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Re: Thumps and thuds

>I have to make mention of two things you pointed out. Alfalfa and thumps? >Maybe, but I have fed strait (and high level protein at that) alfalfa for years, to >all 6 of my horses, competing and non-competing and have never had a >problem.
However, it is worth pointing out that because some horses are able to (sorry) get away with eating straight alfalfa doesn't make it the ideal ration for endurance horses.  I've talked to A LOT of people over the past few years that don't recognize outright "problems" to the point of thumps or colic or enteroliths, but once their horses go onto a better diet, then realize that their horses do seem to be doing better.
>that. So, while alfalfa hay can be high in calcium, it may be that it is not >balanced 2:1 with the phosphorous. (maybe too much bran?) Calcium is also >part of our electrolyte recipes. So I am inclined to follow that theory.
It's both, in that yes, you have to feed more calcium than you are phosphorus during the ride, so that the calcium is not bound (and therefore unavailable) by the co-existing phosphorus in the gut.  But it also has to do with prior downregulation of parathyroid hormone (which mobilizes calcium from storage depots in bone), and that has to do with calcium levels of the maintenance diet.
 > I personally do not allow my horses to eat grass with or with out a bit. It has >nothing to do with manners. I know of someone who did and the horse stepped >on the reins.When the horse panicked because it couldn't lift it's head, it >jerked, reared, fell backwards and broke it's jaw. The rider didn't fair so well >either.It was an accident. Enough seen, 'nough said. 
Well, I also once saw a terrible accident involving a horse in a horse trailer, but it doesn't prevent me from trailering my horses when it's called for.  Teaching and allowing a horse to eat along the trail, especially if you are going more than 25 miles, is one of the best things you can do for the horse to help maintain metabolic integrity.  Of course, every rider has to decide for themselves how they choose to manage their horses, but for the general population and the newbies on Ridecamp, please please PLEASE manage your horses to allow them to eat at regular intervals in between vet checks.  I can't even list how many emails I've gotten from riders whose 'chronic colickers' stopped having metabolic problems once they were allowed to snack their way down the trail.
Susan G

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