The Problem with Grass
A horse in his natural habitat for the most part, trickle feeds on high fibre grasses, bushes, shrubs and trees. He gets a little bit of nutrition from a lot of low nutrient density mouthfuls.
He is never confined behind fences and forced to eat unbalanced re-growth grass especially that which grows on fertilised land. He would rarely if ever get to eat so-called ‘improved’ grasses like rye-grass or legumes like clover and lucerne.
This is why we must supplement the horses nutrition with added minerals and vitamins. Quality Horse Supplements are a necessary part of today's horse keeping.
Read More... on which grasses are good for your horse and which grasses to avoid and why.
Read how to manage your pasture so it doesn’t cause problems
We specialise in 'Grass Affected' Horses.
That means we know this syndrome inside out, in fact it was Jenny who first recognised and coined the phrase 'Grass Affected' over ten years ago.
So how did this come about?
For fifteen years, Jenny was a Horsemanship instructor teaching all over NZ.
In those days many people arrived at lessons with all manner of problem horses.
She often had many students return again and again and the same problems kept rearing their head, despite the fact that they seemed to have been sorted in the lesson.
Problems such as running off, being extra spooky, head-shy, aggressive, girthy, tight behind so unable to canter properly - swapping leads, 'bunny-hopping' with the back legs together. These are but a few examples from a very long list.
It became clear that it was nothing that the students themselves were doing wrong, and many of the students had also spent big money on excellent professional help encompassing every treatment known to mankind but still without satisfactory outcomes.
Jenny started to notice her own horses would have problems when they grazed certain types of grass. At first, she thought it was a purely mycotoxin problem but realised after a few more light bulb moments that there were other more important aspects of the pasture grass causing these issues besides toxins.
She took on some 'seriously affected' horses and deliberately did nothing else but change their diet. Within a month or six weeks they would be completely back to normal without having done any 'work' on them whatsoever.
It was then she started to do serious study on the physiology of not only the horse but of the plants they were consuming. She conducted multiple forage tests and compared this to what horses in the wild or on very rough grazing on big country farms (who show none of these symptoms) would eat and discovered some major discrepancies.
The penny was beginning to drop.
1. Horses in the wild eat serious roughage from a large variety of
UNFERTILISED grasses, herbs and shrubs - compared to many of our horses who are confined behind fences and forced to eat rye and clover or short green fertilised grass.
2. The plants the horses eat in the wild often have deep tap roots which bring up many of the minerals required for the horse to be healthy - these plants are absent from the domestic horses pasture.
Of course everyone knew their horses tended to become extra 'hot' in spring and often in autumn (with laminitis and head flicking also more common in these seasons too)
But all year round 'Grass Affected' horses are very common. More so these days compared to 20-30 years ago. Real-estate is much more expensive now and many people keep their horses on small blocks and think that a paddock of grass is all they need. But as most of you are learning: not all grass is equal.
29 year old Persil Beaucoup
THE FACEBOOK SERIES ARCHIVE
Is your horse Grass Affected?
Some people don't even realise their horses
are Grass Affected until it is too late and either they have a nasty
accident or the horse becomes unrideable due to Head-Flicking or
The thing is that in most cases the symptoms occur long before the horses get to this stage - we are helping you to recognise the first signs and how to correct the horses diet immediately you notice any changes in the horse.
Over the next few days we will cover some pointers on how to have a 'smooth ride through spring'.
In the mean time, visit our extremely informative website, which is being constantly updated with the latest research. We too continue on this journey of learning.
Despite their owners spending vast amounts of money on professional advice, thousands and thousands of horses and ponies all over the planet succumb to a wide array of serious health and behaviour problems every year.
Thousands are put down, turned out, sold for the wrong reasons, don’t reach their full performance potential or are retired far too early.
Thousands become metabolic, get laminitis, are diagnosed with ‘sacroiliac’ problems, become head-flickers/shakers, get mysterious bouts of colic, allergies and skin conditions or mud-fever, buck or spook people off, are forever needing therapies and treatments for ‘muscle-soreness’ or have endless trouble with saddle-fitting.
Ever more horses become over-reactive and therefore dangerous. The combination of an over-reactive horse with a person who does not ‘read’ these signs is a recipe for a serious accident.
The emotional toll on their owners is significant. If your horse isn’t right it ruins your whole day. The economic toll can strain relationships because the non-horsey half doesn’t understand.
Desperate owners spend significant amounts of money on every treatment known to mankind. They spend it on everything except the ‘one thing’ that will make the most difference: their grass and its proper management.
If you have a horse who is doing well on ProvideIt Products we'd like to hear from you :-)
Update on ToxDefy
We have been informed by Alltech International that we will not be able to purchase Mycosorb for several months. This means that ‘ToxDefy ’ will be temporarily unavailable.
Most horse owners prefer to feed toxin-binders to their horses all year round. However, since myco-toxins tend to proliferate in times of humidity or stress, Spring, Summer and Autumn are the higher danger times while winter is usually the time of the year when toxin-binders are least required.
Grazeezy is an excellent option for horses showing any signs of ‘increased excitability’ or who have any concerns relating to their horses coping with their grass.
First ensure horses are fed adequate salt. Eminent equine veterinarian and nutritionist, Dr Julia Getty recommends at least 2 oz/day for the average 500kg hack. This is the equivalent of 56 grams or approximately 3 tablespoons (or one of the measuring cups included in the Premium NZ Horse Minerals or GrazeEzy products). Split into 2 feeds where possible, then add GrazeEzy which contains multiple buffers to help horses deal with problem grass. Forage tests from problem pastures reveal a high *DCAD, this causes ‘increased excitability’ in horses. GrazeEzy provides the necessary elements to bring the effects of the high DCAD back DOWN.
Start with 10gms/feed and increase until changes in the excitability of the horse are observed.
(to give you an idea some horses on some grasses may need 2 scoops am & pm)
*DCAD (Dietary Cation Anion Difference) A high DCAD means there are too many positive ions
compared to negative ions, loosely translated this means there are too many potassium ions compared to chloride ions.
Both salt and GrazeEzy contain more chloride ions.
For more information e-mail: email@example.com
03 312 5567
03 312 5568
*The information and material on the Calm Healthy Horses website is of a general educational nature only.
It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice as it is not necessarily complete,
up to date or applicable to you personally.
Calm, Healthy Horses (including Jenny Paterson, B.Sc Horsemanship NZ Ltd, T/A Provide It NZ & Australia,
Vicky Hansen Provide It Australia) does not accept liability for any injury, loss, damage or expenses incurred
by use of any of the Provide It Product range or from reliance on any information either given verbally
or derived from this website.
Should your order either not arrive, or arrive damaged, please contact us by e-mail immediately firstname.lastname@example.org so we can contact the courier company and replace product at our discretion.
Refunds will only be given on unopened product returned in original condition accompanied by proof of purchase (Your receipt). No cash refunds.
The ProvideIt range of products have been formulated to be used as supplements not ‘medicines’. However, if you have bought a product to fix a particular problem and you are still having trouble it is even more important to contact us by e-mail email@example.com so we can discuss your feeding programme, (free of charge) to achieve your desired result. Our success rate is very high.