Innate Nutritional Wisdom?
Who has it? Most humans don’t.
Rather we are more inclined to eat ourselves sick, mainly due to lack of nutritional knowledge when we were forming our eating habits.
Even though EMS is NOT the same as diabetes in humans, for these horses who have developed conditions which have their root causes in nutrition, WE have to help them through the transition back to full health by controlling what they can and can’t eat. Horses have no concept of self-discipline. Horses are mammals too, and just like humans they don’t ‘eat selectively for their nutritional needs’ or ‘self-medicate’ from a smorgasbord of plants.
More often than not it is best not to let them choose – they will go for what tastes good without realising they are heading for EMS & laminitis (or HS, SIJ, PSSM or any of the ‘grass-affected’ conditions).
Bio-diversity in their diet IS desirable so hay cut from pastures containing a variety of grasses is healthy, but allowing uncontrolled access to pasture swards in their vegetative state, which contain more than a scattering of plants like plantain and legumes like clover, is the CAUSE of many of the health problems of modern day horses.
Horses need a varied but SPARSE diet rather than a varied and abundant one.
I could not explain it better than Kay Watts from safergrass.org ...