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A more apt title would be ‘how to feed your horse’ as feeding for hoof health is the same as feeding a diet with sufficient nutrients for the whole body. A horse requires a range of nutrients; proteins including essential amino acids that must come from the diet, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and a very small amount of fatty acids.

Pasture laminitis

When we gaze out the window at our horses playing and grazing together in spring on plenty of grass we may feel pleased to see our horses doing so well. Yet appearances may be deceiving and down the track we may find our horse’s hooves showing clear signs of separation and tenderness.

Who are the NRC?

In the USA, the National Academy of Sciences have a group of scientists involved in the National Research Council (NRC). This committee has spent many years researching the nutrient requirements for horses. Not just horses, there are guides for other animals such as dogs and cats, cattle, sheep, goats and more recently (2007), small ruminants which includes sheep and goats.

Feed your horse salt

On top of a more than adequate nutrient diet with balanced minerals, it is recommended that horses receive electrolytes whether they are performance horses in work or a much loved member of the family in the back paddock.

Linseed, is it safe?

Some say linseeds/flax are poisonous and should never be fed in any form and others say the opposite. The current wisdom depends on who you ask! Following is a comparison of views and what the scientific studies are showing:

Is Lucerne evil?

Some say Lucerne hay or chaff should never be fed as the protein is too high or too rich in ? This is an example of looking at a feed ingredient or nutrient in isolation to the rest of the diet.  Many people do this, it's very common. Somewhere, somone is saying that 'x' feed is evil and should never be fed and often it's lucerne. 

Rose hips, worth feeding?

I know that there are a lot of people who feed rose hips to their horses. Before I learned about equine nutrition I did too, seemed like a good idea at the time when it was recommended to me.  Rose hips is said to be high in vitamin C, antioxidants and other nutrients and it sure smells nice.

Paddock Paradise

The benefits of a track or laneway around the perimeter of a paddock or small property are many. It can be a tool for managing the threat of pasture laminitis. If your horses are experiencing bouts of low grade laminitis from the sugars and starch in your pasture, particularly in the spring, one option to consider is a ‘paddock paradise’ type arrangement.

EPSM/PSSM/tying up

Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM) is a genetically programmed cause of tying up (Exertional rhabdomyolysis). Tying up is characterised by painful muscle cramping when the horse is exercising, it can range from a reluctance to move to an acute episode with the horse completely seized up. 

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