I'm not going to wave my accomplishment in everyone's face, like it sounded in my last post. I didn't intend to. It did take a lot of learning, but I do fully understand the different situations going on in different barns and people doing what they can and not what they can't.
It just makes sense to me that since hay is 3/4's of their daily intake, its the most important aspect in getting it tested for a good start.
In some barns, people are not able to get a feasible hay test to go by, because a full winter supply cannot be ordered in one batch, but new batches of different hay from different suppliers, even on a weekly basis. Then there's people from Greece, North Africa or Ireland and that's a whole new ball game as well. Then there's people living on islands, with the vet 6 hours away and nothing accessible to them. Then there's the boarding barns that have hay that you have no choice about feeding and worse, some of them have picked a feed bag and make that mandatory as well. Then there's the barn owners that won't go the extra mile and do your supplements for you as part of their care. So many different situations exist where we are being dictated to as well as the horse. Even the resident farrier and shoes can be shoved in your face. Try to buck that one and sometimes you will find a tight circle of farrier/vet/barn owner being in cahoots with each other. Not easy sometimes, to advocate for your horse.
Why don't I like feed dealers? Because they lie. They lie in the touting statements right from the start. Then they muddy the waters by only providing analysis of 4 ingredients and then the ingredient list following is as long as your arm with no analysis. Then there's the min. And max. On ingredients....means not every batch tested, not able to say "certified" analysis. You don't know exactly what you are getting from one bag to the next. Yesterday, I found a forum conversation on a recall of Farmland Complete 10 for a batch that may have Rumensin in it...wonderful. When a similar occasion happened a couple of years ago that killed many cats and dogs...remember that?....I found out our feeds are being mixed in China...wonderful again. Jobs we could use. Then there's the feed company that distributes country-wide from a selenium deficient area, providing toxic amounts to horses from Se efficient areas.
During class, feed bags were analyzed to try and marry them to the hay with balance...for convenience in these different situations. Iron wouldn't be on the analysis, so we'd phone them to ask. Some would tell, some wouldn't, some called us down for being stupid or even being female. The real winner here is Uckele, who took Dr. Kellon's protocols to heart and acted accordingly. They then did one better and when she left the Journal, they took her on board as an adviser. You can get sugar-free molasses flavouring there also....peppermint too.
People were coming back to class, in tears or more determined than ever.
They just don't get it and still don't, with IR being realized and people getting smarter, they are turning to high fat for cool calories. Now why would I feed high fat to a fat horse? A horse that doesn't require fat in the first place? Omegas, yes, but other oil, no. As I see it, you may as well get some canola oil from the grocery store, load it in a needle and create fatty pads and call your horse IR along with the iron overload, cause that's where you're headed.
I have good hay. No screaming holes in it. For years, I have been pitting feed bag analysis's against it and have NEVER found balance, It always has come to throwing my hands up in the air and walking away. Only one in all this time has raised my eyebrows and that's Formula4Feet, created by vets in the UK for Cushingoid/lammitic horses. You can get it at Green Valley in the States. Use it to pit against what you are feeding, and not just for feet...everything.
With every feed bag purchased, you are upping the iron number. Its a big baddie. If there is no iron mentioned, but the manganese is high, (iron's partner in crime), know that the iron is also high. The more iron you add, the more copper and zinc is needed to fight it. If the analysis of these three is balanced, then all you've done is add more iron. If its not, then you've made copper and zinc even more deficient in the balance. Who knows if needs have been met? Who knows if the end result is balanced? Who knows if you've gone toxic or even more deficient in the process? A real guessing game.
Then there's the sugar and starch. They lie about that as well, touting low NSC, then you see its 22%, not 10% where it should be. I used to recommend Farrier's Formula, but no more. Couldn't get an iron number from them, but got it through an underground pipeline and the iron is horrendous! Feeding sugar may or may not cause weight gain and the classic IR looking horse. Internally its about triggering glucose rise and the call for insulin. Like over-working a light switch. Work that switch too much and it gets tired and soon all you have to do is blow on it to turn the lights on. Its about the sensitivity in that trigger response. One of the most profound statements that stuck with me from Dr. Kellon was that two meals/day of high sugar/starch is destined to become an IR horse. That 10%NSC number is already in the hay without anything else added and iron is also 10x more available in water....enough iron already.
Just food for thought.....Boy, when you learn things, you can get up on your high horse and really advocate for him. Nobody, nobody loves your horse as much as you do.