Feeding Horses – The Frequently Asked Questions

It has been several years since I introduced the no grain challenge and the idea of chronic protein deficiency. Since this time I have been swamped by questions from around the world and many of them have been the same. Here I will group them in no particular order for a reference to others asking the same questions as well as an opportunity to update some of the ideas.

This is a living document as I will add and update it from time to time. They are based upon my research and observations of horses spread across the United States. It will differ (a lot) from currently held beliefs of veterinarians, nutritionists, feed companies and many horse owners. The questions come from around the world. You may read some of them directly in the comments section of the blogs I wrote here: TheEquinePractice.com/feed.

This version was printed November 12, 2019

Please consider enrolling in the nutrition course where these ideas are discussed and tests are given to challenge your understanding of the material. TheHorsesAdvocate.com

Thanks, Dr Tucker “Doc T”

Contents

What Is The Two Week No Grain Challenge?
Is it OK to abruptly remove the feed he is used to?
What will I feed my horses instead while the other horses in the barn are fed their grain?
What is the theory behind the no grain challenge?
What is sugar?
What is fat?
What is protein?
What are amino acids?
Why is methionine so important in the health of the hooves?
What is carbohydrate dependency?
What is intermittent fasting?
What are mitochondria?
What is the microbiome / microbiota / holobiome?
What is the Kreb’s or Citric Acid Cycle?
What is gluconeogenesis?
What is mitochondrial exhaustion?
How do anti-ulcer medicines affect the gut of the horse?
What are probiotics?
What are prebiotics?
What is a fecal transplant?
What is a mineral?
Do horses get mineral deficiencies or toxicities?
What is an electrolyte?
What is a vitamin?
What is GMO and should I be concerned?
What is glyphosate / RoundUp and should I be concerned?
What are lectins?
Why did my horse loose weight after starting the no grain challenge?
Why do you recommend soybean meal as the protein source for horses?
What is soybean meal?
Are oils good for horses?

What Is The Two Week No Grain Challenge?

If your horses are exhibiting an illness (diarrhea), unsoundness (stiffness), bad behavior (grooming, riding) or general unthriftiness (loss of top line, poor hair or hooves) and nothing you are doing seems to have helped, then approach these issues from a different perspective. Rather than adding supplements, consider removing things as they may be the cause. Remove everything you are giving to your horse except for forage (pasture, grass hay, legume hay), mined salt (Himalayan) and well water. This includes treats like carrots, apples and cookies. Get a notebook and write down all the issues you are having at the start of the program. Include pictures if you want but be thorough especially in describing behavior issues such as girthiness or bucking when ridden. Note the consistency of the manure and the overall ease of the horse. Add to the records daily for 14 days and then determine for yourself if grain has been causing some of the issues your horses have been having. Contents

Is it OK to abruptly remove the feed he is used to?

Yes it is as these feeds are generally inflammatory. However, if you are afraid to abruptly remove them then do it over a week. However the challenge doesn’t start until all grains and treats have been removed.Contents

What will I feed my horses instead while the other horses in the barn are fed their grain?

You can make a meal of hay cubes or a handful of hay pellets. Water can be added if you are worried about choke. It is common for horses to take about 2 to 3 days to overcome their habit of making noise at meal time. Amazingly it only takes 2 to 3 days as people from all over the world report their surprise that the horses become calmer quickly after the inflammatory ingredients are removed.Contents

What is the theory behind the no grain challenge?

The hypothesis is that the daily and constant supply of sugar as well as lectins (unwanted plant proteins) from grain leads to gut inflammation and a disruption to the normal gut bacteria (dysbiosis) living in the gut (stomach, small intestines, large intestines). The result of this disruption is the growth of “bad” bacteria and the suppression of “good” bacteria. This leads to inflammation of the lining of the gut which leads to being uncomfortable from ulceration (misbehavior during grooming, riding and trailering), decreased absorption of proteins (unthriftiness, unsoundness, illness) and leaky gut syndrome (absorption of unwanted materials into the body).Contents

What is sugar?

