IR they really work? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 10-24-2012, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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IR they really work?

Im debating getting a supplement for my gelding who is showing lumpy fat deposits and a cresty neck despite a tight feed regimen (as tight as it can get with only alfalfa and oat hay available).
Slowfeeder haynet: check
hay by weight (13lbs) : check
Purina healthy edge 1 1/2lbs daily: check
Lives outside with buddy and moves : check

Can't seem to find any ration balancer around here, and plain grass hay nowhere to be seen.

So, has anybody had any experience with any if these IR supplements and if so, which one?
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post #2 of 24 Old 10-24-2012, 04:28 PM
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Welllllll, the answer is "yes, I guess not"

Yes, there quite a few high quality and ethical IR supplements out there. Do they all work equally, or even at all? No

And that is because IR, EMS, and, even Cushings horses to a degree, are dealing with an issue that involves their metabolisms ---- which functions differently in every horse, just like with people.

I say Cushings to a degree because cushings is largely a pituitary gland issue (PPID) but the metabolism does manage to get involved and Cushings horses can also be IR or EMS

I had both my IR and EMS horses on Magnesium Oxide until a few months ago. The EMS horse for 5 years, the IR horse for 2 years (those times being when they were formally diagnosed).

I took them both off the Mag Ox and chromium and there's no difference whatsoever; actually the EMS horse is doing better and his blood tests show that to be true

Herbs can play a huge part in the success of some horses yet not make a pinch of salt in lowering the insulin of the next one.

My 25 yr old EMS horse is on Chastetree, it does wonders for him but doesn't do a thing for the IR horse.

I switched the IR horse to Chia seeds and even the vet asked what I was doing different because he's lost weight and his hooves are staying cool----so far.

I wouldn't swear to it but I'd probably, literally, kill the 25 yr old EMS horse if I fed him chia seeds.

There are manufactured products that folks swear by - Remission quikcly comes to mind.

They are allowed out to pasture (22 acres) 8 - 10 hours every day. We have a lot of steep hills, they traverse most of that pasture, so they get a lot of exercise.

The EMS horse needs a grazing muzzle only in the Spring, the IR horse is going to be stuck in one either until the world ends on December 22nd because that's when the Mayan Calendar runs out or, the temps are cold enough to freeze his breath to the muzzle

What both of my metabolic horses have in common is they eat soy-free and nothing with grain in it. They both eat a mix of quality orchard grass hay and bermuda grass hay.

Dealing with metabolic issues is literally living in a state of confusion for the rest of the horse's life. I have had to adjust their diets at least once a year. That generally happens right when I think I can breath a sigh of relief and something within one of them changes

I said all that to say: In the end, the first go-to is Magnesium Oxide but make sure the only thing it might be mixed with is Chromium. If there are fillers, the product has less chance of being successful.

You can always go to Dr. Kellon's website and do some reading. I think she also has links to other credible/informative sites.

Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Information

I haven't read this site in a very long time but she used to be pretty far Right on her thinking. I am a lot more liberal and so far it is working for me.

My 25 yr old is 5 years into living with EMS and the 17 yr old two years with IR. I really won't know how successful I have been, modifying things I should be doing, until it's time to send them on.

Believe me, I get a lot of forum flack (not on this forum) for how I manage these two but next to me, my vet knows them best and his words are "it's working, so keep doing what you're doing". I think his silent parenthetical clause is "just don't tell me anything"

I'm not sure how much help I've been
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post #3 of 24 Old 10-24-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, a lot

My boy is not diagnosed IR. But he's gaining weight just by looking at anything edible, is the boss man in my herd of two. That doesn't make life any easier.....
Before I got them they survived on two flakes of straw, if they were lucky, a day. Needless to say, due to them being penned together, he ate most of it. So he was maybe 50lbs underweight which he gained back within two weeks, after coming home. His buddy instead was a good 300lbs underweight, but also gained fairly quickly, and is at optimum weight now.

We do have pasture but I don't even dare putting them on it, he might explode. So pasture turns into hayfield, at least that way I'll have plain grass hay

But I'll have to take action with him now, having had an IR/chronic laminitic horse before, with all ups and Downs, just like you
And that I must avoid at all cost.
I read Dr.Kellon's site just recently, btw.

I got to thinking about these supplements looking through the newest Valleyvet catalog....sounded pretty good, but is quite pricey, at least most of them, so I thought I'd ask here.
Plus, very few of them actually provide numbers. So it's even harder to choose.......
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post #4 of 24 Old 10-24-2012, 06:23 PM
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Since you've been down this murky trail before, go with what your instinct tells you.

If the products you're reviewing are pure, they are worth the money; you won't use as much per feeding, for one thing. It's just a matter of something working for your horse, or not.

He sounds much like my 17 yo that is IR; Joker will get fat and founder if he just smells the alfalfa cubes the 25 yo with EMS has to have

Joker is the one on chia seeds.

I buy the human chia seeds because they are a lot cheaper annd I can put them in a salad for myself if I want to.

I started him out at 1/8th cup daily, working him up to the recommended 1/3 cup daily.

Things I noticed:

1. His extremely heavy sweating greatly reduced, even during the high/heat humidity months. I cut him back to 1/8th cup daily as I was afraid he'd develop anhidrosis.

2. There's hay left in his slow feeder hay net every morning

3. He was leaving me 3 - 4 huge manure piles in his stall, now I see 5 - 6. Naturally he's the horse that leaves 30 lbs at a time

4. He's back up to 1/3 cup daily now that we're only reaching highs of low 80's and his hooves are staying cool. This is the guy that severely foundered early last March because I didn't the grazing muzzle on in time

5. His neck is a tad (which is more than a tch) on the hard side but it is not cement block hard, like it was when I had him on Chastetree.

