What is your horse eating? Hay? Pellets? Grain? Supplements? Everything it eats affects its health and performance - and what most people don't realize is that our horses are getting a lot of things in their feed that are affecting them NEGATIVELY.....things like herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, synthetic isolates (they call them "vitamins" on the label), chemical preservatives and "fillers." ALL of these things do something in the horse's body - and this can include generating an autoimmune response, a gastrointestinal problem or toxicity issue. Have you ever asked yourself WHY so many horses around you seem to be having so many problems? A lack of total health has become the new normal, both in human health and animal health. Do you think that horses would have survived in the wild if every time they "took a wrong step" it resulted in a soft-tissue injury?
I believe the vast majority of horses are in a state of Functional Malnutrition *tm. Our grass and hay have been grown in nutritionally depleted soil for many years, and on top of that, we’ve started covering our crops with pesticides, herbicides, anti-fungal agents, mold inhibitors, colorants and preservatives. The only way to avoid all of that would be to graze your horse on rotated, all organic pasture and feed only certified organic hay. That at least provides the basics of what they need, but then adding an athletic lifestyle (like dressage, reining, jumping, etc.) creates a new set of needs above and beyond what they need to survive, let alone to heal and repair from an injury. And as we age, wear and tear comes into play, and additional nutrients are required to deal with that.
Our horses aren't healing and repairing, and clearly at least part of it is because of what they're eating. Whole foods (like oats and beet pulp and hay) are 100% bioavailable, which means the body can absorb 100% of the nutrients. Vitamin isolates, which are added to typical processed feed products and to the majority of supplements are generally only 1-3% bioavailable – and then the body has to find something to do with the 97-99%. In the best case scenario, it is excreted; however, the body may store it or try to complete this incomplete nutrient by robbing components from another area of the horse’s body. NONE of these are good scenarios and can cause multiple problems, not to mention a waste of money.
If you're interested in feeding something that is 100% bioavailable, certified organic, packed with over 2000 nutrients, phytonutrients, micronutrients and has actual whole food as its source, please take a look at the HP Daily product line (www.tamigeorge.com) and contact me for more information.
Tami George is one of Markel Insurance Company’s Horse Insurance Specialists. Her experience in this realm, as well as a personal passion for health and wellness, led her to explore equine nutritional options and ultimately, Equine Health & Performance, the formulator of HP Daily. She is an avid dressage rider/competitor and divides her time between Arizona and Washington.