salt lick and when she was on grain and not sweating she’d lick the heck out of it. Now that she’s not on any grain and is sweating she has cut back in how much she licks it. I thought it would have been opposite but maybe now her body is absorbing what she needs more efficiently so she doesn’t need to lick so much salt? Just thought that was interesting.

    1. Thanks for this testimony and for this interesting observation. Here is a hypothesis. There is no proof and no one knows for sure why horses stop sweating.

      Electrolytes are minerals that have either lost or gained electrons. Minerals need to be chelated to be absorbed through the gut wall. Chelation is the binding of a mineral molecule to a ligand. Ligands can be sugars but are predominately amino acids.

      My thought is that when horses are on grain the subsequent inflammation either consumes the available ligands, blocks the chelation process or the dysbiosis of the gut microbiota plays a fundamental part in the absorption of minerals. This would explain why your pony was craving salt when inflamed because his brain sensed a lack of minerals. When the inflammation was removed he was then able to absorb the available minerals in the water, pasture, hay and salt lick. His mineral demand was satiated and the lick became unnecessary.

      This same idea is also seen in horses showing extreme hunger (called “vacuums”) eating constantly. When adequate protein is added these horses reduce their food intake. I believe this is due to their amino acid requirements are now satisfied and they no longer need to search the other unfulfilling feeds.

      Thanks again!

  24. I have a 17 year old qh gelding that sweats too much. He gets lathered up with hardly any work. Also seems like he is nervous when he starts to sweat. He is just on alfalfa and a Redmond rock and water. Any suggestions?

      1. I use the equiwinner patches on him and it completely fixes the problem within 3 days. He is calm and sweats normally. I just want to fix the main problem where I don’t have to do the patches. I want him to have what he needs to be healthy.

        1. The USA distributor of these patches is a friend and follows these comments closely. We have discussed the good results of the no grain diet and non-sweating and basically she is intrigued that it works. We both agree that it is a mineral imbalance and however the horse rectifies the non-sweating issue is not as important as that he dose.

          See the comment here from Dorrie Miller. there I give my hypothesis about the horse’s inability to chelate minerals while having gut inflammation. Just my thoughts – we need a researcher to discover the truth – but they all live when it is cold!

  25. My horse only gets alfalfa pellets for grain, CUR OST supplements, salt, and 1/4 c chia seeds. He doesn’t have pasture but eats orchard grass and alfalfa hay, tends to be an easy keeper. Recently, he has stopped sweating. Suggestions?

    1. Yes – only feed the hay, mined salt (ex, Himalayan) and water. The supplements and the chia seeds are inflammatory for many horses. Once he starts to sweat (in about 4 days) then 1) report back here (please so everyone can learn) and 2) add soybean meal to add the needed protein that is not in his diet. See and all the other blogs on nutrition.

  26. Dr. Tucker. I am on day 4 of the no grain challenge and all is well. I was rereading your blog and realized you said one could feed a handful of hay pellets. I have been giving my mare 1/2 scoop of soaked Timothy pellets to make up for the alfalfa hay she is not getting. Am I feeding too much Timothy pellets? She is a 17 hand warmblood.

    1. A “scoop” can be any size but I will assume your scoop is larger than a “handful.”

      If your horse is happy with the soaked hay pellets then there would be no need decrease this amount unless your horse is overweight. The reason for a “handful” is due to an increased risk of choke on dry pellets. Because you are soaking them then there should be no concern for choke. Thanks for reading these and commenting with your question for all to read. Just remember to measure your scoop and then give the amount you are feeding in ounces or pounds or kg. Thanks, Doc T

      1. Dr Tucker, I am sending an update. My 20 year old mare started the no grain diet on 4/18/19. She was fed pasture, timothy pellets, and coastal hay. She has a Himalayan salt block available in her stall. That’s all, no supplements or additives of any kind. On 5/2/19 I added 1 pound SBM divided between am and pm feedings. She seems to have lost a little bit of belly but she is shiny, content and probably looks better without the belly. On 5/9/19 I plan to add a flake of alfalfa.

        I live in Houston. Currently the temperature gets to low or mid 80’s. Typically she does sweat at these temps and this time of year, although not like a real sweater. Usually her neck gets damp when worked. She does not exhibit sweat when standing in the pasture. She stops sweating altogether July-September.

        Yesterday I lunged her for about 30 minutes. When I was done her neck was starting to show sweat but her belly near her back legs was very wet as was between her legs underneath her tail. Her chest was also quite damp. I don’t know if it’s wishful thinking but this seems to be more than usual even for this time of year. It’s hard to gauge.

        I’ll give you an update in July once the heat really kicks in unless something noteworthy happens before then.

        I am wondering if I can expect the volume of sweat to continue to increase or if what I get early on is what I can expect to continue to see? In other words as her gut continues to heal will the volume of sweat continue to increase.
        Thanks for all you do and the effort you put into this.

        1. The belly will continue to tighten up over the next month. This, along with the improved hair coat, is one of the surprising improvements horse owners notice when supplementing protein. It’s another piece of evidence that your horse was in a protein deficient state.

          The sweat pattern and amount is not as important as 1) there is more and 2) the horse is not intolerant of the heat. This includes noting his work ethic in the heat, his recovery time post exercise, the size of his nostril flare and the presence or absence of an anxious look on the face.

          We all look forward to your update! Thank you, Doc T

        2. To me the most important metric when determining whether the horse is sweating properly is the respiratory rate. Normal is 12 breaths per minute. When my horse was not sweating he would come in from riding (mostly walking) at 80bpm and I would cold hose his neck to get it to come down. Even at rest it would be at 30bpm. Now that he is sweating well, his bpm comes down quickly after exercise and at rest is usually around 12bpm.

          1. Thank you Maria-Elena for this brilliant comment. I had suggested nostril flare and recovery rate as easily perceived indicators of respiratory distress from overheating,. But your more accurate measurements are spot on and objective. Thanks for this addition!

  27. I have a 20 year old horse that doesn’t sweat in the heat of the summer. I want to try the no grain diet. You state for the first 2 weeks only pasture , hay( grass or legume) , water, and real salt. I am intending to feed mostly coastal hay with one flake of alfalfa each day. This is consistent with your statement. Can you confirm no problem with alfalfa? After 2 weeks I will add alfalfa pellets and SBM. I make sure neither has any other ingredients. Lynnette W

    1. This is perfect Lynette. If you want to wait on the alfalfa until you add the SBM that’s OK. The focus is on elimination of gut inflammation.

      What usually occurs is on day 3 to 4 the horse starts sweating. After this you can start adding SBM and alfalfa. Come back and let us all know how this works for you.

      1. One more question. It’s mid April. My horse sweats until early July but I couldn’t see any reason to wait. How will I know it’s working? I will wait to add the alfalfa.

        1. There are other signs of gut inflammation including: squirts or very wet manure, sensitivity to brushing or tightening the girth, anxiousness, constant hunger, unwanted behavior when riding, poor work ethic, unwilling to load or trailer, poor or unthrifty hair coat, poor hoof condition, poor top line, unsoundness.

          Quite a list! Some are from feeling uncomfortable from the inflammation and some are from chronic protein deficiency. Starting early is a great idea. Come back this summer with a report please. Thanks!

          1. Of those symptoms the only ones she has is some girth sensitivity and poor trailer loading and traveling. Her top line has deteriorated over the years. She doesn’t squirt , Her manure is firm and her hooves are great. Also she is a wood chewer and Ive always gotten the impression that there was some angst associated with that.

            I will definitely give you feedback.

  28. I took my mare off all concentrates years ago and it did not get her sweating. She has been on an all forage diet for 10 years. The ONLY thing that has worked for her (and I tried it all) is SweatWerks by Horse Tech.

    1. Thanks for this input. As of now we still do not understand why horses stop sweating. I am suspicious of a lectin component.

      Was you horse off everything except pasture, hay, real salt and water? I have found that supplements, medicines, treats (cookies, carrots, apples, sugar etc) all have to be removed. I am also interested in the results after protein has been added.

      If you have a moment, would you reply with exactly what your horse was eating when she wouldn’t sweat?

  29. Hi Doc. I finally got my hands on SBM & started all three on 1/2 cup with each feeding of alfalfa pellets & CoolStance. I will miss seeing your comments but totally understand the time constraints. I don’t know how you managed it thus far but am grateful that you did. My horses & I thank you. Janet Lucht

  30. Started Rusty on your program 3 months ago. Temps in Florida high 80’s low 90’s. The humidity is always high. Over 50% in the afternoons after 98% in the mornings. He started sweating a little bit at day 3, then stopped. I continued Cool Stance feed, salt , grass and orchard hay for the next few months. FInally he has started to sweat! Mostly around the breast collar, between the front legs, the back legs and under the saddle. I have also seen sweat on the mane area. I slowly added garlic granules, timothy hay pellets, a feed thru fly control and minerals to his diet. For treats I give him an apple-berry cube treat. It took him quite a while, but I am so grateful for your “diet”. The main thing I quit feeding was beet pulp pellets. May try and add them back later, just to see what happens. I fed beet pulp to help keep the sand down in the gut. So far , so good. Thanks again.

    1. No need to add the sugar beet pulp back as it really doesn’t help sand colic. What DOES help gut motility is removing all sources of gut inflammation so keep his diet simple. No treats. Only pasture, hay, salt, water and a protein like soy bean meal.

      Thanks for giving this a try and helping your horse sweat again.

  31. Have reached day 3 in Sky’s grain free + no additives challenge. No changes noted yet. Hoping some will come soon. He gets pasture at night (no nutrients there). He is only on Timothy pellets/alfalfa cubes/ Timothy and Orchard hay – that is all… I decided on no salt because he’s not sweating at all and didn’t want to add anything else that may have some additive hiding in it . Any suggestions are welcome. We have tried one AC in past – nothing. Trying to give this some time to work. Keeping up hope.

    10/14/18 1300
    Day 1 Vitals
    In stall
    HR 45
    RR 85
    Temp 101.38
    88 degrees
    Partly cloudy ⛅️
    No sweat
    Mild nasal flare
    Multiple well formed stools

    10/15/18 1630
    *938 weight* (tape)
    Day 2 Vitals
    In stall
    Fan on
    Temp 102.1 !! 🔥
    HR 46
    RR 89!!
    87 degrees
    69 % humidity 💦
    Partly cloudy ⛅️
    No sweat
    Significant nasal flare
    Multiple well formed stools
    *repeatedly dunking nose and face into water bucket**

    10/16 1751
    Day 3 Vitals
    Temp 102.1 🔥
    RR 95 !!
    HR 53
    Standing in stall
    Fan on
    Temp 86
    69 % humidity 💦
    Partly cloudy ⛅️
    No sweat
    Significant nasal flare
    **repeatedly dunking nose and face into water bucket**

  32. I have an 11 yo OTTB “Sky” Gelding who was a MASSIVE sweater until last year 6/2017. We live in South Fl. His sweating just turned off like a switch. I read your article and started his “grain free” quest 8/2017. It did 100% help with his “nervous and nuts” attitude while jumping. He is now very calm, which is totally opposite his personality previously. No more diarrhea, even during stressful situations like shows. Still does not sweat though.

    However, I did NOT realize that he could not have supplements AT ALL. My mistake. He has continued to not sweat this year, little tiny areas here and there, but that’s all. He recently started with higher temps and increased nasal flairing and even recently had a nose bleed in his stall. The vet was called and he was given IV electrolytes and fluids x 2 days & I Put a fan in his stall, gets pretty much daily hose offs to be sure his temp is reasonable. Only turned out during eves and throughout night.

    I returned to my search on the internet and again came across your article. This time IT HIT ME – SO TOMORROW 10/13/18, we are stopping ALL of his additives. (Which I actually only started when I took him off the grain last year) They are smart combo senior Pellets, Barn Bag Hay Blanacer, SmartLytes Powder and One AC. He also gets a bit of rice bran oil. No treats, I use Alfalfa Cubes as a treat.

    His feed WAS as follows:
    AM and PM
    3 Quarts Timothy pellet
    1 quart Alfafa Cubes

    2 quarts Timothy pellets

    Now as of 10/13/18

    AM and PM
    2 quart Timothy Pellets
    2 quart alfalfa cubes

    2 quarts Timothy Pellets
    1 quart alfalfa cubes

    Loose hay remains the same:
    6 pads Timothy/day.
    2 pads Orchard/day

    I have increased his Alfalfa because his top line needs some weight on it, also despite the vitamins his coat is dull and he gets hives and always has a battle with fungus.

    I will record his temps/vitals and his sweating progress.

    Since he has gotten progressively worse this summer to the point he can’t really even be ridden anymore I’m hoping that the removal of all things grain and to be “truly” grain free is our answer. Fingers crossed 🤞 Any further recommendations are welcome.

    1. Thanks Rebekah for this detailed report. Even the little bit of sugar in red salt licks is enough to cause gut inflammation. Also remove carrots, candies, cookies – EVERYTHING!.

      Some horses with severe anhidrosis may take until next summer of feeding no sugar before they fully recover.

      To improve the top line you need to add a broad variety of amino acids to form the proteins needed to restore it. I recommend soy bean meal (see my nutrition blogs about this at Increasing protein intake and restoring the amino acid reserves will improve the hair coat, make the vitamins (these are proteins) and restore the immune system (proteins) to fight skin conditions and fungus infections. In other words, proteins are everything and it sounds like your horse has the signs of chronic protein deficiency.

      1. My 26 yr. old saddlebred mare has been grain free for about 6 weeks now. I added Cool Stance 2 days ago to her alfalfa pellets. At first she turned her nose up, literally, to it but this morning she cleaned it all up. She is still doing well temperature wise. I wanted to get soy bean meal but no one carries it in my area. I have someone close by who is a distributer for Cool Stance. I am hoping to see some weight gain & improvement in her topline as she has lost some. My grade mare with a skin condition & an attitude went grain free 10 days ago. I am seeing some improvement in both areas. My 18 yr. old Rocky Mountain gelding started showing anhydrosis symptoms & continued several days after going grain free about 3 weeks ago but seems to be better now. I don’t see any change in his physical condition. If anything he has put on weight. He has always been an easy keeper. My saddlebred is the only one I have given the Cool Stance. They all get alfalfa pellets & T/A hay. With the weather cooling off a little I plan to do some riding. Do you have any thing to add that I might be doing? Thanks so much for your information. I know it has improved the lives of my horses & hopefully lots of others.

        1. Thanks for this update and for trying the no-grain challenge. Adding Coolstance will help to add fat in a non-inflammatory way. The only thing to add would be some soy bean meal so look harder. Any grain mill should have it and any grain dealer should be able to order it. Last I heard it is about $20 for a 50 pound bag. It is the SBM that will improve the top line after about 4 to 6 months.

          1. OK, I will keep trying to find the SBM. I thought the Cool Stance would be instead of the SBM & would be enough protein as the analysis says it’s 20%. I think it will take a while to go thru 50 lbs of SBM but with cooler weather I won’t worry about it going rancid. Thanks so much.

          2. 20% is not the same as the bioavailability. All hay is half while SBM is 80% available. If you feed 1 pound of cool stance = 454 grams. 20% of 454 = 91 grams. If bioavailability is 50% then the net protein is 45 grams.

            SBM is about 45% protein so 1 pound or 454g of SBM = 204g. If bioavailability is 80% then the net protein is 163g or 3.6 x greater than coconut meal.

