I first began on this journey with a horse who was severely metabolic. This was over ten years ago; there was virtually no information available as to why this guy couldn’t gain muscle, had fat pads, was unhappy in his own skin and had become laminitic for no known reason. In spite of it all I liked the horse; I bought him for a dollar and decided to see what I could do for him. I figured anything I could do was better than ending up in a kill pen.
At that time I was still feeding processed feeds. He was thin – or so it seemed, after all, his ribs showed! So I began “feeding him up”. Oh, how I poured the groceries to that horse. “Quality” feeds – and oil, and beet pulp, and all the good quality hay he could eat. He became laminitic again. Clearly feeding a horse simply to make them FAT was not a good idea (keep this in mind as it’s a recurring theme in horse nutrition) so it was back to the drawing board.
I cut out all his processed feeds, simply because I wasn’t sure where else to begin. I kept the beet pulp as a carrier, added a source of quality protein and.. chaste tree berry. Why? Because I read that it offered metabolic and adrenal support. He ate it, so I kept feeding it. I added kelp. I added.. a lot of things.
What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that I had REMOVED inflammatory feed stuffs from his diet; and that was probably the most profound thing I had done for him. Slowly.. and I do mean slowly… he began to blossom. Eventually he became rideable and then he was restored to his former glory – a horse no one could take their eyes off of and everyone wanted to ride.
Since then I’ve learned a lot more about metabolic disorders, how they are caused and what you can do to cure them. Yes, often they can be reversed. I’ve recently had the opportunity to collaborate with a company who distributes quality herbs and spices and I’m going to begin offering them as part of my nutritional services. Please inquire as to what will be available and how they should be used. As always, consult your vet if you have any concerns about feeding your horse herbs or spics.
Expect more information coming on this subject, as not only are herbs and spices helpful for metabolic issue but also can address inflammation and hormonal problems very effectively without the unfortunate side effects of NSAIDS, steroids and artificial hormone manipulation.