Optimizing My Horse’s Diet

      If you're new to restructuring your horse's diet and you're hoping to avoid GMO's, by-products, synthetic isolated nutrients, preservatives, pesticides, Glyphosate contamination and other inflammatory ingredients in your horse's feed regimen, this page is for you!

     I'm excited to share with you how we've been feeding our horses for years now, and how many of our clients - from backyard barns to FEI level competitors - are feeding their horses with great success. 

     Once we gained an understanding of what most commercial feeds and balancers are made of, we saw no other option but to recreate a wholesome, naturally balanced diet ourselves. Before we dive into how we feed 'a la carte', let's take a look at what's in most feeds, balancers and supplements on the market today. Grab your feed bags and supplement containers... do you see any of these ingredients in your horse's diet? 

  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's)*
    • Soy: soybean hulls, soybean meal, soybean oil, heat-processed soybeans, dehulled soybean meal, ground extruded whole soybeans
    • Alfalfa: dehydrated alfalfa meal, alfalfa hay sun-cured chopped
    • Beet: beet pulp, dried plain beet pulp, ground beet pulp, shredded beet pulp
    • Corncorn distillers dried grains, ground corn, flaked corn, corn meal
    • Canolacanola meal, canola oil
  • Conventional Crops: Notorious for Heavy Glyphosate Contamination**
    • Wheat: wheat middlings, wheat flour, wheat mill run
    • Oats: oats, whole oats, steam crimped oats
    • Ricerice bran, stablized rice bran, rice bran oil
    • Peas: green peas, yellow peas, pea protein
    • Papaya
  • By-Products
    • Middlings
    • Hulls
    • Meal
    • Pulp
    • Distillers Dried Grains
  • Synthetic Isolated Nutrients*** (Vitamin & Mineral packs)
    • Identifiable by word suffixes 'ate', 'ite', 'ide'
      • Ex: Magnesium oxide, zinc sulfate, cobalt carbonate (which converts to oxide with heat), ethylenediamine dihydroiodide (aka: EDDI or 'organic iodine'), etc
    • Identifiable by secondary word 'acid'
      • Ex: Ascorbic acid (which is not Vit C; it's incomplete, as it's only one of over 250 different co-factors that make up a true, functional, whole food vitamin C)
  • Probiotics
    • We love probiotics, but when they're bundled into commercial feeds, they're potentially not still viable, or viable through to the hindgut, due to heat & chemicals used in processing, as well as, the nature of the other ingredients / chemicals used in most commercial feeds.
  • Preservatives
    • Propionic acid, Benzoic acid, Sorbic acid, Tartaric acid, Acetic acid, Sodium benzoate, Calcium propionate, Potassium sorbate, Formaldehyde, etc
  • Inverted Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratios
    • What is the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio?
      • Are there more Omega-3 or more Omega-6?
      • Omega-3 are the anti-inflammatory fatty acids needed, whereas most Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory.

     If pure, organic, whole foods were included in feeds, instead of by-products of GMO crops, then synthetic isolated nutrients wouldn't need to be added. These synthetic vitamin and mineral packs are used to make up for the missing nutrients from selecting low-quality ingredients. When we use by-products, we're missing a great portion of the plant, often the most nutritious part of the plant. By-products are inflammatory unwanted leftovers, not nutrient-dense whole ingredients.

     Additionally, synthetic isolated nutrients are missing all of their necessary co-factors required to function. By ingesting these, we risk developing greater nutrient deficiencies as the isolates will pull from our body's reserves in order to complete themselves. They're also harsh on the gut and can be abrasive to sensitive internal tissues, setting the stage for things like gut dysbiosis, ulcers and much more.

Why are we feeding these types of ingredients to our beloved horses, our partners, our athletes? 
   

     It's important to understand that majority of the immune system resides in the gut. Therefore, we cannot expect the gut to thrive unless we foster it properly. You may be surprised by how many ailments can be resolved by simply correcting and optimizing the diet. We know as humans that it's important to eat more organic living foods, whole fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats instead of factory farmed, wild caught fish instead of farm raised, and less dead food (cereals, chips, cookies, etc). Our animals require the same higher-quality nutrition in order to thrive. Once we improve the diet, we typically require less topical treatments, less prescriptions, less vet bills, experience less inflammation, less stiffness, less stress, and enjoy more restoration, more freedom... ultimately resulting in a happy, healthy horse!

“When Your Horse Feels Good, Life Is Good!”