            While Coolstance has oil that is non-inflammatory to the human gut, it is still oil which will add calories and body fat. But as a protein source it will not be as efficient as SBM.

            Remember your aim is 0.5 to 1.0 grams protein per pound of body weight per day. You must determine how much protein is in your pasture and hay. A good rule of thumb is about 450 to 500 grams per day in average farms. With horses at a deficit due to chronic protein deficiency, the addition of 1 pound SBM adds 163 grams putting most horses back into the positive. More on this in my nutrition blogs and the Horsemanship Nutrition course.

  33. Hi doc t. I have switched my heaves/anhidrosis nightmare gelding to forage only. He gets peanut hay,pasture,plain salt,and only a handful of alfalfa pellets at night togive him his dex pills. I am amazed at how much weight he’s put on! He’s a hard keeper and was previously eating up to 2.5 scoops of commercial feed per day! So for him to be down to two flakes of peanut hay and pasture is amazing. And he’s shiny and muscley! His top line looks great! But he is not overweight either! Unfortunately he is not sweating still. And I understand that dex and ventipulmin May be inhibiting his ability to sweat but unfortunately his cough is so bad right now I feel like he needs it. Anyway even though he’s not sweating I feel like he’s a healthier horse!

  34. It’s been 4 weeks now with no grain. I am giving them soaked Timothy and alfalfa pellets. My guy that doesn’t sweat has just now started to feel damp between his back legs but his runny stool stopped at day 6. That’s a plus. I did start them back on joint supplementation at the two week mark as both he and the paint were stiff and I could hear creaking when they were coming out of the stall in the afternoon. I will add the soybean meal when I get it, but all in all I think there has been improvement.
    Thank you for all the info!

    1. Once the SBM has a chance to work it should be enough to reduce or eliminate the joint supplements. Let us know your experience with this.

      The damp versus full sweating may be due to either long standing gut inflammation or it may be due to how hot it is at the end of the summer in your area. By next summer you should see the benefits of gut healing with good sweating. Let us all know.

  35. My 16.3h, 1,500 pound Canadian horse is currently fed each day: 1 pound of a field pea, alfalfa pellet, sunflower seed feed mix, 1 pound of senior feed, 3 ounces garlic powder, 2 tablespoons Celtic sea salt, and 8 ounces Arizona Copper Complete supplement. He has trouble sweating even in the heat and humidity of central Virginaand even resting in the cool stall I measured his breathing rate is over 50bpm this morning. I would like to try your protocol with him. Is it okay to pull him off what he has been taking immediately or do you recommend doing so gradually?

    1. You need to do it in a way you feel comfortable. But if something is causing inflammation then it should be removed as soon as possible. All the horse owners who have removed everything all at once have not indicated to me that they had a problem. Rather, they say that in 3 to 4 days their horse starts sweating. But then again, I was in VA yesterday and it was turning into a cooler autumn like temperature. Remember also that September 21st is the fall equinox and hair coats are developing for winter – even in the hot south FL area. The extra hair adds to the heat stress. Let us all know in a week what you did and how he responded. Thanks.

      1. Yesterday was day 12 of no grain / sugar, though day 9 if one started counting after access to a red mineral block was removed. Last week it was hard to evaluate sweating progress as we experienced some cooler weather here in Virginia. I thought there was an increase in sweating, but it was pretty slight: wetness in the girth area (he’s always had that), dampness on the neck and chest, and more moisture between the hind legs. Yesterday we went on a trail ride with temperatures in the high 70s and a fair amount of humidity, and lo and behold, sweat happened! Tivoly’s neck, chest and back were covered with sweat, even after just walking on a very easy one hour trail ride. Yay! His bowel movements are well-formed but he still has small squirts of liquid with them. We are continuing with the protocol.

        One thing on my mind is trace mineral, particularly copper and magnesium, supplementation. Our area has soils with high levels of iron and we have acid rain, which is thought to deplete the soil of trace minerals. Also, our soils are known to be selenium deficient. The high iron content is thought to make trace minerals more difficult to assimilate. This year Tivoly showed several signs of copper deficiency: bleached coat and high degree of occurrences of rain rot, scratches, and thrush that he had not had in the past year that I’ve had him. All of it cleared up pretty quickly (not sure about the coat bleaching yet, will have to see what the winter brings) when I started him on Arizona Copper Complete. I have started reading your information about equine nutrition and I understand that a supplement like this one would be an issue because of the flax seed base that it uses. The mineral salt block (I am using the Redmond one) seems problematic: it limits mineral intake because of the salt, the zinc/copper proportion is not correct, it adds iron, which we don’t need, and it seems very low in magnesium and selenium. What would your recommend in this situation?

        1. Great news about the sweating.

          Minerals seem to be a topic all horse owners worry about yet have little good information about. For instance iron is highly regulated and not absorbed if not needed. Another consideration is that water is a great source of minerals.

          The rain rot and scratches is a sign of an immune compromise. Why does one have these and others in the same field not? Deworming once a week for 3 weeks in a row with ivermectin has been my standard treatment for these for decades. Now it is in addition to adding protein to resupply the needed amino acids.

          You will see the haricot maintain its normal color next summer once the protein levels are normalized.

          Thanks for reading about nutrition in horses and consider taking the course to really dig in deeper.

      2. Having just finished reading your twelve part series about equine nutrition, I see that Tivoly’s symptoms could result from a protein deficiency rather than (or in addition to) a copper deficiency. While he has a gorgeous coat and strong barefoot hooves, his topline needs help and he has three melanoma tumors on his neck and face, in addition to the rain rot, scratches, and thrush described previously. Perhaps address protein needs first?

        Also, how do you feel about wormers? I’ve been using an herbal wormer (Fennel, Fenugreek, Cayenne, Garlic, Hyssop, Olive Leaf, Oregano, Pau De Arco, Rosemary, Sage, Stevia, Thyme, Peppermint, Wormwood, and Pumpkin Seed blended with Diatiamatious Earth and Yeast Cultures) and his fecal counts have been zero to low while using it, though of course they cannot disclose whether he has bot or tape worms. I suspended using it for the duration of the grain-free protocol. Is it okay to back to it?

          1. Thank you very much for all of your information. I am very grateful for your website: it has opened up a whole new world regarding equine nutrition for me!

            I’d wondered why it took my horse so long to start sweating and why he continues to have some squirting with his bowel movements. Could it be the alfalfa flake that he gets each day? Or the 2 -3 handfuls of alfalfa pellets? Then yesterday I turned him out and noticed that the horse who is fed in that field dribbles his senior feed on the ground and Tivoly made a beeline for it (and obviously has been doing this for the last two weeks). I anticipate getting pushback from the barn owner that it is a small amount. Is it worth pressing the issue in your opinion?

          2. How much gluten can a person with celiac disease or gluten intolerance eat? For a sensitive horse it really is not the amount but if any is entering the system. For example in one horse I know it was the red trace mineral salt lick that caused the squirts. After 3 phone calls to the manufacturer the finally told us there was corn syrup and molasses in it. Removed the salt lick and the squirts finally stopped.

          3. It has gotten colder now so it is hard to know about the current status of sweating, but during the warmer days we had at the beginning of October Tivoly seemed to sweat normally. I’ve also noticed that his stools no longer have any squirts. We are going to continue forward with the protein protocol. Thank you very much for your help and your site!

          4. Thank you for trying this. Your horse’s positive response is good news. Pass this on.

  36. I ran across your website when I searched for “best diet for anhydrosis in horses”. My 26 year old American Saddlebred started showing signs of anhydrosis last summer & I immediately put her on 1AC which had helped my TWH when he suffered with it the last 5 years of his life. He was 31 when he died. She got thru last summer OK on the 1AC. She had been on it all this summer & until the last couple weeks had been OK. Then I noticed she was panting this past several days. She has been on Triple Crown senior for several years & has a good weight according to my vet. I give her Platinum Osteon twice daily for navicular syndrome. The first week of every month I add 1 cup Metamucil daily to her feed to ward off sand colic. I feed the best quality T & A I can find. I have limited grazing. She is not stalled but mostly on a dry lot with ample shade. Last week after reading your website I bought a bag of T & A cubes & gradually added them (soaked) to decreasing grain. Sunday was her first day completely off grain. I still give her the Osteon & 1AC. Today, Tues.. I didn’t have to hose her down & put her in a stall under a fan. I could feel the dampness on her neck, between her legs & see dried sweat streaks on her rump. I’m so hoping this continues. I have 2 other horses that I will be switching over as well as soon as I can get rid of the feed I have. One of them has had a skin condition (my vet says she’s allergic to insect bites but it doesn’t go away in winter) & the other one has a big gut but poor topline. I have always felt we did a disservice to our horse friends by sticking them in stalls & feeding them unnaturally. I am grateful for your guidance in feeding a more natural diet. I will continue to follow.

      1. It is 2 weeks today since my 26 yr old saddlebred went grain free. All seemed to be going well until day 9 when I noticed a change in her demeanor, acted tired, depressed, (if that’s possible for a horse). She was eating hay & grazing when I allowed it ( I have limited grass) but she wasn’t finishing her soaked T/A cubes & wasn’t especially excited at feeding time as she normally was. On day 10 I noticed her panting around 4 PM but a short hosing down seemed to fix her. Yesterday it was time to buy more T/A cubes so I went to Tractor Supply & saw a minicube made by Global Forage called Essentials which is supposed to be nutritionally complete with all the micro nutrients, macro minerals, electrolytes, pre biotics, trace minerals & essential amino acids. Protein is 12%. She ate about half of what i gave her this morning. She may have lost a little weight across her topline. Given this has been the hottest Sept. on record I guess I can be happy she isn’t overheated & panting but I’m worried she’s missing something. Should I add a protein source like soybean meal & if so, how much? Also normally I would be starting a week of orange flavored metamucil added to their feed to clear sand. It’s loaded with sugar so I’m not going to use it. Do you have another recommendation to prevent sand colic? I haven’t ridden her since the middle of May but when the weather cools I hope to be able to do some trail riding again. Thanks for whatever advise you can give. Janet

        1. Your comment here represents what every horse owner goes through when they change what they feed their horse. What people expect is instant or at least rapid results even against severe weather with no loss before the gain. Let me help to explain this.

          In south FL September is very hot and it has been warm everywhere. Add to this that starting on June 22nd the daylight has been decreasing. September 22nd we had equal time of day and night. The result of this is a lengthening and thickening hair coat in preparation of winter. The solution to this is a full body hair cut plus fans as this is the most challenging period for any horse.

          Older horses (such as your 26 year old) has had gut inflammation from grain for years. It may take 6 to 12 months of no added inflammatory feeds to heal this gut fully. In other words by next spring you will see the full effects of gut healing. Losing a “little weight across her top line” is clear evidence that her gut was inflamed as the new diet allows her to remove the fat (a sign of gut inflammation) and now you are seeing the lost muscle (another sign of gut inflammation, mitochondrial exhaustion, gluconeogenesis). Please read all the blogs at Consider taking the nutrition course I offer to dig deeper.

          Horses need protein but adding it in a “complete feed” as you describe here is fraught with danger. You must read the ingredients. For an example of this read my “Betrayal” blog unless you already know what lignin sulfates are

          Janet – as owners of horses we really need to know how to feed them correctly and I am very glad you are looking for good information on this. Horses are not like cars that have been engineered to run with little input other than clean gasoline. They have evolved in a specific way over 55 million years. Humans have “complicated” feeding them and you, like so many others, are trusting the feed companies and the feed dealers to help you give your horse the best for them. But their agenda is NOT feeding your horse as she has been developed as (a wonderful hind gut fermentor) but as a place to put their products. From my position of 45 years with horses I am privileged but horrified to see the adverse changes in the horses (and in the humans) over the years. Please read the blogs fully and you will be given good information that have come from human doctors who are also shocked at the health problems we are seeing today. I have extrapolated this new information for horse use as everything is the same between humans and horses after the raw materials ingested have been digested. Cell for cell, we are virtually the same.

          1. Hi Dr. Tucker. Thanks for your reply. I don’t think I was clear in my description of the minicube I bought from TS. On the bag it lists only sun cured T & A & “nutritional supplement formulation”. It promises no grain or grain by-products. I went to their website for more information on the nutritional supplement but found nothing so I called the company & left a message. Haven’t heard back yet. My mare has perked up a bit & as of 9/30 my rocky mountain gelding with the big gut & poor topline is now grain free. My mare was body clipped in June & again two weeks ago. Last night the weatherman said this has been the hottest month on record in this part of Florida, not just Sept. I can believe it. In a couple weeks I will try to get some soy bean meal. None of the feed stores around here carry it except by special order. I have been reading your other blogs & think you recommend it for at least a year until the gut inflammation is resolved. I still am uncertain what to do about sand elimination I have not had colic with any of my current horses but lost one years ago to it. I never want to go thru that again. Any suggestions? Thanks so much. Janet

          2. There are several companies hiding their ingredients in words like “nutritional supplement formulation” because it is legal to do so. This allows the company to change the ingredients without printing new labels.

            To clarify what I am saying about SBM, it is used to replaced the lost amino acids due to gut inflammation. The inflammation is reduced as soon as the offending agents are removed and may take up to 6 weeks to resolve completely. However the lost amino acids in the hoof will take a year to be fully replaced while the top line will take from 6 to 12 months. The hair coat will improve in 1 to 2 weeks from the SBM. You are correct though in thinking that the SBM should be given for about a year and once the effects are achieved, you will be able to reduce the amount given by half.

            Sand colic is very interesting and brings fear to every owner who have horses on sand (any shore line and island). What most people are agreeing on now is that a healthy gut with a forage diet should prevent sand colic. It is the decreased gut motility from inflammation and a grain based diet that in some horses causes accumulation of sand. I am not aware of good scientific studies of this but it would appear to be logical. In addition it would be wise to keep all hay off the sandy surface (hay feeders, clean up spilled hay daily). If you find your horse pulling up the grass and sucking the roots then this could add to the sand intake. The reason a horse does this is because sub tropical and tropical grasses store their starch in the roots to protect against drought. When horses discover this they suck the roots for sugar.

          3. I was able to get the nutritional supplement information from ForageGlobal Essential. I have re-read your nutritional segments betrayal & electrolyte, mineral etc. & think I will purchase non supplemented T & A cubes or pellets when these are gone unless you think they are ok. The Essential alfalfa cubes have added to them soybean meal, canola meal, salt, yeast culture, monosodium phosphate, mold inhibitor, monocalcium phosphate,dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, DL-Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate, mangnesium oxide, zinc sulphate, iron sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, sulphur, copper sulfate, calcium iodate. When I buy more alfalfa/timothy compressed would pellets be ok to use unsoaked? I don’t think any of my horses have any issues with chewing. Just this one more question & i will quit bugging you until I give an update. With cooler weather coming I will have to wait till next summer for a true evaluation but I will stick with it. But as it stands now, I am ecstatic to see my horses comfortable in this heat. This comment will be out of order from the others since there was no “reply” button after the exchange of Oct. 2 & 3. Thank you so much.

          4. OK Got it! The next horse to go grain free is my grade mare. She was a rescue so I know very little about her but a couple years ago she developed an itchy skin condition. The vet said it was an allergy to bug bites. I hope grain free helps her because nothing much else has. Thank you.

          5. Adding protein (soy bean meal) to a non-inflamed gut will replace the protein loss in the immune system which will help skin problems.

            Remember that the microbiome of the gut continues on the skin and in our lungs. Collectively it is known as the holobiome. Reduce daily washing with soap to maybe once a week with only water rinsing in between. This allows the normal skin flora to remain which will protect the skin.

  37. Thank you for your response. I stopped
    The supplements and we’re on day 2. I will keep you posted.

    1. I just started my 25 year old Cushings mare on Triple Crown Lite thinking it was grain free. After reading the comments here about the sources of inflammation and what to avoid, I looked at the ingredients of TCL again. It is labeled grain free but has a list of things that could contribute to my mares anhydrosis.

      Here are the ingredients:

      Soybean Hulls, Wheat Middlings, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Distillers Dried Grains, Ground Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Yeast Extract, Yeast Culture, Calcium Silicate, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Zinc Hydroxy Chloride, Manganese Hydroxy Chloride, Copper Hydroxy Chloride, Vegetable Oil, Butyric Acid, Zinc Oxide, Peppermint Essential Oil, Kelp Meal, Magnesium Oxide, Fenugreek Seed, Lecithin, Anise, Magnesium Proteinate, Selenium Yeast, L-Lysine, DL-methionine, L-Threonine, L-Leucine, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta Carotene, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Soybean Oil, Choline Chloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Folic Acid, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate, Manganese Sulfate, Lignin Sulfonate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Cobalt Proteinate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, (Propionic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives)).

      What feed is best for the 2 week grain free trial?

      1. Ashley – No one knows the root cause of anhidrosis in horses but it was a interesting finding that horses with anhidrosis, once removed from all inflammatory ingredients, started to sweat again! The connection between gut inflammation and the inability to sweat is certain but the mechanism is not.

        Almost every ingredient you list here is inflammatory. They are basically byproducts of the grain and seed industry (soybean hullabaloos, wheat middlings, distillers dried grains, ground flaxseed), inflammatory oils (vitamin E, Vegetable oil, peppermint oil, soybean oil) and unnecessary ingredients (the rest). The only good ingredients are alfalfa and salt. I love butyric acid but the gut microbes make this from digesting cellulose in the forage. There is uncertainty that bacteria in the food ever make it past the stomach acid (designed to kill foreign bacteria and probiotics are not usually found in fecal exams).

        The addition of minerals (chelated or otherwise), vitamins, yeasts, bacteria and other inorganic elements is really unnecessary if the gut microbes are healthy and you horse has access to pasture, good quality hay, mined salt and ground water. These are the only ingredients horses need. When pasture and good quality hay is limited then you need to add supplements and the most important of them ALL is high quality protein (all the essential amino acids).

        I always love to add the questions of these feeds: Who made the ingredients? Where were they stored and for how long and in what conditions? Where is the guarantee that the label is what is in the bag? No manufacturer is willing to have an independent verification of their product. But things made by nature are usually spot on (pasture, good quality hay, high quality protein).

        The short answer to your question is this. Feed your horses pasture, hay (if needed), ground water (not filtered or bottled) and mined salt (Himalayan). That’s it! When your horse starts to sweat then asses his protein deficiency and add high quality protein.

        There are some horses that take a while especially if the temperature in F added to the humidity (no percent) is above 180. Example 95 degrees and 90% humidity = 185. Most horses are sweating in 3 to 4 days. Join the Facebook group “The Horse’s Advocate” and search for sweating to read about others who have gone through this.

  38. Hello, we finally made the move north about 9 days ago. My mare was doing really well for a while before the move. She was even starting to sweat on her back, still patchy but it was there. She had been so much better that I was leaving her out full days at a time and her breathing rate was still fine. Then we moved. It’s definitely cooler here than where we were before, yet she stopped sweating completely. No grain, treats, etc. She is getting a different kind of grass hay than the Bermuda she was receiving before, I think it’s pronably some kind of KY bluegrass mix. The school provides it. Still just getting some hay cubes in the morning and evening with one AC, as she has been for the past couple months. Today I left her out for a while longer than I normally do just to test and see if she would sweat at all, since it was much hotter today. Absolutely nothing, even in the spots she had previously been sweating in normally (since it was only a partial anhidrosis diagnosis). Even when it’s in the 70s, she doesn’t sweat. I’m keeping her in under fans half the day right now, and she’s ok like that. But I just can’t figure out why moving back to cooler weather would somehow make things worse. Stress maybe. She got really attached to the herd she’s with right now, and gets panicky every time she comes inside, which is also not like her. I have not tried the protein. No grain, treats, etc (nothing but hay, grass, and one AC) since I began this back in June…? Anyways, that’s my update for now. Hoping she settles in and improves. :/

    1. Stress is an underrated cause of many things in life – both horse and human. We still don’t know the cause of anhydrosis.

      The grass in the north will have a higher sugar content because subtropic grass stores starch in the roots and KY bluegrass stores it in the shaft and leaf.

      Adding protein is essential to improving the health of horses. While the bluegrass will have a bit more protein, adding soy bean meal will be a good addition. Also, if the 1AC isn’t working, why still use it? All medications affect the gut microbes and if you are giving that and any other medicines (bute, pergolide, ulcer meds, etc) then this will have an effect.

      Stay in touch and know that cooler weather is around the corner.

  39. I have an older (28ish?) thouroughbred with anhydrosis for the last 5 years or so. He was in a boarding situation and moved to our house in south Florida almost two years ago. He has a very hard time in the summer with each summer getting worse. We have tried equiwinner patches, one AC, beer, bevs liquid, herbals with no success. He had labs and was tested for cushings and diabetes, both negative, because of a very heavy coat and a goiter that seems to go up and down. He is just miserable. He goes out at night, since it’s too hot in the day and he would spend all day in the pond which resulted in some hoof problems. We leave his stall door open in the day and hose him when we see him got to the wash mats. He has us well trained.

    Currently he is on Buckeye Eq8 gut health and groNwin with mega flex HA for joints. He seems to lose a small
    Amount of weight every summer so we upped his feed this summer with no weight gain. I have to get a tape but but he doesn’t look like he’s lost any this summer. Poor topline. He does ok one temp is down in 70s but that doesn’t last very long and we shave him
    Probably 4-5 times a year.

    I’ve been reading through all of your articles and started no grain this am. I did Give him a scoop of soaked Timothy/alfalfa pellets and changed his salt block from a Redmond rock to plain white salt. He gets Timothy/alfalfa or orchard alfalfa in a slow feed bag (always filled) while in stall. I did get some straight alfalfa to supplement protein as I’m sure he’s deficient also after reading your articles. I did him his mega flex this am but was concerned because the second ingredient after water is dextrose then Xanthum gum. I ordered coolstance, since it’s not available locally but it won’t be here until 9/4. I just don’t want him to lose anymore weight. Our pastures are green and there is plenty of grass right now. I have 5 horse on approximately 7 acres. I plan to switch them all over to no grain but was focusing on him and a 23 year old paint that is an easy keeper, so didn t have as many concerns with her as my really old guy. They both received the same feed and supplement this am.

    Sorry this is so long, but I guess my main concerns were is this ok until I get coolstance? Should I continue the mega flex ha? I saw that I shouldn’t add protein until the 14 days are done. At that time should I give the groNwin? It was in your list but had some
    Questionable ingredients. Should I add a bit of the straight alfalfa now?

    Thank you for all the information! I really want this to work since we were just discussing sending him away next summer to the mountains so he would be more comfortable but I hate to do that.

    1. Hi Stacey – Let’s keep this simple. Your primary goal is to get him sweating again. To do this you have tried a few things with poor results. Now you want to try the no-grain approach. This is how to do that:
      1) feed only pasture, hay as needed (grass and or legume), water and salt.
      2) feed nothing else for 2 weeks to let the gut repair itself from the inflammation from the other ingredients. THIS INCLUDES all supplements and treats (sugar, cookies, carrots, apples, etc.
      3) write down all your observations and date them so you can verify the orderly improvement in an otherwise chaotic life.
      4) read all the blogs I have on feeding horses here: Also consider enrolling in the Horsemanship Nutrition Course if you want to dig deeper.

      Specifically, don’t feed your joint supplement or coolstance. Do not feed grow and win or other protein products with questionable ingredients ( I really need to update this chart – a protein update blog coming next week). Use soy bean meal as the best source of a variety of amino acids.

      Let us all know how works out. Remember that very old horses with long standing inflammation may only become damp rather than sweating abundantly but this is still a win.

  40. I’ve been the care taker of my TB Chance for over seven years. I say care taker because his endless health issues have resulted in very little of the typical relationship I looked forward to having when I got my dream horse seven years ago. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get such a well trained 16.3 HH stunner for my new partner, they sky was the limit. That dream fell a part quickly and my horse thoughts became consumed with joint issues, back pains, general bad attitude, anxiety, bucking, ulcers, cushings and then non sweating. It seemed like once I got one thing under control another would come up. My husband called me “The Supplement Queen” it was true but not funny. I was on my way to vacation pondering the last episode of his non sweating and struggling with the SC heat, when my good friend sent me the link to Dr.T’s non sweating you tube video. Every single symptom he listed off Chance has. I was at my wits and bank accounts end and had just had “the conversation” with my vet who advised to see the rest of the summer through unless he went down. I was that close to giving up! As soon as we got back Chance was pulled off of all of the feed and supplements. He was on alfalfa pellets and O/A hay things were going great! Then about two weeks in he’s acting with worry and anxiety and not finishing his feed. I panic and send a PM to Dr. T fb page asking for help. Were these his ulcers again? Guilt was wracking me for taking him off of his supplements. Then the Dr. responded and offered to call me. He gave me so much information on how Chances battered system is recovering and guided me to changes in his diet , adding protein now. Chance is doing great, his sweating is increasing, his anxiety is back down, and he greats me for pets and kisses at the gate. His weight, despite always being a hard keeper, is normal and hasn’t changed at all. His body shape seems to be changing and his coat is shining. I know we have a ways to go on this but I’m actually hopeful that one day soon I’ll be able to saddle up and go for a quiet ride we both enjoy again. Thank you so much for the help and all of your research!!

    1. My pleasure Julie. Please keep us posted with updates and if sure of the good results, then share with others so they too can have happy stories to tell.

  41. Yesterday was 2 weeks since beginning. While she is sweating a good amount up front, there still has not been any improvement in sweating on her back, which is the area of concern as it has only been a partial anhidrosis diagnosis. Her breathing rate is still concerningly high during the day time, but at night goes back down to under 20. Last night I walked her around in the arena for 15 mins or so with no change in breathing rate, which was good. I have kept a daily journal on my phone of various details throughout the two weeks – if you would like me to post this, I can. I am hoping that winter will bring healing with it and that maybe a full year of no grain will bring her back around to full health next summer. It has been so hot and humid this summer that it really would be difficult to heal in this weather. Even the sweating horses are breathing harder than usual. I plan on keeping her on this diet and maybe adding protein. I read the articles, but have yet to decide what to actually give her for protein yet. Her rain rot has healed over and her hair is growing back in. Her coat looks shiny again. I am very thankful for that. Hopefully the scratches on her legs heal up soon. So far they seem ok – not better or worse.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth for this update. Sounds good so far!

      I just heard a brilliant idea from another owner that I had forgotten about. She has fed oat straw to 2 obese donkeys and their weight has dramatically reduced – and more importantly – they are no longer ravenous vacuuming up scraps. Rather, they have become relaxed and happy. The oat straw is low in starch and high in cellulose. Maybe a change to this for a month or so this summer might help. Just a thought – Doc T

  42. Hello again, I had a couple questions I was hoping you could help me with. One is about the salt blocks – right now she just has a white block in her stall, but she won’t even touch it, and I want to get a Himalayan salt lick instead. Is the Redmond Rock the same thing? It’s mined in Utah I believe. Which would you recommend? Additionally, I stopped the beer yesterday. Today I noticed less sweat than the past two days, and her breathing rate has been concerningly high the past two days when I brought her up (around 70 breaths per minute yesterday, and around 80 bpm today). It has been insanely hot and humid though. But she did still have some sweat, which was good. She had been increasingly sweating more and more until today. Should I give it another couple days without the beer or should I add it back to the hay cubes?

    Additional update: her rain rot is pretty much healed over and her hair is growing back in nicely, which is so good to see. Hives are almost nonexistent; when she does get them they’re minimal compared to what they were. However she does have what looks to be scratches on her legs now, which hasn’t happened before. They’re not too severe yet, and I’m spraying with a chlorahexadine/water mix. Usually I treat with banixx, but I’m currently out and every tack shop and tractor supply around seems to be out right now so that’s that. I’m hoping once she’s back on track soon, this will all go away. From what I understand, healthy horses tend not to get things like scratches and rain rot right? I figure this is a symptom of the immune difficulties she’s already having with the anhidrosis. So far she’s doing really well with healing and looking better by the day. No sweat on her back yet; I’m thinking maybe in a week I might pick a cool morning and put a saddle on and lunge her for a few minutes and see if she is able to sweat on her back at all yet. Again thanks for all your help, sorry I have so many questions!

    1. Salt – Any pure salt will be good and most salt books have a binding agent of some material. The red trace mineral salt blocks have corn syrup and molasses. Non-sweating horses have a reduced mineral loss hence they would not show a need for salt or electrolytes. Read my blog here for more information:

      Beer – I have been working outside all week in mid- 90’s temperatures and have felt the oppressive heat, abundant sweat and dry mouth so I can easily imagine what your horse and others are going through. I am yet not clear why removing grain allows a horse to sweat again but I believe it is linked to gut inflammation and hormone disruption. The cause of this may be a combination of carbohydrate dependency and lectins. If it is gut wall damage / inflammation then we all need to understand that it takes about 6 weeks for the gut wall to be fully repaired. Being in the middle of very hot weather, your horse is improving in many areas but not equally. Be patient for both cooler weather and gut healing.

      Scratches – I have associated poor skin health to an overall unhealthiness of the horse. For the longest time I recommended once a week for three weeks deworming with ivermectin dewormer. This almost always works as the stress on the immune system was reduced by the cleaning out of migrating parasites. Now, however, I see a chronic protein deficiency as a more root cause of poor skin health and the opportunistic bad bacteria and parasites more a reflection of poor gut health. Getting the gut lining to heal is of the highest priority and once healed, addressing the addition of protein (which can be added anytime as the gut heals) and the possibility of a parasite infection requiring medication (may prolong the time needed for gut healing) becomes the follow up steps.

      Finally, the normal resting breathing rate is about 12 breathe per minute. I think lounging or riding any horse with a resting breath rate of 70 or even 35 can be dangerous. This rate changes the pH of the blood which can lead to some serious problems. Be happy with the improvements you have seen but don’t push it. Your horse needs time to heal and some sweat now only indicates that you are on the right path. You should see steady improvement but with this oppressive heat we all need to understand that it is affecting us all, some more than others. Cool weather will come and when it does and the breathing normalizes, then you can test it. I know you know this, but a lot of people are reading this so stating this is important.

      Thanks again for all your updates. All those following this appreciate it. Doc T

      1. Thanks for the quick reply and helpful information. I’m definitely not in a rush to push her past what she’s ready for and wouldn’t work her at all until her breathing rate is back under control. I’m hoping that with the improvements she’s had thus far, she’ll continue down that path. Would you recommend I add protein now – and if so, what kind of protein exactly? I’m about to go read some of your other articles on protein.