Sugar is a molecule made of 3 elements: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen put together in a specific way. It is used as a fuel for the making of energy and is stored in the body as glycogen in the muscles and the liver or is converted into triglycerides and stored as body fat and muscle fat. Glucose is the molecule of fuel at the cell level. Sugar can also be used for the creation of many other things in the body such as mucous that lines our digestive track (from the mucous membranes) and in the makeup of joint fluid (glycosaminoglycans). Lipopolysaccharides are a combination of sugar and fat and are distributed throughout the body. Sugar is essential for life and is consumed in the simple form (starch found in fruit and grains – also known as non-structural carbohydrates or NSC) that is digested by enzymes in the gut or in the complex form (digestible or non-digestible fiber found in the structural carbohydrates or SC of cellulose) that are digested by the microbes in the hind gut of horses. Contents

What is fat?

Fat is a molecule made of 3 elements: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen put together in a specific way. It is made up specifically of glycerol (an alcohol) and a fatty acid. The fats are divided into saturated fats (all positions for hydrogen are filled and is the most stable fat and causes little inflammation), monounsaturated fats (one space for hydrogen is open and is relatively stable and is not inflammatory), polyunsaturated fats (many positions open and is very unstable leading to inflammation through oxidation) and trans fats ( manmade by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil creating the most inflammation – think fried foods). Fat is used as a fuel that is 20 to 28 times more efficient than glucose while not producing any free radicals. It is also used to store fuel in the form of body and muscle fat for use when glucose is not available such as in winter. Fat makes up more than 3/4ths of the brain, envelops each nerve fiber, is the wall of every cell and is waterproof, is part of many hormones, and so much more. Fat is essential for life. Contents

What is protein?

Proteins are made by the cells to provide functions of the body. The DNA code within each cell makes the specific protein by placing together amino acids in a pattern. Some proteins can have as many as 35,000 amino acids. Once a protein is made it is eventually destroyed and the amino acids are recycled to make another protein (hair and hooves are an exception where they are lost forever). Proteins are everywhere and make up the integument, the connective tissue, parts of the immune system, the enzymes, the neurotransmitters, the hormones, the transport proteins, the structures within the cells and just about everything else. They can combine with fats to make lipoproteins and hormones. In essence, your horse is mostly protein with some fats that is powered by fat and sugar.Contents

What are amino acids?

An amino acid is a molecule made of 4 to 5 elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen with some having sulfur. There are roughly 20 amino acids that make up all the proteins (like 26 letters make up all the words in the American dictionary). Of these, 10 must be consumed in the food and are called essential amino acids. The remaining amino acids are made by the liver or the gut bacteria. When one of these essential amino acids is infrequently found in the food it is called a “limiting amino acid.” In horses, lysine, threonine and methionine are limiting essential amino acids.Contents

Why is methionine so important in the health of the hooves?

Methionine is an amino acid with sulfur. When 2 sulfur elements come together they form a very strong disulfide bond adding strength to the hoof structure. In horses, methionine is converted in the liver to cysteine and then to cystine and it is this amino acid that makes up about 1/4th of the hoof. Because methionine is a limiting amino acid, many horses become deficient with the result of having an unhealthy hoof (white line, seedy toe, rotation, splay, cracks, etc). The stink that comes from a hot shoe applied to the hoof is the release of sulfur.Contents

What is carbohydrate dependency?

This is the feeding of sugar on a daily basis throughout the year. As long as there is sugar in the diet there will be insulin which is the hormone that carries glucose from the gut wall through the body to the cells. Insulin also prevents the release of body fat for fuel because if sugar is present, winter is coming. This assures a good layer of body fat for winter use. In addition, insulin has a friend called insulin growth factor one that is being implied in many human illnesses such as cancer. In a normal annual life cycle, glucose would be missing during part of the year allowing for insulin and IGF-1 to disappear and body fat to be consumed. This improves the health of the horse.Contents

What is intermittent fasting?

