Food for thought: Let the germs eat the worms!

It’s almost de-worming time for Chaos and Dayo. I am a huge fan of Quest and Quest Plus, recommended to me by a sage horsewoman, but I like to do research to make sure that my de-worming program remains as effective as possible. In doing so, I have come across Dr. Martin Nielsen, an equine parasitologist at University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Centre. Dr. Nielsen has lauched a project to test a novel probiotic compound for a more effective treatment of equine parasites. The project, called “Let the germs get the worms,” is hosted at the website and has a goal of raising $30,000 before March 10.

Dr. Nielsen’s study is based on the theory that a naturally created protein in horses could be used to combat parasites more effectively than current products on the market, and particularly where a resistance to de-wormers has built up. The appeal is in part the “natural” element of the study. I know it works, I know it’s good for the horses, but I hate the idea of plugging the horses full of chemicals and look for effective natural options whenever possible. This study is in the first stages of its infancy, but you can sign up through the website link above to learn more about the project, to ask questions, and of course, to support.

Dr. Nielsen has chosen crowdfund to raise an initial round of funding. Personally, I love the idea, the creativity, and the ownership and accountability associated with crowdfunding, and I love the idea of a way to control parasites without harmful chemicals. This study could be a win-win. Check it out!

It’s cold outside. Do the mash!

Chaos and Dayo live outside, and with the weather here colder than it is at the North Pole (!?!), I fret. To keep them warm, they wear layers, have access to good quality hay 24-7, warm water in the troughs (they have heaters), and good shelter. I take their blankets off regularly (it helps because they are ridden five times a week, so checking all over is second nature), and have started giving them a warm mash with their regular grain.

Their favourite recipe so far includes:

  • 1/2 scoop Beet pulp
  • Flax meal
  • Tumeric
  • Cracked pepper
  • EV Coconut Oil
  • Apple sauce *sometimes molasses as an extra treat
  • Cut up apples and carrots
  • Salt

Many people prefer a traditional bran mash, and I suspect there are as many good mash recipes and opinions as there are equestrians themselves. There are pros and cons to feeding bran regularly, and I have chosen to opt for beet pulp as my mash “base”.

Do you mash once a week, or daily? What mash recipes do your horses particularly enjoy? My horses would love to know 🙂