        Also, in a little over a month she will be moving back to school with me a few hours north. My vet and I are hoping that moving back a little farther north will help her. She’ll come back here next summer. It is still pretty hot there though, but not as bad as this area. In the event that at that time she is still struggling with keeping cool, do you have any suggestions for how to help keep her cool on the trailer? It’s a 6 hour trip, and there’s no way I could leave her at home because my family aren’t horse people (they do help where they can but I couldn’t do that to them or to my horse). I’m thinking I might have to leave at some terribly early hour in the morning…and if that’s what will help her then I’m all for it but was wondering if anyone here had any helpful suggestions.

        1. You can add protein at any time. Reading the blogs will help (from here just click on the nutrition blogs in the menu bar). It is the quality of the protein that is important (soybean meal, alfalfa, whey). Be sure the protein supplement doesn’t have grain (Calf Manna) and it is not necessary to have vitamins or minerals either. In Louisiana there is a feed dealer making “Doc T’s Mix” which is shredded alfalfa plus soybean meal pellets. He will ship anywhere 1500 pounds at a time via FedEx (he just told me this 2 days ago!).

          Shipping to arrive before 9 am is important with stops for offering water and monitoring breaths per minute. If he becomes stressed for the heat, have water and a sponge ready for sponge baths. The goal of moving to a cooler environment is worth the effort.

          Please keep us all informed over the next few weeks and after the move. I appreciate the time you take here to help others. Doc T

  43. Hi Doc T. I am at the same barn as Elizabeth Strasko and I have a Friesian Holsteiner cross gelding (17.1 hands and about 1700 lbs) that stopped sweating about 7 years ago. He’s a very easy keeper and was on about a half a scoop of Triple Crown lite twice a day with 4 cups of soaked Standlee Alfalfa Timothy pellets. The free choice hay he gets in his stall is tifton bermuda. He’s also on thyro-l, laminasaver, and probios and has a Himalayan salt block in his stall. I had been giving him carrots as treats, and nicker makers and the standlee hay cubes with cranberry and apple juice (which he loves). Now, he’s only getting hay pellets as treats. I stopped the carrots about 2 months ago. I’ve been reading all your blogs and took the short dentistry course you offered, which I thoroughly have enjoyed. Then I got your email about the no grain challenge. I read it and watched the short video and thought about it. I’ve been toying with the no grain challenge since then, but I’m one of those people that thought my gelding would be “missing his vitamins and minerals”. I have literally tried everything from alcohol baths, cold hosing for 20 – 30 minutes, ice packs on his back and wrapped around his legs, OneAC, the Chinese herbal powder I got from my vet, Guinness very stout beer, the equicool blanket, bringing him in before it got extremely hot and keeping 3 fans on him, misting fans, just spraying him with a hose while he was in his stall, you name it and I think I’ve tried it and nothing seemed to help him start sweating. He would stand in his stall with his head against the wall and struggle to breathe with nostrils flaring to get cool and was very depressed. When Elizabeth’s mare started having problems and I told her about you and what you’ve found. So she decided to start the challenge and then I thought, what the heck I have nothing to lose, so I started Rembrandt on the challenge. He started sweating around the base of his ears on day 3 and he started back to eating his hay and not standing with his head against the wall. On day 4, he was sweating under his mane and a little on his withers. The flakiness at his elbows is going away and the flaky spot on his temple is becoming smooth. His breathing started becoming less labored. Yesterday, day 5, he was sweating between his back legs when I brought him in for breakfast and this is a first since the humidity kicked in back in June. When he came in around noon, he was sweating at his ears, under his mane and at his back legs. My mom hosed him off and put him in his stall. He hasn’t been struggling to breathe, which is so encouraging. Today is day 6, and it was already humid out when he came in for breakfast at 5:30. As a test, I felt back by his flank and he had more sweat than yesterday. I was amazed and I’m so excited. I need to read about adding the protein so I can make sure he’s getting what he needs. Thank you for sharing all you’ve discovered!

    1. Thank you Susan for this very clear description of your progression through your challenges of anhydrosis. I think this effort will help so many others facing the same problem and who discover this blog. Of course, the success here begs the question of what else can improve in the horse once grain is removed. Hmmm.

      I am extremely grateful for the time you and everyone here have taken so that others can learn from you. Doc T

  44. I’m not sure how much fat he was getting. What ever is in Purina Ultium. I will say he did have a mineral block, pasture and Bermuda hay.

    He did start showing early signs this summer that he has shown in the past prior to stopping sweating. Ex: loss of hair around the eyes, ease and nose and sudden excessive sweating when the other horse wasn’t, followed by little sweat.

    I have pulled grain from his diet and replaced the salt block as the clear salt block. I’m happy to report I was able to ride this weekend with lots of sweat! I have noticed his stool is back to normal as well.

    I’m avoiding the steroid shot for his fly allergy, but boy is it exhausting making sure he is sprayed down just before dawn and dusk.

    1. That’s great news Melinda. If you become convinced that no grain is the way to go consider adding protein to help with the immune system. Be careful to read the ingredient tag because many protein supplements have grain in them.

      Sources of good quality protein include alfalfa, soybean meal and whey. You can read more about this here: Even more can be learned here: and here:

  45. Today was day 6 no grain. She’s been getting one AC and guinness extra stout beer mixed into alfalfa/Timothy hay cubes. Today she had some sweat on her chest, face, girth area, and one shoulder. Much better than the past couple days with no sweat whatsoever. Today’s temp was a little cooler when I brought her up (about 84) with a good breeze, but the humidity was still 76%. Her breathing rate was still high at around 62 breaths per minute, but the past couple days every time she’s in the sun for any time at all it’s more like 80s and 90s. I’ve been tracking her respiration, sweat patterns, weather, and sometimes temp daily. Another lady at the barn with an anhidrosis draft horse of 7 years started the grain free diet too recently, and he had some sweat around his ears today! I won’t say much more about him though, as I’m hoping she will join in giving updates on here. Will come back and let you know my mare’s progress in the coming days.

    1. I’m glad you are seeing improvements. At some point you will try removing the beer which is all carbohydrates. It’s not really the “grain free” that is helping but the removal of daily carbohydrates (carrots, treats, grain, red salt licks, and beer) and lectins (causes of gut inflammation). Removal of gut inflammation and the conversion of mitochondrial fuel from glucose to ketones is the key. No mystery.

      Looking forward to the future updates of your mare and your friends horses.

  46. Today was day 3 of no grain. Her BPM is still high when I bring her up in the mornings and she’s still not sweating as much as I’d like, but she does have a little bit of sweat on her chest, neck, and girth area. It’s more of a partial anhidrosis though; it’s her back that won’t sweat. She didn’t have hives the past two days until tonight; I’m not really sure why but tonight her breathing rate was a bit higher than it normally is when she’s in under the fans and she had hives on her neck on one side. But since it’s only day 3 I’m still thinking there’s probably still grain in her system, so I’m still hoping things start to change in the next few days. I’ve been giving her Timothy/alfalfa cubes with Guinness extra stout and one AC. Her pasture does have a red mineral block, but there’s not much I can do to change that.

  47. Thank you for your help, I look forward to the upcoming days. I have high hopes this could work. I was up late thinking about all this, and thought I’d give you a little more background info that could be helpful to this study. She was on a large amount of grain with very poor pasture up until August of last year. Last summer, we struggled with hives all summer long and couldn’t figure out the source. Then I moved her to school with me in KY, and the pastures there were good so I cut all grain. Still gave treats, but no grain. She looked so good this past year. She got dapples for the first time, the hair grew back on her face, no hives, good work ethic, etc. I thought it was because the KY bluegrass is so good, but now I’m thinking it could be because grass and hay became her main diet with no grain. Then as I said I started her on a ration balancer in May, and everything has gone downhill since…I just didn’t put the pieces together until recently. First it was hives again. Then rain rot (she’s never had rain rot before). Now she can hardly breathe if the temp is above 80. I’m cutting grain and sugars and what not TODAY, and will let you know how it goes. I’m excited for this.

    1. Thanks for this clarification. Hives and rain rot are all a sign of an immune dysfunction. 1) the gut inflammation is overwhelming the immune system and 2) these may also be signs of protein deficiency as almost all of the immune system are proteins.

      Stepping back from a situation and looking at the pieces and putting together the puzzle is good detective work. Rather than feeling helpless or being spoon fed poor information, you decided to get to work and figure it out. Kudos to you and all others reading this and becoming an advocate for your horse. PLEASE remember to come back here and tell us all of your results. Thanks, Doc T

  48. I heard of this article through my barn manager and was desperate to find it. We now have THREE anhidrosis horses in the barn – including my own 🙁 she has NEVER had a problem in her life before this summer! I have not fed her grain in over a year – until a few weeks ago. We’ve been doing well with riding and performance, so I decided to start her on Triple Crown 30% ration balancer to help build muscle. The Wednesday before last, I took her to a cutting clinic and we worked hard for 3 hours – more than we should’ve. I thought that this is what ruined her and caused heat exhaustion. But now I’m thinking that maybe it could’ve been building up from the grain I started a few weeks ago? She was so healthy before. Now she has rain rot, hives, and doesn’t sweat on her back. When I bring her in in the mornings, her breathing rate is upwards of 80 bpm just standing in the shade. It’s terrifying. So I have a few questions before I start. My vet has her on One AC, Guinness beer, and I’ve been giving her electrolytes. Is it safe to take her off the one AC and beer? And should I continue putting her in during the day with fans to help her out? Could I give her the One AC and beer with hay cubes possibly or should I just cut it altogether? I’m so desperate to find an answer to this. I can’t stand to see her like this. And if this works, I want to tell the owners of the other two horses and see if it helps theirs. Theirs are BIG gelding draft crosses, whereas mine is a petite (800-900 lbs) solid paint mare.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth for sharing your deep concerns and worry. Most horse owners are afraid to change things even when their horses are suffering mainly because of misinformation or a pure lack of good information. Please remember that I cannot tell you to change a treatment that another vet has counseled you on.

      I too recommended One AC as Guinness stout. It works for some but no one has determined the cause of anhydrous. Please consult with your vet before removing any of his or her treatments.

      ALL “ration balancers” are filled with grain byproducts. These are concentrated sources of lectins which are known to cause leaky gut syndrome in humans. This leads to gut inflammation and hormonal disruption. There is no need to feed any grain or grain byproduct. As you can read tin the comments here, many horse owners are finding a sweating horse in as little as 4 days after removing all food with the exception of pasture, hay, water and pure salt. Feeding anything else including sugar, candy, carrots, apples, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes – all will not allow the horse to start to sweat again.

      Once sweating resumes and you become convinced that feeding sugar (all sources) every day of the year to horses leads to carbohydrate dependency you may want to then add a protein source. All this information is in my other blogs here or can be found in the nutrition course I offer (link on this page). Understanding how to feed a horse correctly without the misinformation the marketers give you will free you from your worry you so clearly state here in your comment.

      You can start the no grain challenge while your horse receives the One AC and the beer. Stopping the ration balancers in my opinion is more important. And if you want to build muscle (top line) then read my 2 blogs here:

  49. My Thoroughbred mare, age 25, is a chronic non-sweater. Per your directive I eliminated all grain and carrots from her diet commencing June 28th 20 2018. She has access to good pasture and I eed grass forage, grass hay, and hay cubes. This morning prior to coming into her stall for the day she was sweating. It has been averaging in the 90 degrees with high heat index all week. I am now seeking a suitable diet for her, and a second horse (age 8) I have who does not sweat either. I understand barley is a cool grain. any advice appreciated and thank you.

    1. While the mechanism is not understood, it is the results you see from feeding no grain that gives convincing evidence that grain – all grain including barley – may be the cause. I am suspicious that the mechanism is connected to carbohydrate dependency leading to mitochondrial exhaustion. Therefore I would not recommend any grain or grain byproducts or any other sources of sugar such as carrots or apples or cookies or treats. I would also be suspicious of most supplements and electrolytes. The only addition I recommend is a protein source with soy bean meal, alfalfa and maybe whey.

      More information can be found in my other blogs on nutrition or by enrolling in the nutrition course (the link is now on this page). Remember, there is no real reason for feeding horses something they cannot find in their environment other than for a limited time such as grains.

  50. My mare is 5+ weeks into the no grain challenge. She started light sweating at rest under mane, around withers, with dried sweat traces on her chest, legs and rump. She is an easy keeper so I added her minerals back in first. She is still panting and flaring on the super humid days while still lightly sweating (3 days out of the past 35 days). One of her herd mates is a great sweater and he has panted/flares on the same days. They have 24/7 turnout with 24/7 stall access. We are in SC and it is very humid. Adding in equinity now to hopefully help with allergies and help with the flaring/panting.

    Are you finding that the flaring/panting is corrects itself with the ‘no grain challenge’? Or a supplement that is working for others?

    Many thanks for your time and sharing this collection of information.

    1. Hi Corrie – my associate is in Campobello, SC this weekend. She tells me how hot it gets there in the summer.

      Why are you adding minerals? What deficiency is she showing? Did you check the ingredients to be sure there was no sugar?

      I looked into Equinity. It is essentially amino acids but I am not sure if they are in the right amounts. The owner tells me that race track vets love it but there are other sources of proteins that work well for horses and have for decades. Adding a variety of proteins and aiming for 0.5 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight will help with the immune system. For more help on this go to

      I would look at everything she is consuming. My hypothesis is that glucose has a role in non-sweating. All hay and pasture will have glucose in the form of starch. You may need to limit starch in the diet and I don’t mean feeding a bag of grain that says “low starch.” What happens is that the daily consumption of sugar throughout winter when there is no sugar available in the wild leads to carbohydrate dependency and mitochondrial exhaustion. For the explanation of this spend some time reading my blogs at It is very simple and VERY different from what horse owners have been told. Some say overwhelming but I promise you it isn’t.

      Be sure to hang some high velocity fans in the stalls. They may like standing in the breeze during the hot days.

      1. Thank you for the quick response. Feel like she is on good track, but if I can adjust to increase sweat and minimize the pant/flare- we would both be grateful.

        Regarding Minerals: (HorseTech’s High Point Minerals)- I double checked the label and I don’t see any sugars, but it does have yeast which I think you flagged in another response. I was feeding Cool Stance prior to challenge which I understood to not be a complete feed and needed to be paired with minerals. I re-read your supplements blog and she is not showing signs of any deficiencies mentioned. She was only off her minerals for 2 weeks. Would deficiencies have shown up? She lives off Johns Island which is sandy soil if that matters.

        During 2 weeks. 24/7 Pasture, 2-3 flakes a day coastal hay, 1+cup of soaked timothy during mealtime, salt and water.

        1) Would replacing or adding to her soaked timothy with ProAdd Ultimate be the next step in potentially addressing the panting/flaring? Her top line could use some love. Is Pro Add Ultimate ok for easy keepers?

        2) Are you finding the sweat that they have on the initial two weeks is how it stays or does it increase in some cases?

        Thanks again.

        1. 1) Adding a protein supplement such as ProAdd at a pound a day for a horse weighing 1000 to 1400 pounds will always be beneficial especially to the top line improvement. Remember that this will take at least 2 months to see an improvement with the target of 12 months to see the most improvement. Easy keepers is a grain issue so the protein source should have little to no grain in it. Sometimes these protein supplements change their formulation so read the ingredient tag each time you purchase. Some owners are getting soy bean meal or soy bean meal pellets as an individual product and either feeding it alone or adding it to hay pellets, shredded hay, hay cubes, etc. You can even add whey protein isolate to the soy bean meal.

