The increasing trend in pastures, hays and feeds in New Zealand (and overseas) are carrying high levels of Iron and Manganese. Our soils are so depleted in Copper & Zinc, that the high levels of Iron and Manganese are going unchecked and causing havoc with our horses. The problem with low Copper & Zinc and high Iron & Manganese, is that these four minerals have a very close relationship and need to be in the correct ratio to each other. You may be feeding a 'good supplement', but it includes Iron and Manganese, and low levels of Copper and Zinc further compounding the overload issue. The most effective way to get rid of excess Iron is to give blood for humans, however in horses this is a bit barbaric and not a feasible option. The next best option is to balance the minerals to help counteract the imbalance. Inside Out does not include any Iron or Manganese, but does include good levels of Copper & Zinc - both of which are an organic highly absorb-able source.
What are typical Iron Overload signs?
There is much debate whether there is such a thing as Iron overload in horses. Many suggest there is, many suggest there isn't. It is speculated that when horses consume 'iron' in their feeds it is of an inorganic nature and passes right through and out in the manure. My own research and experience in relation to excess Iron in humans, indicates that this is not the case, that surplus non bio-available Iron ends up in our tissues, muscles and organs causing inflammation and disease including Cancer, Dementia, Alzheimer's, Immune issues etc.
Symptoms of Iron Overload and/or Copper/Zinc deficiency may include but not limited to dull and bleached coats, frizzy hair follicles, red ends on dark manes and tails, constant hoof issues such as laminitis & abscessing, it is linked to IR & Cushing’s in horses, thrush & white line disease that won't go away, scurfy/flaky skin and especially itchy all the time, allergies & other immune issues, poor hoof quality, cracks, thin, shelly & irregular cracks inside the hoof wall (not the white line) are potentially signs of iron overload.
Do i feed the 20g or 40g Inside Out dose rate?
Majority of horses will do fine on the 20g dose. It will provide high levels of Copper and Zinc. If you have tested your pasture (and water - a very common source of high Iron) and have very high Iron and Manganese levels then the 40g will most likely work for you. If you have a horse who is very run down, in poor condition, has rainscald or any skin condition, recovering from surgery/ill health, allergies, poor quality hooves/coat, poor pasture or Overload/Metabolic issues and sarcoids, i do recommend to start on the 40g dose for 2-4 weeks then drop back to the 20g dose.
If you do not feed daily and can only feed your horse 3-4 times a week or every 2nd day type situation, then i also recommend to feed 40g.
Can i feed this to small ponies/mini's?
The Inside Out dose rate is 5g for Mini's, and 10g for small ponies up to around 13hh.
You can use Inside Out Plus at a half dose rate (normal dose is 34g) for up to 13hh/300kg.
Is it safe for pregnant mares or young stock?
Yes absolutely! All products are fine for this.
You will need to look at supplying extra Calcium/Phosphorus/Magnesium for both. The Macro product will do this.
Why no Calcium?
Generally mature horses get enough Calcium from their diet through grass, hay/haylage, chaff and things like Beet and Lucerne. Calcium is important for late-pregnant mares, weanlings, and growing horses and therefore supplementation is ideal. However for the mature horse too much calcium isn't a good thing. Calcium must be in balance with Phosphorus and it is common to have not enough Phosphorus in the diet than Calcium. Magnesium supplementation is also highly recommended. There are always exceptions to the rule, such as Oxylate pasture which would require Calcium supplementation.
Can i feed this with my premix feed?
Both Inside Out & Inside Out Plus are ideally fed with plain feeds such as chaff, bran, copra, beet, barley, oats, rice bran, etc. Any feed that does not have minerals and vitamins added. If you are feeding a commercial feed that has minerals added, as a 'taster' to get your horse to eat its hard feed (ie: a handful), this is acceptable. If you feed at recommended levels and also add Inside Out/Inside Out Plus you risk upsetting the ratio balance and overdosing your horse particularly on Selenium and not to mention wasting money by doubling up.
To feed Lucerne or not?
