Natural Equine Health Solutions

Optim Equine brings a unique approach to optimising horse health, wellbeing and performance.

Combining scientific evidence-based medicine with traditional naturopathic practices, Optim Equine delivers the most effective and beneficial health outcomes for your horse.

Latest Facebook Posts

3 days ago

Optim Equine

SHOULD I FEED MY HORSE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV).

Some people think its a magical cure all for every possible imagined horse illness or condition… “Giving Sammy ACV in his feed has DEFINITELY made his arthritis better”. “Since Starlight has had ACV she has stopped spooking”. “Tommy looks so much trimmer since I started giving him ACV”. “Bob’s coat is so shiny now I’m using ACV”.

Some people think its a bottle of junk.

So what’s the truth? To be honest, neither…

I openly recommend the use of ACV to many of my clients who wish to use it (although there are other mediums which achieve some of the below points which I’m also very happy for them to use!)

ACV is a readily accepted liquid useful to dampen feed (this is important to help reduce inhaled particulate matter which is ALWAYS beneficial). It also useful to help incorporate powdered supplements into feeds. There is some inferred research from other species that it may help to regulate blood glucose levels. How you interpret information is important though- thinking you can feed your fat little insulin resistant pony plenty of highly concentrated sweet feed and offset it with a bit of apple cider vinegar is like justifying eating a whole family sized packet of Tim Tams for breakfast and feeling smug ‘coz you wash it down with a glass of skim milk…

Contrary to popular belief, when fed in average quantities to horses, ACV it is not a particularly rich source of nutrients (including minerals).

There is very little quality evidence to substantiate ACV’s efficacy as being helpful in relieving inflammation and arthritic symptoms. Quite honestly, you would be far better off having your horse’s overall diet, body condition, hoof care, supplement intake and exercise/training/competition regime reviewed - these would yield far more significant and favourable impacts on the arthritic horse.

Whilst I’m all for promoting natural health and using natural products, we need to combine this with available research, critical thinking and analysis and practicality in relevance to managing and caring for our horses.
...

View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Optim Equine

Just wanted people’s thoughts on what I’m feeding my horse. They currently get…

1 dipper of chaff
1/2 dipper microbeet
1 dipper gumnuts
Oil
1 cup bran
1scoop oats
Brewers yeast
Salt .
Multivitamin
Chamomile flowers
Hay

Firstly, kudos that you genuinely care about what you are feeding your horse. Secondly, well done for recognising that diet is an essential contributor to your horse’s wellbeing.

But please stop for a moment. Who are you seeking advice from? Someone who's profession involves addressing equine diets and health and is suitably qualified, experienced and comes recommended? Or some person/people you’ve never met, you have no idea about and who haven’t taken a full case history of your horse? Before you even START to formulate a diet, has the person who is making recommendations considered:

Your horse’s age, breed?
Pasture turnout and availability ?
What type of exercise your horse is getting (if any)? And how much, and at what level?
Are you competing or planning to compete, and at what level? What are your goals?
What climate is your horse kept in? Is he (or she?) rugged, stabled?
When was your horse last drenched? Had their teeth attended to?
If your horse is on any medications? Has any concurrent health conditions?
What current body condition are they in? Do they tend to be a good or poor doer?
What’s their manure like?
Temperament? Appetite?
What type of chaff and oil are you using? Are the oats whole, rolled, micronised…?
Which multivitamin? How much?
Scoop size? Are you using an overflowing 1L dipper or a scantly filled 0.5L dipper? (hint- feed weight is more relevant than scoop size)

(Continued in comments)
.
.
.
.
#horse #horsehealth #equinenutrition #performancehorse #eventingnews #showjumping #dressage #thoroughbredsofinstagram #warmbloodsofinstagram #horseracing
...

View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Optim Equine

JUST WANT PEOPLE'S THOUGHTS ON WHAT TO FEED MY HORSE. THEY ARE CURRENTLY GETTING…

1 dipper of chaff
1/2 dipper microbeet
1 dipper gumnuts
Oil
1 cup bran
1scoop oats
Brewers yeast
Salt .
Multivitamin
Chamomile flowers
Hay

Firstly, kudos that you genuinely care about what you are feeding your horse. Secondly, well done for recognising that diet is an essential contributor to your horse’s wellbeing.

