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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2003
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    Norcross GA
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    Default EPSM Diet - Confusion

    Just came back from a riding clinic where the clinician mentioned he thinks my horse might have EPSM. He exhibits classic signs: waspy through the hind end, standing camped out, let's his man parts hang out erect, and has been diagnosed sleep deprived. Clinician suggested high fat, low starch diet so I looked up what my boy is eating....

    2x/day he gets;
    1 3/4 scoops Triple Crown Senior (11% NSC, 10% fat)
    1/2 lb of Ultra Bloom rice bran (22% starch, 40% fat)
    2 flakes KY timothy

    He is on pasture 7am-4pm.

    From what I have read, TC Sr is recommended for horses needing low starch, high fat and rice bran is too (we have just recently added this to his diet to improve weight - previously he was on Fat Cat which is only 3% fat, can't find the starch/sugar levels).

    From research, I know I need to start adding oil to this (please don't turn up your nose buddy!)

    Sooo... what else do I need to change?
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2010
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    27

    Default

    So my horse has had EPSM/ PSSM for years now and his current diet is:
    AM
    1 Cup Safe Choice
    8lb Teff hay

    Lunch
    2LB Alfalfa

    PM
    2 Cup Safe Choice
    1 Cup Empower
    1 Cup Alfalfa Pellets
    In a mash
    8LB Teff

    He is also in pasture for 8hrs a day. I worked with the U of M to develop his diet. One thing I have learned is make a diet that works for you and keeps your horse asymptomatic (so lots of experimenting ) Good luck!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    If you ask me your horse is already on a type of EPSM diet. If it isn't working you need a vet exam to figure out what else could be the problem.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    5,521

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskapalo View Post
    So my horse has had EPSM/ PSSM for years now and his current diet is:
    AM
    1 Cup Safe Choice
    8lb Teff hay

    Lunch
    2LB Alfalfa

    PM
    2 Cup Safe Choice
    1 Cup Empower
    1 Cup Alfalfa Pellets
    In a mash
    8LB Teff

    He is also in pasture for 8hrs a day. I worked with the U of M to develop his diet. One thing I have learned is make a diet that works for you and keeps your horse asymptomatic (so lots of experimenting ) Good luck!
    3 cups of SafeChoice a day is about 1 lb and below the recommended feeding level for that feed (if you're referring to Nutrena SafeChoice).

    What are you looking to achieve by including teh SafeChoice since its being fed below the recommended feeding amout - you're not getting the most out of calories or vitamins & minerals offered there. It would seem to make more sense to replace the SafeChoice with a ration balancer since those are typically fed at 1 lb per day, and that's approximately 3 cups (if its a standard pellet).
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Posts
    923

    Default

    Mine get Timothy or teff pellets, about 2 to 3 pounds dry, am and pm, soaked with water first so they fluff up and then add oil, a ration balancer, and maybe a cup of oats or whatever to make it more palatable. Also Vitamin E and magnesium. My 16.3 hand guy needs 3 cups of oil a day otherwise he becomes quite symptomatic. A careful fitness program is just as important as days off usually results in extra stiffness. An EPSM horse also usually will show significantly more symptoms after a long trailer ride as it seems to be particularly hard on them. Not sure if you trailered to the clinic?

    Who was the clinician? Super impressed as many trainers have never even heard of it and have even seen many vets miss the diagnosis. Also, how does your horse warm up?



  6. #6
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    Holy cow! Sorry for the duplicates! My computer was acting up yesterday...I'll go delete some if I can !
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2003
    Location
    Norcross GA
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    Default

    Thanks candico - so maybe I just haven't achieved high enough fat levels yet and the oil will help.

    The clinician was Greg Best =] BEST money I have spent on a clinic to date! I trailered an hour to get there the day before. My horse never seems stiff and had the most energy still after 3 hours of riding both days.

    On the first day, Greg made off hand comment to me while someone else was going: Does his weight fluctuate a lot (No.. he's always been long & lean). Is he on any special feed (Nope just the UltraBloom). I later asked him what he was thinking when he asked me that and he said "Well, some horses have trouble processing sugars and he's got a bit of a patchy coat and keeps getting erections, which is symptomatic of that condition. You might want to look into getting him on a high fat, low sugar diet."

    That's when I came home that night, looked up what was recommended and saw that many people recommend Triple Crown Senior and the NSC and fat percentage. At the end of our second day, my farm manager was on hand, so we had a little discussion with him.. I have our discussion on video so I will post it but the second symptom he mentioned was narcoleptic behavior which I called the vet out for in July and he was diagnosed as sleep deprived. Did more research Wed night and saw that standing camped out/parked out is another symptom and he does exactly that during/after a ride. I had been thinking it was time to start getting his hocks injected, but it sounds like all of our issues are linked back to this.

    He started this diet in April and was previously on Horseman's Edge (which is only 6% fat and I can't find the NSC for it) but had no symptoms whatsoever. I'm wondering if he is the reverse of EPSM and if such a condition eve exists.

