Equine Diet

In 2012 I took what many people consider drastic measures, and dramatically changed Storm's diet. Due to my limited amount of time, during the peak of riding season I was still barely able to get one ride in per week on him. When I consulted a conventional feed bag at one point I noticed to my surprise that according to the specifications that amount of work didn't even qualify for "light work!" Realizing that the grain he was being fed was likely being wasted, and that he didn't need the grain for "energy" due to the work level, I followed the guidance of Jeffra Sinclair and put him on a grain free diet. Over the next year I watched him thrive on the tiny amount of food he was being given each day, and noted that over the year he maintained a more average weight (as noted by the girth staying consistent!) than he had in past years. His body condition stayed consistent with a healthy balance of muscle in all the right places due to the highly focused work we were doing in our lessons. Nothing changed for the worse removing the two pounds of feed he was receiving!

During the summer of 2012 he had severe Anhidrosis episode, and remarkably, Jeffra was on hand that day to help me pull him out of it. We found him in the 105+ degree heat panting like he'd run 100 miles but bone dry - not a drop of sweat on him. I'm so grateful for her dedication that weekend which saved me a great deal in vet costs, and helped Storm to rebalance his system with a lot of focused support. As a result, he has a few special things that have been added to his diet to help support his system to keep him sweating a little better now. Additionally, he will probably forever be clipped every summer.

Storm's standard diet consists of a foundation of Kombat Boots which is pelletized brewers yeast which helps to maintain gut balance by providing lots of Vitamin B which improves digestion. The product is much loved in Florida where its original design of helping to keep hooves strong is very useful in the damp environment. I do not follow the recommended application, but only give him 4 oz once per day. The added benefit of the Kombat Boots is that it helps a lot of other functions in the horse's body - it improves their skin and coat, it can help make them calmer and reduce the effects of stressful situations, and the yeast helps Storm maintain his system to sweat effectively when temperatures rise.

Added to that is 1 oz of Dynamite which serves to give Storm essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes. What I love about Dynamite products is that all the minerals are chelated (pronounced key-lated in my slightly southern drawl) which allows for maximum absorption by the horse's system. Many products contain protenates or sulfates of minerals which is a form that the body can't assimilate. All of Dynamite's products are top quality, which means that he can use as little as possible and still get the maximum benefit from it.

Rounding off his standard regime is Dyna-Pro, another Dynamite Speciality Product. Dyna-Pro is a liquid probiotic that helps the gut maintain balance so that the healthy bacteria can thrive in order to improve digestion. He receives just 2 squirts per day, which goes a long way!

Finishing out the summer of 2013 in our new home at Northcross Farm we discovered that the field had been very overgrazed in the past and had very little grass. What was left was mostly clover and weeds. As a result, all of the horses were gaining weight, despite only eating a tiny handful of food every day! To help the horses detox from the overload of clover, I added VetraCalm to their diet. VetraCalm is a great product from Watchter's that is based on a foundation of Sea Vegetation which provides a different set of enzymes and minerals for the horses. The bonus for using it as a detox is that it helps Storm to be calmer overall.