What Are We Feeding Our Horses, And Why? – Podcast #059

The Equine Practice Inc, The Horse's Advocate

Do you know what is in your feed bad? And if you do, do you know why?

Millions of scoops of grain are fed to our horses every day around the world, yet when I ask horse owners what they are feeding their horses, I usually get blank looks. I grab a feed tag from any bag in the feed room and start reading the first ingredient to the 5th, or 8th, or 10th, but usually, within a quick time, my point is made. Feed companies are dumping their waste products into the horse feed expecting great results in the horses fed.

So it is more than just feeding good, whole grain to horses. Much more. Inflammation in the gut lining is probably the root cause of many problems seen today in our horses. Grain by-products have consequences, yet they are being fed daily under the assumption that feed companies are doing the best for our horses. As bad as these inflammatory ingredients are, there are other factors.

In this podcast, I tell a story of a barn worker who tries the no-grain approach with added soybean meal getting fantastic results, only to be ordered by the manager, six months into the improvement program, to return to the way things were. He is to add back a large amount of daily grain and remove all soybean meal. This order is despite the manager’s observation that the retired horses in this barn are looking better than the competition horses under her care. Now human jealousy is added to the complexities of feeding horses. At this rate, our horses will fall apart long before they reach their peak of life.

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