By feeding Omega Fields Omega Horseshine you are doing your horse a huge favor to help keep him healthy and in good shape. I would like to congratulate you on being a good and caring horse owner. But what are some other things we can do to help our horses stay sound? Some of the things I am going to talk about I have learned through my personal experiences and some I have learned through being a farrier for more than thirty years.
The first thing is going to be obvious, as I am a farrier, but good shoeing or trimming is essential to keeping a horse sound. Toes that are too long are not good for your horse as it creates a lever arm that is forward of the center of articulation of your horse’s coffin joint. Long toes put tension on the deep digital flexor tendon which in turn puts pressure on the navicular apparatus. It can cause tripping and flat soles also. Heels that are either to long or to short also can put strain on tendons. Medial/Lateral balance or the balance on the sides of the hoof capsule is also important as imbalances such as these can cause excessive strain on the collateral ligaments in a horse’s foot along with joint wear and tear. Medial/Lateral imbalances are also a leading cause of sidebone. These are just a few of the reasons why good farriery is so important. These types of imbalances are not always easy to see unless your trained farrier.
Be sure to warm your horse up before any strenuous work out. We can sometimes forget that are horses are athletes and we need to treat them as such. We would not dare run a race or play a game of basketball without warming up properly, but it is easy to think of our horses as indestructible at times. If we warm our horses up properly it will help with not only help with sore muscles but strains and tears of muscle, ligaments and tendons. Sometimes these types of injuries can be catastrophic and take many months of rehab. So please take the time to warm that athlete up properly. It will pay dividends in the long run.
After your horse has worked out or competed its also important to cool your horse out. It is widely believed that cooling down after a workout or heavy exertion will help to prevent a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Tying up is also caused by a buildup in lactic acid in the muscles. Remember muscles keep heating up after the workout is over so I like any sweat on my horse to be completely dry before I stop the cool out process. Remember the cooler it is the longer it will take to cool your horse out but the more important it is to do it.
With these simple suggestions and feeding Horseshine you will keep your horse healthier, happier and with us for a lot longer.
By: Dr. Kris Hiney, Oklahoma State Equine Extension Specialist
Disorders related to carbohydrate consumption in the horse have received much attention by owners and researchers alike, resulting in widespread concerns about feeding horses carbohydrates (CHO). These include metabolic syndrome, history of laminitis, Cushing’s syndrome as well as many muscle disorders. But in reality, the majority of a horse’s calories should come from carbohydrates and there is no way to avoid them in the horse’s diet. Rather, understanding all of the forms in which CHO are found, and identifying horses at risk for CHO disorders will allow selection of the appropriate feeds for health. While the terminology may seem daunting, once owners understand the types of carbohydrates found in horse diets, they may find it easier to sort through the myriad of feeds and products centered around carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are just molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen and water and appear in many forms. Here are some common terms you will encounter:
Monosaccharides -single units of sugars which vary slightly in their structure. Examples include: glucose, fructose, galactose, mannose
Disaccharides -two sugar units linked together. Example: lactose (found in mare’s milk – glucose and galactose).
Oligosaccharides – longer chains (typically 3-10 units) of a variety of monosaccharides linked together. Names of oligosaccharides depend on the type of monosaccharides present
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – consist primarily of fructose and some glucose but are linked by beta bonds
Mannan oligosaccharides (MOS) -consisting primarily of mannose; usually extracted from yeast; linked with beta bonds
Polysaccharides – many sugars (monosaccharides) linked together. Example: Starch and cellulose. Some polysaccharides will break down during digestion to create monosaccharides.
Usage of carbohydrates by horses
Oligosaccharides have been used in animal nutrition to supply a source of prebiotics to the animal. Prebiotics are resistant to digestion in the foregut of the horse but are digested by bacteria in the hindgut. They can supply a source of nutrition to support the growth of beneficial bacteria and perhaps reduce the population of disease causing or pathogenic bacteria. Due to these properties, oligosaccharides are often used as an alternative to feeding antibiotics in livestock. While feeding oligosaccharides to the horse has not been proven to have immune enhancing as reported with other species, they do appear to have beneficial effects on gut health in the horse.
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) may help prevent GI disturbances due to diet changes or CHO overload. In yearling horses, feeding FOS reduced fecal pH and increased the production of volatile fatty acids from the hind gut. FOS supplementation also decreased the incidence of diarrhea when fed to foals and has also been shown to have a protective effect on the development of foal diarrhea when fed to their dams. It is not known if that was an indirect effect passed through the milk, or if the foals simply ingested some of their dams feed containing the supplement. Mares fed FOS while nursing did have foals with a larger growth rate than control mares, but similar effects were not seen when FOS were directly fed to nursing foals. FOS may even improve the health of horses with carbohydrate related disorders, as FOS supplementation improved insulin sensitivity when fed to obese horses. Therefore, oligosaccharides can play a significant role in horse nutrition.
