Question: I was wondering which basic mineral Uckele product you would recommend the most for an IR horse: Sport Horse Grass, Equi-Base, U-Balance Foundation or other? I had my 7 yr old mare on CA Trace and Remission, was turning her out for 1.5 hours early in the morning and feeding her all grass hay three different times the rest of the day, and she got sore footed.  I called the vet and she  told me that, even though our cool weather Wyoming grasses looked like they were turning yellow, they still had more sugar in the fall. She had me put her on Thyro L because she was overweight.  She has not ever had laminitis before, even though she has been overweight for a while, and I have tried to  keep laminitis at bay like crazy.

This last spring and summer I had her on HEIRO, and was only turning her out for 30 min to an hour in the mornings, so i guess that may have gotten us through with no soreness at all.  Then she started refusing to eat the HEIRO at all. so, I switched her to CA Trace and  Remission because I had a hay analysis done and it showed that my hay was low in zinc and copper and high in iron and manganese (surprise). I was exercising her four times a week then I thought that she was showing soreness in her hock, so I decided to let her rest it a little, and then she started acting sore on her front feet. I took her off of everything except the thyro L because I wasn't sure if it was ok to give her the iodine in the CA trace with the thyro L.  I also was unsure of the rice bran in both of those products. I have a Sr. mare with this 7 yr. mare and had her on CA Trace as well, and she started having terrible runny squirts running all down the backs of her legs.

I think the CA Trace is an excellent product, I'm just not sure about the rice bran; however,I see that there is also rice bran in the Uckele foundation. Do you think that the rice bran could have contributed to laminitis, and is there Uckele product that she might fare better with? Also, are there any other Uckele products that I should add to her supplements? I have her dry lotted with grass hay, and I'm currently giving her only the thyro L in soaked  timothy grass pellets with a little apple cider vinegar.

I'm hand walking her about 15 min/day now, and she is really doing good, and doesn't look very sore at all, but I know that she needs some kind of mineral supplementation and am trying to figure out what would be best for her.

Dr. Kellon: Please send me your hay analysis and I'll match a program to that.  The drop in exercise is probably what triggered the laminitis. That's a common history. Exercise is the best IR treatment there is.   A 1/8 cup serving of flax doesn't have enough calories to change her weight.  The little bit of rice bran in both those products is also not enough to cause issues.

Question: my 7 yr old mare (Scarlet) is the one that has had the sore foot
problem.  I have started hand walking her and we started trotting
today. she is doing much better, and hardly seems sore at all.   this
mare is the "finicky" eater when it comes to supplements, etc.  Gwen
at Ukele sent me U-balance foundation sample and Scarlet
ate it out of my hand and seemed to like it.  However, my vet is a
real strong advocate for the Thyro L.  I'm still not sure about the
Thyro L.  The vet also suggested just buy loose minerals from the feed
store.  So I was wondering what your suggestions are for Scarlet of
these things I have been trying:
U-balance foundation
California Trace
Thyro L
Omega shine

My 27 yr old mare (Shalome) is the one with the loose bowel "squirts".
This has shown improvement when I stopped the California Trace.  So,
the same with Shalome, what are your suggestions for what I should be
giving her.

It would be so much easier if I could just turn them out on our
pasture.  We have lots of pasture.  But according to some people, it
may have too much sugar.  I have another older mare that will colic if
I leave her out in pasture more than 2 hours in the summer.  (It will
be much better come winter)  Do you think it would help to have a
grass analysis from our pasture?

Dr. Kellon: Neither the U-Balance nor the California Trace are a good match. You should put all horses eating this hay on Equi-Base Grass (available in pellets) as well as amino acid support from Tri-Amino because the protein level is borderline low and will be lacking key essential fatty acids.  If your laminitic mare continues to have problems, you should consider adding Glycocemic EQ.

Your vet is right about the pasture. The majority of horses with laminitis are insulin resistant. Pasture levels of sugar (and starch) can get too high for them to tolerate and trigger laminitis.

Horses with digestive tract issues also often do better when off pasture because the fiber, sugar and starch levels are constantly changing in response to temperature and sunlight. Hay levels on the other hand are stable. If you continue to have issues you can try Absorb All.

Thyro-L is given to accelerate weight loss which might help some insulin resistant horses.

You have many options for supplementing minerals and its relatively easy to make sure the horse eats amounts of individual minerals that are above the minimum requirements. However, the ratio of minerals to each other (balance) is just as important because minerals can compete with each other for absorption.  This is why feeds and most mineral supplements are balanced with respect to these ratios. The problem is they won't always be a good fit for balancing the rest of the diet. That is why I requested your hay analysis.  The Equi-Base grass is a good fit for both avoiding individual deficiencies and also balancing the hay.