In the annual life cycle, most animals take a break from eating sugar during winter. This allows for the cell to destroy all the parts within the cell that are no longer functioning as well as the debris of energy production (free radicals). This is called autophagy and apoptosis and is equivalent to spring cleaning of a house. Following this is the creation of fresh parts including new mitochondria for more efficient energy production in a pollution free environment. Additionally, the stress of not having an abundant source of food causes a stress on the cells called hormesis where the weak cells die and the stronger cells thrive. In the deep, dark recesses of the lining of the gut live an abundant supply of stem cells and special bacteria that during this fast supply a fresh supply of gut cells and copious amounts of protective mucous that lines the entire bowel. In humans it has been shown that 16 to 18 hours of not eating in a 24 hour period mimics this seasonal fasting and has abundant benefits. In horses we have always believed that food should be available 24/7. They have no gall bladder for storing bile and their stomach acid is said to be secreted constantly. We all seem to live in fear of gastric ulcers caused by acid overfilling the stomach. Yet in the wild horses don’t have access to last year’s summer grass (hay) throughout the winter. It is my belief that carbohydrate dependency is at the root of many problems in our horses. Working horses for years went without food for 8 or more hours as they carried people across the country or plowed the field. When they did eat the sugars went to restoring the glycogen used in carrying their loads across the land. I believe that intermittent fasting should be researched and implemented in horses with equine metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance rather than starving or muzzling the horse which raises cortisol. Contents

What are mitochondria?

Within every cell are the engines that create the energy that keeps the cell alive. It is accepted now in all science fields that when animals were one cell organisms they had trouble surviving in the ever increasing oxygen environment. Even now if we take in too much oxygen we die. Air is 78% nitrogen (sorry Oprah!). To continue developing into multi-cell organisms, a bacteria was allowed to live within cells. These mitochondria are the descendants of those bacteria with their own DNA that reproduce on their own. The horse takes in raw material that the enzymes and bacteria break down (digest) into fuels and these fuels feed the mitochondria which in turn make the energy that powers the cells. Contents

What is the microbiome / microbiota / holobiome?

Within every non-plant on this planet is a tube starting at the mouth and ending at the anus. This tube is filled with trillions of bacteria which are responsible for creating the fuels, vitamins and other vital nutrients needed to maintain life. The whole of these bacteria are called the microbiome and the specific population in a specific section of the gut is called the microbiota. There are also bacteria in the breath and on the skin and together with the gut microbes collectively are called the holobiome. In plants the microbiome is in the soil. Because all animals can move, this microbiome was placed within the gut tube for portability. Plants and animals cannot survive without this holobiome and when the microbiota is altered (dysbiosis) illness will ensue (colitis, diarrhea, malabsorption, cramps, bloat, ulcers, etc). Contents

What is the Kreb’s or Citric Acid Cycle?

This is the biological pathway that happens inside the mitochondria converting fuels into energy. It is complex process involving enzymes such as coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ 10) and nicotinamide that in the end releases electrons that power the cell. It is being discovered that there is a new form of water (not ice, liquid or steam) that is critical in this process. The 2 fuels are glucose (sugar) and ketones (fat). Contents

What is gluconeogenesis?

“Gluco” means glucose, “neo” means new and “genesis” means to create therefore gluconeogenesis is the creation of new glucose. While there are several processes, the important one in horses is the conversion of protein into glucose with the release of nitrogen from the amino acid. Once the nitrogen has been removed and excreted as ammonia in the urine (the ammonia stink in a winter barn), the remaining carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are converted into glucose. This is the cause of chronic protein deficiency in horses and is secondary to feeding sugar daily (carbohydrate dependency) which causes mitochondrial exhaustion. Another cause of gluconeogenesis is eating excessive protein which doesn’t occur in horses but was the cause behind the popular Atkin’s diet not working for many people. the protein was converted into sugar within the gut. Contents

What is mitochondrial exhaustion?