Unfortunately, all oligosaccharides are not equal. Fructooligosaccharides also belong to the category of carbohydrates labeled as fructans commonly found in forage. Fructans serve as a storage form of CHO in plants. Many horse owners have heard of fructan as a risk factor for pasture associated laminitis. A sudden increase in fructan in the diet can alter the microbial population in the hindgut which may then subsequently lead to the development of laminitis. Fructan concentrations in grasses vary with both season and time of day. Fructan concentrations are highest in the spring, lowest in the summer and intermediate in the fall. During the day, the process of photosynthesis results in the highest concentrations of fructan in the afternoon with sometimes half as much in the morning or evening hours. Grazing practices of horses with previous bouts of laminitis should therefore be monitored carefully.
Polysaccharides – fiber and beyond
Most often we think of starches and fibers as the common polysaccharides in the horse diet. While they are made up of very similar monosaccharides, the arrangement of those sugars and their chemical bonds result in very different usefulness to the horse. Carbohydrates linked with alpha bonds can be digested in the foregut and allow the monosaccharides to be absorbed intact. This absorption of primarily glucose triggers insulin release in the horse. Starch is composed of only glucose joined by alpha bonds, and occurs in either linear form known as amylose or a branched form, amylopectin. The type of starch will impact the speed of digestion, and thus insulin response.
In contrast, cellulose, hemicelluloses, and pectin all contain beta bonds, and will need to undergo fermentation to provide energy to the horse in the form of volatile fatty acids. Cellulose is linked by a beta bond, so it must be fermented. Pectin and hemicelluloses are also common polysaccharides found in the horse diet. Hemicellulose, compared to cellulose, is a mixture of monosaccharides including xylose, glucose, mannose and galactose. Pectin is made up of beta linked galacturonic acid, arabinose and galactose. Pectin and hemi-cellulose are more rapidly fermented than cellulose and increase the percent of the feed that is digestible.
Now that we know what different types of CHO that exist in the horse’s diet, let’s look more closely at some differences that occur in forages. Forages will contain more structural CHO (cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectin) due to the greater proportion of plant cell wall than cell contents. This is what gives plants their rigidity and allows them to grow upright. Forages will also have non-structural CHO or NSC in the cell contents, though certainly not in as high of concentration in cereal grains. The NSC is a mixture of monosaccharides (glucose, fructose etc) and disaccharides as well as starch and fructan.
If we compare common forages, cool season grasses are made up of primarily cellulose, then hemi-cellulose and fairly small amounts of pectin. Cool season grasses include Kentucky Bluegrass, orchard grass, fescues and ryegrass. Legumes, which are typically high in digestible energy are relatively higher in pectin. Legumes would include alfalfa, clover, lespedeza and peanut hay. Warm season grasses grow and mature more rapidly and have much more cell wall/kg DM and thus much more fiber. Warm season grasses include Bermuda grass, switchgrasses, and bluestem. Therefore warm season grasses at a later stage of maturity may be ideal for horses with carbohydrate sensitivities due to their “safer” form of carbohydrates. In general, there is a higher proportion of cell contents in a younger, or more immature plant. This makes grasses or hays harvested at an earlier stage more digestible.
The storage form of CHO that the plant uses for energy differs between forage type. Legumes and warm season grasses store primarily starch, while cool season grasses prefer to store energy in the form of fructan with much less starch. There is also a limit to how much starch the chloroplasts of warm season grasses and legumes can contain, yet there is no limit to fructan accumulation. Fructan also accumulates more to the base of the plant and more so in the stem than in the leaf. Overgrazing of pastures can result in greater intake of fructan than owners may realize. Cool temperatures and droughts may also increase the fructan production by the plant. Anything that promotes photosynthesis but retards growth ends up increasing NSC (lots of light with cool temperatures). Therefore, be especially careful to observe growing conditions, especially if the horses are consuming cool season grasses and have carbohydrate sensitivities.
Overall, carbohydrates are the cornerstone of equine diets. While terminology can be frustrating, it is important for all horse owners to realize what they are to be able to understand if they either need to be added or restricted to their horse’s diets, and in particular which type of carbohydrate needs to be targeted.
