Tidbits From Dr. Mark
Often times Dr. Mark shares great thoughts and tips with his clients out in the field or on the phone. Here are a few regarding general equine nutrition:
- Horses are not designed to eat any types of sugar, this includes all grains-especially sweet feed (anything with molasses). Sweet feed has a glycemic index of 123, oats- 94, table sugar- 59. Therefore, your horse would be better off eating two pounds of table sugar than two pounds of grain.
- Horses should also never eat soy. Many horses are allergic to soy. This common feed ingredient can be present as soybean meal (a byproduct of the soybean oil industry), raw beans, ground hulls or soy oil.
- High fat diets don’t trigger an insulin reaction in your horse, high sugar diets do!
- Alfalfa is not bad for your horse as long as it is less than 20% of the diet.
- Un-stabilized rice bran is more nutritious than stabilized rice bran because it is not cooked. It is more natural that way because cooking and pelleting denatures the natural oils such as omega 3s and 6s. You don’t have to worry about un-stabilized rice bran going rancid except during the hottest months of summer.
- Domesticated horses are unable to “self-medicate.” This means that we must provide everything that they require including a good quality daily vitamin/mineral supplement.