Updated: Sep 5
People talk about ‘triggers’ - sensitivity to certain feeds, bright sunny days, pollens, moths/bugs flying up, etc as though they are the cause of various issues - a classic very common one is a sensitivity to flies/insects to where the horse is driven mad by them...
While it is important to remove/avoid triggers (where possible) for the purpose of keeping the horse comfortable,(for example wearing fly-masks or 'top to toe' sheets, or UV masks and/or nose-nets for headshaking horses; it is the correcting of the horse’s total diet (forage and feed) which in turn restores proper function of his metabolism so he will no longer be ‘triggered’ by perfectly normal aspects of his environment.
The same principle applies to the majority of ‘allergies’ or ‘sensitivities’ to certain foods (when it comes to horses, examples are items like yeasts or soy) – these can often be ‘collateral damage’ from grass issues; with the same changes to forage and feed the horse can eventually consume those same items without any reactions.
We consistently find that the best strategy is to ensure a predominantly plain grass hay diet in conjunction with a simple basic supplementary feed which provides nutrients the horse needs (carbs/protein/fats/minerals/vitamins) and none that he doesn’t need, thereby making things simple for the horse’s metabolism to process.
In effect it gives his metabolism a holiday – it makes a huge difference not only to their comfort but to their digestive system, their movement and their behaviour.
PICS: Hoover, a serious head flicker, took some time and very careful management for his head flicking to resolve. Once his diet was corrected and time was given for his metabolism to come back to normal, he became the fabulous horse he was always meant to be!