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BASE VEGETABLE DIET FOR THE AVERAGE HORSE
Feeding horses doesn't have to be a drawn out complicated task. Over 45 years of living with horses and caring for them has led me down paths about which I can't even begin to tell you. I used to 'believe' in all the research for the best processed this or that or the other thing. I used to 'believe' in all the chemicals, the reports, the manufacturers' golden words. I've thrown away more useless supplements that have cost me more thousands of dollars than I can even think of. Coat supplements, hoof supplements, calming supplements, breathing supplements, feed supplements, drugs for this or that - I'm sure if you have horses then you know about what I'm talking. Pages and pages and pages in catalogues from countless manufacturers all spouting their products are the best for horses.
Can't fool Mother Nature! She knows best.
Below is a simple recipe for a vegetable, fruit, nut and seed diet for the average horse. Fed once a day with free choice good quality hay, grass grazing (yes, real, honest to goodness grass), trees to chew on, leaves to snack on, weeds, flowers and more for the horse to rummage - your horse will glow with a natural shiny coat, bright, shiny eyes, curious temperament, friendly, perform tremendously, lose weight or gain weight as needed by his natural body. Feeding a horse FORAGE as all equine are created to do, will enhance ALL body systems and all systems will get healthier. The liver will strengthen and be able to better filter the blood, the kidneys will function better, the immune system will be able to do the job its supposed to do and the natural foods will help the horse's mind, as well. Muscles will strenthen and the mind will calm. Hooves will become solid and strong when coupling this forage diet with good, regular hoofcare attention.
Combine the forages with clean, fresh, constant supply of water when wanted and your horse will transform to be the horse you know he or she can be. Instead of adding chemicals for healing, look to nature's chemicals that are found in natural foods. Use herbs for healing when needed - they are not only food but powerful medicines as well. Be sure to consult a knowledgeable Herbalist on what is needed.
Remember, definition of health is: Free of dis-ease in body, mind and spirit. How healthy is your horse? God created HEALTHY horses -- we need to honor that with feeding only the best that His creation has to offer.
TO BE FED ONCE DAILY FOR THE AVERAGE SIZED HORSE
Additions that can safely be added are any type raw nuts (except Black Walnut), Trail Mix without chocolate, melons, squash, berries, beans, peas (I add split peas for added proteing), pumpkin, beets, beet greens, carrot tops, turnip, parsnips, -- any sort of vegetable or fruit. Dried beans, dried peas, even organic oats, barley, spelt, cous cous, quinoa and other WHOLE grains ... in small amounts.
NO TOMATOES, NO RAW POTATOES (except for sweet/yams), NO ONION, NO EGGPLANT, minimal green pepper.
If you feel your horse HAS to have added calories then increase the oil up to a cup a day, increase the flax up to a cup a day, increase the Black Oil sunflower seeds up to a cup a day and add forage extender or beet pulp or other FORAGE based pellets.
Even if you were to add this 'salad' mix 2 - 3 times a week you'll see a marked improvement in your horse's overall health.
If you have a herd of 3 or more horses you can make up the salad and divide it up among them. I mix 4 apples, 4 bananas, 4 oranges, etc. for a herd of 5 horses, 3 tiny ponies and a miniature donkey plus 3 goats -- the older horses get at least 2 qts of the salad with their forage extender and the others get what I scatter on the ground to graze.
The big grey you see is a 29 year old OTTB who is the hardest keeper I've EVER had to care for. He gets 2 qts of salad a day plus 3 qts of forage extender X2 a day. He's 17 hh and weighs about 1400#. The others range from 3 to a 27 year old and they get nothing but grazing veggies once daily and grass 2nd cut hay. The photo below is our almost 50 year old Sicilian donkey: He gets 1 cup of forage extender with 1 cup of veggies a day plus all the hay he wants to eat.
Misty (Below) is 27 years old (maybe closer to 29) and has Cushings, Lymphangitis and DSLD. She gets 2 qts. of Forage Extender daily plus 3 qts. of salad. She gets various herbs to support her system as well. This photo was taken this winter of 2010.
Seeing is believing.
Photos from Spring 2010: Natural Shine, Natural Health!
For more info go here: Feeding the Natural Horse
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