Because Dante is a draft cross (Morgan x Frisian) I’m aware that PSSM/EPSM could be a problem down the road.
Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM, PSSM, EPSSM) is an inheritable disease that effects the glycogen storage. It is most commonly often found in heavy horse breeds and the American Quarter Horse.
There are currently 2 subtypes, known as Type 1 PSSM and Type 2 PSSM. I’ll be testing for Type 1 later this summer (this will be a blood draw and a collection of hairs for DNA testing).
Symptoms include: tying up, shortened stride, stiffness, firm musculature, sweating, pain or reluctance to exercise, when asked to perform light work, gait abnormalities, shifting lameness, muscle weakness that may result in an inability to rise, colic-like pain, atrophy, and/or stiffness.
While there is no cure for this disease, it can be managed, which is often done through diet. It is also better to manage before symptoms manifest. At Dante’s age it is probably unlikely he has this disease but he’s been living in a semi-retirement out in a field so would anyone have noticed. OTOH, he does have weaker hindquarters (which exercise is already improving).
I’ve been down this road with Dear One who had Cushings Disease but at that point it was much harder to find any products – feed, vitamins, supplements etc… that could help her. I was buying many products and having to compound her mix myself, which he barn staff then refused to feed.
But a lot of time has passed and there are now a lot more options to pick and choose, not only locally where I can find low sugar feeds (such as no molasses, beet pulp shreds, which I could never find before at Tractor Supply and Atwoods), but also through mail order.
For more information on balancing your feed/minerals/vitamins check out Dr. Kellon at Uckele. While your average horse, that is disease free, just might need an overall supplement based on the horse’s forage however, no feed meets the minimum requirements needed for your horse’s daily allowance.
Current feed once a day (doc)
(I do self care so while 2x a day would be better I work with what I have):
6 pounds of Grostrong 13. He came to me with some ribs showing but he’s gained weight and is looking good so I’ll probably be decreasing this slightly until he is in regular riding work. He was previously on Patriot and the trainer-seller said she tried to increase it (guessing he was on 2 pounds 2x a day) and he became uncomfortable. These feeds are pretty similar but so far I am not seeing any issue.
2 scoops of California Trace minerals: this increases his zinc and copper, building blocks for hooves and hair. I’ve added this to his diet for one month.
Magnesium Oxide. I’ll be adding this next; when I add something I wait for a month before adding anything else (i.e. the California Trace will have been supplemented a month before I add the MagOx). Ideally, should not be fed with high loads of fat.
Free grazing 24/7 on a grass field which I’ll be testing later this year to get a more accurate idea of his forage mineral/vitamin composition.
Possible Future Supplements:
Acetyl L Carnitine HCL: If yes for Type 1, I’ll be adding.
If High Fat is needed (diagnosed PSSM), some options:
CocoSoya – liquid supplement