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Update on old soy issue thread

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  • Update on old soy issue thread

    A few weeks ago on the thread on use of soy in feeds, I indicated my "wild demon monkey horse" who was on a low-starch pelleted feed which contained soy was going to be pulled off anything soy immediately to see if this made a difference in unrecognizably strange personality he had developed over the past couple of months.

    What I substituted: soaked no-molasses beet pulp pellets with freshly ground flax, rice bran, and sea salt. He LOVES his new "grain" and as he has been with me his whole life I'm surmising that his horsey brain thinks he's still being fed a treat at "the usual time" -- my feeding schedule for years has been to give a grain and some kind of pellets feed at about 9:30 p.m. after hay at 6 p.m.

    Well, no more soy-ingredient-grain mix, he's getting this BP-plus now and what an incredible difference in behavior. He has returned to the (relatively) mellow fellow he was all his life until he started getting soy in the diet. There were no other changes in his environment or his management. I guess I have to conclude that it definitely was the presence of soy.

    Just anecdotal, not scientific. But the anecdotal wild demon monkey horse is gone and my relaxed and happy gelding is definitely back!

    So now I'm heading for the articles mentioned in the original thread and see what sort of thing in human consumption of soy I can scare myself with!

  • #2
    Originally posted by kung fu buckskin View Post
    Just anecdotal, not scientific. But the anecdotal wild demon monkey horse is gone and my relaxed and happy gelding is definitely back!

    So now I'm heading for the articles mentioned in the original thread and see what sort of thing in human consumption of soy I can scare myself with!
    What did I start! Too funny!

    I am pleased your experiment worked and he's settled down for you! Thanks for the update!

    Those websites and the studies and articles will probably cure you of eating soy yourself too! They did me! Oddly enough, I feel better also...less digestive upset for one things and I'm very sensitive with gluten intolerance as a major concern in my diet. All I changed was to remove soy also for me and I do seem to be more comfortable and less likely to have a major digestive upset than before...even avoiding gluten.


    • #3
      Thanks so much for the update . How long did it take for him to become mellow again? How soon did you notice the changes?


      • Original Poster

        I was astonished to see how much soy is in every pre-packaged item in the grocery store. For years I'd been headed for a nearly 100 percent organic diet and so had basically cured myself of allergies and asthma by doing so - here we go again with anecdotal results, but on high percentage organic I was no longer spending over 1000 a month on meds. But the bad economy hit and I had this strange priority of horses' and dogs' food before people food so cut back on my own grocery budget, starting to use some prepackaged items. Now I'm reading labels much more carefully.

        Soy is everywhere. Overprocessed, nasty soy is everywhere. I don't mean the harmless little frozen edamame guys that go in stirfry. I mean the oil and the meal and the "by products" whatever those are. Yikes and double yikes!! So now the money saving strategy on the people grocery budget means hitting the bulk foods aisle and farm stands where possible and continuing to stay away from the prepackaged items, again as much as possible.

        I even dragged out the old crock pots - the dogs' dinners get cooked in one, and since soy appears even in canned soup (oh good grief - in SOUP yet!) and winter calls for soup, the other crock pot is now doing people soup duty!


        • Original Poster

          Forgot to add that I noticed about a week into the change that I no longer had to use a stud shank to take Scooter to his turnout. He's now back to a cotton leadrope. Another week into the change and he again accepted the presence of his water bucket as a normal fixture of his stall rather than as a container for horse eating monsters. Honestly - at the height of the nonsense he would do airs above any mat spot not covered by bedding. Haven't seen that shenanigan for a while.

          I should have kept a daily journal because it really has been a dramatic change for the better.


          • #6
            Are your rice bran and flax seed Calcium and Phosphorus balanced? They are both high in phosphorus - rice bran is higher in phosphorus than wheat bran. If not add calcium to the beet mix, beet pulp is balanced but those two additions have probably inverted the ratio unless they have calcium added.


            • #7
              It is amazing how much soy is added to ordinary foods you'd never suspect like a loaf of bread or a prepared Hormel beef tips meal! I also am cooking much more for myself now. We buy our beef locally and I'm seriously considering getting my own chickens and raising them for eggs and meat. A hog I'm a bit more leary of as they are a PITA to have around but I'm sick of supporting factory farming also...so that may end up happening also. I put in a garden this year for the first time in years and will do a bigger one next year. I have some yummy straw compost for that saved up.

              Traditional Asian soy products are much less a problem than the by products in our foods (both animal and human)...and very different also. What amazes me the most is that they get away with it. The soy industry has one heck of a marketing machine behind it.

              May I suggest organics for soup? The ingredients are higher quality and soy is really pretty "common" in the lower range products like Campbells (as is gluten). I can buy organic soups that are even gluten free in the local grocery store. I also have a source of millet bread that is soy/gluten free that is excellent if you might be interested.


              • #8
                Originally posted by kung fu buckskin View Post
                I should have kept a daily journal because it really has been a dramatic change for the better.
                My working student and I really regret not getting before and after videos of our filly that had such terrible behavior problems with the soy. Her change back to normal was dramatic and sudden...like in days once we stopped the RB they were on.


                • #9
                  My "miracle temperament change" was alfalfa, vs. soy, but was still dramatic. When I look back, I'm ashamed to admit I would 'play' with adding a tiny bit of alfalfa to the stallion's diet when he seemed to sluggish or low energy... I'm not proud of that. At the time, I thought it made sense--this makes him high, he's low, let's add a little.

                  But I finally recognized the photosensitivity as also a result.

                  Given the amount of alfalfa in a 'normal' Sr feed like TC Senior, my guy is a 1000lb helium ballon at the end of the lead rope. He forgets his manners entirely--and he's usually the most polite horse on the place. He spooks at his shadow, leaves, butterflies... but the worst is that he seems like he's not comfortable in his own skin. I wonder if that's truly the case. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I wonder what I was doing to him when I wanted to 'add some energy.'

                  Luckily, he is a horse, a being far superior to humans in respect to mercy, kindness and forgiveness.

                  It took far longer to figure out his 'scratches' and cellulitus were soy related. It's a damned inconvinience since alfalfa and soy are the #1 protein sources for horses these days. Luckily he's doing pretty durn well on barely or whole oats (barley in the cooler weather, it's higher starch, but still low glycemic response) flax and BOSS. Adding Lysine put him into the right condition and developed the topline we'd been missing.

                  Great info about the calcium. I worry that mine is low. Will have to peek at the (free choice) hay analysis again and see how that fares. I'm afraid it's prbably rather low since it's grass only. The growing horses & broodies get alfalfa pellets, but none for the boy!
                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                  Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                  • #10
                    normal fixture of his stall rather than as a container for horse eating monsters. Honestly - at the height of the nonsense he would do airs above any mat spot not covered by bedding. Haven't seen that shenanigan for a while.
                    No kidding - my horse was like that while he was still on grain and alfalfa. The grain he got also had soy in it, but the alfalfa alone made him fly higher than a kite as well.

                    In his case he completely lost it when he saw two cows mounting each other at about 50 yards away. He was certain they were some sort of hell's spawn. He was shaking like an aspen leaf and his heart was pounding against my leg. He had also become more agressive on grain and alfalfa.

                    Since that time I sound like a broken record telling people to watch the diet, especailly when the behavior suddenly no longer makes any sense, as it was in your case with the water bucket. But so many people just do not want to believe it, yet they have NOTHING to lose by taking everything away for a month or so except for good quality grass hay!

                    I ran into another case like this again today. The mare had improved a lot after she was put on local grass hay. Then I guess the owner felt bad and bought richer orchard hay. Well, the mare is obese again and cranky as ever. That had all disappeared. I wish the owner would finally see the connection

                    Ditto on the soy - it's in almost EVERYTHING I need to stay away from it because of my thyroid condition. I wonder how many other symptoms are caused by soy that we are not even aware of yet.


                    • #11
                      My horse has food allergies. He was tested in August this year and corn, oats, milo, timothy and orchard are no longer part of his diet.

                      He is not allergic to soy, molasses, beet pulp, rice bran, wheat or alfalfa. So that is what he eats, less the molasses and wheat.

                      I also get to read every ingredient label on anything he ingests, he can't have any of the things he is allergic to in supplements, or treats (we use alfalfa cubes as treats) no Mrs. Pastures cookies for him. Cubes are cheaper!

                      Perhaps these reactive horses have allergies? Mine was never a spook he does act like the baby that he is at times, less and less as he gets older (2-4, he is coming 5) but he did have digestive issues, ulcers and colic. Allergy symptoms are not always respiratory or dermatological.

                      He gets allergy shots now, we are in the middle of the desensitization series, but they can't desensitize for food allergies, just the respiratory and contact ones. Eliminating the allergens from the diet is the only thing you can do.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Seal Harbor View Post

                        Perhaps these reactive horses have allergies? .
                        Soy is a powerful allergen so it is possible but I doubt it is just allergies that we are seeing. If that is so, than over 40% of my horses are allergic to it and I doubt that. What I do think is that some horses are more sensitive to the toxins and phytoestrogens in soy and more likely to develop problems on the feed.

                        When I first had problems and posted about them on COTH, I really could have believed it was just my horses' genetics as they are a rare breed but now...I don't think so. As well as the problems others have posted about on here...we've seen a big difference in two WB's on our farm now also after they were taken off the RB. Both are at a better weight and both are much less reactive. One, who had a long term problem with a bone cyst and was chronically lame following corrective surgery, actually is becoming sounder as well in the last month or so. No idea if that is related to the feed change from the RB to something else.... but soy has been implicated in mineral absorption problems as well due to the phytic acid in it.


                        • #13
                          And where do those allergies come from? Being gluten intolerant, I am now more and more convinced that the problem starts when the digestive tract is damaged by an offending food item. The damaged gut then allows larger molecules to enter the body and they accumulate somewhere in the body which then may lead to allergies and autoimmune diseases.

                          This theory would be supported by what kung fu here said, that her asthma and allergies virtually disappeared once she started eating more organic foods.


                          • Original Poster

                            Daydream Believer, I strongly second your comment about soy having a powerful marketing engine and add to that an extremely powerful and influential national (and international, not naming names here) lobbying cartel, and I use that word intentionally. Also, love the explanation about allergy vs toxicity and will raise you one, again my own anecdotal experience on myself vis a vis the cosmetics industry. There cannot be an "allergy" to titanium dioxide, for example, because for an allergy to occur - so I'm told by my board cert allergist - there needs to be a protein component in the material. Chemical sensitivity is triggered by most anything - with me, it happens to be titanium dioxide. Know what that is? In many cosmetics it is the sunscreen and just like soy it's now everywhere. Several companies even put it in their eyeliner, for pete's sake!!!

                            Pinto piaffe, I used to use barley too and then read somewhere - will try to find the study - that oats and barley had similar glycemic response levels and times. I read that when I joined the cushings group to help my three metabolic horses, but I don't think it was in the CG files. I miss having whole oats, the triple cleaned "racehorse oats" as I recall an old-timey horseman from my youth telling me feeding the heavy whole oats helped prevent impaction colics! Strangely, he, too, was adamantly opposed to soy, and that was many decades ago.

                            Seal Harbor - thank you for the tip on the phosphorus balancing. Can you tell me what is the correct ratio? I'm new at the hands-on ration balancing with mineral content and am relatively new to the above-mentioned yahoo group (under another handle) so am struggling to get it all right - and my hay analysis hasn't come back yet - but perhaps I can get at least the bp/rice bran/flax correctly balanced right away. Thanks if you can send that my way.

                            If I had to guess - after 50 years with horses - the mental thing that soy was doing to my gelding I might say perhaps his brain was "hyperactive." So, a dark spot on the floor of his stall, which was simply the mat showing in a spot not covered by bedding, became instantly a yawning chasm. A full water bucket glinting in the stall light was to him a fire about to start. A white sack blown against the pasture fence might grow to a giant miasma about to envelope and suffocate him. In other words, somehow chemically his brain was short circuiting; there was no more cerebral analysis going on - and this is a very, very smart horse - there was just instant instinctual reaction.

                            If that makes sense.

                            Well, and why not. Hey, I grew up on Disney!


                            • #15
                              the mental thing that soy was doing to my gelding I might say perhaps his brain was "hyperactive." So, a dark spot on the floor of his stall, which was simply the mat showing in a spot not covered by bedding, became instantly a yawning chasm. A full water bucket glinting in the stall light was to him a fire about to start. A white sack blown against the pasture fence might grow to a giant miasma about to envelope and suffocate him. In other words, somehow chemically his brain was short circuiting; there was no more cerebral analysis going on - and this is a very, very smart horse - there was just instant instinctual reaction.
                              Had the same reaction with my gelding - the manhole covers in the isle way were holes to the abyss. He'd react to shadows in the arena that HE had created by spooking and creating craters. He could no longer focus and effectively use the thinking side of his brain, only the reactive one.


                              • #16
                                Interestingly I was reading on one site about Manganese toxicity in infants/children fed soy formula and "speculation" by scientists to aggressive behavior and teen violence. Manganese is very high in soy products. Makes you wonder doesn't it?


                                My suckling filly went absolutely psychotic on the RB. She was extremely reactive and had a vacant "not home" sort of look when you'd try to work with her. She was also very claustrophobic and would violently fight any restraint...she'd strike and rear also. She improved dramatically when we took her off the soy feed and within days. She has continued to gradually improve over the last few months...not sure if that is do to handling or detoxing but I suspect a bit of both.

                                We noticed several less dramatic responses than the filly's to removing soy as well. Reactive pushy and belligerent horses did calm down noticeably.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Hmmmm. With the seemingly similar mental reactions in horses, now I'm also wondering if excessive soy in people products may be contributing to the adult hyperactive/attention deficit "boom" (or of course maybe that's just something "created" by Madison Avenue's ongoing romance with Big Pharma).

                                  I'm going a-hunting for anything I can find on that as I have a dear friend overmedicated for ADHD which suddenly appeared a couple of years ago and is she ever miserable and doesn't even ride anymore because of it!

                                  I'm sure soy is just fine for many people just as it is just fine for many horses. Individual brain and body chemistry being as complex as it is, perhaps it is just not right for some others - people OR horses.


                                  • #18
                                    I would not be suprised at all if that was the case. I still believe that doctors should start at the basics when a patient comes in with a health problems rather than indiscriminately throwing drugs at them. That would mean starting with nutrition and cleaning up the diet as a first try (by all means use drugs, if a condition needs immediate emergency type intervention ) before resorting to medication.

                                    I also used to farmsit at a place that uses feed products, most of which containe soy. I NEVER felt comfortable around their stallions and am now wondering if the diet had anything to do with it. I would always attribute it to too much grain. Had some issues with hyper reactivity with some mares as well. I remember one mare cantering around me in tight circles on her own, while I was trying to lead her into her stall from her turnout. Just completely lost it - took 10 minuted for her to finally calm down.

                                    Another mare is chronically laminitic on the soy diet she's on.
                                    I wonder what those stallions would be like without all that soy in their feed.


                                    • #19
                                      Balanced Ca:P ratio is 2:1 or a bit less. Fortified rice bran is Ca:P balanced. Whole flax seeds you can't balance but if it is ground and stabilized they can do something about it.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BornToRide View Post
                                        Another mare is chronically laminitic on the soy diet she's on.
                                        My vet reported a couple of ponies she cares for that were chronically laminitic cleared up when the owner took them off the low starch soy based feed and put them on a non soy feed. No one made the connection of the soy until I had my problems here and we discussed it. Apparently these ponies were pretty bad so their quick recovery with the feed change was pretty remarkable.

                                        I'm certainly not suggesting that it affects every laminitic horse but I had my problems with Lodi and then these ponies...it sure makes you wonder. I have to report on Lodi also. She was galloping around her paddock earlier this a.m. and totally sound. I wish I could claim that my trimming did it but I have not had a lot of foot to work with and just am keeping her toes back.