Last Updated: | By Sarah Braithwaite, Author & Horse Health Expert
If your horse is a good doer prone to laminitis then Forageplus can answer your questions about how full mineral analysis of the grass, hay or haylage your horse eats can inform you about the best daily feed for your horse or pony.
Dr Eleanor Kellon VMD and the ECIR Yahoo group have theorised for a number of years that iron overload is contributing to the development of metabolic problems in horses and ponies prone to laminitis.
A recent research study has also suggested the same thing. Since the typical pattern of mineral levels in forage is to see high or even very excessive iron and other minerals which contribute to an overloaded iron status in horses then it makes sense to carefully and accurately balance the nutrient levels for all horses to maintain and manage a healthy state.
Iron is an antagonist mineral which serves to block or lock up the availability of other minerals which are crucial for the healthy functioning of the metabolic system. Lowering iron in horses diets then will help to support healthy hooves and the whole horse.Horse or pony prone to laminitis. Find out how mineral analysis of forage can help.Click To Tweet
You will only know what the levels of iron and other minerals are in your forage by testing, you can’t tell by looking. Sometimes the most beautiful looking hay can have a poor mineral content with high iron levels which can be affecting horses and ponies prone to laminitis. In this situation the balance and ratio of minerals will be affected by the level of iron in the forage. Specifically minerals such as copper and zinc will be blocked by iron. However the ratio of other minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and magnesium are also important to assess and balance with respect to forage because forage is the greatest proportion of the horse diet.
A full mineral analysis of forage is useful for horse hay, haylage and grass so that you can assess the mineral levels available in the horse daily diet and match to the deficiencies and excesses to provide a true balance. This approach is very different from other companies who adopt a more scattergun approach supplementing a little of everything without reference to the ratios determined by the Nutrient Requirements for Horses – sixth revised edition.