Did you know that the ingredients contained in your horse’s multivitamin/nutrient blend should be determined by whether your horse eats grass/hay OR is fed a lot of grain and legumes?
And how do you feed your horse in a way that allows for their deep body wisdom to make choices, rather than their tastebuds? Join me in this video as I show you how to determine what your horse’s BODY says – by feeding them the same multivitamin 3 different ways. And of course, not all bodies like/want the same things!
DID YOU KNOW? If you’re only feeding orchard grass, or timothy hay, or teff, they do not contain all the essential amino acids. So you need to supplement with a legume (alfalfa or soy), or flaxseed, to make up for the missing essential aminos. This supplement (High Point Nutrients) also contains all the amino acids missing from hay and grass. Remember, like humans, horses cannot utilize protein unless ALL 10 essential amino acids are present in their diet: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
In case you missed this post, I have in-depth information about essential amino acids for horses and chronic protein deficiency – even in horses who are fed plenty of hay or grass. Remember that horses naturally will forage 25-30 different plants per day – so they can easily find all 10 essential amino acids. But when we confine them to small pastures (or paddocks) with just a few grass species, there’s no way they can naturally meet their nutrient requirements.
High Point Daily Nutrients is also formulated with no iron because grass/hay are usually really high in iron. Iron has to be in the correct ratio with zinc and copper, or it contributes to laminitis, insulin resistance and equine Cushing’s disease.
When I got our hay tested, the iron level in our hay was 9x higher than zinc, and so completely out of balance with the zinc and copper. So that’s why I only use HorseTech’s High Point Nutrients vitamin/mineral/amino supplement – which is formulated specifically for horses primarily fed grass and/or hay.
I’m so passionate about this because I’ve seen 11 horses completely transform after receiving proper nutrition and low-sugar hay in slowfeeders. My domestic Andalusian who was chronically overweight when she came to me (even though ration-fed a restricted calorie diet), lost her fat and muscled up within a year. My semi-feral horses (draft or half-draft) were malnourished when they arrived and have muscled up, grown taller and self-regulate their weight – no laminitis etc. My wild mustang mamas have completely transformed their broken-down bodies (they did not have enough range and suffered seasonal starvation along with bearing a foal every year) and have long, thick manes and tails now. Their distended bellies have tightened up and where they used to struggle to get up after lying down, they now get up and down smoothly. The mustang lads have also doubled their mane length and their hooves have become much stronger and harder – when they first arrived, they had terrible cracking and splitting.
How did I know the wild mustangs were seriously malnourished? I have Hoffman’s Minerals (just the plain one – no added sugars and tastes yucky) available free choice in the barn and they hoovered it. I was refilling the tub every 2-3 days. After 3 weeks of this, Güliz was getting worried, but I knew their bodies would stop when their deficiencies were addressed. Sure enough, shortly after that, just short of a month, they stopped eating Hoffman’s. They ate more minerals in 1 month than my resident herd had eaten in 2 years! I also have free choice Redmond and Himalayan salt (loose and rocks) available 24/7 in the barn for them.
They barely touch the minerals now, because they corrected their deficiencies and their regular needs are supplied by the High Point Nutrients powder, flaxseed or hempseed, hemp oil or flax oil, and pure alfalfa pellets that they get (about 3x/week) in addition to some alfalfa hay (naturally low in sugar) every day, and 24/7 low-sugar or first-cut (coarser so helps wear down their teeth) local hay in slowfeeder boxes or haynets.
I also periodically give dried herbs to the horses, depending on their needs, or what they ask for. I have a video coming soon where Cobra shows/tells Juliet which herbs he wants – so you can see what that actually looks like.
I also give the herd all the certified organic edibles from our kitchen that are past human freshness parameters – like fennel, celery, pea pods, green beans, beets, chard and also all the peels from carrots, bananas, mango, oranges, apples, watermelon, canteloupe and honeydew. Horses cannot have avocado (toxic) and mine reject all nightshades, cucumber and asparagus as well. I have seen them forage moss, fern tips, tree bark, blackberry leaves, thistles, dandelion, young horsetail (but only first growth and only tips) and various other plants and bushes I cannot identify. If you’d like to grow fresh herbs for your horses, or create a ‘doctor garden’ here are some ideas for horse-friendly herb planters.
Jini Patel Thompson is a natural health writer and Lazer Tapping instructor. She began riding at age 2 in Kenya, and got her first horse at age 8 in Alberta, and so continues a life-long journey and love affair with these amazing creatures.