Lucerne is a hot debate. Some people swear by it, some not at all. Bit like people, some horses will go fine on it, some not so much. The thing that i point out with lucerne is that it is high in Calcium, then if you are adding something like Beet - this is high in Calcium also. So Lucerne may not be the issue, but rather the straw that broke the camel back in relation to escess Calcium. Then add in other supplements and premixes and you have a lot of Calcium. Pastures tend to be high in Calcium too. (Except your Oxylate grasses and always exceptions to the rule - testing will give you 100% accuracy). Now you have an over load of Calcium. Tight hard muscles can be too much Calcium and not enough Magnesium. The Magnesium we tend to know about, but the Calcium not so much. If you are using Inside Out/Plus and still having issues or not getting the desired results, take a closer look at what your horse is eating and the overall calcium content.
Why are Ratios important?
Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium all need to be in ideal ratio to each other. Often when there are problems, these ratios are out, along with the Copper, Iron, Zinc, Manganese ratios. It's not necessarily a 'grass' issue, although the grass compounds it often with high Calcium (and Potassium), low Phosphorus, low Copper & Zinc and high Iron & Manganese. This is on a 'common basis', the only way you will 100% know is to test your pasture/hay.
What do you recommend to feed?
I recommend to feed a horse like a horse. That means fibre or forage comes first and makes up the bulk of a horses food intake. Ideally pasture and hay. Depending on the type of grass, depends on the need for hay. If you have short active growing and/or stressed grass (stubble, frosty, growing fast) or typical 'dairy' grass then hay is definitely needed. If you have beautiful old school meadow pasture that is a more mature length, you may not need hay. Im not a huge fan of dry lotting as a trend, however do acknowledge that in severe cases dry lotting is a starting point to restoring balance.
Next is what to feed with Inside Out/Inside Out Plus/Support?
Keep it simple.
Chaff is the base - ideally Timothy or Meadow - Lucerne if you can only get that and if your horse tolerates it okay or you need the Calcium it provides.
A lot of people use haylage type feeds. If you are having issues of ANY kind including hard to keep, i recommend to remove it ASAP. I personally don't recommend, many people do swear by it. Ultimately yYour horse will tell you.
Beet and/or Copra are ideal wet carrier feeds to mix minerals and salt along with the Chaff. Soaked Soy pellets are also an option. Soya is a hormone distruptor, so if you are using this and experiencing ANY issues again best to remove. Most horses do well with just these and the addition of Salt and Support if feeding Inside Out. If your horse is Metabolic/Laminitic, i generally wouldn't add anything futher, except perhaps a high quality Omega supplement if on a hay only diet.
If you have breeding stock you need to look at the Calcium and Phosphorus intake. Macro will provide what you need. Alternatively DCP can be added, balanced to entire diet.
If you need to add in other feeds look at plain feeds such as Barley (can be heating for some horses), Bran, Oats or Rice Bran Pellets. Note these all have an inverted Phosphorus:Calcium ratio, meaning they have more Phosophorus than Calcium, which if paired with Beet or Lucerne, will offset this.
Things such as Leg Up Rapeseed or Sunflower flakes is a good option. As is Linseed/Flaxseed flake/oil.
If you have a high Calcium diet and not able to reduce this, then the next option to investigate is to increase Phosphorus. Magnesium supplementation is a must. Pasture/Hay tests are strongly recommended if you are going to add Phosphorus.
Please feel free to touch base about your horses diet.
Why does my horse eat dirt/chew on wood/bark?
When horses eat wood, chew on trees, eat dirt or manure most people will recommend to add salt and copper. Which can be valid and always a good starting point. However in my expeience it is actually Phosphorus that they are looking for. The eating of dirt/manure/wood is called Pica. The best form of Phosophorus to look at are organic forms such as Rice Bran Pellets or Bran/Pollard (feeds high in Phosophorus basically). If you have no improvement then i next recommend to test your pasture. A lot of pasture is low in Phosphorus - why Super Phosphate has been used to correct. Super Phosphate is another whole story, and not recommended to use on your horse paddocks. If you need further help, please feel free to make contact.