**For those of you using this feed recipe, please check our site often for changes.Due to the problem of many of the ingredients in the original recipe becoming GE/GMO, I have to constantly change the ingredients to avoid using GMOs.GE/GMOs are Genetically Engineered or Modified Organisms that produce pesticides or can resist being sprayed heavily with pesticides.These pesticides wreak havoc with the health of our animals! Studies show problems of infertility, tumors and organ failure with prolonged use. Please research the subject and look at independent studies on the effects of GMOs.Wheat, corn, soy, beet pulp, and alfalfa are all mostly (over 90%) gmo.Avoiding these will greatly lessen the risk of adverse effects for your horse.These are the main grains used in the majority of processed horse feeds.Or buy organic if possible.Alfalfa went gmo this spring so I now suggest using Timothy/Alfalfa cubes and pellets and Timothy or other mixed grass and alfalfa hay.They cannot spray the alfalfa when grown with other plants since it will kill those plants.Again, please research the subject!**
Our horses have been on the following natural feed for several years now. They love this feed
and their physical appearances prove to us that this feed is extremely effective at fulfilling their nutritional needs. In fact, our horses have never looked and felt better. The difference in the shine on their coats, top line, muscle mass and condition of their hooves is amazing....And we were feeding high (expensive) quality "processed" feed (a bit of a contradiction!). The other benefit is lower feed bills. This feed, pound for pound, provides better nutrition that is easily assimilated by the horses so we are able to feed less and get better nutrition.Of course, our mainstay is high quality hay fed along with this recipe.
1-1/2 lb Timothy/Alfalfa Cubes
1/4 lb Cool Stance Copra Shreds or Speedi Beet from the UK -non-gmo. (no more than 1-1/4 lbs total per day)
1/4 - 1/2 lb Whole or Crimped Oats - may increase to 1-2lbs for hard keepers
1/8 cup virgin, cold pressed Coconut oil -may increase up to 1/2 cup as needed for hard keepers
1/8 lb Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
1/4 lb Fresh Ground Flax Seed
1-2 Tablespoons all natural Sea Salt or himilayan pink salt.If you use regular salt only 1Tbls.
1/4-1/2 cup Apple Cidar Vinegar (must be organic, raw, unfiltered to be beneficial)
1/2 of the normal (label) amount of a good vitamin/mineral supplement (non-synthetic). We use High Point Grass by Horse Tech
The quality /nutritional value of your hay is most important along with feeding the correct amount of hay.This is a forage based diet.If you do not feed good hay or enough hay your horse will not thrive as he should.
We use a Timothy/Alfalfa mixed hay with a protien level of approx 15%.I suggest feeding 1.5% of your horse's body weight daily in summer and 2% daily in winter unless your pasture is lush.Then adjust accordingly..This amount should be split into smaller amounts fed 3-4 times per day.
* I highly suggest adding a quality pre, probiotic and digestive enzyme supplement, too.We use Equine-Zyme from Earth Song Ranch.More info below.
*I also suggest using MSM for horses with inflamation of any kind and to add sulphur to the diet.We do not use glucosamine/chondroitin supplements since these are animal based products and not a natural feed for horses (herbivores).Glucosamine turns to glucose in the body when digested and sugar is inflammatory.Studies do not prove it's effective and it may cause problems for animals with metabolic issues.
*In the summer when the heat index soars above 95 you should consider adding a high quality , sugar free electrolyte. We add 1 Tbls rather than label amount since we are using salt,too. Earth Song Ranch and Horse Tech offer a good one.
*We also use herbs for their nutritive value and/or detoxifying/medicinal properties.However, herbs should not be used in place of a healthy diet. Our goal is for good food to supply everything your horse needs to thrive.Sometimes with older horses with chronic disease long-term herbs are helpful. But for healthy youngsters good food should do it. Always research herbs for precautions, interactions with pharmaceuticals and medicinal actions before randomly adding them to your horse's diet or consult an herbalist for horses in your area.
*In our area a regular psyllium regimen is needed also to help clear the sand from your horse's GI tract.Please check with your vet for recommendations.We prefer pure Pysllium Husk powder from vitacost.com to Metamucil since it is free from sugars/chemicals and has more mgs. of pysillium per serving.
1 - Cover feed with hot water and then add 3-4 more inches of hot water and soak 20-30 minutes. The feed will "plump" to a soft mash consistency. If using cold water or more than a 1/4 lb of Cool Stance or beet pulp you will need to soak this mixture overnight.Please check with your vet for recommendations.Beet Pulp and Copra swells as it gets wet and may cause a choke if not soaked long enough.