5.1 He had his physical around October 1st and that was when the vet commented on how good he looks and said "keep doing what you're doing" without asking what that is - lollollol

Here's the website I buy the chia seeds from. I buy 12 lbs at a time, so I don't have to fuss with ordering too often.

Chia Seeds | Chia Seeds on Sale | Chia Seeds Free Shipping |

Here's a link that talks about chia seeds as they relate to metabolic horses.
Is Chia Good For Your Horse?

Here's a study the Univ of KY is conducting but notice they talk about genetically modified chia seeds or in their words:
their plan to develop Kentucky Chia, an edible seed
- doesn't that just give you the warm fuzzies

Business students hope new chia seed goes

Chia seeds are NOT something I would recommend to anyone that just jumps on a bandwagon because somebody says "it's GRRRRREAT!"

You've been thru this garbage already and know how to watch your horses for subtle health changes.

If you think they are something that might work, based on my experience and what you read, try a bag. You should see a difference, one way or the other, by the time you get to the end of one bag.

You might even have a health food store, close by, that sells them and save yourself the hassle of ordering

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 10-24-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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post #5 of 24 Old 10-24-2012, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds promising. Not only for Mr. Greaseball, but also for my mare who is very insectbite allergic and sweats heavily.
I think I'll give it a try!

Thank You! !!!
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post #6 of 24 Old 10-25-2012, 02:52 AM
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Hi desert,

I don't think there's anything scientifically proven to help - cinnamon has been proven to work with humans but it seems it's not effective for horses. Magnesium is a big thing regarding fat deposits & anecdotal evidence suggests it can be effective. It's safe to feed even if you're not sure of levels, as excess is just excreted, but many horses are deficient in Mg anyway, so it's also beneficial on other levels. I personally think that a well balanced diet, with appropriate supplementation to provide that is the major thing & anything else may be a bonus.

In addition to Walkin's (always) great info, I'd suggest soaking & draining your hay, whether cereal or regular grass, unless it's tested as low NSC(oaten won't be, or 'improved' pasture likely to be. This will leach out some of the sugar & extra energy.

Have a feeling we've been through this before & perhaps you have little alternatives or some such, but what are you feeding the Purina to him for if he doesn't need extra weight? It's a high energy 'sweetfeed'.

Oh & your horse could be more sensitive to allergies/insects due to nutritional deficiencies too. I'm no nutritionist, but Omega 3s are one essential that comes to mind.
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post #7 of 24 Old 10-25-2012, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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I was hoping you would chime in, loosie
First, I do feed omega's, Omega Horseshine, to be exact, and have seen major improvement in my mare regarding the allergies. So that's covered . The mare is looking great, ideal weight, shiny, alert, but not crazy. The sweating might be because she is a QH, he an Arab who deals better with the heat.
The Purina I went to because I can't find any RB around here, unless I drive at least 80 miles. Seems like horsefolks here ask only for high octane stuff.
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post #8 of 24 Old 10-25-2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
The Purina I went to because I can't find any RB around here, unless I drive at least 80 miles. Seems like horsefolks here ask only for high octane stuff.
I can relate to that. I am in an Ag county where it was either Purina, home made, or Co-op feeds. Then Tractor Supply came to town and provided us with more Purina, Nutrena and that lovely product called Du-Mor.

I have to drive a minimum of 38 miles to buy Triple Crown and 92 miles to buy EquiPride at a price I can "half-way" afford.

I think I mentioned this already but I'm losing track

You might call McCauley Feed's and ask them if they have any new dealers close to you that might not be on their web site.

They have recently rolled out the "M-10 Balancer" that is soy-free and grain free. It's only $20+/bag on their web site. McCauley'sŪ M10 Balancer

Also, if push comes to shove, you could just feed rice bran, Omega-3 horse shine and a liquid vitamin. This is what my EMS horse with the hind gut ulcers eats.

The vet passed his hand over the indgredients of Tuttles Liquid 747. It only takes one ounce daily, mixed into the rice bran. Granted it has a molasses carrier but it has not had a negative reaction yet and I'm not in a position with this horse to fuss over it. His life is on the line over the lipomas and hind gut ulcers more than the EMS

If you go the liquid route, don't buy Red Cell. While it doesn't say it on the bottles, I copy/pasted a G/A document that shows it contains "meat solubles" and "liver"

And the reason I copy/pasted it to a Word doc is just in case somebody modifies that page and linking to it will no longer show those two ingredients. I've got proof - lol lol
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post #9 of 24 Old 10-25-2012, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'v been typing a novel about what I used to feed and it didn't post. GRRRRR
I maintained my herd of 14 on alfalfa pellets, soaked, wheat bran for the Ca/P balance, 50 grams each of flax and soy, a v/m supplement, few drops of soy oil and grain as needed, the easy keepers half a handful of oats, hard keepers barley and corn(couldn't handle oats, went nuts). Mommas and babies more soy. Grass hay free choice. NEVER had any problems with laminitis or weight.
The laminitis came when we moved to Italy. Only alfalfa , rye or another legume hay available and the only fresh green was "canna", a reed who oldtimers called dolce- sweet.

Im thinking that in giving our horses all that processed designer feed we're not really doing them a favor ....
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post #10 of 24 Old 10-25-2012, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Just went on the McCauley website. They do ship!
M10 looks good.
For Snipper I would need a liquid "energy booster", to keep amounts of feed the same for both....eliminates the standing between and watching.
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