          2) Some horses only become damp after removing all grain. This is more true it seems in older horses who have been non-sweaters for longer periods (decades). Adding a high velocity fan with or without misting water seems to help all horses who become hot and pant / flare. You may need to do that this year but next year find in unnecessary. Time will tell.

          A note about CoolStance – This is a source of non-inflammatory medium chain triglycerides (fat) which is NOT glucose and IS converted to ketones. I add this to horses who need a bit more fuel to maintain themselves (severe winter or ancient horses). It is not needed to feed a normal horse, a pastured horse and certainly not an easy keeper.

          Minerals are the elements needed to live other than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Notice all of these are either found in the air or in water. The rest are in the plants that we eat that are grown in the soil where these minerals exist. Adding minerals to a ration is needed only where the minerals are depleted in the soil. Farmers are constantly monitoring the minerals in their soil to maximize the yield of their hay crop. The increased yield will deplete their soil which they replenish with fertilizer (organic or non-organic). In my experience it is rare that a horse owner analyzes their own pastures and fertilizes them. Fertilizers are not evil and most contain the same chemicals owners add in their mineral supplements: calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, iron and others. If you want to be natural, add it to the pasture.

          I hope this helps all reading this comment and reply. I have been told that the nutrition course will be launched this coming week. Be sure you are signed up for my newsletter so you will be notified.

  51. My horse spent an entire summer without grain and he still didn’t sweat. I have had him for 9 years and have only had 1 bad case of gas colic. No other colic issues. He does have a sugar/starch sensitivity issue, but his is more like a kid with ADHD super charged. Always looking for something to eat him.

    The only thing I can say that I have observed with him is he suffers from a fly allergy. He was getting Triamcinolone shots. One summer he didn’t get any shots…We saw sweat. The next summer we waited as long as we could for the shot. 1 month later…….no sweat. Went all summer last year no shots….sweat. So far no shots and we have sweat.

    I’m chocking mine up to side effect from corticosteroid.

    I will say I watched your video and you never mentioned O3 Equine Mega Sweat. After watching your video and I can see why the stuff works. Their products are marketed to help with gut health. It did get my guy sweating with 3 days after starting it combined with electrolytes twice a day.

    1. The reason a horse stops sweating is still a mystery. It was an accidental finding in the no grain challenge to find horses sweating again. My hypothesis is because of gut inflammation and I want to add to this, mitochondrial exhaustion.

      It is interesting that you say your horse was not on grain but then you say he has a sugar sensitivity. Starch IS glucose IS sugar – all the same. Go to for more on this.

      There is sugar everywhere including the starch of hay and in every supplement including a red mineral salt block. So it is not JUST a no grain challenge but for some horses, it is a no sugar challenge. This includes soaking hay to remove the starch. Soaking the hay leaves the structural carbohydrate (fiber, cellulose) and even though the plant made this with glucose, it is not digestible by ANY animal. It is the gut microbes that turn this into short chain fatty acids which is a much better fuel than glucose for the energy making mitochondria within the cell. This leads to the rejuvenation of the mitochondria and the cells. In other words, all horses (and humans) are becoming sick from eating high amounts of sugar every day. I call it carbohydrate dependency. Please take a day to read all the info at the link above.

      If my hypothesis is correct then reducing the sugar intake in your horse may help him sweat. And as far as giving him a glucocorticoid (triamcinolone), this steroid greatly affects the sugar in the body preserving glucose and raising the levels of sugar in the blood. This may explain why he did not sweat when given this shot.

      How much protein does he eat per day in terms of grams per pound of body weight. Also how many different varieties of protein do you feed? Aiming for 0.5 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day from a variety of sources (pasture, grass hay, legume hay, soybean meal, whey protein for example) may really help his immune system and maybe even the sweating. But watch out for the added grains in some protein sources.

      Finally, watch out for the electrolytes – most have sugar because the electrolytes are bound to sugar for absorption. The only reason a horse or human needs electrolytes is if they are excessively sweating. Otherwise the minerals they ingest should make enough electrolytes to satisfy the needs. An electrolyte is just a mineral with either less or more electrons than in the normal resting state. My goal is to stop adding things to the diet of the horse including any medications or supplements and correct the underlying situation. They have done well for 55 million years without our help. But in captivity, we add things that lead to mitochondrial exhaustion and gut inflammation yielding chronic protein deficiency and the list of diseases cascading from there.

  52. Dear Doc T,

    I have rescue ottb (16hh thoroughbred) that stop sweating when boarded in my stable. Today is probably his 5 days without sweat in here, i want to try no-grain challenge to see if he will sweating again but with his body weight (skinny, probably score 1 in henneke body score), is it safe enough for him to take all his grain completely? One more thing, i have unlimited access to grass and forage,but here in Indonesia its hard to find hay, is it okey if i add more forage/grass to replace the hay?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Mif – Thanks for finding me here on the other side of the planet. My son lives in Indonesia! I also know a good equine dentist who goes there.

      It is important to know the age of the horse. If he is under 20 years then unlimited grass is perfect. If he is older and the low BCS is due to age / chronic inflammation then adding a non-inflammatory fat source may be helpful. Here in the USA I suggest Coolstance which is shredded coconut meal.

      It is common for owners to add grain to add body fat. However, this will add fat at the cost of cell fatigue, insulin resistance and gut inflammation (including non-sweating). In addition, a poor top line is evidence of protein loss which is usually secondary to starvation. Starvation can obviously be from human neglect but it can also be from the complete opposite. Adding excessive grain continually throughout the year actually can lead to protein loss too but is covered by body fat.

      Details about this can be found on my other blog posts here with the titles “Decomplexicating Equine Nutrition” where I describe 11 pillars of equine nutrition. I am also publishing a course at the end of this month.

      Thanks again and we all look forward to your results being posted as a reply here in about 2 weeks. Doc T

      1. Dear Doc T,

        Thank you for replying my question. Oh really? thats cool, where is your son live in Indonesia? I live in Jakarta, my stable is also in Jakarta. Can you tell me the name of the equine dentist that you talking about? i’m having a hard time to find equine in here.
        Anyway, My horse is about 5 years old. I decide to take his grain and only give him grass, salt and water. One thing that concern me right now is that he got diarrhea from it. he still eating well and drinking well, i decide to keep it short to just 4 days instead of 2 weeks. should i keep take off his grain or back to his old diet because of the diarrhea?

        Best regards,

        1. Diarrhea can have many causes with inflammation and infection as the leading causes. This create a large list. Included in this can be any change to what they have been eating.

          I would assume 1) grass doesn’t cause inflammation (unless it is so different and / or high in sugar) and 2) all grain is inflammatory. I could also assume that if he is eating and acting normal in all other ways and has no fever, then it is not a bacterial infection. However, some ricketsia (Potomac horse fever here in the US) and viruses can cause a horse to continue to eat and have diarrhea.

          Also, if the water is different you can also get diarrhea. Be sure to look at a parasite infection and stress from shipping to your farm.

          Grain, on the other hand, will always cause inflammation which will lead to non-sweating among other things. So returning grain to the diet may not relieve the diarrhea and in fact, may worsen things.

          Having a vet look at your horse may be in order because diarrhea can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

          Neil Jolly is the dentist who I know goes to Bali. My son lives near Bali.

  53. I’m one of the few people in the UK to have had a horse with sudden onset anhidrosis. Last summer on a very hot day she had a minor procedure under sedation. We’re not sure whether the sedation was too light but it caused her whole system to crash, she went off her food and her blood inflammation markers were so high she had emergency intravenous steroids. She has PSSM so her metabolism is already challenged (& obviously she’s not on grain), but recovery took a long time. She only started sweating when the farmer who owns our fields decided to fell 60 trees in one day. 60 odd spooks and bucks and the next day I saw sweat for the first time in months!

    So uncommon in the UK that one of the vets had never heard of it and the others had never actually seen it.

    1. Short of falling a forest, the no-grain approach seems to work for most. I did chuckle with this comment. Thanks for finding me across the pond. Anhydrosis is certainly more common towards the equator but on occasion norther horses on warm days will reduce their sweat output. Be sure to tell your vet about this approach to anhydrosis. Thanks, Doc T

    1. Yes and all outer casings of grain. We give bran mashes in winter to add water, but removing the gut inflammation and adding hay during the winter should be enough to keep the gut hydrated. Heating the water in stock tanks worked the best for me when I lived in upstate New York (propane stock tank heaters in the NASCO catalog).

      The lectins (plant proteins) that are doing the damage to the gut lining are concentrated in the outer layers of grains. Hence we should avoid whole grains. Whole graind were only fed to the poor in developing countries because the wealthy could afford the removal of these layers and benefit from better health. This is also the reason why Asians eat white rice (outer brown layer removed) and real Italians remove the skin and seeds of tomatoes (and all nightshades) because this is where the illnesses come from – the lectins.

    1. Rock or Himalayan salt. Avoid the red trace mineral salt that has corn syrup and molasses. If you only have a white salt block that’s OK though it has other material besides salt in it. Salt can be in block form (licks) or can be added as granular salt.

  54. One more update – my gelding and I did an hour and a half trail ride yesterday and a Hunter Pace today. Both times my boy sweated like a champ and was perky and forward even at the end of both rides. He cooled out and recovered quickly, too. We both had a great time.

    Also, this same boy has had trouble with chronic diarrhea since last October. That is also greatly improved on his new regimen. I am one happy camper, for sure.

  55. yep September is the HOTTEST month with 90++ degree temps with 95% humidity–you just can’t understand till you live it. And horses struggle with the heat more than humans.

    Today Givvy came in from night turnout with wet armpits, tacky flanks and tacky between the hind legs. This week i added one pound of Coolstance a DAY (that one cup a day) just for some extra protein. He gets all the western alfalfa hay, western timothy hay and soak alfalfa cubes he can eat. We have been taping his weight. He’s Day 19 on the challenge–hasn’t sweat in 20 years –remember–he’s a BIG 28 year old OTTB very hard keeper with a personal port a cooler and a barn misting system to try to keep him cool and all night turnout on grass with a pal. He started Day 1 at 1033, last week he taped 1025-so he lost about 8 lbs. Today he taped at 1098! I couldn’t believe it–i weighed him 3 times. The tape doesn’t lie–the hard keeper who got 15-20 pounds of grain a day before the challenge was rescue horse thin–and NOW gaining weight on Hay, Hay Cubes, Grass, Water and real salt. And trying to sweat. We are beyond thrilled. Looking for more sweat to follow–I am confident it can happen. And he will be healthier and happier if he can. He trots to the paddock, and grazes with his pal instead of just standing buy the water trough trying to cool off.

    Bravo my “97 APHA is sweating pretty good. He quit on day 7&8 after a Previcox but started again day 9. Unfortunately he has strained his check ligament and I did need to give him more Previcox this week-watching him like a hawk while doctoring the leg with arnica/sore no more poltice/wrap. Not sweating quite as much, but still sweating. The leg is cooling off and swelling going down, so I am starting to wean him off the Previcox as long as he stays comfy. I am medication resistant and use it sparingly– when necessary.

    Can Givvy get some Chia Seeds his owner asks? I feed mine 1/4c a day–Bravo included.

    1. We are as thrilled as you are. Thank you so much for updating and helping the world understand the effects of gut inflammation caused by grain in horses. I have seen poor keepers on 15 to 20 pounds of grain per day become unrecognizably FAT in 12 to 18 months. Once the inflammation is removed and the gut heals, the horse can now utilize the calories consumed in the grass and hay for growth rather than defense. Additionally, the gut bacteria will change over from the “bad” ones to the “good” ones which will create efficiency in digestion, reduce aches in joints, and give an overall feeling of wellness. This is what you are seeing in his improved behavior in addition to him being cooler.

      I wouldn’t change a thing in his diet. NOTHING!! This is because it takes up to 6 weeks for the lining of the gut to heal completely. Stay on track with what you are doing and record weight, attitude, and sweat until 4 to 6 weeks have gone by. After this, if you feel it necessary to feed him something he would never find in the wild, then do so – but ONLY one thing at a time and then wait 2 weeks while recording your observations.

      Bravo and his Previcox – As his gut heals from the grain induced inflammation he will better handle the inflammatory effects of the medication. Keep his dose as low as possible and as infrequent as possible but give it to keep his pain under control. The 6 weeks of healing the gut applies to him as well so be patient and balance this against the pain relief from the Previcox. It might take a little longer, but he will get there.

      Keep the updates coming. So many are learning from your experience as well as the others commenting here. A vet in Tampa recommended a no-grain protocol for a non-sweating horse there after citing this article. You are helping to make a difference. Thanks, Doc T

  56. Doc- have 23 yr old with injury needing pain control at this point. Using Previcox.
    1 tab / 57 mg per day. What can be fed to help gut inflammation from meds? What really works!! Vet said pre/pro biotics don’t work / help unless ” live” ?
    Please – any thoughts/ suggestions? I’m confused with so many products on market that claim to help. I’m a hay/ grass / water/ salt person. no grains fed. easy keeper. Laminitis prone appy. Tks

    1. Does your horse show any signs of gut inflammation? Is he not sweating?

      All NSAI (Previcox, bute, etc) pain medication adversely affects the lining of the intestines in humans and can be seen in Judy Hill’s Bravo (see her comments). Removing all inflammatory grains helps but not in all horses. You state that your horse only eats grass and hay so if there are no signs and you are giving the smallest amount with the smallest frequency of a NSAI, then you are doing the best you can.

      However if your horse shows signs of gut inflammation, then try to find the lowest dose and least frequent administration of the NSAI to keep him comfortable while minimizing the inflammatory effects.

      Remember the role of protein in maintaining the health of horses. In a 23 year old prone to laminitis you will want to limit pasture and high sugar hay, yet grass and hay are the best defense againse the inflammation caused by NSAI medications. It is an observation from those with ponies that suck up all blades of grass and hay like a vacuum that when given an amount of a broad variety of protein aiming for 3/4 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight that they no longer vacuum the grass and hay. In other words, their vacuum eating behavior is because they are missing or are lacking something in their diet. Restricting their intake of grass and hay only makes things worse. But adding protein actually diminishes their desire to graze and their anxious behavior.

      I know it’s just an observation, but they also seem to lose body fat and eat less grass and hay. In turn this can only help a painful and laminitis prone horse. Check out my protein article.

  57. Dear Dr. Tucker,

    I have a 6yo heavy-set TB who is experiencing his first summer in TX. In June he stopped sweating. Each day he has self-managed the heat to some extent by submerging himself in our pond. He would repeat every hour or so but still became distressed in between, puffing like a train. I have been stabling him between 12 and 6pm each day under fans & misters to try to cool him but could rarely make him truly comfortable. In addition, I have tried various electrolytes and ‘sweating’ supplements. On August 13th a friend pointed me towards your YouTube vlog. I started the no-grain challenge about 5 days after, radically reducing his 14:8 pellets to a small handful and replacing with soaked Alfalfa & Timothy. On August 31st he started to sweat – and happily, continues to sweat profusely. I’m not sure whether a spell of cooler weather has allowed him to re-set, and/or whether supplements played a part but my other two TB’s – who also got the no-grain treatment – are also sweating more freely than ever and neither has had the sweating supplements, so a moderately nice control group!

    I’ll obviously keep monitoring as I’m concerned his sweat response may switch off again as/if the temperatures rise however, I thought you’d like to know. Any further advice is most welcome.