The mitochondria produce energy within the cells from the fuels glucose and ketones. Glucose produces 2 units of energy per molecule and free radicals while ketones produce 20 to 28 times more energy and no free radicals. When fed only glucose, the mitochondria become exhausted and become surrounded by the free radical byproducts. Normally during fasting the mitochondria replenish themselves through hormesis and clean up the dead and dying mitochondria and the free radicals through autophagy. But when sugar intake is constant, insulin prevents the ketones from becoming available (insulin prevents insulin sensitive lipase from converting body fat into a triglyceride that can go to the liver to become a ketone). The cell no longer takes in glucose because doing so requires transport mechanisms and movement of the glucose from the cell wall to the mitochondria and this takes a lot of energy. Like a bank low on funds, the cell starts to fail. This causes gluconeogenesis from proteins to supply the cell with more glucose which not only is pointless, it also causes chronic protein deficiency, disease and eventually the death of the cell and soon, a breakdown in systems in the horse. Contents

How do anti-ulcer medicines affect the gut of the horse?

Most of the common anti-ulcer medications inhibit the production of acid in the stomach by limiting its production. These are called proton pump inhibitors. Other medicines bind to the cells producing acid and are called H2 inhibitors or blockers. Another group of medications buffer the acid already produced (ex calcium carbonate). The result of all of these is to make the pH (the measurement of how acid or basic something is) less acidic which in theory decreases the burning of the sensitive tissue of the gut (they are re-thinking acid as the cause of gut lining damage). Unfortunately they are finding in humans that by increasing the pH of the stomach several problems arise. The acid of the stomach is a major defense against foreign invading bacteria consumed in food. The acid also functions in the first step in the breakdown of protein into smaller peptides and amino acids which subsequently are absorbed for use in the body. Anti ulcer medicines therefore decrease the protection against bad bacteria and they promote malabsorption of proteins. In addition, in humans they now see a shift in the pH throughout the gut because the normal acid leaving the stomach is now less acidic. This shift affects the local microbiota used to living within a narrow pH margin. Bacteria from the colon now migrate up into the small intestine causing SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) which can become life threatening in humans. While there may not be a corresponding disease in horses the consequences of using anti-ulcer medications should consider this. The bottom line is that all anti-ulcer medications are treating symptoms but they are not correcting the underlying issue. These issues are 1) in the stomach the exercising of horses on an empty stomach which allows the acid to splash onto the non-glandular portion creating gastric ulcers, 2) the continuous feeding of sugar which allows for the growth of sugar loving bacteria that don’t belong in the gut and that produce A dysbiosis damaging the gut lining of the colon, intestines and stomach and 3) the stresses placed on horses not capable of handling shipping and competing. This last group Of stressed horses have compounded effects of gut inflammation that are exacerbated by improper diet and feeding.Contents

What are probiotics?

A probiotic is a bacteria fed to a horse in hopes of repopulating the gut with a needed gut microbe. There is no good evidence that these bacteria survive the acid of the stomach. Fecal studies in humans show no evidence of these bacteria or their parts. Some probiotics are encapsulated to be released beyond the acid and others are prescription strength in human medicine. In horses I am not sure if probiotics work and in light of the more serious condition of chronic protein deficiency, I don’t believe in their use. Contents

What are prebiotics?

A prebiotic is a sugar that resists digestion in the small intestine. As a group these are called resistant starches. Examples in humans are unripe bananas, unripe mangos, sauerkraut, fermented foods and chilled rice after cooking. I do not know what a resistant starch is for a horse. The idea is that these sugars effectively pass digestion in the small intestine and become available as food for the good bacteria of the colon. Contents

What is a fecal transplant?

