There is an old sand colic recipe floating around in Australia with many, many excellent anecdotal recommendations. As I live in a very sandy area, I'm about to attempt using it on my own horse... but... I'm a little bit nervous. So I thought I'd see what other folks across the lake thought.
Edit to add: A very sane and switched-on friend of mine bought a very expensive WB youngster from an Aussie horseman who just about re-invented this bush recipe - at least he made it very well known. My friend uses the remedy successfully (no colics at her place) and she has a few lovely show/performance horses. The youngster about grew up on the recipe and eats it out of a bucket.
Last edited by Moderator 1; Mar. 5, 2011 at 09:00 AM.
Reason: removed copyrighted information
Notwithstanding the lovely, romantical and picturesque (even Biblical, I daresay) images brought up by the terms "milk and honey", the cold, hard biological fact is that both ingredients would be thoroughly and completely digested LOOOOONG before they reached the part of a horse's gut where sand hangs out.
Milk is just milk, and honey is just honey; neither has a shred of fiber or any other substance that would even remotely change the motility of the gut. (other than possibly causing diarrhea if you use too much--that's hardly an ideal solution to sand buildup) Nor is there much in milk and honey besides sugar, fat, a bit of protein, some minerals and some B vitamins. All of which are plentiful in the diet of a normal, well-nourished horse.
I call BS, but it's very attractive BS on the mental-imagery and "feel good factor" BS.
The idea behind the honey is that the sugars draw in water into the large intestine, stimulating bowel movements. The milk being highly irritant to the horse, causes a ripple effect in the gut as it expels the irritant as quickly as possible (moving the sand along with it).
It is apparently very effective - possibly why I'm a little afraid to try it!
This is the bloke who quite vocally draws public awareness to the dangers of sand colic over here
Water in the GI tract (even if it can be massively impacted by the presence of a little sugar) does not cause bowel movements. A healthy, normal gut cannot be forced to secrete nor absorb water beyond what the body is calling for by adding a little honey. And while milk may or may not be "highly irritant" to the horse (also questionable), diarrhea is not exactly the ideal method of dumping sand from the intestines.
No doubt if one were to drench a horse with any number of things one could make the animal develop the runs. That doesn't mean one is making a positive impact on the risk of sand colic.