So a bit of background.......
I live and livery in a very high iron area, even the water is loaded. All the grass is ex dairy, mostly Rye and when I am really unlucky it gets nitrogen thrown at it too.
The livery yard has recently changed its modus operandi and I can now buy my own hay in. Which is a huge relief as the previous hay was over 18% sugar and over 21% sugar/starch combined, low in minerals and rather mouldy. So I am pleased I can get my own in and hugely grateful that the yard has allowed this departure from the norm.
As always though there is a hitch - the only alternative hay, while lower in sugar and much less mouldy, is mega high in iron. I know because I've had it tested. By an ISO accredited lab. Twice.
So what's the problem? Horses need iron right?
Yes they do, but diet related iron deficiency has never been described in the horse except in foals. Instead, because iron is so abundant in the equine diet, iron overload and iron interference with the absorption of the other trace minerals such as copper and zinc is much more likely. Hence Grace's orange ears.
Excess iron has other unwanted side effects, including: predisposition to infection, predisposition to arthritis and increased risk of tendon/ligament problems, liver disease and altered glucose metabolism – including insulin resistance and overt diabetes.
So looks aside who would want to expose their horse to these risks unnecessarily?
Which leads me to my next post