In humans with life threatening colitis (profuse diarrhea from inflammation of the colon), a treatment became popular when feces from normal people was mixed with water and introduced into the colon via an enema. The results were spectacular saving many lives. It is being discussed more in horses and several reports have surfaced. An enema is not possible because the size of the organ and it being filled with feces. In horses they are making a slurry and administering it via a nasogastric tube. Reports from the past describe making a tea from a fecal ball, adding a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate to buffer the stomach acid and then drenching this into the horse’s mouth with a syringe. Unfortunately there is no set protocol but I believe this approach should be considered for obesity, chronic weight loss and equine metabolic syndrome. The reasoning behind this is that in rats, feces from fat rats transplanted into thin rats made the thin rats fat and also feces transplanted from thin rats into fat rats made the fat rats thin. Remember the food eaten is feeding the gut bacteria and they in turn are feeding the cells. But altering the bacterial population of the gut is showing different results in the feeding of the body. Altering the gut microbiome can be done with diet change, medications and with an outright transplant. I think we will be seeing more reports of fecal transplants but if this topic makes you twist up your face, think of horses eating manure. This is a common sight and is called coprophagy. Isn’t this a fecal transplant? It is seen in lots of animals. Contents

What is a mineral?

Minerals are the other elements beside carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur found in the body. They are divided into macro minerals that include calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorous and chloride and trace minerals such as the metals copper, zinc, selenium, iron and others. Minerals are abundant in fresh ground water, mined salt (salt mined from the ground), forages and soil. All minerals need to bound to a ligand (a group of molecules that include amino acids) through a process called chelation. The reason for chelation is believed to be a regulatory process that prevents over absorption of minerals. When the body needs a mineral a ligand is made available or the chelation for a mineral is allowed to occur which allows for the absorption of that mineral through the gut wall. My concern about the feeding of minerals chelated in a factory is 1) does the chelated mineral make it past the acid bath of the stomach and 2) if it does get to the small intestine is the chelated mineral bypassing this regulation process? Contents

Do horses get mineral deficiencies or toxicities?

Aside from starvation, a naturally fed horse should have all the minerals needed as once absorbed, the minerals are usually maintained through recycling. There are exceptions such as excessive sweating or bleeding. What is lost should be replaced from the water, salt, soil and forages. Here are some notable exceptions:

  1. Feeding grain adds an excessive amount of phosphorus which in turn prevents the absorption of calcium in an effort to stabilize blood calcium (any rise or fall in blood calcium leads to unconsciousness and death) the horse will draw calcium out of storage in the bones. This leads to softening of the bones and a disease with several names (rickets, big head, miller’s disease, nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism) which eventually causes the death of the horse.
  2. Adding dicalcium phosphate to all horse feeds for the past 100 years has prevented rickets. However a secondary result from high levels of calcium and phosphorous is the prevention of the absorption of magnesium. Low magnesium causes hyper-excitability and has led to the popularity of adding magnesium in supplements and to feeds to calm horses being fed grain.
  3. Horses grazing pasture with plants that fix selenium often suffer from selenium toxicity.
  4. Addition of injectable minerals such as selenium and iron either IV or IM can cause toxicity. Bypassing the gut and directly administering trace minerals into the body bypasses the natural regulatory mechanisms of the gut. Administering macro minerals IV should only be done by a veterinarian as even these can have adverse reactions.

Many people are becoming concerned of high iron in feeds and water and this needs to be studied more. This increased ingestion would lead to high hemosiderin in blood tests but I’m not sure of the outward signs a horse would show. Some testing of hair has shown abnormal levels of minerals but I am wondering if there is a deeper problem causing this. Did we have a mineral deficiency or toxicity in horses before grain became a daily diet in horses? Human research is looking at low magnesium as a cause of high iron oxidation resulting in inflammation throughout the body. High phosphorous in grain diets plus the addition of dicalcium phosphate causes low magnesium absorption which may be the root cause for increased iron in the horse. One more thing. Where are these minerals being manufactured and how long have they been in storage before getting into your horses? In a world where people are concerned with the source and the freshness of their food, what are the sources and freshness of the minerals being added to horse feed?Contents

What is an electrolyte?

