Therapeutic Nutrition/Nutritional Supplements

An-Holistic-Approach-to-Mare-Behaviour--Optim-Equine

An Holistic Approach to Mare Behaviour

For those of you who ride mares and/or fillies you may have noticed somewhat erratic changes in her mood and behaviour during spring. The mare who was steadfast and easy going over the winter months may have at times started to become irritable, anxious, ‘girthy’, aggressive and painful or sensitive around her flanks. Gait abnormalities …

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An Holistic Approach to Horse Joint Health

Lameness is one of the most common complaints in the working horse, with joint damage accounting for around 60% of these cases. Progressive damage and changes to soft tissue, cartilage and underlying bone in the joint results in joint deterioration, leading to the development of osteoarthritis. This process is generally initiated by joint overload, concussion …

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Supplements: An Holistic Approach

Do our horses really need them? Supplements. They can be a contentious topic. Yet nearly all horse owners, trainers and riders use them at some stage in one form or another on their equines. As a naturopath, I am sometimes asked that if a horse is fed ‘properly’ then does it really need supplements? The …

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Tying-up-Optim-Equine

Tying Up

Tying up is a broad term used to classify a wide variety of muscle disorders which result in the dissolution of muscle cells during exercise. Technically known as ‘exertional rhabdomylosis’ (ER), this syndrome is the most common muscle disorder which affects exercising horses. Clinical signs of ER vary, depending on the severity of the condition. …

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Calming Supplements: Use in the Horse-Optim-Equine

Calming Supplements: Use in the Horse

One of the most often talked about and popular types of supplements on the market are those used with the intention of helping to ‘calm’ the horse. The quality of these supplements and ingredients contained within them vary greatly. Many contain nutritional and/or herbal constituents such as: magnesium, tryptophan, B group vitamins, chamomile and valerian. …

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Skeletal-Injuries-Considering-the-Role-of-Bone-Density-in-the-Horse-Optim-Equine

Skeletal Injuries: Considering the Role of Bone Density in the Horse

One of the most significant injury concerns for all athletic horses is that involving the bones and joints. Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common cause of poor performance and wastage (wastage refers to a loss of training days, either temporary or permanent) in the equine industry. A vital consideration in bone and joint health is …

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Wind-sucking,-Crib-biting,-Cribbing-The-role-of-Antioxidants,-including-Selenium

Wind-sucking, Crib-biting, Cribbing: The role of Antioxidants, including Selenium

Wind-sucking/ crib-biting/ cribbing is a compulsive, repetitive behaviour in horses. It is the most prevalent stereotypy in the equine and is characterised by grasping a fixed object with the incisor teeth and aspirating air with an audible grunt. The habit can negatively effect a wide range of horse health parameters, resulting in conditions such as …

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Selenium-Deficiency-(&-Toxicity)-in-the-Equine

Selenium: Deficiency (& Toxicity) in the Equine

An adequate intake (and absorption and metabolism) of selenium is essential for maintaining the overall health of your horse. This mineral plays many essential roles: it acts as an antioxidant; reduces inflammation; has critical implications in the fertility of both mares and stallions; is needed for proper cartilage and hoof formation; and promotes skin health. …

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Vitamin-D-and-Rugging-An-Important-Consideration-Optim-Equine

Vitamin D and Rugging: An Important Consideration

Blanketing/rugging horses is a topic which sparks much debate, primarily due to its influence on weight regulation, metabolic function and thermoregulation in the horse. Yet an often forgotten consideration is its effect on vitamin D synthesis and hence levels of this important vitamin/hormone in the horse. Vitamin D is produced by the horse when their …

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Beyond-Biotin-Optimising-Horse-Hoof-Health-Optim-Equine

Beyond Biotin: Optimising Horse Hoof Health

Every horse person knows the saying ‘no hoof, no horse’, yet so many horse owners, riders and managers struggle with achieving healthy hoof growth and hoof integrity in their equines. The equine hoof constitutes a complex arrangement of connective tissues, nerves, cartilage, bone, and blood supply. It relies on important nutritional building blocks for strength …

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Nutrient Requirements for Horses: Fortified Feeds and the need for Supplementation-Optim-Equine

Nutrient Requirements for Horses: Fortified Feeds and the need for Supplementation

The vast majority of racehorses, performance horses and breeding stock are fed fortified feeds or balancer rations, which are designed to meet the daily nutrient requirements of horses. These nutrient requirements were established by the National Research Council (NRC) and last updated in 2007. The NRC provides the known nutrient requirements for horses by weight, …

