I agree that we over supplement. I think daughter is running a bit scared right now, though. We just lost a youngster that we had really been stuggling with. It didn't matter what we fed him, he stayed painfully thin. The first vet we took him to said his liver enzymes were not looking good and that his potassium levels were way too high. He recommended that we take off of the alfalfa pellets we'd been feeding him and make sure he was fed nothing that had alfalfa in it.
We finally had the poor little guy on a feed program that seemed to be helping, then he went down one day and couldn't get up. No pain - no fever - good appetite - but his legs just wouldn't work. We had a new vet by then, and he came out and tried and tried to get the little guy to his feet.
We learned something very important that day - HYPP is very sneaky. A horse can have it with no obvious muscle tremors (vet called what Junior had "micro" tremors) but HYPP can cause the cells in the body to take up so much potassium that the cells can't absorb any nutrients - causing a horse to starve to death while eating his dang fool head off.
We had to put the little guy down - and his body was sent to OSU Vetrinary school, where they confirmed the vet's prelimanary diagnosis of HYPP. I had never heard of such a thing as HYPP causing a horse to starve to death - I just thought it caused seizures and/or muscle tremors! Sad thing is, the little guy's dam died with the same symptoms, and our first vet had no clue what was wrong with her, other than her blood work was nearly identical to Junior's.
Now daughter is scared that every rib she sees on the horses is HYPP in hiding and she want's to get them fat and sassy. She's ready to try anything but patience...
Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures!