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Feed/Nutrition Articles

Horse Feeding Myths and Misconceptions -by Lori K. Warren, Ph.D., P.A.S.
Provincial Horse Specialist, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Over the past 30 years, many of the myths and wives’ tales associated with the feeding of horses have been debunked through scientific study. So, why are these feeding rumours still circulating? Most likely the wives’ tales persist because it is difficult to change tradition—”It has always been done that way.” In addition, maybe we haven’t been good enough at getting the word out there that certain feeding practices are unfounded. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to set the record straight!

Water: The Overlooked Nutrient What is thirst? By definition, true thirst or primary drinking is the desire and/or discomfort caused by the need to replace fluid lost from intracellular and extra cellular body stores. However, secondary drinking or an appetite for water is also described. Animals or humans with an “appetite” for water, drink for the pleasure of the experience not because their cells require fluid replacement. An afternoon spent in the saloon is an example of appetite not thirst. Similarly, horses may develop “appetite” for water.

Feeding Horses HoovesThe health of the hooves is a reflection of the overall health of the horse over the last 6-9 months. It is important that horse owners feed their horses’ hooves by feeding the whole horse. Efforts to address what may be a real or a perceived nutritional hoof deficiency by supplementing one or more nutrients may result in negative effects.

online classes on equine nutrition I have read some articles by and advice responses to people seeking help for their IR and other metabolic disease by Dr Kellon.  She is knowledgeable and excellent teacher. Dr, Kellon explains how minerals work and against equine digestion and extraction of nutrition. Iron, the coloring in the red salt lick can be toxic to equines and block the absorption of nutrients if it not balanced with other minerals. So, if we are feeding a complete feed that has some iron in it and the horse is licking the iron colored block, we are causing trouble, unknowingly. submitted by Linda Hammersmith

Electrolytes and the Endurance HorseEvery endurance competitor appreciates that electrolytes are a critical component of a horse’s nutritional program. Electrolytes are mineral salts that play an important role in maintaining osmotic pressure, fluid balance, and nerve and muscle activity. Loss of these electrolytes causes fatigue and muscle weakness, and decreases the thirst response to dehydration. It is vitally important that endurance horses begin competition with optimal levels of fluids and electrolytes in their bodies and that these important nutrients are replaced throughout a ride

Equus Caballus, the magazine of the domestic horse, has been dedicated to the proper care and feeding of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules for over seven years. This site is a compilation of over 400 archived articles and new features about nutrition, health and equine management.  This link takes you to their archive with numerous articles on feeding and management.

2 comments to Feed/Nutrition Articles

  • Katz Jackson

    Very informative article. It’s amazing how we stick to our beliefs about the “right” way to feed horses, usually not basing our actions on well founded research. I personally will continue to soak beet pulp a bit prior to feeding it, especially when temperatures are extreme.

    • Jac

      I always soak my beet pulp, for the water. It helps with hydration when it’s needed and I like for them to be used to eating the wet stuff. (Besides the sound of their slurping is pleasant!)

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