    Think I will be taking laurierace's advice and going for the bloodwork..
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
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    The Land of Buggies and Black Bumpers
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    Default

    You really need to have a vet diagnose your horse before starting a EPSM diet just because a clinician **thinks** a horse has it! I've seen people cause their horses major issues because they **think** a horse has something. That is what you pay a vet for!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2003
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    Norcross GA
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    Default

    Well - he is already on the diet by default of what our barn feeds. Adding some oil won't hurt him. As mentioned though, I am going to invest in bloodwork to be sure.
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
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    Thousand Oaks, CA
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    Default

    Hmm... Not sure your guy sounds EPSM, necessarily. Have a gelding who is EPSM and sleep deprived (anyone looking for a "special" horse?), but I find his lack of sleep is more due to his anxiety hence he sleeps better once I treat for ulcers. I believe there is a YouTube video on a quick way for an owner to check for ulcers via points of soreness on the horse. Bloodwork won't necessarily diagnose EPSM or ulcers. Not sure about the patchy coat reference as the five EPSM horses I've worked with past and present, all had really nice coats even before diagnosis. One of the geldings did the dropping thing although know of a neuro horse with mild Wobblers who also did that. Camping out can be an EPSM symptom, but can be a symptom of back pain, etc. Sounds like you need to write down all unusual symptoms and meet with your vet and evaluate which diagnostics you should pursue. Unfortunately, some horses require multiple vets, chiros, and even hospitals before you have a true diagnosis. Also, how is he with the farrier? If you have a good acupuncturist that could help as I find the "points" really narrow down where to begin looking. Good luck!



  11. #11
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    Feb. 23, 2003
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    Norcross GA
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    Default

    We thought the sleep deprivation was related to anxiety - he is alpha man and watches EVERYTHING so changed his stall to a quieter location & keep window shut so he can't monitor everyone. Hasn't made much of a difference.

    He gets a chiro visit 2x/year and does not seem to have back pain. Chiro (a DVM) finds nothing out of the ordinary with him, skeletally. Chiro also performs acupuncture, so maybe need to loop back to him. Just trying to decide who to call first.. "Alternative" vet or "Regular" vet.

    He is 100% good for farrier but farrier has mentioned that he always fakes that he has been quicked and doesn't set his feet down solid right away. Farrier usually walks him out a few steps to ensure. He said the first time he shod this horse, he fell for it and reset all 4 shoes. He has been shoeing this horse for 8 years.
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2012
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    1,994

    Default

    An EPSM diet usually won't hurt a horse even if they don't have EPSM.

    But, the other factor that you need to consider besides diet is a considerate amount of exercise. He needs to be worked nearly every day to keep those muscles moving and prevent buildup.
    Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors



  13. #13
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cutter99 View Post
    You really need to have a vet diagnose your horse before starting a EPSM diet just because a clinician **thinks** a horse has it! I've seen people cause their horses major issues because they **think** a horse has something. That is what you pay a vet for!
    I agree with not letting a clinician diagnose your horse but there is no risk to putting a horse on an EPSM diet if you make the change gradually. In this case there really isn't a change to be made though except adding a little oil. I fed a high fat, low carb diet to all my race horses for over a decade as it cuts down on the incidence of tying up.



  14. #14
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    Feb. 23, 2003
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    Norcross GA
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    Default

    I'll admit I don't work him every day. He has usually been one of those horses who 3 rides a week works wonders for him. And he seems to love a 2 week break - he is always better after 2 weeks off for some reason.

    Is the exercise schedule as important even if he is getting 9 hours of turnout on hilly 5 acre pasture?

    I just can't help but think this is so weird that AFTER we move barns & he switches to an EPSM-ish diet and 3x as long of turnout we start having issues. I guess it's just an aging horse issue but still. What gives??
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2008
    Posts
    230

    Default

    1- Why not go back to the Horseman's Edge for a while?



  16. #16
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    Feb. 23, 2003
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    Norcross GA
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    Default

    Kolsh - I was thinking of that, but am concerned to do so with how symptomatic he is right now. If he truly is an EPSM horse, I can't imagine switching him to something 6% fat and 30+% NSC.

    Plus, from what I am reading it takes approx 4 months to see the change .. so I feel like experimenting like that could do some real harm if it truly is that long of a trial period. That's why I am thinking safer to not change anything and call an expert.

    Any thoughts on "Alternative" vet vs. "Regular" vet?
    TIMBERRIDGE SPORTHORSES:
    www.timberridgesporthorses.com
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2008
    Posts
    230

    Default

    TDR- I'm not a vet, but I highly doubt that an older horse going from:

    30%NSC
    restricted turnout
    no symptoms
    to:
    Low NSC, higher fat
    increased turnout
    decreased performance

    really does have EPSM.

    As a horse owner the first thing I'd do is feed the horse what worked well before. If no improvement I'd seek veterinary attention. I have a horse that looks/performs terribly on low NSC high fat- weak loin, no impulsion. Days after I bump up the carbs in his diet his engine returns. Your results may vary!



  18. #18
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    May. 20, 2005
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    Thousand Oaks, CA
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    Default

    Yeah, just doesn't sound like EPSM to me either. Hmm... As far as alternative vs. traditional also depends on who in your area is more knowledgeable/competent. For odd lameness I like alternative first so we can pinpoint where to X-ray, or ultrasound without a bunch of nerve blocks and flexions. Shen Calmer, a TCVM herb might get him sleeping, but I'd also try a few days of omeprazole as you should see a big change if the ulcers are the culprit. If the horse has gone downhill recently, could also be EPM or Lyme. As far as muscling adding Tri Amino has made a huge difference in my horses who have problems with other protein sources.
    Basically, use the best vet, organize a list of all symptoms and when they occur and maybe find some before and after photos/videos to see better what exactly seems to be declining.



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