Supplementing your horses diet shouldn’t be necessary, but often is. A horse, just as any animal, should get all their nutrition from food. This is how everyone has evolved.
Allowing horses to graze on naturally fertilised grass is, without doubt, one of the best sources of nourishment both for your horse’s physical body and their emotional well being. Horses evolved to spend about 20 hours a day grazing. They are happiest when they can do this, especially in a herd environment.
But even with this ideal food supply, a working horse is likely to need additional food and a supplement. And not all horses have this ideal life style.
Over my years as a homoeopath, I have come to realise that humans, who arrogantly think they know best, fall very short of that. Animals, actually know best what they need. They have an inner wisdom we humans lack, or at least choose not to connect with.
Animals should be involved in their lifestyle. They need to be allowed a choice. We need to learn to respect this.
Although many horse people leave a mineral lick out for their horses, I believe that all horse nutrition should come from plants. Minerals don’t digest well and can cause problems such as kidney stones and arthritis.
Conversely, plants grown on mineral rich soils provide all the mineral requirements in an easily digested and utilised form, even though the food will have lower mineral amounts. Plant based foods are more bio-available.
Don’t be taken in by the amount of the nutrient. Consider also its digestibility, its availability.
Recently I decided to change my habit of adding kelp to my horses feed. Kelp is a wonderful, mineral rich plant-based supplement in perfect natural balance. However, it does come from seaweed, so may have a higher than desirable salt content.
Bearing that in mind, I decided to put some in a bucket and allow my horses to free feed on it.
Initially they ate it like food. I had to keep buying more. Which made me realise that I hadn’t been giving them enough. Then they went through a period of ignoring it totally for weeks.
Now, they top up periodically with a small amount.
By anchoring a small bucket to a post, tree or old tyre, you will prevent spillage. Keep it in the shade, as the summer sun can reduce its effect. Put a small amount out at a time, so as not to spoil. Some horses prefer it dry, others prefer it in solution. Try both to see which your horse prefers.
In addition to providing healthy and balanced nutrition, kelp is excellent at de-toxing radiation. In these days, after Chenobyl and Fukushima, this is a bonus.
Let your horses choose. They know best. Supplementing your horses diet should be done carefully, with a lot of thought.
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