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Nutrient-Synergy-Magnesium-and-Vitamin-D-Optim-Equine

Nutrient Synergy: Magnesium and Vitamin D

Magnesium is one of the most commonly self-prescribed nutrients by many horse owners, breeders and riders. This mineral plays an essential role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions within the body. When prescribing magnesium, to derive optimal therapeutic benefit, it is essential to know the bioavailability of different forms of magnesium and its interactions (both …

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Naturopathic-Principles-Treat-the-Individual-and-not-the-Disease-Optim-Equine

Naturopathic Principles: Treat the Individual and not the Disease

As an Equine Naturopath, one of the questions I am most commonly asked is ‘what herb is good for X condition’ or what nutrient should I give my horse with Y condition? One of the key guiding principles of naturopathy is treating each patient as an individual. In developing effective treatment plans for the horse, …

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Regumate-Altrenogest-and-Difficult-Mares-&-Fillies-What-Are-The-Alternatives-Optim-Equine

Regumate / Altrenogest and Difficult Mares & Fillies: What Are The Alternatives?

With the rulings of Regumate/Altrenogest use in racing coming under the spotlight around the globe, now is an opportune time to address nutritional and management factors which can contribute to undesirable behaviour in mares and fillies. Whilst no nutritional supplement will prevent estrus in the mare/filly: signs, symptoms and behaviour may be able to be …

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When-Supplements-actually-make-the-problem-worse

When Supplements actually make the problem worse

Something I see commonly in practice is well meaning owners prescribing supplements to help with a particular health or performance issue in their horse. One of the most commonly misused classes of supplements in the horse are ‘blood builders’. Whilst iron deficiency in humans is an all too common problem, in our horses it is …

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Bacterial-Endometritis-Bacteria-and-Biofilms-Optim-Equine

Bacterial Endometritis: Bacteria and Biofilms

Bacteria in biofilms can readily become resistant to both pharmaceuticals and the host immune system, developing a tolerance to antimicrobial agents, biocides and antiseptics. In fact, research has demonstrated that bacteria residing in a biofilm can be up to 1,000 times more refractive to treatment with antibiotics as compared to free-living (planktonic) bacteria. Administering more …

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Vitamin-K-The-role-of-Gut-Health-and-the-Effect-on-Bone-Health-and-Insulin-Resistance

Vitamin K: The role of Gut Health and the Effect on Bone Health and Insulin Resistance

Vitamin K is a most important nutrient, which is derived from bacterial synthesis in the horse’s large intestine. For optimal levels of vitamin K to be produced, the horse must have sufficient fibre/roughage in the diet and a healthy microbial population and composition in their GIT. Keep in mind that many of the most frequently …

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Salt-An-Essential-Component-of-the-Horse's-Diet-Optim-Equine

Salt: An Essential Component of the Horse’s Diet

Salt is made up of the minerals sodium and chloride and is an essential yet often overlooked/forgotten component of the horse’s diet. If you aren’t providing supplemental salt to your horse or pony’s diet, they are most likely falling short of their needs. Although many processed feeds and balancers contain sodium and chloride, they are …

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What-Supplements-are-best-for-building-Topline-Optim-Equine

What Supplements are best for building Topline?

Topline describes the muscle coverage over the top of the horse’s neck, back and hindquarters. The strength of topline muscles can influence soundness and athletic ability of the horse.Now let’s briefly think of human athletes looking to increase muscle mass, strength and definition. To do this effectively they must work and utilise the correct muscle …

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Hoof-care-Hoof-Rings-and-Ridges-Optim-Equine

Hoof Rings and Ridges

When observing a horse’s hoof it is common to see minor lines or ridges on the hoof wall. Hoof rings, also called growth rings, occur in healthy hooves and are typically the result of variations in diet and environmental factors from season to season and sometimes changes in work/exercise levels. More obvious ridges, grooves, or …

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Turmeric: Use in the Horse

Turmeric: Use in the Horse

FEEDING YOUR HORSE TURMERIC?…BE CAREFUL!! Turmeric, it’s the ‘wonder’ natural supplement many horse people have been self-prescribing for their horses. Most commonly used for its anti-inflammatory properties, very few, if any horse people stop to consider the quality of their turmeric. Given that turmeric is widely available in powdered form makes it susceptible to being …

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