A Holistic Look At Horse Nutrition

Madalyn Ward, DVM

Holistic means looking at the big picture and always asking why. When I first tried to utilize nutrition in my practice I was very frustrated because I did not approach it from a truly holistic standpoint. I looked at vitamin, mineral, and protein requirements; but I tried to make everything fit into a nice box. I found the Nutritional Research Council's tables for daily requirements and I compared those to the ingredients in foods and supplements I gave my patients. But, despite all my careful calculations, my patients did not get any healthier. After a while I decided nutrition wasn't really that important.

I came full circle back to nutrition several years later when I started working with the Cell Tech™ products. The Cell Tech™ products provide the body with a wide range of whole-food-derived nutrients and allow the body to absorb and assimilate what it needs. This seemed very unscientific, but it worked much better. This approach to nutrition also fit in well with my holistic approach to treating disease. I noticed when I combined carefully chosen homeopathic remedies to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities with good nutrition to support normal function, I got great results.

Daryl Kollman, the co-founder of Cell Tech™, gave three reasons for less-than-optimum health:

1. Not enough quality nutrients.

2. Failure to absorb and assimilate nutrients.

3. Free radical damage due to the build up of metabolic and environmental toxins.

4. (I feel there is one more:) Body energetically out of balance.

Alternative modalities such as homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, and other forms of energetic healing, including prayer, address this major area of health. All of these modalities can be greatly supported by the proper approach to nutrition.

For high-quality nutrients, one has to turn to whole foods. Synthetic vitamins and inorganic minerals will not support healthy bodies. Building your nutritional program around synthetic nutrients is like building your house out of Styrofoam bricks. Everything looks good until there is some kind of stress, then the whole world comes tumbling down. Because most of our foods are produced by the use of synthetic fertilizers; they will not provide us with high quality nutrients.

Oats and grass once provided all the nutrition hard working horses needed, but that is not longer the case. Many low-level chronic health conditions are becoming common due to sub-optimum nutrition. I will cover a few of these and offer nutritional support suggestions. Many of these conditions are accepted as normal, which means people have learned to settle for less-than-excellent health. None of these are normal; they are all signs of chronic poor health.

© 2002-2004 Madalyn Ward and Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic. All rights reserved. Please visit Holistic Horsekeeping for more information.
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