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Will Horses Get Too Much Iron From Redmond Rock?

By | Equine Health | One Comment

Iron overload in horses is a potentially serious issue and there are countless articles written about excessive iron in equine diets, so it’s understandable that many owners want to know if their horses can get too much iron from Redmond Rock products. Because Redmond Rock has a red hue, people assume it has a high iron level. Stated values on the label sometimes add to this perception. Perhaps you’ve seen that the labeling on Redmond Rock and Redmond Rock Crushed states there are 300 ppm of iron in our products and worried that that’s more than your horse should be getting. It’s not, but we know why you might think so, and we hope this post will clear up the confusion.

How to Interpret Mineral Requirements and Label Values

Because you can find a variety of values for iron requirements for horses online, we’re going to stick with what the National Research Council (NRC) states in their book Nutrient Requirements for Horses, (National Academies Press, 1989, 5th edition).  We decided to do this because this committee is made up of numerous researchers from universities all across the United States who review piles of peer-reviewed research data in order to establish the values they suggest. Notice that word: suggest. The NRC makes suggestions instead of mandates because of the variation in results in the studies from which they draw.  

According to NRC values, the iron requirement for horses is 50 mg/kg. Reading that, you might think that Redmond products offer too much iron—however, it’s important to understand how to correctly interpret this information.

The requirement of 50 mg/kg of feed (mg/kg is the same as ppm) means that a horse should have 50 mg of iron for every kg of feed. To get the true limits, you have to multiply 50 mg of iron by the kilograms of feed the animal eats in a day. The suggested RDA for iron as recommended by the NRC for horses is 50 mg/kg (ppm) of feed x 12 kg of feed/day, making it 600 mg/day.

Redmond Salt has iron levels of 300 ppm (mg/kg), so there are 300 mg of iron for every kg of salt consumed.  But unlike eating 12 kg of forage, which is 26 lbs, they are only consuming 2 ounces of Redmond Rock Crushed.

 

There is a quick formula for calculating how much of a nutrient your horse is getting from Redmond Rock:

simply multiply the ppm on the label by 0.0284 (the factor to get mg/oz).  

For iron: 300ppm x 0.0284 = 8.52 mg/oz.  

At a 2 oz consumption rate, a horse is getting 17 mg of iron/day from Redmond Rock in a diet where 600 mg/day is suggested.

 

Now that we know what the equine requirements for iron are and how much iron they’re getting from our product, let’s examine how much iron the average horse is actually eating in a day.

Actual Intake of Iron From Feeds

There are many studies showing the iron content of feeds and it’s easy to take samples of your feeds and have them analyzed for iron content.  Here’s an example of a peer-reviewed study that took many samples of different forages to get iron content.  In grasses, the range was from 31 to 1044 mg/kg.  For legumes, it was 29 to 617 mg/kg.  Extrapolating this out using even just a low average of 200 mg/kg, a horse would be consuming 2400 mg of iron every day (200 mg/kg X 12 kg of feed).

Putting It All Together

As you now know, the daily requirement for iron is suggested at 600 mg/day for a mature horse. Redmond Rock and Redmond Rock Crushed offer 17 mg of iron/day. A low average for a forage diet is 2400 mg of iron/day.

It is pretty clear to see that horses normally consume far more iron than they need. When you view it in context, Redmond products’ iron content is almost insignificant in the whole picture–less than 3% of the suggested allowance and not even 1% of actual iron intake.

Horses have been eating huge amounts of iron for eons of time.  How have they been able to do that? How did horses work hard and live long 100 years ago on that diet?

Fortunately, nature has provided protections for this exact problem. Once again from the NRC book, “Iron in feedstuffs and minerals are in the ferric form (Fe+3) and are poorly absorbed in the intestinal tract. Enterocytes regulate iron absorption efficiency, and any more than 2% entering the system is excreted.” (Beard and Dawson, 1997.)

There are many articles like this one that say that iron has a relationship with zinc, copper, and manganese. It’s likely that iron levels aren’t causing a problem as much as an imbalance of this group of minerals.  This is why it’s wise to have your feeds analyzed. Redmond products are unrefined and contain over 60 naturally-occurring trace minerals which can help address this issue of imbalance.

If your horse is having problems, don’t rule out other possible causes like toxins in the feed or other types of feeds in their diet.  Chances are, Redmond Rock isn’t the culprit.

