My 16-hand (163-cm) Anglo-Arabian is in good weight for his sport, just below optimal body condition. He’s in training year-round for competitive endurance riding, working towards 100-mile rides. He’s fed 2 lb (0.9 kg) of senior feed, 1 lb (0.45 kg) unmolassed beet pulp pellets, 0.5 lb (0.23 kg) whole flaxseed, 1 lb (0.45 kg) timothy pellets, one flake (3 lb, 1.4 kg) of quality hay, and free grazing. He was diagnosed with insulin resistance and hypothyroidism two years ago, but we manage that with diet control and exercise. Other than this, his health seems fine except for some hoof issues. He’s been a bit lackluster under saddle lately. I am worried about his electrolyte balance as we begin to step up the distance. I use a combination of electrolyte and homemade lipid-coated salt, but I would like to know more about calcium, magnesium, and selenium in relation to our region and supplementation.
I own a 13-month-old filly, Millie, that’s in moderate weight. I am moving her to a farm closer to me that has better pasture than she has now, and she will be turned out all day, every day. With this change in pasture, what’s the best feed for her? Right now, Millie receives about 8 quarts of a “breeding feed,” which is intended for young horses as well as broodmares. The pasture she’s currently on is mediocre at best, so she’s also given as much orchardgrass/alfalfa (lucerne) hay as she wants. Maybe free-choice mineral is the way to supplement pasture? What’s your advice?
I own a yearling Lippizan gelding. I would consider him moderately thin, with visible ribs. I don’t want him to grow too quickly, but I think he needs more weight. His current diet includes free-choice hay, 1 lb (0.45 kg) balancer pellet, 4-6 lb (1.8-2.7 kg) alfalfa pellets, and flaxseed. How should I add extra calories?
I have a 15-year-old Quarter Horse gelding whose pedigree traces to Impressive. He has bouts of colic four to five times a year since I’ve owned him, and I’ve had him about six years now. His AQHA registration papers note that he tested negative for hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). I had bloodwork done last week, and his potassium level is very high. The cause of his colic confounds us. His diet includes coastal hay, soaked alfalfa pellets, electrolytes, probiotics, omeprazole, and ranitidine. I recently removed the commercial electrolyte from his diet, because it contained 11% potassium, and I replaced it with plain salt. I am contemplating switching him to plain oats with Micro-Max while continuing to feed coastal hay. He is boarded at a facility that has pasture turnout, primarily coastal grass to graze in the summer and ryegrass in the winter. Any help is appreciated!
My fat horse is on to me. He sees the grazing muzzle slung over my shoulder as I make my trek to see him every morning, and he sashays away, motoring off in the opposite direction. We’ve been through all the games before: tempting him with feed, going out at other times of the day just to pet him, and binge-feeding his pasturemate with carrots and apple slices to lure him in. No dice. I can retrieve him without the muzzle in hand, but the evasive maneuvers he displays in his stall are even more creative and frustrating. Given this, can I just skip the muzzle and let him graze as he wants?
My 15-year-old crossbred gelding has Australian stringhalt, contracted after eating distressed false dandelion. After nine months, he is now intermittently “jerky” on his left hind. Under a vet’s supervision, I’ve tried intensive therapy with vitamins, especially B12 and E, as well as a two-week trial of an epilepsy medication that had no lasting effect. He is currently consuming a concentrated vitamin and mineral supplement. Internet research strongly suggests that stringhalt affects the myelin sheath of nerves, similar to multiple sclerosis. Several studies are pushing exotic myelin regrowth or repair supplements, a basic one being an omega-3, -6, and -9 supplement for myelin regrowth. To support my gelding’s recovery, should I start intensive omega therapy? If so, what kind? Should I start back on the vitamins B12 and E? Do you have any additional ideas?
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