2 - Feed this amount once or twice per day AM and PM , depending on the quality of your hay and pasture.We only feed this once daily in summer but go to twice daily in winter when grass dies off .Use your judgement and adjust feed accordingly.
1 - Always have plenty of fresh, CLEAN water available and a WHITE salt block in the pasture. We also offer a Redmond mineral block along with plain white.
2 - If you cannot feed wet you may substitute timothy/alfalfa pellets for the cubes, skip the beet pulp or Cool Stance (must be fed wet!) and feed this mix dry. Remeber to grind the flax also if feeding dry. I do think the wet feed is better for digestion and suggest you stick with that if at all possible.
You can find the ingredients for the natural feed at the following local suppliers:
Carolina Home and Garden - HWY 24 Cedar Point, NC
Country Aire Southern State - HWY 24 Swansboro, NC
S & H Garden Center - HWY 24 Hubert, NC
Onslow Feed and Grain- HWY 258 Richlands,NC -Only feed store with non-gm beet pulp
Horse Tech Supplements- Sarah Langham Morhead,NC. Phone- 252-646-3890 or email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tractor Supply - Jax, NC
Our recipe is for a 1,000 lb horse at rest or light work. Adjust for the individual's needs as you see fit. Working horses may require more protein and carbs as will hardkeepers...Hot horses may do best on no or small amounts of oats. During cold weather, more fat and fiber may be required for the seniors, etc..you get the idea.
The sunflower seeds and flaxseed are at a healthy amount for 1,000 lb horse.I suggest adjusting the other ingredients before increasing these. Flaxseed must be ground or soaked before feeding. Otherwise it just goes right thru the horse's system without the omega 3's being released. These amounts should stay the same or go down for smaller horses and ponies.Very large draft horses, warmbloods, etc. may do fine with a little more. Large amounts of beet pulp/copra may cause gas and firm stools in some horses.You can avoid ths problem by keeping it at a minimum. Variety in small amounts is the key when feeding natural. You want to "cover all your bases" nutritionally . The apple cider vinegar (ACV) goes up in the summer to help control flies. Be sure to get REAL RAW ACV, not "flavored" ACV is very nutritive and lowers blood sugar spikes after meals and aids digestion.
As always make feed changes slowly over a 2-3 week period. Some horses may experience some symptoms of detoxing (runny eyes, nose, mild gastric upset, etc.) while making the switch. I have seen this most often with horses on soy based feed and those on long-term pharmaceutical medications. This is normal and to be expected as toxins are expelled from the body and the GI tract rebalances itself. In rare cases,it can be intense. Just maintain where you are at in the switch until the discomfort passes and then slowly continue with the changes.If it becomes severe seek veterinary advice. Also, if you're feeding the tim/alfalfa cubes with a processed pelleted feed during the change, your horse may become a bit "hot" due to the excess protein. The protein level in tim/alfalfa is 15% to 17% while most pelleted feeds are 10% to 12% protein. So, go slowly and adjust accordingly for each individual. Overall, try to keep the tim/alfalfa portion around 2/3 of the total ration and the other ingredients about 1/3 of the ration. Again, there will be exceptions (hardkeepers, hardworkers) to this so always adjust the amounts based on the individual's needs.
When buying good hay for a natural diet, remember quality and variety are key. The more variety, the more nutrients. We use an alfalfa mixed grass to ensure all of their nutritional needs are fulfilled. The reason we use 1/3 of the label amount for the vitamins is because the alfalfa and other feeds are full of natural minerals and vitamins that are easily absorbed by the body. My rowdy thoroughbreds became quite full of themselves on the regular amount so we cut back. I use the vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in any possible holes in our feeding program .Our area is selenium defficient so supplementation is needed.
Of course, an effective de-worming program (fecal counts by vet necessary!) and healthy teeth are also required for your horse to thrive.
**PLZ feed HIGH QUALITY HAY with this feed .It is the MOST important part of this diet.Without it your horse will not thrive as he should.I do NOT consider local coastal or just orchard grass high quality.The coastal is mostly fiber with few nutrients/protien and the orchard does not have enough protien/ minerals and has more sugar than I like.I strongly suggest a good mixed grass with light alfalfa.**
I also suggest everyone adds a good pre, probiotic and enzyme supplement to their horses' diet. We use Equine-Zyme by Earth Song Ranch for our herd.There is a link on our Resources page and some additional info follows.
Probiotic, Prebiotics, Digestive enzymes: Why continued supplementation???
Most of these organisms (good bacteria, gut flora) horses used to get from grazing live grasses and herbs.With depleted soils and a lack of variety of grasses, herbs and use of pesticides and fertilizers and horses not grazing constantly on a variety of "live" material...their systems become depleted of these essential bacteria.Hays, processed feeds, etc, do not contain sufficient (if any) amounts of these organisms.GMOs also deplete these organisms.