Berg, E. L., Fu, C.J.Porter, and M.S. Kerley. 2005. Fructooligosaccharides supplementation in the yearling horse:Effects on fecal pH, microbial content and fatty acid concentrations. J. Anim.Sci. 83:1549-1553.
Dias, A. C. C., F. C. Cabral, F.Silva. 2017. Development of Mangalarga Marchador suckling foals supplemented with fructooligosaccharides. Revista Brasileria de Zootecnia. 46:
Respondek, F., G. Goachett, and V. Julliand. 2008. Effects of short-chain fructooligosaccharides on the intestinal microflora of horses subjected to a sudden change in diet. J. Anim. Sci. 86:316-323.
Respondek, R., K. Myers, T.L. smith, A. Wagner and R.J. Geor. Dietary supplementation with short-chain fructooligosaccharides improves insulin sensitivity in obese horses. J. Anim. Sci. 89:77-83.
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In the past I have talked about how great Omega Fields Horseshine COMPLETE makes my horses look. Although it is true that my horses do look much better since I started feeding them Omega Horseshine COMPLETE, it’s only half of the story. As a competitor I want my horses to look good, but I must have my horses in top condition and working well in able for me to win in today’s ultra-competitive world of roping. Now I will tell you the other half of the story of how Omega Horseshine COMPLETE helps me achieve this.
Roping is physically demanding on our horses. When we are roping, we stress a horse’s joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. For a horse to perform to the best of his abilities, he must be physically fit and not hurting or feeling what I call uncomfortable. What I mean by uncomfortable is they are not lame but may be sore when working. When a horse is uncomfortable, it is much harder to pick up on than a lameness. It is because there is no limp to see. Usually the only consequence when a horse is sore is that they do not perform as well as when they are not sore. If this happens gradually it’s hard to notice until it gets to a point that they almost quit working. A lot of rope horses that are bad in the box are simply sore and are trying to avoid work. Horses are much the same as humans. Inflammation can cause body soreness along with aches and pains in the joints, along with tendons and ligaments. This is why I feed Horseshine Complete to my horses. It helps combat inflammation throughout the entire body. By using Horseshine Complete I feel my horses recover from the physical stresses that I have put them under much faster and help relieve the muscle soreness that comes from hard work.
Since I was a young boy, my Dad, who bred and trained horses, always told me that when a horse loves his job, he will be the best he can be at it and will try his heart out for you every time. I have always subscribed to those words of wisdom. If a horse is sore or uncomfortable doing his job he can not perform to the best of his ability and will soon dread his job. I never want my horses to dread their job and I feel Horseshine Complete is my first defense in this. If you would like to see just how good your horse can be then I would like to invite you to try Horseshine Complete. Whether you are a top competitor or trail ride for the pleasure of it, Horseshine Complete can help your horse not only feel his best, look his best, but be his best also. If you give it a try, I think you will see a difference just as I have.
“We have been feeding Omega Fields Horse Shine at Davis Performance Horses to a select group of our horses in training as a test to see what results we would get. We fed Horse Shine to the older horses, younger horses, and horses in between and had amazing results. In only 30 days the horses in the trial completely transformed their hair coat as well as their body condition. It is so nice to be able to feed a pretty basic supplementation program and achieve such great results. I am 100% sold on this this company and the products it produces.”
“We have loved seeing the results of Omega Fields Products. We have fed it to our personal and training horses with results every time. We are happy with the difference all together. We Highly Recommend any and all products through Omega Fields. Our horses are healthy, happy and shiny. Our clients have noticed and so have we. Thank you to an incredible product, and a wonderful company.” – Wylene Davis / Davis Performance Horses
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By Dr. Kris Hiney , Oklahoma State Equine Extension Specialist
A pinned ear. A white eye. A horse anxiously pacing back and forth.
Many horse owners can read very obvious signs of horse emotion, but how good are we at reading the entire horse? Humans are auditory species and spend much of our day chatting happily away. Because of our obsession with spoken language, we often fail to realize how animals “talk” to one another. They have highly complex patterns of body postures and facial expressions to convey how they feel. As humans, we are only recently tuning in to how complex horse thinking and behavior may be. Currently, researchers are working on interpreting these behaviors to increase our understanding of horses and to improve their well-being.
Often we underestimate the brain power and emotions of the animals with whom we share our lives. For example, primate researchers have developed an interest in horses and are using techniques typically seen with our closer relatives. By teaching horses to use computer touch screens they have found that horses are able to discriminate between shapes, pick out different letters of the alphabet and understand the concept of less versus more. This insights provide more appreciation for the complex lives of horses.