    1. Please consider removing the “small handful” of grain pellets you are giving him now. The only reason you are doing this is for you, not the horse. He is sweating now because the inflammation caused by the grain has been removed – almost completely. So try it – for 10 more days. You will find that the “handful” is like the box of chocolates you have hidden in the back of the top shelf of the pantry, raided when no one is looking. But your evidence for no grain stands before you sweating “profusely.”

      Thanks for the comment. I think you will find that he will continue to sweat. Please feel free to update us all.

      1. Stopped ‘the small handful’ but seems I spoke too soon – my big lad stopped sweating and we’re back to square one. If anything he seems even more intolerant of the heat now. Temperature is lower than earlier in the summer but humidity is up so the apparent temperature remains in the high 90’s. He’s on soaked alfalfa & timothy & digestive supplement (SmartDigestUltra). He’s also lost weight and i’m thinking of starting him on a protein & fat weight gain supplement. Is there anything I’m missing?

        1. Caroline – If you haven’t read yet my last blog then do so now. This will add to the discussion of why removing horses from grain works for so many horses. Remember that every horse is an individual and therefore will have different sensitivities to the lectins in the food he or she eats.

          When we remove all grains from a horse’s diet, we need to be diligent that ALL grain is removed. Here is the list of “inactive” ingredients in Smart Digest Ultra: Brewers Dried Yeast, Corn Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles, Magnesium Silicate, Natural Flavors, Salt, Stabilized Rice Bran, Vegetable Oil (cold pressed). Notice the inflammatory ingredients of yeast, grain, bran and vegetable oil. All of these will cause the leaking gut that your horse is demonstrating in the form of non-sweating and weight loss. Remember that it is NOT the amount of inflammatory ingredients but if ANY are present in sensitive horses.

          Often the owner sees “weight loss” and places the horse back on the inflammatory ingredients because they of know nothing else to do. In reality, the weight loss seen is actually the removal of fat revealing the chronic muscle loss that has been occurring. Removing the inflammatory ingredients such as lectins that are causing leaking gut, immune mimicry and insulin blocking will allow the horse to gain muscle without the abundance of fat that hides it as well as many other ailments such as non-sweating. Adding a broad variety of protein will help him recover. Please keep in mind though that the gut needs about 6 weeks to fully heal though results can be seen in less time. Record all your observations in a notebook so that as the 6 weeks pass you will be able to read about all the changes you have seen.

          The bottom line is that if your horse is only eating grass and hay then he doesn’t need any gut supplement. But isn’t it “funny” that a product intended for “Comprehensive hindgut support” conveniently ignores the fact that the inactive ingredients does just the opposite? Hmmm….. Please let us all know what you finally do (hopefully only feed grass, salt, water and pure salt) and how it turns out.

          1. LOL – The Plant Paradox is his book and he does an incredible job explaining it. Please subscribe to my blog where I attempt to turn his information into uncomplicated information for horse owners. The next blog this Sunday is on lectins.

  58. Doc T, My gelding is on day 18 of the challenge. He started sweating on day 3 and continues to sweat. On day 15 I started him on ProAdd Ultimate as I feel he needs a protein source for his topline. He is 17 and his topline doesn’t look as good as it did this time last year. Currently my guy is on pasture and sweating while he is grazing. Close to a miracle.

    I am thrilled beyond belief at my results. In fact, I have a ride planned for tomorrow that I would not have been able to even contemplate 3 weeks ago for fear of overheating. I have my horse back! I am so appreciative of your help with this issue.

    1. Congrats Susan – your horse thanks you!. Please reply to this with an update after your ride.

  59. minnie is on day five of the challenge so far no sweat . she has not sweat in years. i do notice sheis drinking more and eating more. so i will keep it up she is probably more llike givvy just not as old.

    1. i will keep at it she has not sweat maybe her whole life and she is 14years old. was a race horse go figure.

  60. Givvy is 14 days on the challenge today. I added one cup (8OZ) Coolstance today as per his owner. I did tape his weight yesterday and maybe he has lost only 8 lbs in 2 weeks on hay only and grass. I think he’s holding his own and eating hay and hay cubes well. Tonight he layed down and rolled in the dirt–something I have never seen him do. He may have been wet deep in the folds of the front legs and tacky between the hind legs. Fingers Crossed. Danielle Weis reported to me and to YOU that her mare was covered in sweat today-3 weeks into the challenge. Bravo, my 97 APHA gelding w/cushings, did sweat on day 2, not day on day 7,8 after a prevacox, sweating again day 9 on. Bravo is 22 days into the challenge. These next few weeks are going to be HOT. Fall can not come soon enough.

    1. For those in the rest of the US, September is the hottest month in south FL, something people in New England can’t begin to understand. I’m in the truck today and it’s 95 degrees now.

  61. We have a 16yo BelgianPaintX w/Cushings that we started on the diet this morning. I have 3 questions:
    1- is Prascend ok during the two week period? (He suffered the veil but takes it well now)
    2 – we were giving Remission & Foundation Formula but withheld it this morning. Is it ok to add back in 2 weeks?
    3 – he has FRM Free Choice lose minerals available. It’s not a block so I wasn’t sure. Do we need to remove from the stalls?
    Thank you!

    1. Thanks for trying this Amber.
      1) yes keep the Prescend. Any changes in medication shoud be discussed with your veterinarian.
      2) OK to add one thing at a time and wait for changes. As Judy Hill found out, one Prevacox stopped the sweating and it took 2 days to start up again. So let the horse tell you if there is a problem, but one at a time then wait.
      3) Every mineral supplement has ingredients that are hidden such as corn syrup and molasses so I would remove them during the trial then reintroduce them one at a time.

      Good luck and let us all know how it goes. Doc T

  62. Day 13 for Givensong, our 28 yr old OTTB who hasn’t sweat in 20 years. He started at 1033 now hes 1025 13 days later. So hes lost maybe 8 lbs.

    I could start to add some protein, and some vitamins—is that detrimental to the 2 week challenge of hay only? Or wait? His weight is maintaining, so i am not alarmed at weight loss. As you know this horse is very thin to start although he was getting 15-20 lbs of feed (the organic w/ CS W/ speed-beet 95% sugar free) a day in addition to hay cubes and all the hay he could eat. , with no muscle–SO losing some fat makes it very noticeable. But the tape doesn’t lie. He’s maintaining weight. He’s hungry, he’s eating, he’s bright and happy. Loves his peanuts, his new treat (shell and all) instead of his favorite peppermints.

    Connermara Crunch (organic grain free feed ingredients below) is 16% protein and Cool Stance is 20% protein. Do the ingredients of the CC look suitable for gut inflamation? It is soy free and grain free. It contains pro and prebiotics for digestion.

    Steph—what are the ingredients of the Platinum Performance suppliment? I have suspended this suppliment on the 2 week challenge. He’s on Western Timothy hay, Western Alfalfa, alf cubes , grass, real salt and water.

    We dont have sweat YET. Since his weight is maintaining—should be continue the challenge with or without a protein? With or with out vitamins. Im feeding him the best quality hay and feed i find–and all of it he desires to eat.
    Please advise

    Organic Connemara Crunch Horse Feed

    Crude protein, minimum………………………………………….16%

    Crude fat, minimum………………………………………………..3%

    Crude ber, maximum ……………………………………………. 15%

    Calcium, minimum …………………………………………………0.60%

    Calcium, maximum…………………………………………………1.10%

    Phosphorous, minimum …………………………………………..0.20%

    Copper (PPM), minimum………………………………………… 120

    Selenium (PPM), minimum …………………………………….. 1.0

    Zinc (PPM), minimum……………………………………………300.


    Organic Field Peas, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Dried Organic Kelp, Organic Sun ower Oil, Organic Rice Hulls, Brewers Dried Yeast, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Sulfur Powder, Yeast Cul- ture, Selenium Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Methionine Complex, Manganese Methionine Complex, Copper Lysine Complex, Cobolt Glucoheptonate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Prod- uct, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bi do- bacterium Thermophilum Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium, Dia- static Malt, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast

    1. It is amazing that with the removal of the Connemera Crunch and the Cool Stance he has relatively maintained his weight. But it is common for the older horses to start to lose some of the fat. While it may take some more time for the gut to heal from the chronic inflammation, it wouldn’t hurt to add a protein source. This said, I still don’t want to cause inflammation so if it were up to me, I would either hang in for another week OR add some Cool Stance. Cool Stance will add non-inflammatory fat as well as another source of protein which should help him, but don’t be surprised if his appetite diminishes slightly (a side effect of ketone digestion).

      Inflammation is not caused by the sugars as much as the bad proteins called lectins found in everything including grain and things like rice bran, brewer’s dried yeast and sunflower oil (all in the ingredient list you posted). I want to write about these lectins in the next 30 days when I get a chance.

      The one rule is this: It is not what they need to eat (hay, grass, water, raw salt) but what they DON’T eat that makes the difference. The other rule is this – all horses are different so we must find out what works for each horse individually.

      1. ok-im on board with the challenge. Ill keep you posted on our progress. G ate good today ( hay and hay cubes) and trotted out to the paddock at 7pm for all night turnout. I felt his foreleg creases–nothing—-yet. It was very warm today, but my barn is relatively cool and he has a personal port-a cooler in addition to my misting system. His demeanor is bright.

    1. For horses that are not sweating or are heat intolerant, the hypothesis is that there is a metabolic dysfunction. What is being suggested here is that there are “bad” proteins called lectins in many of the ingredients being fed horses. By feeding only forages horses normally find in their environment, many of these lectins can be avoided and many of the health problems we see today including non-sweating can be resolved.

      I will be writing more about this in September.

  63. I have not fed my 17yr old Warmblood “grain” in about 10 years. Since he was about 3 or 4 tho he’s been on a forage first program of good quality forage 24/7 with any and all hay fed through a slow feeding hay net the last 2 years. The only “feed” he gets is from ADM. The majority of the years it’s been their Stay Strong Metabolic mineral pellet and only 2lbs a day. Depending on how he was looking I would throw in some of their HealthyGlo or MoorGlo (stabilized rice bean pellets). I also tend to stay away from alfalfa too sometimes his hay will be a T/A or O/A mix which is light on the alfalfa, but I prefer regular Timothy or orchard as I also have a mini. His “non sweating” was noticed when he was 6 1/2 shortly after we moved to florida from up north. He was never a complete non sweater as he will sweat under tack when ridden and in the pasture from his ear to armpit but will not sweat past that and will be whole body breathing with flaring notstirls. The chinese vet med place said he had a spleen chi deficiency once upon a time. He’s figured out he gets hot and will stand in the shade or in front of his fan. This past January I started feeding him coolstance Copra a coconut “meal” (it’s thicker than powder but not yet granular either) and I think that’s helped some with his non sweating. I was also using Photonic red light therapy as well for different reasons and I think that had help because occasionally he’ll have sweat around his flanks and under his butt. What I love about ADM is their feed is truly low starch and sugar and packed with amazing vitamins minerals and great probiotics. 🙂 the stay strong is all my mini has gotten for the last 10 years and he has never had laminitis. 🙂 so you can say I feed my horses as they should with forage first and vitamins minerals salt and probiotics. I was once told that anhidrosis can linked to an emotional trauma, and once that was dealt with horses were “cured” of their non sweating issues. Wish I could insert s picture of him here :-/ he looks amazing for 17 and not getting any grain because he’s fed as a horse should be.

    1. Thanks Eryn for your comment. Stay tuned for my discussion on lectins causing inflammatory reactions in the GI tract.

  64. Day 7 for Givvy…..Stephanie said he may have been ‘tacky’ in a few spots this AM!!! OMG I’m so excited I can’t contain myself. It’s premature, but ……..

    1. Great news Judy. Looking forward to seeing the picture of Givvy covered in sweat.

      1. Day 8
        G is loving the peanuts as a treat-shells and all. This morning’s observation from Susan Van Wagoner who brings G in in the AM with her horse-turnout buddies:

        Givvy was past “sticky” and all the way to wet in his armpits this morning! Not like girth-area armpits, but way inside like between his front legs in the crease next to his legs. Way in there, but still good! Kinda clammy between back legs, but wouldn’t say wet. But it was early morning and nobody was really sweaty. 😃🐴

        We taped him at 1033 last week when we began – yesterdays he’s just shy of 1033. More than 1017 the next smaller line on the weight tape. His skin is getting bad again–fungusy. We hope if he starts to sweat well that will help his skin.

        1. Inch by inch…

          If he loses more weight, let me know but it’s ok now because the goal is sweating, then weight maintenance.

          1. day 10 for Givvy. It was relatively cooler yesterday and today with the cloud cover and rain (which actually can promote sweating i believe when its not too hot) . Not much difference in G. Bravo is Day 17 and sweating good on his chest, head, under mane. Just tacky between the hind legs. Do i start to add a protein for Bravo-the one cup of connemara Crunch (New Country Organics grain free feed)/coolstance as protein–or NOT . He hasn’t lost a pound as his meal is soaked alf cubes. G may have lost a few pound-not many, always eating, not as shiny ….not really sweating yet–but trying to I believe. At some point do we add a protein/minerals/aminos to these boys? Or w/G do we wait till the sweat starts appearing?

          2. If your thorough observations show that the horse has improved now that all inflammatory feed is removed then you can start to add a protein source. Wait about 10 days and if no signs of inflammation return, you can add something else but I really doubt that you will need to add anything else. Vitamins and minerals are usually added to the protein sources for simplicity but if they are not added, then add some now. Only if your horse sweats a lot during exercise should you add electrolytes but otherwise stay away from them. All electrolytes require a sugar molecule to be absorbed so there is that sugar again.

            Remember that it is the chronic inflammation of the GI tract that has caused the chronic protein loss as well as the other adverse health signs. But it isn’t JUST the lack of feeding protein but the lack of absorbing the protein and the competition from the “bad” proteins from the grains that has caused the health problems of your horses. You must always continue to avoid the bad proteins as well as the added sugar of grains (corn, wheat middlings, vegetable oils, carrots, etc).

            After the no-grain challenge and the reduction in GI tract inflammation, you should start adding a variety of protein sources to get the horse back on track. Stay vigilant and observe the horse after the addition to determine if an individual horse is reactive to any ingredient in the protein supplement (fecal squirts, off feed, irritability, non-sweating, etc).

          3. So do we say maybe all horses can/should eat this way? Like a HORSE? I for one am against processed food and like whole food for myself and my horses.

          4. An interesting thought Judy – did you know that the “bad” proteins called lectins are more prevalent in whole grains? They are concentrated in the skin of the grain so actually “whole” grains can be for most people MORE inflammatory. I am NOT promoting white Wonder bread but if you must eat grain based bread, eat sourdough bread where yeast is used in the fermentation which also digests any remaining lectins in the white flour.

            While all of this appears complicated, it is not. It is just different and therefore requires us to think differently. I am walking the walk now and will report back on my personal changes as I continue to remove inflammatory food from my diet. And with all of your help reading this, I will collect the testimony about horses lives improving once the inflammatory food has been removed from their diets.

            You say it best!! Horses should eat like a horse (and humans should eat like a human). Once you learn how grains are so new to both of our diets you will soon figure out that grains are NOT food for horses or humans.

