How to Be Your Horse’s Chef
It may sound ridiculous to say that your horse needs a chef, but it’s true. Sadly, many much-loved horses suffer from poor nutrition, even at the hands at dedicated and truly affectionate owners. Why does this happen? Because not every horse can thrive on the same diet.
The best feeding program for your horse depends on your horse’s temperament type. For instance, if you have a hard-working Metal ranch you may feel tempted to feed him large quantities of rich alfalfa to help him recover from his daily efforts. Unfortunately, feeding a Metal horse too much rich green food can cause him to act up and buck.
At the same time, if your horse is spooky Water temperament, you may avoid feeding him alfalfa since it has a reputation for making horses “hot.” But in this case you really do need to feed your horse at least some alfalfa. The Water horse needs a diet rich in minerals, and alfalfa provides an excellent source of minerals and nutrients to keep this type of horse healthy.
As you can see, designing the perfect feeding program for your horse isn’t as simple as it seems. You actually do need to be your horse’s custom chef. Luckily, being an equine chef isn’t as difficult as it may seem, especially since the Horse Harmony Feeding Guide is now available as an ebook. This ebook offers guidelines for basic diets for each temperament types, as well as the best ways to support the digestive, immune, and musculo-skeletal system of each type.
In fact, here’s a sneak peek at the best “basic diets” for the Metal and Water types discussed above so you can get a taste of what is in this informative ebook.
Ideal Foods and Supplements for the Metal Horse
The Metal horse assimilates foods very well so overfeeding is a problem if the horse is not in hard work. The goal in feeding a Metal horse is simply to maintain his bodyweight, while at the same time offering foods that are mucilaginous, moisturizing, and pungent. Mucilaginous and moisturizing foods and herbs help combat the Metal horse’s tendency toward dryness, while pungent foods, fed in small quantities, support healthy fiber digestion in the large intestine.
The ideal diet for the average Metal horse contains whole grains plus grass or grass hay to maintain bodyweight. Bitter foods such as alfalfa and blue green algae can be too stimulating and if overfed will create nervousness and unpredictable behavior. Good quality fat is important in the diet of the Metal horse. Rice bran is a good fat source and feeding it will help keep the coat from getting dry and dull.
Additional supplements to the Metal horse’s diet include moisturizing foods and small amounts of pungent foods. Examples of moisturizing or mucilaginous herbs include (but are not limited to):
- aloe vera (1 to 2 ounces per day)
- burdock (usually in combination formulas with other herbs)
- dandelion (5 to 10 cc per day of tincture or in combination formulas with other herbs)
- Echinacea (10 to 20 cc per day short term for immune support)
- fenugreek (up to 2 tsp per day of the seeds)
- kelp (1 to 2 tbsp per day)
- psyllium (1 to 2 tbsp per day)
- slippery elm (1 to 4 tsp per day)
- Irish moss (1 to 2 tbsp per day)
- mullein (1 to 2 tbsp per day)
The Horse Harmony Feeding Guide also covers herbs that are beneficial for the Metal horse, as well as diets to support this horse’s dry digestive tract, tight musculo-skeletal structure, and weak lungs and skin.
Ideal Foods and Supplements for the Water Horse
The Water horse needs a diet that is very different from the Metal horse’s ideal diet. Instead, needs neutral or warm foods. Examples of neutral or warm foods that are ideal for the Water horse’s diet include:
- sunflower seeds (up to 1 cup per day)
- sesame seeds (up to 2 tbsp per day)
- cinnamon bark
- sweet potato (1 or 2 per day)
- citrus peel
- garlic (several cloves per day)
- molasses in small amounts (cooling in large amounts)
All spices should be given in small amounts of up to 1/4 tsp per day. Although alfalfa is considered a cooling food, many Water horses do well with 1 flake of alfalfa per day in addition to grass hay.
The Horse Harmony Feeding Guide also covers horse feeds and supplements that support the Water horse’s high-string nervous system, immune system, weak kidneys, and tendencies towards chronic stress.
Do You Need Recipes for Your Horse?
If the thought of being an equine chef makes you nervous, just relax! The Horse Harmony Feeding Guide is just the cookbook you need! This guide has more than 50 pages of temperament-specific recipes that are easy to follow.
Want to know more about exactly which combinations of foods, herbs, spices, supplements, fruits, and vegetables will help your horse thrive based on his temperament type? If so, this ebook is for you: ebook Horse Harmony: A Feeding Guide
About the Author
Madalyn Ward, DVM, owns Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas. She is certified in Veterinary Homeopathy and Equine Osteopathy.
Memberships include American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy.
She has authored several books and publishes at her blog.