Podcast #048 – Horse Nutrition Review

The Equine Practice Inc, The Horse's Advocate

Every day someone asks me about feeding their horses. For me it has become simple only because I have repeated this information but for you…. maybe not so simple.
I review a lot of what I have said before and I use some different approaches to help you understand. It comes down to a few things:

  • Protein, fat and sugar are the 3 main ingredients that enter the mouth (we won’t worry about air, water and minerals here).
  • These ingredients are broken down into fuels and building materials in the gut.
  • The fuels and building materials are transported throughout the body to be either burned to make energy, stored for future use or used to make things. Nothing is wasted or goes wrong when the rules are followed.
  • Humans break the rules all the time.

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  1. Hi Doc I don’t know if I asked my question in the right place but a good friend who’s feeding 4 elder mustangs is concerned about sbm  being such a gmo’d form of feed. I told her I’d ask you about it. Thoughts?

    1. I discuss gmo feeds in a lot of places. 

      Search this website for gmo and for soybean. 

      In a nutshell, several years ago the most avid anti-gmo advocate published a book and a 2 page article in the Wall Street Journal apologizing saying that there is no evidence that gmo foods have a negative effect on health. In fact it decreased rates of suicide in farmers who before gmo seeds were available had failing farms. 

      What is Genetic Modified Organism?  These are modifications to the genes that make the proteins of plants and animals. Gene splicing and gene repair are now at the forefront of medicine curing joint damage and cancer. But as far as food that has its genes modified for any reason, these foods still hit the acid bath of the stomach and are deconstructed into amino acids. 

      Think of the word WATCH. Pretend this is a genetically modified food. In the acid of the stomach it is deconstructed into 5 individual letters (amino acids). They are then absorbed, go to cells in the body and are reassembled into new words (proteins). For example, WHAT, CAT, HAT, A, AT. 

      In other words, we no longer are afraid of GMO foods. Almost every food out there has been genetically modified. Soybeans were just the first. And if you think about it, random genetic modification has been going on in every act of sexual reproduction including random selection as well as selective breeding. (As opposed to asexual reproduction of bacteria where genetic material is duplicated exactly). Even viruses randomly mutate their genes. 

      I hope this helps your friend understand that categorizing SBM as bad based on the GMO argument is old and disproven in science as well as in casual observation. There are zero stories of horses suffering from a GMO based cause. On the other hand there are plenty of horses suffering from chronic protein deficiency and they need high quality protein such as SBM. 

      While in our minds modifying the genes of a plant seems unnatural, we can also look at the fencing on our farms as unnatural. Same for baling last summer’s grass and feeding that in winter, feeding seeds of any kind year round, feeding byproducts of our human foods, limiting turnout on grass – I could go on.  The point is this- we need to do the best we can with what we’ve got. Add the protein and eliminate the inflammatory foods. Don’t worry about GMO of any of these. And if you’ve been feeding ANY commercial feed, every one of them has had a GMO ingredient many of which included SBM (just read the ingredients list on the bag).

      Good luck @Ponygirl  – I hope this helps you with your friend. And thank you so very much for listening to the podcast. Doc T