The importance of a low starch, mineral balanced diet cannot be emphasized enough. This has become increasingly obvious to me over the years, and I have come to realize that nutrition can be just as important as the trim when it comes to barefoot rehabs.
We are able to grow our own hay here at Redemption Farm, optimizing the fields and processing to produce chemical-free low starch high quality forage appropriate for barefoot horses and those with metabolic issues.
Hay is tested and a custom mineral balancer is made to fill in any nutritional gaps and mineral imbalances. Our area has very high iron forage, so extra copper and zinc are added to offset the damaging effects of high iron (and subsequent copper and zinc deficiencies). Our mineral mix also includes optimum amounts of magnesium, iodine, selenium, amino acids, A E & B vitamins, biotin, yeast and salt. Additional ground flax is added for omega 3 fatty acids. We also feed Alltech Bio-Mos and Yea-Sacc, which are pre- and probiotics to help maintain healthy gut flora.
The custom balancer is the cornerstone to our nutrition program, and is fed in whatever carrier is appropriate for each horse. Typically, this may be timothy pellets and/or triple rinsed beet pulp.
There are certainly less expensive ways to feed a horse, but in my experience, perfect nutrtion is worth every penny, especially when dealing with compromised hooves or metabolic problems.