When a mineral gains or loses one or more electrons from their atom then they become an electrolyte. It is popular to add electrolytes to the feed of working horses but if they are being fed the minerals in water, mined salt, soil and forages they probably don’t need added electrolytes. To get electrolytes absorbed they usually are mixed with sugar (dextrose). An electrolyte deficiency is seen on hot days when a horse is exerted with copious loss through sweat. This leads to synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (commonly called thumps) There is a short circuit between the electric current applied to the contracting heart muscle unintentionally also activating the nerve going to the muscles of the diaphragm. Basically the horse starts hiccuping in rhythm with the heart beat. A transfusion of electrolytes resolves this condition. Contents

What is a vitamin?

Vitamins are proteins and in the horse, they are made by the normal gut microbes. Horses do not need to eat a vitamin as humans do. Humans need to eat foods with plant vitamins such as Vitamin C. Unfortunately the idea that vitamins need to be added to horse feed is a marketing tool taken from human nutrition. There is an underlying genetic issue with Vitamin A deficiency causing night blindness in Appaloosa horses. I have not seen a vitamin deficiency in non-starved horses. But think about the source of vitamins in your horse feeds. In a time where we talk about fresh sources, where were these vitamins made? How long have they been in storage before they made it from the factory to the horse? Adding manufactured vitamins makes no sense. Contents

What is GMO and should I be concerned?

Genetic modification of food is a ship that has sailed. Several purposes for genetic modification include resistance to glyphosate, better yields and disease resistance to mention a few. Approximately 94% of all food sold today has been genetically modified by engineering microscopically the genetic sequencing of the seed. Today they no longer splice the genes and new less traumatic measures of modification are being used. GMO rhetoric will soon be history. In addition, one of the leaders of the movement against using GMO foods (calling them “Frankenfood”) has rescinded his views in an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Authoring a book, he noted no diseases caused by GM food, increased vitality of farmers (a decrease in farmer suicide and bankruptcies) and a 37% reduction in the use of chemical pesticides. GM of the papaya plant in Hawaii saved that plant and industry from being wiped out by an invading virus. If you want to purchase non-GMO foods for youR horse you will not see an improved health of the horses. In fact many non-GM hays are also organic and because of this are higher in sugar as these plants are more stressed in fighting disease. Contents

What is glyphosate / RoundUp and should I be concerned?

This is a hot topic for many as the rhetoric has been elevated for years. It has raised further with the awarding of a multimillion dollar court case for the improper administration of the chemical but not the consumption of the chemical. Glyphosate is a killer of broad leaf plants (weeds) and is also a desiccant drying plants to help prevent mold and spoilage. It was originally created as an antibiotic and here is where one of the concerns rises. There is a concern that any active glyphosate that is ingested is killing the gut bacteria. This is a valid concern but there are more pressing concerns with a dysbiosis of the gut caused by the daily feeding of inflammatory feeds and the administration of medicines. For example the use of medically approved antibiotics is pervasive worldwide. Another concern is that glyphosate replaced the amino acid glycine in proteins making some proteins ineffective. Fortunately there are “heat sensitive proteins” (in humans and I assume horses) that are constantly circulating that look out for improperly made proteins and either repair or destroy dysfunctioning proteins. This may be why it is hard to peg a disease in humans or horses directly associated with glyphosate. Now there are concerns with the surfactant used in conjunction with glyphosate in the product called Roundup causing unique problems separate from glyphosate. It is a very complex issue. If you are able to feed only organic food then you are an exception in today’s horse world. There are more pressing concerns in horse health such as the signs of chronic protein deficiency from mitochondrial exhaustion, lectins causing gut leakage through tight junctions, addition of vegetable oils creating gut and systemic inflammation and other issues. Contents

What are lectins?