But please stop for a moment. Who are you seeking advice from? Someone who's profession involves addressing equine diets and health and is suitably qualified, experienced and comes recommended? Or some person/people you’ve never met, you have no idea about and who haven’t taken a full case history of your horse? Before you even START to formulate a diet, has whoever is making recommendations considered:

Your horse’s age, breed?
Pasture turnout and availability ?
What type of exercise your horse is getting (if any)? And how much, and at what level?
Are you competing or planning to compete, and at what level? What are your goals?
What climate is your horse kept in? Is he (or she?) rugged, stabled?
When was your horse last drenched? Had their teeth attended to?
If your horse is on any medications? Has any concurrent health conditions?
What current body condition are they in? Do they tend to be a good or poor doer?
What’s their manure like?
Temperament?
What type of chaff and oil are you using? Are the oats whole, rolled, micronised…?
What multivitamin? How much?
Scoop size? Are you using an overflowing 1L dipper or a scantly filled 0.5L dipper? (hint- feed weight is more relevant than scoop size)

Think of it a little like this…

A person called Morgan asks you what you think about their diet. Morgan usually has a green smoothie for breakfast, a toasted cheese and ham sandwich for lunch, sometimes a piece of fruit for afternoon tea and a Lean Cuisine meal for dinner.

Great. Is Morgan 55 or 18? Is Morgan a full time athlete, weekend warrior or has a desk job and never exercises. Does Morgan go outside and have regular sun exposure? Does Morgan smoke? Is Morgan actively trying to lose, maintain or gain weight? How are Morgans’s energy levels? What’s Morgan’s mood like? Does Morgan have any health conditions (asthma, heart disease, hay fever…) What medications has Morgan taken previously? Heck, did you even ascertain Morgan’s gender?….

Sure, there are core basics that should be applied to horse (and human) nutrition. But for feed plans to be effective and in the very best interests for a horse’s health and wellbeing, they need to be applied in an individualised, holistic manner.
...

View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Optim Equine

Reducing the risk of OSTEOCHONDROSIS (OC) & OSTEOCHONDRITIS DISSENS (OCD)

Osteochondrosis (OC) and osteochondritis dissens (OCD) are two of the most common juvenile osteochondral conditions (JOCC).

OC is a disease that causes lesions in the cartilage and bone of growing horses’ joints. It is a result of cartilage failing to properly turn into bone. OCD occurs as a progression of the OC: resulting in the formation of a cartilage flap or osteochondral fragment.

Like many health conditions, there are numerous potential causes and contributing factors to the development of both OC and OCD. One such factor which has been identified to increase the risk of developing osteochondral lesions is restricted turnout of foals. Research has demonstrated that foals (particularly those younger than two months) who are able to exercise freely in a moderate sized paddock, have a much lower risk of developing osteochondral lesions when compared to foals that are stabled.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Sound management and feeding practices can save a lot of time, heartache and expense. Getting back to the basics and not overly ‘protecting’ our horses can go a long way to ensuring we have the happiest, healthiest athletes.
.
.
.
.
#horsesofinstagram #equine #thoroughbredsofinstagram #thoroughbred #warmblood #standardbred #horsehealth #horseracing #dressage #horsebreeding #ottb #equinevet #horsenutrition #horsestud
...

View on Facebook

3 weeks ago

Optim Equine

Vaccination and performance

The majority of performance, pleasure and racehorses receive regular routine vaccinations.
Research has demonstrated that some vaccinations cause an elevation in the acute phase inflammatory protein serum amyloid A (SAA).

This peak inflammatory reaction is to be expected, as it is part of the immune response needed for a vaccination to initiate immunity.

An important consideration is the immediate effect this may have on your horse’s performance. Do you routinely rest or decrease the work or training load on your horse for several days post vaccination? If not, think about the implications it could have on your horse’s performance, ability to recover and wellbeing…
.
.
.
.
.
#horsesofinstagram #horse #equine #performancehorses #thoroughbred #horseracing #dressage #showjumping #eventing #warmbloodsofinstagram #quarterhorse #horsehealth #ottb
...

View on Facebook