Have you ever sat down and really looked at what your horse was eating? And I mean REALLY sat down and looked?
Sometimes you don't REALLY look into something until it has a big effect on your horse.
Here is my horse's nutrition story:
My horse was diagnosed with compensated IR. Basically this means his body produces more insulin than it takes for his body to get rid of it, unlike uncompensated IR where the pancreas "gives up".
So...here comes the days of soaking hay 😭 Every horse owners worst nightmare... especially in New England.
My mom and I were sick of soaking hay. My horses were sick of eating wet hay. Winter was going to come soon enough and no one wants to eat or deal with frozen hay.
Even the grain and supplements came into play. Was our grain low enough in ESC? Were we under supplementing since out horses were getting so little grain?
We decided to get our hay tested and our horses diets completely balanced by an equine nutritionist.
Instead of a ration balancer, we decided to stick with containers of the actual vitamin/mineral. Then we could control how much they got and don't have to worry about any other junk being in there or lack of proper amounts of different vitamins/minerals.
Here is what the inside of my horses gain bucket looks like:
Grain: Less than 10% ESC Flax meal: Source of Omega-3s Maganese: Trace mineral Salt Vitamin E pills: Many horses in New England are low in Vitamin E. Vitamin E needs a fat carrier to be properly absorbed into the body and the pills have oil & vitamin E all in one. Vitamin E powder by itself is not absorbable. Copper: Most important trace mineral and great for hooves! Zinc: Great for hooves! Magnesium Oxide: Helps support normal insulin function Lysine: Amino Acid - also the most common deficient amino acid Kelp: (I personally hate feeding this because when do horses eat kelp in the wild??) but this is needed for the iodine which helps promote normal thyroid function (yes it does smell fishy)
These supplements are split in half each day so they aren't eating all in one meal.
And for the hay - We test our hay with every batch we get. $32 is a small price to pay when dealing with IR and by doing this, it has saved us from soaking hay for, so far, 7 months! and hopefully many more. Also saves on the water bill 😉
Not sure your horse is getting the right vitamins and minerals they need? I highly suggest working with an equine nutritionist. He/she will help your horse get what they need and save you money by buying the things your horse does need instead of supplements that could be filled with junk.