Some of the signs of mineral imbalances are sometimes inappropriately referred to as gut toxicity or training issues. This means that solutions are often not rooted – as they should be – in the establishment of a good basic species-appropriate diet that enables the horse to function as it should.
Those believing that the horse has experienced a ‘poisonous’ or toxic issue resulting in a dysfunctional gut often advocate the use of gut-cleansing/ restoring/balancing and flora-enhancing strategies as the answer. Other people start thinking: “these are just ‘people and poor-training ’ problems and that desensitisation, repetition, and focused training is the answer.
I used to think these things too. And while both ideas do contain an element of truth, in our experieince you’ll often find a few simple diet changes can reduce the horse’s issues significantly or eliminate them altogether without gut treatments or repeated training to ‘work through the issues’.
It is, of course, possible that your horse has eaten something toxic,. If this is the case, it is usually something urgent that needs assistance from your vet. In our experience, most horses in the UK are NOT toxic. Rather, their systems are not functioning as they should due to a lack of appropriate basic nutrition and mineral imbalances. We find the best probiotic for optimum gut flora is quality forage – i.e. good quality horse hay with little or no grass. In our experience, ad lib hay from small-holed nets, long high-fibre, mature mixed-grass/meadow hay, soaked for 45-60 minutes when necessary, is the very best probiotic for a horse.
The major mineral imbalance comes from too much potassium, nitrates and not enough sodium, calcium and magnesium. When we feed good basic nutrition and address the major mineral imbalances associated with excessive potassium and insufficient sodium, calcium and magnesium our horses return to their normal calm healthy selves very quickly.
Download and print off the HEALTH CHECK and the CURRENT DIET REVIEW and note the symptoms your horse displays.
Avoid the need to resort to feeding products such as activated charcoal, gut restoring and maintenance supplements or antacid products when you can simply address the root cause – UNSUITABLE FORAGE – and manage the seasonal challenges by following the CalmHealthyHorses protocols.