          It's important to keep in mind that if we add an anti-inflammatory supplement to an overall pro-inflammatory diet, we may see some results... or if we add an alkalizing product to an overall highly-acidic diet, we may see some results... However, this can be like just a drop in the bucket, making minimal difference. We can do better by our horses! Imagine what can be seen when the horse’s whole diet is optimized to work toward the same end goal of...
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 Supporting a normal inflammatory response, offering naturally occurring and highly bioavailable phytonutrients, supporting digestion and a strong microbiome, supporting a balanced pH, encouraging greater nutrient absorption, supporting naturally balanced hormones, etc.
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     With every ingredient in the regimen serving the horse - the whole bucket being in favor of the horse - the horse's body will have a greater chance of having the nutritional tools it needs to heal itself. The body does the work when we supply proper nutrients and remove problematic ingredients which interfere with normal cellular function, detoxification pathways and the healing process.
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‘a la carte’ Meal Example:
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     Below is one example of an 'a la carte' diet for an average horse. This meal supplies the horse with a diverse offering of super seeds (chia seeds, flaxseed, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds & more) for healthy protein, generous healthy fats (rich in omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation), fiber, an herbal multi-vitamin (Nettle Leaf; however, see Vitality Super Greens for a powerhouse herbal multi-vitamin), fennel seeds to further support digestion, a wide array of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, naturally-mined salt for electrolyte balancing year-round, and much more! 
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     Coolstance coconut copra serves as an excellent base feed for most horses, however, it has an inverted calcium to phosphorus ratio, which just means it needs to be fed with added calcium. This is important to prevent the body from leaching calcium from the bones in effort to offset the higher phosphorus. We have several ways of handling this. If we pair Coolstance with Grace’s Abundance, there’s enough additional calcium (from naturally mined limestone) in Grace’s Abundance to balance the Coolstance when fed at approximately 1 lb per meal. If we pair Coolstance with Nettle Leaf, Red Raspberry Leaf or Vitality Super Greens, there’s enough naturally occurring calcium to balance a generous feeding of Coolstance. Below is an example of a very simple 'a la carte' diet:
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      • Coolstance coconut copra - Anti-inflammatory base feed
      • Grace's Abundance - Prebiotic, Nutrient-Dense, Organic, Whole Food Ingredients; Rich in: Healthy fats (Omega-3), Protein & Fiber
      • Nettle Leaf (or Vitality Super Greens ) - Herbal Multi-Vitamins Offering Complete Vitamins & Minerals (no synthetic isolates!)
      • Redmond's Salt - Natural Electrolytes & Beneficial Minerals
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     We prefer to add water for hydration purposes, but if you board your horse and it isn't an option to add water, please don't worry; it is okay to offer his or her meal dry. You may add-on to this basic diet or eliminate and replace products according to your horse's unique needs. For example, you may choose: 
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Kelp as a natural source of iodine for thyroid & metabolic health, 60+ phytonutrients as a multi-vitamin. Excellent for most horses!
Chamomile Flowers as a nervine for high-strung or anxious horses 
Red Raspberry Leaves as a source of selenium; or for a broodmare or horse with loose stools
Renewed Blend for your athlete or senior with joint stiffness
Allergy Blend for a horse battling any type of allergies
No Guts, No Glory! for a horse with ulcers or digestive woes, or in place of omeprazole
Mullein Leaf for a horse prone to coughing or respiratory troubles
Hawthorn Leaves & Flowers for a horse prone to laminitis, or with a weak heart or poor circulatory system, etc. 
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     For those who board, we ask that you work to make it easier on your barn manager by pre-setting up your horse's meals in baggies or containers. Many of our customers pick an evening each month or so, where they enjoy their favorite cup of tea, wine or beverage, and set up the meal bags ahead of time. The 'a la carte' feeding plan may take a bit more time, but it is worth it! You can feel good knowing you're offering them wildcrafted herbs they'd likely forage in the wild and organic, whole superfoods (no by-products, GMO's, synthetic isolates or preservatives). We're certain your horse will thank you!
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*To learn more about the risks of GMO's, please click here.
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**To learn more about the dangers of Glyphosate, please click here, or here or follow the research of MIT Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Stephanie Seneff.
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***To learn more about the concerns of feeding synthetic isolated nutrients (found in most commercial feeds, balancers and supplements), and how these can contribute to toxicity and nutritional deficiencies, please click here.