Soil Health and Horse Health

Do you want to find out about the relationship between soil health and horse health.  This page will link you to a PDF where you can view slides of a Forageplus presentation given by Sarah Braithwaite at the break out sessions at the 2017 No Laminitis Conference in Tucson.

Soil health and horse health presentation Forageplus

The No Laminitis conference is held every two years at different locations in the United States and is organised by the ECIR Group who are running the largest continuing field study trial of horses with or prone to laminitis. Forageplus has sponsored this conference since 2013.

The slides discuss the role of soil health in creating healthy grass and hay and how Sarah embarked upon changing the quality of the forage she grows on her land to feed to her horses. These changes lowered iron and manganese levels, lowered sugar and starch levels but raised protein levels including improving the quality of that protein.

The relationship between soil health and horse health is a profound one and is best described by the soil scientist Dr William Albrecht who was professor of soil science at the University of Missouri in the 1930s, 40s.and 50s.

”Animal health deficiencies are a reflection of feed deficiencies and soil deficiencies. Underneath the plants, the animals and ourselves, is the soil, the fertility of which makes possible the creation of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and all foods. It is the soil fertility ……. That gives pattern to the possibilities of being either well fed of poorly fed. It’s pattern can be the pattern of health deficiencies too”.                  Dr. William Albrecht

Further reading and information:

PDF of the presentation given by Sarah Braithwaite: Soil Health, Grass Health and Horse Health: How changing the soil affected the quality of the forage grown for my horses

Albrecht’s study of the patterns of dental caries in U.S. Navy recruits

Access these type of soil analysis services in the United States -Neil Kinsey

Another place to go to access soil anlaysis services in the United States – Michael Astera

Access these type of soil anlaysis services in the United Kingdom and Europe

Link to an Australian website which has PDFs of Albrecht’s papers soil fertility and animal health

Access an article on why conventional soil testing is not appropriate for improving horse pasture and land where forage is grown for horse hay.

Allan Savory – Ted Talk on reversing desertifictation through using migratory animal grazing

Access the ECIR Group for more information and support on how to manage horses prone to and with laminitis

Horse Pasture Soil Analysis Forageplus

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