The Equine Practice Rounds_Nov_2015 cover photo

The Equine Practice Rounds™ November 2015

November 2015 Contents:

  • The Path To True Horsemanship – how to become a friend and leader
  • Follow Up On The No Grain Challenge
  • BarnPics™
  • Straight From The Horse’s Mouth – a question from a student in the Horsemanship Dentistry School
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Comments 6

  1. Reading your article about taking your horse off grain is very interesting to me.
    I don’t have a problem with taking him off what I feed him for two weeks, it just seems that what I feed is by far better than what he used to be on. I feed a mix of oats, hay stretcher/pellets, sunflower seeds, barley, a couple chunks of papaya, peas, a couple tablespoons of coconut oil, rice bran oil, kelp, ground flax, a tiny, bit of selenium and anise seed.
    He has heaves. I have him on DMG5600 and Breather powder when his breathing is bad. When his cough is bad I dry and grind up coltsfoot. I have to soak his hay when the cough is bad also.
    He is difficult to load, He is pretty claustrophobic.
    I have a horrible habit of giving him treats/rewards that I know are not the best for him but want to reward him for right responses/behaviors. What can I replace the bad ones with?

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      Hi Sara – The key is to eliminate the carbohydrates (sugar) that is causing the inflammation. This would include the oats and hay stretcher / pellets which often has wheat middlings in it. There have been some horses “claustrophobic” in horse trailers because of the impending bouncing their guts will receive as they head out over the bumpy road. It’s just like some people get car sick or air sick especially after eating certain foods. For 2 weeks, allow the intestines to heal and revert back to normal with just hay, grass, water, and salt. Notice his reactions to the things in life you feel should be different. Then, if you feel it is necessary, add back 1 thing and wait a week. Note the changes. Then add back another thing. The secret is to do one thing at a time and wait. If you must feed a treat, feed 1 or 2 peanuts in the shell. Salted is fine. Or just break yourself of the habit. Your horse will actually love you more.

  2. Hi Doc Tucker. I really enjoy your newsletters. I totally agree with you about a no grain diet. When my Arab mare Rain foundered several years ago I was shocked-she was not the poster child for laminitis or founder and she was on very little grain, less than a pound a day. I may never know what caused it (though my husband and I suspect it was brought on by being over medicated with antibiotics and anti-fungal meds the vets had her on, which never cured the issue she had-she was allergic to the dust in the hay, which I figured out by soaking her hay one evening when she was showing signs of discomfort- after spending a couple thousands dollars and then dealing with a sick horse for almost a year…but that is another story). Anyhow, I did a lot of reading about feeding a healthy hoof and came to the conclusion that my horses, especially being Arabians that were developed and breed in the harsh desert climate with little to no grass, did not need grain. So, since 2007 our Arabs have been on a no grain diet and have done wonderfully. While they were always very calm and respectful, my husband’s mare had a late start in training (8 years old when we got her as an untrained herd mare) she would get so spooky if on any type of corn or oat feed. When we made the switch to no grain, she really relaxed. We feed them coastal Bermuda hay and supplement with soaked beet-pulp (Speedi-Beet is recommended by the Laminitis Foundation and is non-GMO), soaked non-GMO alfalfa pellets, and rice bran which supplies cool energy for our long distance riding. Thank you so much for challenging horse owners to take this grain free test. I have been sold for over 8 years!

    1. Post
  3. Very good articles, as always, Doc T!!! Quick question, if you have no real training experience, would the dentistry school be able to get you into that mind set of being able to build a trusting relationship with the horse?

    1. Post

      Toni – The only thing that can improve our ability to relate to horses is to practice, practice, practice with as many different horses as possible. The school and my book (The Ten Irrefutable Laws Of Horsemanship) will help you get started, but it will take tens of thousands of horses to become good at it. In addition, you cannot be afraid, but this come with working with so many. The school will get you started, but after your 1000th horse you will “get it” and after your 10,000th horse you will be confident.

Your thoughts are important for all to hear and may help others to learn from your experiences. Take the time to add to the discussion. However due to time limitations I will probably not answer direct questions to me. Thanks, Doc T

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