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Re: Bran Mash

On Sat, 6 Nov 1999 09:32:49 -0500, "Meeks" <> wrote:

> Everyone here in Florida brans once a week to rid the horses of sand.  What
> is the difference between this and Metamucil or Phsylllium?  What schedule
> should they be on?  Right now, the pasture has little grass.  ( they  live
> off of hay and grain)  If I bran mash them- how much, and how do I make it?

Hi Sonya,
Bran mash versus psyillium versus good ol' forage for sand control is
still a debated topic.  You'll find as many opinions out there as colors
of spandex :-D.  

I think most would agree that the best sand control is to manage
pastures so that the horse does not overgraze and contact the bare earth
with his lips in an attempt to squeeze that last bit of grass out.  A
dense growth of pasture is also a plus.  This can be difficult in sandy
areas since the soil nutrients leach out quickly whenever water is
applied.  But, if you find that the pasture could use some help, it may
be the best place to start.  Also, using rubber mats under/around the
feeding area for hay is also helpful, but is not really effective if
they don't get swept of sand every once in a while :-).

Psyillium seed husks may be beneficial, as they have a "stickiness" to
them when soaked.  I think the jury is still out regarding the true
effectiveness of this treatment.  However, the amount of psyillium
needed to treat the equine large intestine/colon would certainly be more
that a couple of small scoops that come with many of the psyillium
supplements.  Last veterinary recommendation I heard from UCD was a
pound per day for at least consecutive three days.  

I have yet to see a definitive reason why bran mash is fed.  I've heard
that it has a laxative property, but have not seen it for myself yet. 
Would really like to hear the other Ridecampers' experience.  Others
state that the bran's fiber content is the key, but if the horse is on a
ration composed of mostly hay or pasture, then there's plenty of fiber
already.  I am not discounting the possibilities of its value, just
haven't seen the results for myself :-).

And, then some state that the sand will clear out on its own if the
horse is provided ample forage and exercise.  In the sandy areas where I
have worked, we've had horses that required treatment often, and others
that did not ever have a problem with sand at all (and were never fed
bran or psyillium). 

Just my couple of pennies worth :-),

Kim (and 'Lee, the grazin' machine)

Lubbock, Texas

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