While probably not a surprise to most horse owners, horses are able to recognize herd mates, possess long term memories of positive and negative interactions with people, and even engage in conflict resolution with their own herd mates. Horses use a combination of senses to recognize those in their lives. Horses are startled when what they see and what they hear don’t exactly match up. To test this, researchers monitored a test horse after leading another horse by and out of view and then played the voice of a different horse. The test horses stared in the direction of the “wrong voice” compared to when the horse’s actual voice was played. When the test was repeated with familiar people, researchers found the same thing, essentially a surprised horse that the voice didn’t match the person they just saw.
Horses may even be able to appreciate our digitally obsessed/selfie world. In an experiment in the UK, horses were exposed to either a photograph of an unfamiliar horse which was relaxed and showing positive signs of interest, or a different photograph where the horse was showing an agonistic/threatening expression. Horses were more likely to approach the friendlier pictures than the picture of the threatening horse, which tended to increase their heart rates. They also spent more time looking at the friendly, attentive horse.
It makes sense that horses are keen observers of horse behavior and can translate that to photographs, but they are just as good at observing us. Both of our closest companions, horses and dogs are able to identify emotional states by looking at human facial expressions. It would make sense that being keen observers of human emotional state will help them get along with us. Stick close to the friendly person, and avoid the angry one! This ability is not surprising as we do share some common features, such as widened eyes when afraid or wrinkling over the top of our eyes when worried or tense. Think about the wrinkled nose or bared teeth of a really angry horse. Sound familiar to angry people or dogs?
Stressed humans create stressed horses. Horse’s heart rates increase when their handlers heart rate increases, independent of outside stimuli, even when they are not in actual contact. The calmer we are around a horse, the calmer they will be.
Just how well can horses read human emotion?
Just like the test of recognizing horse emotion from photographs, horses can recognize human facial expressions in photographs too. Even more notable, horses can be trained to associate a positive response such as a food reward, to pictures of a particular person. They can even recognize that person when meeting them face to face for the first time, demonstrating their ability to link 2D and 3D images.
Based on these studies, horses can tell what we are thinking, but how good are we at reading them? Increasingly horse’s facial expressions are being used to identify pain and other indicators of poor welfare. Researchers have documented 17 different ways in which horses are able to change their facial expressions. The goal is to link these actions with the physiological states of discomfort, stress or positive states as well. Currently, facial expressions are being investigated to help owners, riders and trainers identify subtle signs of lameness that are frequently missed. Most people don’t recognize signs of lameness and often fault the horse’s attitude and unwillingness to work. By analyzing pictures of lame horse’s heads before and after diagnostic pain relief, the hope is to help develop tools for owners and veterinarians to find pain. In this study, lame horses were more likely to have their head twisted to either side, carry their head elevated, show whiter eyes, tension around their eyes and/or having their ears back. Certainly a picture can only capture one moment in time, but owners should be encouraged to monitor their horses for an increasing frequency in these expressions which are associated with fear, pain or discomfort. A greater appreciation for the emotional state of horses can help us provide better management practices to optimize their lives.
So what does all this mean? Your horse knows who you are, can recognize your voice, and could pick you out in a police lineup. They know what you are feeling and will seek to avoid angry people, and maybe even you if you are in a bad mood. So if they spend so much time reacting to our emotions, shouldn’t we try and do the same? Pay attention to your horse, he really is trying to tell you something.
Horses that have previously been housed in isolation and then allowed to live with other horses have a sunnier view of the world, or are essentially more optimistic. When they are exposed to a stimulus that really has no meaning to them, they responded with a more optimistic attitude. They are pretty sure that unknown stimuli can only mean something bad. However, it wore off over time.
They even share a commonlaterality, choosing to look at angry people out of their left eye. Presumably this is because the right hemisphere of the brain is more responsible for negative experiences.
We also underestimate how much information they may be capable of conveying to us, if we simply pay attention. Most social species, which horses as herd animals most definitely are, have sophisticated means to communicate.
Interestingly, even other abnormal behaviors may be affected by pain. Sue Dyson, from the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket has reported spooky behavior being abolished after diagnostic analgesia . Certainly acclimation to the environment cannot be ruled out.
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As a farrier specifically a therapeutic farrier I am contacted by both veterinarians and horse owners about many different foot problems. Everything from injuries that require special shoeing to diseases of the foot to just simply the horse has bad feet and they are trying to maintain a good healthy foot on the horse but are having a hard time doing so. What I would like to talk about today is the horses with the bad feet that are hard to maintain for any number of reasons, distortions, thin walls, thin soles to just poor hoof quality of the hoof capsule.