All plants make proteins that help them fight disease and attacks from predators. Over millions of years horses have become refractory to many of these in the normal foods they eat. Horses (and all equips like donkeys and zebras) are technically grazers eating short ground plants. Their large hind gut is unique to only two other groups of animals (the tapir and the rhinoceros). They were never designed to eat seeds (oats, corn, rice, barley, wheat) throughout the year but only when they were available, the seeds were nostly knocked off the plant and blown or carried by wet skin to another part of the field. Once eaten a seed is dead and is of no reproductive value to the plant. In order to discourage animals from eating seeds the plant created lectins to either make them taste bad or to make them sick. An example of a lectin is wheat gluten. Another example is wheat germ agglutinin which prevents the attachment of insulin to cells and the transfer of glucose (Nobel prize in 2012 for this discovery). This is another cause of insulin resistance. While most of the research is being debated in the human world, there is no evidence of lectin damage in horses – but no one is looking. However feeding the outer layers of seeds and beans where the lectins exist to horses seems foolish when at the minimum, horses would only eat these seeds during a brief period of the year when the plant produced the seeds and certainly not year round. For this reason, feeding any grain or shells of grains (wheat middlings, oat hulls, rice bran, soybean hulls) or any seeds (flax, chia, sunflower) seems contraindicated in maintaining the health of horses. Contents

Why did my horse loose weight after starting the no grain challenge?

“Losing weight” seems to be a concern for most horse owners but the word ”weight” is not clearly identified. The weight loss really is a mix of fat and muscle loss. Unfortunately the muscle was lost a while ago But unseen due to fat covering the muscle loss. Now that the horse is no longer inflamed with grain the fat is being allowed to be used as fuel. The coat of fat covering the lost muscle of the top line is gone exposing the muscle loss. This is a good thing as now you see how pervasive the problem is. The next step is to add protein to restore the muscle loss but that will take months to years depending on the age of the horse. It is better to focus on the improved behavior and attitude of the horse than on the fat loss as this will inspire you to continue.Contents

Why do you recommend soybean meal as the protein source for horses?

SBM is a time tested feed in horses as it was part of our feeding protocol in 1973 when I started working with horses. SBM has all the essential amino acids the horses needs. SBM has about 80% of protein available after digestion which is the best availability of almost every protein source for horses. SBM is abundant and inexpensive. The vast majority of horses consuming it have no allergic reactions to it (I have heard of two horses with hair loss and limb edema). Phytoestrogens are in soybeans and in the meal which potentiates estrogen produced elsewhere in the horse. There are no reported estrogen related issues in horses being fed SBM And in my opinion, it is less of a concern to hormone balance than castration. The positive results from feeding SBM are in some cases spectacular as seen in the overall Improved health of horses consuming it. SBM can be found in a non-GMO source if that is important. The lectin containing hulls and the inflammatory oil have been removed. Contents

What is soybean meal?

The soybean hull is removed and then the oil is extracted either by pressing or more commonly it is chemically extracted using a solvent. The solvent is completely gone in SBM. Finally the meal is “toasted” OR “roasted” by exposing the ground meal to a controlled temperature moist heat. This destroys the enzyme trypsin inhibitor which would otherwise prevent the horse from getting the amino acids from the meal. Because SBM sticks when pushed through tubes between storage bins, the angles of the tube are increased and a flow agent is added. The result is a product that looks like blond coffee grounds that’s horses love to eat out of your hand. Contents

Are oils good for horses?

There are few oils in human nutrition that are not inflammatory. These include extra virgin olive oil (1st cold pressed and not mixed with lesser oils), fractionated coconut oils (C8 to C10), macadamia nut oil and avocado oil. In addition you do not want to consume rancid or heated oils as these affect the gut microbiome. The gut bacteria constantly die and become little pieces of shit (as per Dr Gundry) which have the acronym LPS. Scientists call them lipopolysaccharides (LPS). These are excreted normally but when oils such as vegetable oil, soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil and others not mentioned above, the oil binds to the LPS molecules and are allowed through unhindered through the gut lining. These LPS – oil compounds have been found in human joint fluid in patients with stiff joints. They are inflammatory as humans removing these oils no longer complain of stiff joints. I can only assume that there is a similarity with horses. Remember that most oils added to horse feed are there to lubricate the pelleting machine as they need to use food grade lubricants. Contents