DYNAMITEŽ recommends feeding horses a plain, unfortified mix of corn, oats and barley with no molasses with the DYNAMITEŽ or DYNAMITE PLUS (tm). (Or, ideally, the Dynamite Complete Pelleted Grain Rationtm).
My customers want to know why no sweet feeds?
Gosh, where to start on this one! First of all, unfortified means no added vitamin and mineral paks in the grain ration. Most areas have generic or name brand sweet feeds with added A, D, E, and inorganic minerals. (Review your Minerals: Right on Target to help you remember that the oxide, carbonate and sulfate forms of minerals are inorganic i.e. indigestible.) These inorganic minerals can cost the body more in energy to eliminate them than they benefit the body. READ ABOUT CHELATED MINERALS We also don't want you to add the DYNAMITEŽ products and unknowingly create an overload or imbalance of vitamins and minerals. The balance of DYNAMITEŽproducts is quite subtle, and at the very least you will get less-than-optimum results by feeding them with a fortified mix. Less is more!
Corn is controversial for many people. It contains less fiber and lots more energy per pound than oats, and corn thus has an undeserved reputation for being a heating feed. In fact, oats generate more b.t.u.'s (heat units) in digestion than corn does! Corn is an excellent feed for horses. Be sure to measure it by weight, not by volume, as it is very dense. Barley likewise is a denser, more energy -packed feed than oats, containing less fiber. Many horses become hyper on oats, because oats contain an alkaloid called avenin that is a central nervous system stimulant. Horses susceptible to avenin do really well on rolled barley instead of oats, possibly with some added corn. Oats and corn half and half by weight works well for many horses, or you can feed 1/3 each of corn, oats and barley, again by weight. Or barley and corn, or straight barley. You need to observe your horses' response, and also determine which grains are highest in quality in your area. If you can, ourCOMPLETE PELLETED GRAIN RATION (PGR) is the optimal way to go.
The molasses issue is also a heated one. Organic blackstrap molasses from your health food store is a very healthful food, high in iron, and very alkalizing. Unfortunately, this is not the sort of molasses that goes on feed grains! Heavy molasses sweet feeds look yummy to the owner (like granola!) and many horses develop such a sweet tooth that they have to be coerced into eating plain grains. Wouldn't your kid rather have Cocoa Puffs than oatmeal? A naturally nutritious grain with high mineral content will also have a high brix, which is the measure of natural sugar content. Trouble is, the mineralization of our soils is declining at such an alarming rate that most foods lack minerals and taste like cardboard. So to get the animals to eat these devitalized grains, the feed companies began adding molasses as a sweetener. Molasses will also conveniently disguise any mold or discoloration, and will dampen down the dust as well. That leads to another issue, because adding molasses also adds moisture, which increases the potential for mold. So, chemical mold inhibitors and preservatives are often added - see where all this is going? Some authorities believe that one of the major causes of hyperactivity in children is preservatives. Molasses is also high in fluoride, which occupies the iodine receptor sites and can thus lead to hypothyroidism. And there is even more! Energetically, the stressed pancreas causes soreness in the lumbar area, so horses on sweet feeds will nearly always have sore loins and be unable or unwilling to "come round" or to use their driving muscles in a strong manner.
And speaking of hyperactivity, there are thousands of horses out there who are "sugar monsters". I had a 5 year old gelding who accidentally got some sweet feed one day while he spent some time at a boarding stable, and I had to peel him out of the rafters when I got him out to work him! He was "sugar free" his whole life until that day, and he acted like he was on speed! For a hard working horse, any significant amount of molasses will cause an insulin rush, and a blood sugar high followed by a major blood sugar crash. Some researchers have even correlated large grain meals (especially sweet feed) and the resulting insulin rush with developmental bone disease in young horses. This glycemic response affects the bone-forming cells, and leads to decreased bone density in any horse. Ideally, grain should be divided into several small feedings a day.
While we are on the subject of grains for horses, we might as well address acidity. A by-product of grain digestion is propionic acid. We know all about over-acid conditions from reading Regan's column and YourHealth, Your choice, right? (hint-hint). Horses that are acidic will tend to tie up, lose top line muscling, and be generally unthrifty. Haven't we all seen horses, especiallv at the track, who are eating 20+ pounds of grain a day and still look like greyhounds? Acid!! Horses were not designed by nature to eat large amounts of grain, nor to do the kinds of work that we ask of them. On DYNAMITEŽ products with our digestive aids, most people find that they can get by with far less grain because the horse is digesting the ration so much more efficiently. I know many pleasure riders, and even Western Pleasure trainers, who feed no grain, just 3 ounces of DYNAMITE PLUS(tm)and top quality grass hay, with maybe a little alfalfa. Remember that minerals are alkalizing, and especially the DYNAMITE PLUS(tm)and FREE CHOICEScontain clay that helps neutralize the acid as well. So - bottom line. Simple, plain grain or DYNAMITE COMPLETE PELLETED GRAIN RATION and DYNAMITEŽ or DYNAMITE PLUS(tm)as a basic package will give you optimum and healthy results, and save you money as well! A horse with a balanced and healthy body, and eating a balanced grain ration, will be emotionally and physically sound.