  65. I just took my OTTB off grain 6 days ago and she just started sweating! She was on 2 scoops of ProForce Fuel . But Now im not sure if I should out her on a grain without beetpulp or what. shes lost a lot of weight and down here in south florida its hard to keep a horse especially a TB on just hay

    1. I always ask, “What is weight?” If it is just weight, add a SCUBA diver’s weight belt to the top of the horse.

      What we are really noticing is a loss of fat which was placed there because of inflammation. Specifically the grain leptins (defensive plant proteins) that block the insulin sites on muscles. Insulin, unable to give their sugar to the muscle, stores it as fat while the muscle slowly starves. Over time, the top line “looks good” but as the fat is removed from the no grain diet, the “real” horse is seen. Like taking the clothes off a person to reveal their true body.

      The fact your horse looses fat on a no grain diet is confirmation of the underlying inflammation – along with the sight of sweating. Now is the time to continue removing the inflammation and heal the gut (up to 6 weeks) while at the 2 week mark, introducing a protein source. Then be patient. This takes several months to start to see the results and a year or more to get a “new body.” This is why it is so important to keep a journal. Add to it often. On a rainy day, read it and compare your start to where you are now. Then share it with all of us. Thanks for the update.

  66. I rode this morning, and my horse sweated like a boss! He was as sweaty as my friend’s horse – something that has never happened before. He had normal sweat patterns – again, something that is new for him. He also felt great, perky and forward throughout the entire ride. To say that I am thrilled is an understatement.

    This particular horse has also had chronic diarrhea since last Fall. I have tried multiple diet changes, supplements, vet work ups, and omeprazole and sucralfate. It looks like his diarrhea is improving at this point, we are on day 6 of the challenge. I’m excited to see what the second week of the challenge brings.

    1. Thanks Susan for trying this challenge. Seeing is believing. In the near future as I get more information I will try to explain why grain is inflamming your horses (and you too!).

      It’s nice to find your TRUE horse now that he feels better. Doc T

  67. Hi again. Week 2 in progress here, I have started my mare on buckeye grow n win this week and hay/grass/salt/water. She is losing fat from nursing her colt. I appreciate reading about chronic protein deficiency. I usually wean around 5-6 months, gradually. I have started keeping them apart for some parts of the day to start the process (total of about 3 hours) She is sweating more than last week. Neck, chest between legs, more frequently, seems to be every other day she is sweating pretty good. The more I read and think on this, the more it can seem confusing. I did eliminate grain from the colt, he’s just on hay and grass, now. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world of equine nutrition

    1. Great news Danielle. Thanks for learning and helping your horses. I know the mare will lose condition due to nursing but I want you to consider this as “normal.” So there is no need to add any grain that will continue to inflame the gut (the grow n win). She will gain back what she has lost after weaning. In fact there is something called “intermittent fasting” that actually is necessary for mitochondria health.

      Confused now??? I know. I will be getting into this but let me summarize. You and your horse are SUPPOSED to go through lean times. In fact it is being proved that, like the hibernating bear, we all need to not get food 24/7/365. So as long as the mare is getting grass and hay, she should be OK. Isn’t this the way God / nature made it?

      Remember, the grow n win is going to the foal through the milk.

  68. Hey Goeff, Bravo is now in day 11 on the two week challenge and he started sweating on day two..stopped sweating on day seven and eight interestingly enough I had given him a Prevacox on the night of DAY 6. Starting sweating again on day nine he’s now sweating again so I am thrilled. Could one Prevacox have made the difference? We’ve started the two week challenge on our very old retired horse who is 28 and has not sweat in 20 years . Today is a Day 4. We are watching him like a hawk. Fingers crossed.

    1. Judy – it is great that you observed this Prevacox relationship to overall gut inflammation. Other things affecting the gut are protein pump inhibitors which decrease the acid in the stomach. The effect of medications and grains is 1) decrease or removal of the protective mucus lining and 2) damage to the tight junctions between the cells that line the gut. Both of these allow substances in that really should be kept out. While I am not sure why this causes anhydrosis (among other things), but I know that it does.

      So yes, all non-steroidal antiinflammatories will affect the gut.

      Please keep us updated especially on the old horse. We need to address the gut inflammation and anhydrosis plus also add some muscle and fat to him. Looking forward to this so please keep in touch.

      1. OK Bravo, ’97 APHA gelding with Cushings is winding day DAY 13 on the 2 week challenge. Started sweating on Day 2, no sweat on Day 7&8 after one Previcox on Day 6, Sweating again Day 9. Interestingly enough it was only 84 today after the 1/2 day rain-into the evening-felt like FALL for a moment-but i know better. I felt my horses chest while he grazed out in the field and he was very wet-the most so far. YIPPEE. (interestingly Bravo does sweat when the hot humid summer is over and temps drop a bit). I rushed over to feel our old guy, ’89 OTTB hasn’t sweat in 20 years-dry as a bone-He’s on Day 5. He’s on Hay Hay Cubes, grass and salt, eating like a horse. I taped his weight Day 1. I’ll tape him tomorrow although he appears to be holding his own and eating non-stop-which is interesting to your theory. We so want this old guy to sweat.

        My organic feed we switched to before the Challenge is New COUNTRY ORGANICS ConnemaraCrunch soy and grain free
        Analysis Crude protein, minimum – 16%. Crude fat, minimum – 3.00%. Crude fiber, maximum – 15.00%. Calcium, minimum – 0.60%. Calcium, maximum – 1.10%. Phosphorous, minimum – 0.20%. Copper (PPM), minimum – 120. Selenium (PPM), minimum – 1.0. Zinc (PPM), minimum – 300.

        Ingredients Organic Field Peas, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Dried Organic Kelp, Organic Sun ower Oil, Organic Rice Hulls, Brewers Dried Yeast, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Sulfur Powder, Yeast Cul- ture, Selenium Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Methionine Complex, Manganese Methionine Complex, Copper Lysine Complex, Cobolt Glucoheptonate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Prod- uct, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bi do- bacterium Thermophilum Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium, Dia- static Malt, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast.

        NCO likes feeding with coolstance (which is 20 %protein) which i mix together-mine get one cup (8 oz) 2xs day. I was mixing in Crpto Aero also-but that has oats and have stopped. Everyone was getting this. Bravo and Givvy. Givvy’s feed was 3xs day: 5 c this mix, 2 1/2 c Essential K high protein feed from Tribute (28% soy based protein-with all essential amino acids)) soaked organic GMO free beet pulp, soaked alfalfa cubes, Western timothy hay and western alfalfa hay. He was getting tremendous feed amounts 3xs a day and still painfully thin, although he’s definitely the best since at my farm . I believe the organic feed and especially the beet pulp has added some weight on him. BUT i am sticking to the challenge for 2 weeks. We even cut his most favorite daily peppermints–and he is bewildered as to why-but we offer a hay cube and are going to try peanuts as a treat.

        Have you had a horse NOT begin to sweat on the trial?

        1. Thanks for the thorough update. All horses that try the no grain approach to sweating have started to sweat. But a 28 year old who hasn’t sweated in 20 years may have been inflamed for a long time with some permanent gut damage. The fact that he is so lean (before your efforts) is evidence of this long standing inflammation. I have seen this in 2 horses just today.

          Last week I saw a 28 year old looking very similar to Givvy who was also a non-sweater. That horse started slowly sweating within 4 days. She uses just whey protein plus has worked hard on adding vitamins and minerals. This week, 1 year later, I did not recognize this horse. The hair coat shined and he had muscles everywhere he had not a year earlier.

          I appreciate your patience and courage to get both these horses back to zero inflammation. Bravo seems well with this and as long as Zivvy continues to eat all that hay and nothing else, he should be too. After 2 weeks you can reassess his feeding and if needed, introduce things back, one at a time, and waiting a week before adding another. Each individual horse has individual reactions to the same food so we need to remember this as we look at Zivvy’s return to a healthier state.

          Last thing – I think all need to know about the effects of the nonsteroidal antiinflammatories (Prevacox, bute, Banamine, etc) on the gut lining. Thanks for this observation.

  69. An update for anyone interested. On Monday I started a hay, water, and salt only diet for my 17 y/o gelding with anhidrosis. On Wednesday and Thursday we had very high temps and humidity and my horse was sweating while on turnout – something he doesn’t usually do. While the sweat was somewhat patchy, he did have sweat in places that I haven’t seen him sweat before – between his hind legs, on his flanks, around his ears, and on his chest and a bit on the forelegs. This is far more sweat than I’ve seen even when worked under saddle, so I’m thrilled with his progress.

    1. Thanks for the update Susan. Remember to look at everything he eats for inflammatory causes including the sugar in red mineral salt blocks. No treats with grain or even carrots. We all look forward to another update. PS – I will have in the future what I think may be causing this and other issues in horses so stay tuned.

  70. OK … I am not following directions; but, this has been a great mystery to me. Once, about fifteen years ago, Choas had anhydrosis. It was not a very hot day – only about 70 – and fairly dry (not humid) in NC, in the fall. We didn’t work that hard, but he was puffing like crazy – and not sweating at all. No change in his feed in four months – but probably too much grain at that boarding barn. We ran cold water down his legs. He never, ever, did it again. I lived in fear for a while … and mostly forgot about it. Why???

    1. Hello Judy – good to hear from you.

      Every horse is an individual and responds to grains differently. And some live on the edge of an issue when something throws them over temporarily. I have seen that it is NOT the quantity that affects them. Often it is just 1 little thing such as a weed or a bad spot of hay that does it.

      I just posted a new blog to start the discussion on lectins. These are the “bad proteins” in plants that cause the damage. Stay tuned.

  71. I have an ottb patchy sweater, what about using hay and Coolstance? No ingredients other than copra? He’s a hard keeper so do you advocate hay long term? Could alfalfa hay be used to put calories in? Assuming no grain diet works.

    1. Hard keepers can be a sign of grain intolerance and gut inflammation. Try to do this in stages. 7 days of nothing but hay, grass, water and raw salt. If he is OK with this, sweating and not losing condition, then keep up with this plan. I am a fan of CoolStance because it is a non-inflammatory source of energy, but wait until you see a loss of condition.

      Remember, many people look at a horse as a hard keeper and only see the low body condition score (a measure of fat covering). In stead, look at the Top Line Score as a measure of muscling. As muscle is gained and inflammation is stopped, a much better (and calmer) horse appears. Read about chronic protein deficiency here:

  72. My mare stopped sweating about 2 mos ago and she has a 3 month colt nursing at her side. She has been grain free for 5 days and started to sweat on her chest, shoulders and between 4 legs. I am very excited for her to sweat but I have noticed her appearing thinner. She was eating up to 8lbs of grain/day along with alfalfa and grass hays. Now I have her on O/T/A for breakfast/lunch/ dinner and Tifton for munching in between. What should I do to increase her calories? More alfalfa? Her foal is eating 2lb/day of Triple crown growth and also access to momma’s hays. Mom is a Welsh/TB cross @ 14hh.

    1. Nursing mares often will give the fat off their back to their foals and this is what she is doing. I assume you will wean at about 4 months. Once you wean, she will gain her weight back. But there is more.

      Fat is a sign of inflammation as the horse sequesters off the unwanted sugars. When you stop the inflammation, the horse will immediately start to eliminate the fat and if there is a drain of energy (lactation or extreme exercise) the fat will go rapidly. Unfortunately, what you end up seeing is a horse whose muscle has been reduced through lack of protein ingestion.

      Think of it this way. If you take the clothes off of 2 men in front of you each with a body fat of 6% and one has slumping shoulders, distended belly and skinny legs and the other is Michael Phelps (the Olympic swimmer) – which do you think is in better condition? Both with the same body fat but one with better muscling. When our horses “lose weight,” what they have lost is the fat and you now see how chronically poor they are in the protein department. For more info on chronic protein deficiency in horse, read my article here:

      One last thing – I do NOT recommend feeding any foal (colt or filly) any grain – EVER. This may cause developmental orthopedic disease such as osteochondrosis dissicans, epiphysitis, contracted tendons, club foot, and more. 2 pounds a day plus what you were feeding the mare is dangerous. Please consult your veterinarian on this.

  73. Hi Doc T! You actually used to do my horse’s teeth years ago! A friend of mine emailed me this article and I found it very interesting. My mare, Zoey, has had anhydrosis ever since I got her 12 years ago. She is now 22 and still suffers from it year round. We have basically learned to live with it and manage it through fans, night time turnout, and lots of lots of hosing and scraping. In the beginning, we tried everything except for prescription drugs. We tried the One AC, beer, and acupuncture but to no avail. About a year ago I decided to take Zoey off of grain completely. She gets her pelleted supplements while the other horses in the barn eat their grain (she gets a joint/hoof/omega 3 combo supplement, plus a pelleted electrolyte and multi vitamin-mineral supp). She’s able to maintain her weight on pasture and timothy/alfalfa hay. Unfortunately, she never started sweating after we quit the grain. I am convinced that she has lived with this condition for so long that there is nothing that will help.

    1. Thanks Amand – this is a common reply that the horse is “off grain” yet is still being fed things with simple sugars. Many horses are very sensitive to this. For instance many “supplements” have corn, wheat middlings, molasses, and other inflammatory ingredients. Add to this that every electrolyte requires glucose to work so every electrolyte supplement has sugar. Check out the joint/hoof/omega supplement and there is a probability of inflammatory substances including suspect vegetable oils. Finally the vitamin mineral supplements again can have unnecessary effects on the gut.

      Your horse can do without all of these things for a week. Feed only pasture, hay, raw salt (NOT the sugar loaded red trace mineral salt) and water for 10 to 14 days and then report back your findings.

      Keep in mind that EVERYTHING you place into your mouth and swallow is NOT in your body. Same with your horse. It is placed inside a tube running through the body. If I draw a blood sample from your vein or your horse’s vein I would not be able to tell what you or she ate today.

      All foods and supplements are broken down into molecules and then re-assembled on the other side of the gut wall. We do this through enzymatic digestion and your horse does this through bacterial fermentation (we are NOT the same!). Feeding all of the supplements you do or feeding good quality pasture and hay along with a broad variety of proteins will both give your mare everything she needs. But doing so with non-inflammatory things is better for her, just as effective when you look at it molecule for molecule and will cost you less.

      Are you willing to try it for 10 days? If so, write back and let us know what you find. But I do have to agree with you on one thing. Horses over 20 years who have been inflamed for a long time sometimes look worse before they get better. If your horse starts to sweat when off all inflammatory feeds and you want to continue, then contact me if she starts to look thin. There is a good reason for this and we can help her. But first, let’s see if she starts sweating.

      1. Thanks so much for that quick response! I didn’t think her supplements would make THAT much of a difference but it does make sense. I do want to try stopping all of her supplements but there are a few things that hold me back. Ever since I started her on an electrolyte supplement 3 ish years ago, she doesn’t sweat but she seems to handle the heat a lot of better. Less panting, no more colic episodes. I don’t remember why I started it, something I read during my research about managing horses with anhydrosis. I hesitate stopping this because I worry about her becoming overheated when she’s turned out in the afternoon (which is too early in my opinion, about 3-4 pm, but I have no control over that). There were days where she was so overheated, she collapsed to the ground when I was walking her to the wash rack. Also, all of the horses in the barn are on a feed-thru fly control (Simplifly). I would also have to stop this right? I’m assuming it contains ingredients like wheat middlings etc. I suppose we can live with the flies for 10 days. I will think it over and possibly give it a go, maybe I’ll wait another month when it starts to cool down. I will definitely report back!

        1. Thanks for trying! Please remember this is a hands on experiment where you are constantly watching your horse. If you remove everything for only a week and you are observant, your horse won’t suffer. There is a possibility that she will actually find relief.