Yes, you would think once you add them in (supplement) the body should be able to reproduce them at a healthy rate and constant supplementation is not needed.The problem is that everything in our environment and way of managing horses can deplete/kill gut flora.Dewormers, antibiotics, processed feeds, pharmaceuticals,vaccines, pesticides, toxins in our soil, air and water supply (chlorine, flouride).Some studies also show that horses are unable to produce gut flora like they were in the past.Again, probably because of the unnatural lifestyle (stressful, lack of live food) and pollution in our evironment that most horses deal with in modern life.
On top of that, stress of any kind (weather changes, traveling, performance,illness,disease, etc) can kill off gut flora due to the changes stress causes in the physical body.Keeping the horses gut "seeded" with correct pre, probiotics and enzymes is essential to good health. Two thirds of horses' (ours too!) immune system is in our gut, keeping it functioning properly means a healthier immune system to fight off disease, heal from injury, process stress and toxins.It also means a better functioning GI tract and therefore digestion.Which in turn may mean less episodes of colic, gut problems and improved absorbtion of nutrients from food.
** I am no longer available to answer feeding questions without an appointment.If you have questions about the recipe please contact me by email to schedule a nutritional consult appointment.We may do this in person or by phone.Due to the high volume of calls with many questions that required hours of my time (and phone minutes), I now only answer questions during scheduled appointment time.My nutritional consult fee is $45/hr. and usually takes about an hour. Of course you may always ask your vet for advice or do your own research on the subject if a consult appointment does not appeal to you. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this change causes for all of you.
Cheers to Healthy Horses!!
We strongly encourage you to check the ingredients list on the feed that you are currently using. We are extremely concerned with the ailments that we have observed in several rehab horses that were on a soy based feed.Most processed horse feeds(if not all) now have soy in the top 3-5 ingredients listed.Even some alfalfa pellets are processed with soy oil.Please read the ingredients list to know what you are getting. We have seen serious gastro-intestinal issues and urinary tract problems that have made the horses very ill . Some of these are long-term colic and ulcer symptoms, straining upon urination, very dark (coffee) colored and "stringy" urine with very little output. We have also witnessed odd issues with weight and muscle distribution such as bloated bellies, muscle loss (wasting) along the topline and hips and horses that are extremely over or under weight although being fed an appropriate amount of grain for their size. They also just appear very unhealthy/toxic with long, dull haircoats, dull eyes, poor feet and are lethargic. If your horse is currently on a soy based product, we recommend that you research other available feeds and make a switch.The research I've read states that during the processing of the soy hulls/beans a toxin is released as a by product of that processing that remains in the feed. Genetically modified grains also have serious effects on health.Over 90% of all corn and soy is now GMO!! Another article I found also states that soy contributes to the formation of kidney stones. Maybe this is why we're seeing the urinary problems. Soy is being used since it's a cheap protein source and sold as "very" healthy. There is no research to support that soy is healthy for you or your animals. I'm sure you are aware of melamine (a toxin) found in soy based infant formula in Japan. Melamine gives a false, high protein level reading when food containing it is tested. I have to wonder if this is the same issue for soy feed for our animals here. The extremely underweight horses I've seen on 20lbs. of feed per day support this conclusion.Or it could be that their bodies are unable to process the toxins long term and start to shut down .
Dr. Joyce Harman speaks briefly of the problems with soy based feed on her site in an article on Cushings Disease. Click here to see her article.
Although we are strong supporters of all natural, forage based feed, there are processed feeds that do not contain soy that could better suit your horse. It is up to you as your horse's caregiver to research the subject and try to make the best decision possible for your horse's health.
As with any living being, a healthy diet is required to thrive and to overcome health issues. A body must have the nutrients it needs to function at an optimal level. This is true especially during the healing process. Unless the basic (and then some ) nutritional needs are fulfilled the body is unable to effectively or efficiently heal itself. This is why we put all of our own horses on natural feed and strongly urge our boarders and rehabs to do the same. We can use all of the "good" medicines we'd like but when we continue pumping toxins into our horses bodies thru "bad" feed we won't get very good results. We're putting toxins in faster than the medicine is able to clear them. With that going on the healing process is mediocre at best. We have over 30 years experience with horses and have tried many of the processed feeds on the market and researched most of them. We now opt for natural, unprocessed feed only ....Also, please check feed recall lists often !!
Please view one of our boarder's experience with soybased feed and the issues that her horses endured on our personal stories page.
Click here for a short, but good article.
Please view our testimonials page to view a boarder's story switching from processed feed to this natural feed recipe.