A lot of times these problems are blamed on the farrier and though some of these problems are attributed to subpar farrier work, that is not always where the problem lies. Some horses’ feet are just simply not healthy enough to hold up to the rigors we put them through. A healthy foot, as with the overall health of the horse, starts with nutrition. Almost all horse owners know this. But it may surprise you when I tell you that most of the problem feet I see are over supplemented and getting to much of what they need. Over supplementation can be just as bad or worse than under supplementing. This area is too broad and extensive for me to go into here but let me give you a real-life story about a horse that I shoe. Some of this may sound familiar to you or you have had similar problems.
Several years ago, I received a call from a horse owner who was concerned with her horse’s feet. She explained that his feet were not looking as good as they used to and ask if I would look at the horse and possibly take the horse on in my practice. After assessing the horse, I recommended some shoeing changes and suggested she use a hoof supplement and that I would be glad to take the horse on. The horse was about fourteen years of age at that time. After a few shoeings and the recommended changes, the horse’s feet were back on track and no problems. Now fast forward five years. I began to notice that this same horses’ feet who had been looking great for the last five years were starting to distort and were looking very shelly. Basically, we did not have healthy feet any longer. I looked for a reason farrier related that this could be happening. I didn’t think it was related to how I was shoeing this horse so I talked to the owner and she had began to notice the same changes but had left it to me to manage her horses feet as I thought best. We met and I ask her to show me what she was feeding the horse. She explained as she was showing me the four different supplements what each one was for and she just wanted to take good care of him in his elder years. I’m sure each one of these supplements did what they were supposed to do but after reading the ingredients on all of them, each for a different purpose ,it was clear to both of us that many of the ingredients were common in each one thus over supplementing the horses feet. What I suggested was to take the horse off all the supplements for ten days and then the only supplement she needed was Horseshine Complete. I explained that this one product would do everything that the other four she had been using would do. That it would help with joint health, hoof health, overall coat improvement and help combat inflammation throughout the entire body. She ask me if I knew of any horses that it had helped, I told her that all four of mine were on it and I had seen great improvements to all the areas that I had mentioned in every horse I owned from my four year old to my old rodeo horse who is twenty-two years young now.
I am happy to tell you that this horse’s feet are once again back on track and doing great. The only change we made was switching his feed to Horseshine Complete. This is just one of many stories that I will be sharing with you in the upcoming weeks. Success stories like this and along with my own personal horses is why I can recommend Horseshine Complete to not only all my clients and friends but to any horse owner wanting to do the best they can for their horses.
I have been using Omega Fields Horseshine on my horses for the past 6 years, because it was recommended to me by a friend who loves her horses as much as I do. She told me what a difference it had made for her, so I figured why not give it a try. I can honestly say that Horseshine is by far the best supplement I have ever used. Both of my horses are seniors. One is 22 and one is 23. They get Horseshine morning and night, and they have the most beautiful coats! Not only are the coats fantastic, but their hooves! Their hooves are super strong! They don’t act like seniors either! They run around and play just like younger horses. I am pretty sure it is because of Horseshine. I have tried a LOT of supplements over my history of 30 years of owning horses, and nothing compares to this product. One time I was told by a rep that they had the best all in one product for coats, health and hooves. They claimed theirs was a better product, and the rep touted how great it was, and there were a lot of people in the audience that said the same thing, so I decided to give it a try. I noticed a difference in their coats over time. They didn’t have the same deep shine, and my 23 year old started rubbing his tail. He never did that when he was on Horseshine and they just didn’t have the bloom that they had when they were on Horseshine. I went back to what I should have stayed with the entire time, Omega Horseshine. Within 2 weeks their coats were nice and shiny again and they had that ‘bloom’ that Horseshine delivers. I learned my lesson, and I will never use another supplement again. Others may say their product is better, but honestly, nothing compares to Omega Fields’ Horseshine. I could post a picture here to show you, but I think a better testimonial is to look at my horses on YouTube channel, or Instagram, or blog. Then you can see over time, for the long haul how well this product works. Here are some links to blog posts I’ve written about Omega Horseshine.
If you don’t believe me and aren’t convinced by the photos and videos I have of my boys, buy a bag of it and try it for yourself. I know you will be impressed. If you want your horse to have a deep down shine from the inside out, you have got to try this product. There really is no comparable product that I have found. When you feed your horse Horseshine, you will see a difference. You won’t have to use a shine spray to get a glow, the product does it for you!
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