It is show season and therefore I am spending a considerable amount of time on the show grounds marveling at the horse-rider couples during breaks from performance group screenings. I can’t believe how far some of them have traveled to compete. Nearly every horse looks amazing -as long as the saddle is on. For many horses, a different scene presents itself once walking without tack. I am not talking about the occasional encounter and I am shocked. What the heck happened to the topline muscle? How are these horses managing to jump the Grand Prix’s, do their piaffes and passages and what not without that muscle? And how come that I see these topline-lacking horses even in the highest rated stables? I can’t help correlating this to the so fashionable “preventative” application of medications thought to prevent gastric ulcer flare ups. I know, you must think “huh”! Yes, I meant it and once you digested some of the background info I hold in my scientist brain you might have a true epiphany. Don’t get me wrong – we do need medication where indicated, but did you know that a headache for example is not an Aspirin deficiency? Yep! Exactly, that means a gastric ulcer is not an Omeprazole or Ranitidine deficiency. There are more effective (and cheaper) measures you can do to keep that stomach sane plus to boost your horse’s performance. I will write a separate blog on this, so for now let it just be a recommendation (below) in WHEN to apply the Gastroguard®, generic Omeprazole or whatever you are using. Back to my topline building recipe …
Recipe: How to build topline and muscle, natural and drug-free
1) An approximately 1000lbs horse (being exercised about 1-1.5 hours per day)
2) A fishing scale (about $7-8 on Amazon or your local hardware store)
3) Lack of topline (concave shape of withers)
4) Lack of muscle (optional, and you don’t know how good your horse can look until you see the difference : )
5) 1 percent of the body weight in grass hay (yep, you heard me. One percent is about 10 lbs. Weigh your hay flakes, it most likely translates into 2.5 flakes)
6) 5lbs Alfalfa (If you do not want to use it, text me to 949-200-2486 for an alternative)
7) One pounds of soy bean meal/pellets twice daily
OR: 1.5lbs Calf Manna twice daily
OR: 1.5lbs ration balancer 30 percent protein
8) Now, and that is really important: Enzymes to DIGEST stuff under 7) in the FOREGUT
In general, for ANY stabled horse you need clinical potent amounts of protease, amylase, lipase, Cellulase (because guess what? A horse cannot make that! They used to get it from green fresh grass naturally and is not in hay or any concentrate bag * )
9) 1.5lbs feed concentrate of your choice twice daily
10) Two tablespoons loose salt twice daily
11) Water bucket or water feeder with at least a foot deep fresh water at any time (flat Aluminum shells won’t do it)
12) A clock: Give the ulcer meds (GastroGuard, Omeprazole) 15-30 min AFTER the last grain meal of the day, usually around 4:30 /5 ish. There is a reason for NOT giving it during the day.
13) Time: 4 -6 weeks
14) I look forward to see before and after pics. It is the best way to get famous!!
Enjoy the showing and do show off your horses..
You guys all rock!