By Lawrence Wilson, MD
© January 2015, The Center for Development
The following are notes about using nutritional balancing science to improve the health of horses. This is an ongoing research project, and this article will be updated as new information becomes available.
Food. Hay alone is not enough food for most horses. The hay may not be of good enough quality, or the horse has special needs.
As a general rule, you must add cooked vegetables to the feed. Horses enjoy carrots, onions, celery and a few green vegetables. Horses love two or three raw carrots daily, as well.
Alfalfa is good for horses, but only in a small quantity.
If possible, give a horse a choice of food. Just put several kinds of hay and several vegetables out for the horse and allow the horse to choose.
Horses do not need meat or fish, as a general rule.
Do not give horses animal products or fruit or sweets, in general. Also, be careful with treats and snacks. Most of these are harmful.
Water. If you have access to different types of water, give the horse a choice of water supplies as well. Many horses are toxic from their water supply.
Nutritional supplements. Horses need just a few very targeted nutritional supplements. These are quite important, however. Use powdered supplements made for horses only.
Supplement dosages are about 6 to 8 times those of human beings. This is based on the animal’s weight.
For horses with a four lows pattern, give less taurine. Horses do not need a lot of taurine, because they are mainly vegetarian animals.
Horses do not need vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements, as a general rule.
Horses usually need some calcium, magnesium, kelp, zinc, selenium, and a little of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, etc. to some degree.
A good way to give supplements to a horse is to mix the powder with a little carrot juice in a large syringe and inject it into the horses mouth. (no needle on the syringe, of course).
Detoxification procedures. Red heat lamps are excellent for horses. You can place them a little higher than the horses body, angling downward. This way the horse will not smash the bulb if he accidentally bumps up against the lamp. Always protect the bulb, in addition, as a horse could hit the hot lamp with his head, or by jumping up.
Another idea is to enclose three or four lamps in a sturdy wooden box in a square or triangle shape and place heavy gage hardware cloth over the front as protection. Then place this sturdily at the height of the horse’s chest and let the horse decide exactly on what part of the body to let the light shine..
Hair mineral analysis. The ARL hair analysis ideal values for horses are quite good, in my experience. Here are the current ideal values I use. All measurements are in mg% (milligrams per one hundred grams):
Most of the hair analysis patterns for human beings apply to horses, as well. However, the psychological patterns are less important, in general.
Use the visual patterns for interpretation, because the ratios, of course, are different than for human beings. I am not aware of anyone who has quantified the patterns, levels and ratios at this time for horses, but it may be done in the future.
Horses are unlike most animals in that they can be fast oxidizers, slow oxidizers, or they can live in a four lows pattern. (Most other animals are either fast or slow oxidizers, but rarely are in a four lows pattern).
Other articles on this website about animals are: