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(Independent) Nutritionist?

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    (Independent) Nutritionist?

    Hi!

    I'm looking for a nutritionist, not from a feed company, in CT (or via phone/internet).
    I lease a 16 year old second level Belgian/Hanoverian cross. Over the past year I've gotten him from overweight to fit~but~weak. His owner is constantly concerned over him (read: she wipes his butt with baby wipes), and has many preconceived notions about what to feed him. She is concerned about a common syndrome in drafts ~ I can't recall what it is (some abbreviation like ELS), but it apparently can cause muscle soreness (and breakdown?), and feeding a low carb diet helps. So, though this gelding has never shown signs of this, she has him on a very high fat diet (with lots of rice bran and lots of grain). Though I'm obviously no expert on this disease, it seems that since he hasn't shown s/s, we could experience with lowering the fat content.
    Anyways, I've managed to get rid of most of his fat, but now I want to add muscle. I believe I need to feed him more than he is currently getting (if all ingredients remained the same), to gain muscle, but I would rather not do it using a high % of fat diet!
    The owner will not change the diet based on what I research, so I'm hoping to find a professional to either come out to the farm or work with us online (we can send photos, video, etc).
    Anybody heard of such a person? I thought they'd be all over the place, but based on my Google search, they seem rather rare. I know that you can speak to nutritionists at Purina, etc, but I don't want somebody biased giving me their company's product that may not be right for the horse.

    Thanks so much!!

    Eliza

    Edit: Plus, I just read here that rice barn has a high amount of carbs, which is something the owner wouldn't want either! I definitely need some help with both changing the diet and with convincing the owner!
    Last edited by GimmeQs; Aug. 13, 2009, 04:21 PM.

    #2
    Actually, EPSM/PSSM is really common in drafts, and a lot of people put their drafts on high fat diets. And if you were leasing my horse and I saw such a post, you'd be not leasing for long.

    What you SHOULD tell her is that there's now a genetic test for it.

    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12725

    and that would be a good way to get an idea of what his chances are of developing it.

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #3
      Ambrey, Thank you for the helpful information on EPSM/PSSM. I'm sorry you took offense towards what I wrote. If he should be kept on a high fat diet, do you have suggestions for working in the other macro nutrients to promote muscle growth?

      I've tried to edit my original post to tone down my attitude (which I assume caused your response).

      Comment


        #4
        Your initial assumption was that she was way out of line for feeding him a high fat diet- and probably some people would agree with you. I don't actually feed my draftx a high fat diet, but I know many do and thought maybe you were jumping to conclusions, and maybe you should give her the benefit of the doubt.

        There is a program that is free in beta. It's not a nutritionist by any stretch, might might be able to tell you if you're short in some of the common protein building blocks. A lot of people here use Tri-Amino from Uckele to supplement those.

        The program is www.feedxl.com. I wouldn't use it as gospel, but it might give you some things to look at.

        If you post the diet here, maybe some of the "armchair nutritionists" would be willing to check it out?

        Comment


          #5
          I've used Dr. Getty in the past. http://gettyequinenutrition.biz/ Very nice lady.
          Moving on doesn't mean you forget about things. It just means you have to accept what happended and continue living.

          Comment


            #6
            You don't build muscle by adding carbohydrates any road, so that is a non-issue.
            Suggest keeping the current "high fat" diet and adding something like Tri-Amino or a protein supplement and see how the owner feels.
            It does sound to me like she has a better handle on nutrition than you do, butt wiping or not.
            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

            Comment


              #7
              I agree I have spoke with Dr. Getty in the past and she really knows horses. I had a similar problem maintaining or gaining any muscle mass. She gave me a supplement called GO BIG and have had great results in his look, mass, and overall temperment.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by GimmeQs View Post
                Hi!
                She is concerned about a common syndrome in drafts ~ I can't recall what it is (some abbreviation like ELS), but it apparently can cause muscle soreness (and breakdown?), and feeding a low carb diet helps. So, though this gelding has never shown signs of this, she has him on a very high fat diet (with lots of rice bran and lots of grain).
                Lots of grain? Usually a diet high in fat geared for EPSM tries to cut down on grain. It would be pretty hard to be high fat and high grain at once. Are you sure?

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  It is an issue because you do need carbs to help muscle. Granted, he's not on a no carb diet, and I base my carb knowledge from powerlifting humans. I don't know how many carbs he gets and I don't know how much he needs, thus my want of a nutrition consultation.

                  I am not going to add random supplements in a trial and error sense when the basic micros may be out of whack.

                  Thank you Ambrey and Wyoming for your suggested resources. I will look into them both. Ambrey, I probably am jumping to conclusions. I'm temporarily fed up with the need to go through an owner on a lease horse and I need to find a horse of my own! I've heard that Tri~Amino works well; I'll keep it in mind if I do need to use a supplement.

                  Androcles ~ Yes, I'm certain about the bran and grain. The increase in grain is a result of my comment that the horse's "lose weight" diet needed to be changed in order to gain muscle. The outcome was to add 'a couple more handfuls of grain'. I guess I just like to be precise and coming from a weightlifting background, I have seen what small but educated changes can do for physique.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Aminoacids, the building blocks of protein and so muscle, are not a supplement but a necessary nutrient.

                    I have been reading more and more about the pitfalls of rations too heavy on fats, since that has become more common, as some horse rations need extra fat to compensate when cutting carbohydrates.
                    That is where you may need to supplement, with certain vitamins, if you are feeding large amounts of fat.

                    Try that nutritionist, if he is really up to date with horse rations, something not all are, most work in the livestock industry.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      GQ, FYI, Ghazzu is a vet

                      Dealing with an owner must be frustrating. I only have to deal with myself and find me extremely uncooperative. However, if you look at what horses tend to eat, it generally is mostly carbs, and the concerns are much different from humans because their digestive systems and nutritional needs are not even, really, similar.

                      Good luck with your search And thanks for reminding me that I really need to send my guy's hair in for the genetic testing!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by GimmeQs View Post
                        It is an issue because you do need carbs to help muscle.
                        Carbohydrates are used as fuel. They are not significant structural components of muscle.

                        Granted, he's not on a no carb diet, and I base my carb knowledge from powerlifting humans. I don't know how many carbs he gets and I don't know how much he needs, thus my want of a nutrition consultation.
                        If he was laying down fat, which you just say you managed to "get rid of" he's more likely than not getting enough carbohydrate. It would be difficult for a hore to *not* get enough CHO, assuming he's not being starved.

                        I am not going to add random supplements in a trial and error sense when the basic micros may be out of whack.
                        Good.
                        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          http://www.equilibrateequine.com/

                          She does over the phone evals, I believe. Also posts on COTH - under Equilibrate, I think.

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Oh good, more than one nutritionist to choose from, that's great!

                            Ghazzu's a vet, that's very helpful. I'm a nurse anesthetist, that's a bit helpful too. A nutritionist will hopefully make things perfect.

                            I didn't mean to say that amino acids on their own are supplements; I meant that I don't wish to add supplemental things to the horse's feed before I have the basics covered, especially when the correct basics (not necessarily all AAs), may have the supplements in them.

                            Ambrey ~ thanks for the comments and lesson in how I should phrase my posts Hope your guy comes out negative (unless that'd be helpful to label what he has...).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by GimmeQs View Post
                              Androcles ~ Yes, I'm certain about the bran and grain. The increase in grain is a result of my comment that the horse's "lose weight" diet needed to be changed in order to gain muscle. The outcome was to add 'a couple more handfuls of grain'. I guess I just like to be precise and coming from a weightlifting background, I have seen what small but educated changes can do for physique.
                              If the horse is indeed afflicted with EPSM he should not be getting a high grain/high carbohydrate diet. You can confirm that with a biopsy.

                              You can't really have a diet that's high in both fat and carbohydrates. It's a ratio. So if one is high, the other has to be low.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by GimmeQs View Post
                                Ambrey ~ thanks for the comments and lesson in how I should phrase my posts Hope your guy comes out negative (unless that'd be helpful to label what he has...).
                                Nope, my guy is fine- but he's also only 8 and I know many owners of drafts and crosses who start early with the high fat diet because PSSM causes actual muscle damage, and so once you see that there's a problem it could be too late.

                                So I'd rather know now whether he's genetically susceptible If he was, I'd change his diet immediately (he'd be devastated, because he is an air fern and thinks we're starving him as it is! The volume of feed would be much reduced if I had to add a lot of fat.)

                                What kind of grain are you using? Pure grain or something like a complete feed?

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  http://www.ruralheritage.com has alot of information on EPSM with Dr. Beth Valentine.
                                  --Gwen <><
                                  "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
                                  http://www.thepenzancehorse.com

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Dr. Valentine and Dr. Getty are both very helpful. I have emailed each of them with specific questions about my feeding regimes and each responded quickly.

                                    I would not dismiss the nutritionists from the feed companies out of hand. I've used nutritionists from Purina for years and they give very good basic advice (even to the people who are not feeding their brand). The advantage is that they will visit your barn and evaluate your horse. And it's free. Not a bad place to start your research even if you temper it with other information.

                                    Yes, rice bran is high in starch. Oil is a far better delivery system for fat -- if that is what your horse needs.

                                    It doesn't sound to me like you have done enough research on your own to criticize the owner for her decision on what she feeds her horse. Many horses do well on a relatively high fat diet (including my TB who definitely does not have ESPM). Some horses do better on a low starch diet (such as mine); for others, it doesn't seem to have a profound effect.

                                    I've been on both sides of the leasing deal and while I know that it can be frustrating to get approval for changes from the owner, as an owner I know how profoundly irritating it can be when someone who leases my horse wants to change the program that I developed for my horse based on my knowledge and planning. Be careful what you write on a public forum because if I owned the horse you were leasing, I would be offended by what you said.

                                    Hey, if you're not careful, she might ask you why you've got her horse fit but not strong .
                                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                    Comment

                                      Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      That's really nice to know about the company nutritionists, maybe I'll try them first.

                                      Hey, if you're not careful, she might ask you why you've got her horse fit but not strong
                                      Because I have too much pride (!) -- I have gotten the horse fit but not strong meaning that he was overweight, now he's at an acceptable weight with less fat, but not yet back with the muscling a 2nd level dressage horse should have.
                                      It's not realistic to expect to take away a lot of fat and put back a lot of muscle at the same time.
                                      He's gotten stronger over the year from the work (he'd had two years off), but my focus had been loosing excess fat, not packing on muscle. Now that I my focus is muscle, he'll gain a little fat too, but that's fine.

                                      I don't have a lot of knowledge of equine nutrition, which is why I'm going about this by contacting a nutritionist, not by adding/taking away supplements, etc. The owner doesn't have a lot of knowledge either; the horse's current plan is based on past nutritionists/trainers' advice. But, different things have been thrown in throughout the years without looking at the overall diet. So I suspect that any original diet that was appropriate for the horse is now inappropriate because (a)the amounts have changed and supplements have been added/stopped and (b)the appropriate diet for a horse out to pasture is not right for a horse being worked 5-6 days a week.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I don't know this person but I found her web site helpful. Might be worth contacting her for a consult:

                                        http://www.shady-acres.com/susan/index.shtml

                                        Good luck.

                                        Comment

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