Epsm feeding help!!!!

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20 August 2014
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Hi
Have a 6yo draft x
16.2/3hh and probably about 600/650 kg
Had him since may.
Got him under the impression he just had shivers which he does but clearly it's more than that as he has these skinny hips, even on good feed /hay/ grass and he's got a lovely shiny coat: healthy everywhere else. Been researching and can't believe how many symptoms of epsm he has, has to sit on his bum to get up from being laid down, won't canter (put this down to being unbalanced) and has a sensitive back, not in a pain way, just tickly!
I'm looking for advice on what to feed him to help this! Anyone with experience!
I've read the beth Valentine things but still a bit confused & want to get it right for my lovely boy!
 

joycec

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I have one I think has it. He has improved incredibly since I put him on the diet.

Very low carbs/ no added sugar.

500ml of oil a day, supermarket oil is fine. Build it up gradually or it will give him the squits.

Vitamin e, 1200 iu minimum a day. I give 2000

Make sure he has enough selenium, supplement if your land is low like mine.

Vitamin e powder and vit e and selenium mix both available cheapest I could find from Progressive Earth on eBay.

Can you come back and tell us what happens? It may take a while for it to kick in.
 

mystiandsunny

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I have an EPSM mare - she has a grazing muzzle on in all but the coldest weather as any sugar in the grass is a trigger for her. I don't feed her anything with alfalfa in (makes her more sensitive to the sugars in her feed - not true for all EPSM horses, but true for some), low starch/sugar feed and shedloads of work. She gets stiff easily, and cannot have more than one day off in a row.

The best cure for my mare is work coupled with that low sugar/starch diet. We start with a warm-up that stretches in walk to help her hind legs to come under her more. Then trot round until she loosens up and starts to move forward freely. Following that, lots of bending/transitions in and out of trot until she's working well. Canter comes after she's reaching forwards freely with both hind legs, and the amount of it depends on how she's feeling. If she's stiff, we do short periods of canter with walk breaks in between. Her quarters will literally feel hard as rock if she's done a bit too much, and then she's best to stand still for a bit, then walk round 'till they are normal again. The work has to be done though, because even on a bad day if we are sensible about it, the following day she'll be better. At the moment she's getting a good amount of fast work and feels amazing. If she has time off for any reason, she will struggle even to trot with a rider. I have to go back to short periods of trot on the lunge, then borrow a lightweight (child) rider, then when she's going well with them, hop back on myself. I'm not that heavy either - only 9 stone or so!

I've tried oil etc - helped a tiny bit but not as much as a careful exercise regime and I tend to just use it when she needs extra energy in winter.
 
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do you feed anythig else? Speedi beet or anything?

Thanks so much for the reply!!
I will do, gonna start introducting the diet tonight and see how it goes. He's such a lovely boy & so willing considering it can't be pleasant but hopefully realising this & changing diet should help him a lot, fingers crossed!!
I've got a selenium and vitamin e supplement now so I hope it helps him!
How long did it take to see an improvement on yours? I'm not expecting overnight or a miracle but just Curious!
 
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I've recently started full work for him and he's just on 5 days a week but Im going to increase to 6 once he's fitter, thanks for this, I have seen an improvement in his stiffness just from the work really but I'm going to try the low sugar diet, he's currently on quite a well grazed paddock so I'll leave him with that instead of any more until I change the diet and then will see about a grazing muzzle. He's never inside as not keen on stables and he's not amazing at getting up and is a big lad so would hate him to get cast!
Have you had her diagnosed or did you just suspect? Id like to try the diet and workload before any other tests are done!

Thanks for the reply!!
 
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joycec

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You need to check how much vitamin e is in your supplement, but if there isn't enough you can't increase it because overdosing selenium is very dangerous.

I feed a mineral mix in non molasses chaff.

Since he's been on it his tight hamstrings and solid feeling bottom muscles have completely gone.

I think mines a mild case, I don't have the issues with exercise that the other poster has. His muscles started to relax within days, his attitude to work also changed very quickly, but he is young and it was caught very early in his career.

I'm just glad I didn't listen to the people telling me he was lazy and I should hit him!
 
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joycec

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There's a DNA test for the quarter horse variant, but not for the heavy horse, I don't think. You would have to biopsy to get a diagnosis, but if the diet works, you've got your answer anyway.
 

joycec

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It's a supplement together (horse first one) so I assume it will be safe but ill check thanks :)
Yes it's safe at the dose recommended, but that needs to give you at least 1200iu of vit e, preferably more like 2000. The label should tell you. If not, top it up with pure vitamin e, don't increase the selenium.
 

joycec

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Perfect thanks for the advice!!!
No problem! I hope it helps him.

Just a thought, if the oil makes him fat, that won't be any good either, so drop the oil rather than let him be overweight. What you're trying to do is train the body to use oil for energy not sugars, so it only works if they actually need the energy!
 
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JillA

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It really is best to blood test for selenium levels before you supplement, regardless of what is in your forage or soil, because they utilise it differently and as above, overdosing is worse than having too little.
 
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I will only be giving it as stated on the label and it doesn't say anything about it possibly being too much so I hope not!
It will give 659 or something vitamin e per scoop and he will have 3 scoops a day so that should be enough so I shouldn't need anything else other than this supplement for the vitamin e and selenium I gusss :)
 
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I'm hoping to feed the minimum fat needed to keep him at a healthy weight and use fibre, the supplements and keep the sugar and starch away from him more than trying to fatten him up! He has a supplement with electrolytes, salt and magnesium in already

Thanks for the info!
 

MrsNorris

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Have a google of acetyl L carnitine (ALCAR), its an amino acid used quite successfully in the states, you can get it here from online bodybuilding shops. I did a lot of research into this as I thought my cob may have EPSM, but turns out he has an old injury from before I bought him which causes his symptoms. Didn't find out until a previous owner (not the one I bought him off) tracked me down and told me about it, explained a lot.....
 

joycec

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High fat diets can increase the risk of a horse developing insulin resistance but upping Vit E (to somewhere around 5000iu per day), selenium, and magnesium and adding in AlCar seems to be helping a lot of horses.

http://www.balancedequine.com.au/nutrition/epsm.html
Can you tell me if that increased risk of insulin resistance is related to weight, or independent of the weight of the horse?
 

joycec

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Can you tell me if that increased risk of insulin resistance is related to weight, or independent of the weight of the horse?
I've done a bit of research, and as far as I can find out, a high fat diet in a slim horse doesn't lead to insulin resistance. Anyone know any better? I don't want to swap to Alcar because of the increased cost, but if there is a risk of ir then I will.
 
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