          Horses do NOT have the same digestive system that you, your dog, your bird or your cow has. We all need to learn the difference that a hind gut fermenting machine like the horse requires to make it work properly. As we all try to “help” we actually go against the way they are made.

          If you don’t remove everything you may not be removing the cause. You need to go to hay, grass, raw salt (your electrolytes) and water only and stop the gut inflammation. Only then, after your horse becomes comfortable and sweats again, can you start to add back what YOU think is necessary for the benefit of the horse – ONE AT A TIME! When the horse starts to develop trouble, then you will be able to identify the source. But you MUST go back to the basics of grass / hay, raw salt and water – or “square one.”

  74. I have two horses that I would like to try this no grain diet on. The first is a miniature mare who just gave birth 13 weeks ago. I have her on Mare and Foal feed right now as the baby is eating as well but she’s been a non sweater for the second year. She is currently on Albuterol. Would it be safe to put her on a no grain diet at this point and if so what kind of hay would you give and how much since she is lactating? The second horse in question is a thirteen-year-old appendix gelding who has a lot of the symptoms that you described above. He is somewhat of a hard keeper though so in addition to hay what else could I give him to help with his problems but also keep his weight up?

    1. Kim – Thanks for your questions.

      It is safe to eliminate grain from the Mini mare for a few reasons. The most significant reason is that the grain fed is going straight to the milk. Adding this much energy to a foal that is also receiving grain will lead to developmental orthopedic diseases (osteochondrosis dissecans, epiphysitis, contracted tendons, club foot). The other problems with grain include inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and obesity.

      You will need to consult with your vet about removing the Albuterol. This is for breathing problems but also helps non-sweating horses.

      Horses that are hard keepers like your Appaloosa are often inflamed in the gut. Removing the inflammatory grain is the first step in the horse gaining weight. this is the best time of year because of the warm weather and grass availability. The question is for these hard keepers, with the warm weather and grass, why can’t he keep weight even when fed pounds of grain? The answer is that he is fighting a chronic gut inflammation. Let his intestines recover (2 to 6 weeks) and if he doesn’t start gaining weight, start first by adding a broad variety of protein (see and if after a month of this he still needs fat and winter is approaching, add CoolStance ( as a non-inflammatory fat source.

  75. i have a horse i rescued nine years ago a race horse who does not sweat. i have used everything and i mean everything to get this horse to sweat. no sweat. i am g;oing to try what you say for two weeks and just give her some hay pellets for meals so she won’t feel left out. if it works you are a miracle worker she is a really severe non sweater three fans and a misting fan.thank you

  76. I sure would like more input from individuals that ACTUALLY tried this to let us know if it worked or not! I have a non-sweater, and I have used Bevs Sure to Sweat with good results. The sweat was of course ” non- sweater” sweat.. only on front half of the body, and a little more sticky and regular sweat , but at least it helped. I will definitely try this protocol and report back!

    1. Thanks “N” – we all want to hear. Can you imagine that through a simple change we can improve so many horse’s lives? We all need to check back here to read the comments.

      After some time, I will probably post a quick chart of the results. I’ll update this post with exactly what I need for this.

  77. Hi Dr. T, you’re on to something big, that sugars are a big problem. When the horse’s blood sugar spikes from meals it messes with the electrolyte balance. Why does that matter? Michigan State University published research in 2007 that they suspect defective electrolyte transport in non-sweating horses. They called it a short circuit. Electrolyte ions have positive and negative charges and are strictly controlled and work to keep the horse healthy and hydrated, but blood sugar spikes mess up that whole system. Since grain has a higher glycemic index than forage, it will drive blood sugar up more. So when you stop grain, some horses will begin sweating again because the electrolytes aren’t being disturbed and can do what they’re supposed to do. But some horses that aren’t being fed grain also stop sweating because other things can affect electrolyte balance too. For example, stress is hard on horse health. Lasix, used to treat EIPH bleeders, is hard on electrolyte balance. So when stopping grain doesn’t restart the sweating, or the horse isn’t on grain anyway, there is a solution. We are the distributors of Equiwinner patches, a 10-day treatment that makes electrolytes smart again, fixing that short circuit. Nothing goes in to the body of the horse. For the tough cases, the horses that still don’t sweat after the no-grain-challenge, please have them try Equiwinner. Their electrolytes have forgotten how to work properly and Equiwinner will reset the system and get the horse sweating again. There’s more information here

    1. Thanks Barbara for this explanation. Everybody, I have known Barbara for a long time and she has been an advocate for the horse and a passionate believer in the Equiwinner patch. I want everyone to know about this product because if the no grain challenge helps but your horse still isn’t right, this may be the thing to get them right all the way. If you have this experience, we ALL want to hear about it. Please don’t be shy. Let us know.

      Thanks again Barbara for working so hard to help horses everywhere. Doc T

    2. Barbara, Whats the best time of year to start a non sweater in FL on this patch?

    3. I am in Australia, have tried no grain, electrolyte replacements, Megasweata the equiwinner patches…. my boy still has trouble sweating. Any more suggestions?

      1. Leigh – we still have no idea why anhidrosis occurs. Finding the removal of grain also prevents anhidrosis was an accidental finding. I would suggest though that it is the continuous ingestion of starch (glucose) and fructans (fructose) that may be the triggers.

        Horses that only eat pasture seem to do the best. Adding hay and any other form of glucose / fructose such as apples, carrots, treats, supplements, mineral salt blocks and others will add to the glucose load. Strictly reducing the sugar intake by removing hay for pastured horses or limiting the amount of hay for absent or poor pastures will allow for hormesis of the cells with the return to cellular health.

        I will add that when the temperature (in F) is added to the % humidity (without the decimal) and equals or is greater than 180, many horses will stop sweating. Example: 95 degrees + 90 percent humidity = 185 where most horses (even on the no grain diet) will not sweat.

        Barbara and I are friends and we both want to see horses sweat again. She used to live here in south FL and we have both seen the hardship brought to the horse and owner. She can address the Equiwinner patch for you but my advice is to be diligent with what goes into your horse. I always recommend adding a high quality protein source (soybean meal) but will caution that it is a long term solution that will take a year to help reduce fat and gain muscle. There may be evidence that in this metabolic process lies the solution. Remember that as long as insulin is in the system, body fat will not be reduced and if there is an absence of essential amino acids, muscle will never be gained. Plenty of articles in my blogs about this.

        1. I have a two year old Thoroughbred filly that I bred. She stopped sweating completely a few months ago. I live in Florida. I have used the patches with success in the past and I ordered them and used them about a month ago. She did start to sweat but only minimally. Now she is not sweating at all and I bring her in at noon and have a fan on her. She is turned out daily in a pasture with shade trees and shelter.I reduced her grain and and changed to a feed that has no corn or oats.I called and spoke to Barbara and she sent me some articles and is sending me some more patches to try. Thanks for the articles and advice. Kim Fuller

          1. I know you are concerned about feeding the foal inside your mare but remember, the fetus starts to use the mother’s body for food in the LAST third of gestation. In addition, feeding any feed other than forage is going to the baby and affecting their development (developmental orthopedic disease).

            The discovery that non-sweating horses started to sweat after the removal of grain was an “accident” and not the reason to stop feeding grain. There are so many more reasons to not feed horses grain. While the Equiwinner patch helps many horses by treating an electrolyte imbalance, I am trying to remove the cause in the first place.

            “I reduced her grain and and changed to a feed that has no corn or oats.” – What works is removing ALL grain and supplements. Feed only pasture, water and mined salt and if needed, hay. Nothing else. Your foal will thank you at birth by not having DOD such as epiphysitis, OCD, contracted tendons, and angular limb deformities. In addition, a lean mare usually has no birth complications while a fat mare has an increased chance of having a difficult birth.

            I also live in south Florida and I know how hot it is. Having fans, misting fans and adjusting turn out times are all necessary until late October. But feeding your mare and the foal correctly is even more important. I usually recommend adding soybean meal (SBM) to all horses because of chronic protein deficiency; however, in a 2 year old this deficiency will not be great. The loss of protein comes from feeding grain over several years (please read my nutrition blogs to understand why). This said, adding a high quality protein source such as SBM has no down side for a brood mare. You need to first remove all inflammatory ingredients which cause the loss of protein AND ALSO leads to non-sweating.

      1. Barbara will like this comment – and it has worked too for many horses!

        Barbara and I have talked about this and while she has a treatment for anhidrosis, I am trying to look for the root cause to eliminate it. Removing the inflammatory ingredients seems to help a lot of horses but for some, it is the combination of no grain PLUS the EquiWinner patch to get them over the hump. Hopefully for the refractory horses, having a winter to get things back on track will get them sweating again the following summer.

  78. My mare was treated with acupuncture by Dr Bobby Willard in Flower Mound Texas. He deals with this problem a lot in performance horses here in North Texas. One treatment and she was ” cured”! We were both shocked! This summer she’s still doing ok and we’ve had a hot humid summer. I still feel that she doesn’t sweat as much as other horses and her muzzle is dry and rough. He said that was a symptom of anhydrosis….loss of hair on the face. I keep a close eye on her and she only gets Safe Choice (2 gts) twice a day. She and my other horse free range graze and get a bit of alfalfa and hay twice a day. Treats are rare. If she starts showing symptoms again, I’m going to try your protocol.

    1. Great – let us know what happens. It’s always better to remove the cause rather than treat the problem. But I also know that in some horses acupuncture has worked.

  79. My horse only gets pasture alfalfa pellets and salt. No grain for several years. But he also gets California Trace mineral. For the past 4 years I have to keep him on One AC in the summer or he stops sweating. So for my gelding his anhydrosis has nothing to do with grain.

    1. Thanks Cathi – that’s one. But before you go, can you tell us if there are any fillers (wheat middlings) or sugars (molasses, corn syrup, distillers dried grains) in California Trace Mineral. Also is he getting anything else such as carrots? I have known one horse off everything yet still had squirts until the red trace mineral salt block was removed (molasses and corn syrup). Let us know.

      1. I believe it has rice bran as an ingredient but nothing else you listed. You feed a very small amount per day as it is a vitamin mineral supplement. I believe pasture is high sugar as well.

        1. Sugar in pasture is grouped into 2 types: 1) Structural which is fiber that is fermented by the hind gut bacteria and 2) Non-structural or starch which is the sugar stored by the plant during photosynthesis for use after the sun goes down for growing and is converted into structural fiber. Sugar is required by all of us to live. What is different between forage and grains is not only the sugar content but the type of sugar and other things including grain proteins that cause an inflammatory allergic reaction in the gut of the horse. It is not the amount as you suggest in the rice bran vit/min supplement but the reaction by the horse to it. Remember how much gluten a person with gluten intolerance needs to be affected.

          Any inflammation will cause the tight junctions of the gut wall to leak to some degree. Think of it a swelling around an infection or the welts of hives. If your horse is still not sweating, consider removing the rice bran as it being a suspect. In addition, you could also consider turn out on pasture during the morning hours before the starch content rises in the grass. Let us know how your horse does. Thanks!

    2. Same here Cathi – my horses have never had grain – lupins, hay, chaff, copra, minerals and salts. One has anhidrosis in summer. Not grain related.

      1. With non-sweaters I discovered improvement in horses eating only pasture, hay, salt and water. I dubbed this “no grain” but inadvertently I portrayed this as a grain related disease. In reality we have no evidence yet as to the cause. Adding a legume such as lupine May have a lectin that causes the non-sweating. I assume “copra” which is Latin for “body” is coconut meal. This is added when a horse needs a non-inflammatory fat source.

        Why not try a pasture and hay diet only in the non-sweating horse as an experiment for all of us. Results should take less than a week. Be sure the salt has nothing added such as fillers. Besides a non sweating horse won’t need salt until he sweats.

  80. Before reading this article, I moved to Georgia recently where my horse is on pasture 12 hours a day and I switched him from 6 lbs of grain to Triple Crown 30% ration balancer. He gets 1 lb a day plus grass hay when he is in his stall. He has now started sweating readily. This article confirms it works.

    1. Thanks Andrea for this observation. Be sure to read the ingredients of the ration balancer though. Often they have a grain like filler such as wheat middlings that in some horses will cause gut inflammation. These horses may not see the success you have had.

  81. I also do not feed grain but I recall one Cushing’s pony who would not sweat much at all. However, she was also not fed any grain and was on a tightly controlled low sugar diet and pergolide.She was most likely iron overloaded (from previous diet and water) , so I am wondering how much this may also play a role, as well as Round Up contamination of grain. PSSM could also cause some of the symptoms described. Not sure how many of these horses may be affected by sweating issues though.

    Thank you for your insights!

    1. Oda – these diseases you mention are all suspects in a general malnutrition. When you put inflammation from simple sugars (grain, treats, carrots etc) and chronically deplete them of protein plus stress them with a restrictive diet (limited forage) you have a recipe for worsening and not improving the horse’s life.

      Step one is to remove the inflammatory causes. Then let’s see what we have as far as sweating goes.

  82. Goeff, Bravo has become a non-sweater in summer since last year. He only gets a cup of organic grain free feed New Country Organics Connemara Crunch. Since switching to the organic feed he has started to sweat some–Im going to take the two week grain free challenge even though his feed is grain free (i had begun adding a bag of crypto aero (has some oats) to the Connemara Grain free feed–but Im going to cut all grain and take the challenge. Very Interesting. You are the BEST!

    1. That will be interesting Judy.

      What is “Grain free feed?” Some horses are sensitive to any simple sugars such as carrots, sugar beet pulp and some brans.

      Please come back and let everyone your results. Thanks!!

  83. Dr T. Melissa floated my horses teeth in March. He is 20 this year. I have had sweating issues with him for about 7 yrs. He had Acupucture and herbs and was sweating till it gets really hot and humid in Florida. Melissa told me to take him off all grain. I did it and even during this hot days in July and August he is sweating like never before. I am so grateful for this info. I put him on Pro-Add to build his top line. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Max for this feedback and for trying the the no-grain way Melissa had suggested. We are so grateful but probably not as much as your horse. 🙂

  84. Dr T, I have not fed commercial grain to my horses in 8 years. Westin my 16 year old gleding stops sweating intermittently throughout the summer starting last year. This year I cut out beet pulp and it has helped. He gets acupuncture when needed. I will cut out the handful of oats he gets and see if we have any change. Thanks Casey B.

    1. Hi Casey – Sugar beets (in the form of the byproduct pulp) can be inflammatory as well as the oats (a grain). Melissa took her horses off grain with great results but then added 1 cup of oats twice a day and the squirts returned. One horse was so sensitive that the red mineral salt block (corn syrup plus molasses) needed to be removed before the squirts stopped.

      Try just grass, hay, pure salt and water for a week. And NO CARROTS, APPLES, PEPPERMINTS ETC!

      Thanks, Doc T

  85. Hey there. I’m sure you have heard in your travels about giving a stout beer, once a day, to a non-sweater. I had learned this while training thoroughbreds at the race tract. I’ve had a few others since those days, and have always had good luck. Why do you think???
    Not sure if you recognize my name, Michele Oren, but I taped a snip it for you at Equine Affaire regarding power floating.

    1. Yes I remember you. I think the stout beer works well in TB’s maybe because the are young and working so hard. But we are trying to get at the cause rather than find a treatment. And beer is a treatment because it is added to the horse. If eliminating grain works then it can be considered as a possible cause. Thanks!

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