Why I Ride: True Partnership

By | Tribe, Why I Ride | No Comments

At Redmond, we believe everyone has a story to tell, especially about the things that inspire their passions. We want to know the stories behind the faces in our community, so we started the “Why I Ride” series. We asked our own Mike Mumford to answer the question “Why do you ride?” His answer follows.

As a 16 year old gangly teenager in England, I had never been on a horse and was very nervous about this adventure. I had decided to take up Modern Pentathlon, and with show jumping as one of the five events, I had to gird my loins and learn how to ride. Further complicating matters was the fact that I wouldn’t be riding my own horse, but drawing one from a pool of grade B jumpers provided by the competition organizers.

I know the first few times I rode I was a sack of potatoes, desperately hanging on whilst suffering the torture of learning the sitting trot without stirrups. After a few months of weekly indignation and personal physical pain, I could at least feel confident that if I drew a good honest horse, I could stay with him and make a reasonable round without too much embarrassment.

Riding was the unloved stepchild of the five events, and for most of us accomplished pentathletes the results of the riding event were determined more by the luck of the draw than riding ability. Through sheer luck, in the British U 18 Championships I drew a beautiful no-nonsense horse named Natasha, and with four great events in the other disciplines (running, swimming, pistol shooting, and epee fencing) I managed to get a clear round. Other more experienced national athletes were not so lucky in their draw and I won the day, much to their chagrin!

Fast forward to 1984, where I had drawn a horse called Krakatoa in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. After four international competitions earlier in the year, all with clear rounds, I was feeling very confident in my riding ability. We had a good round, however due to my nervousness, I think my mount became nervous. Despite riding an honest round, he dragged his back legs a couple of times to cause two knockdowns. Needless to say, I did not win the day.

That experienced stayed with me like unfinished business. I could have, should have done better. Over time, I have learned that horses are not like a bicycle that you can jump on to go somewhere. They are animals that want to connect. They are telepathic, they are sensitive, and they are so willing in most cases to please you. That horse in L.A. tried.

In the intervening years since Los Angeles, I have grown. I have developed a better understanding of and deeper regard and love for horses. Today, I am working on my relationship with my boy, Basil, so I can be better and help him be better. It’s an ongoing process that may never have a completion date.

So why do I ride?  I ride because it has become a real release for me. Riding is an activity that demands being in the present. All those concerns about work demands, relationships out of tune, lack of money, or ugly politics leave our minds when we are on our horses.

These days with my own Arabian, Basil, we do a lot of trail rides, the occasional endurance event, and no jumping (except the odd unannounced spook).  I have learned after riding so many other horses it is a real joy to have my own true partnership. I love the opportunity to see him daily and know it has taken this fella a couple of good stable years to adjust, settle down, and learn to trust me. I think it is me that is the slow learner. I feel we are developing and growing together; these small steps each day are fulfilling.  Riding is therapy for both of us, and we both have much to learn.

Will Redmond Rein Water Help My Dehydrated Horse Drink?

By | Equine Health | No Comments

They say you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. If you own a horse, you probably know how true that sentiment is. Horses become accustomed to the water in their home paddock and stall, and water from a different source when you’re traveling or have moved can taste strange to them. Often times, you’ll find your equine partner will simply refuse to drink the foreign water. This will of course cause you concern about dehydration.

Dehydration is the lack of water and a full range of minerals like sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium. It is a serious condition that can lead to lethargy, colic, and kidney failure if the horse is not quickly rehydrated. Though many people think of dehydration as a problem only in the hot months, it is a major issue that can also occur all year long—even in the depths of winter.

To encourage drinking, owners will try a variety of tactics, including adding sweeteners, molasses flavoring, or even a sugary sports drink. Some owners even resort to taking gallons of the home water with them when they travel, to prevent dehydration issues. We probably don’t need to tell you that none of those are good options, but just in case: none of those are good options. Your horse may drink it, but that still doesn’t make it a good option. Why? To begin with, as veterinarian Dr. Mark DePaolo has written, “Horses were not designed to eat sugars or carbohydrates. High sugar diets are detrimental to your horse’s health and well-being.” Secondly, offering water alone to a dehydrated horse does not truly rehydrate it. Water by itself dilutes the body fluids surrounding the tissues and lowers the balance of electrolytes that the body needs to function well, while shutting off the thirst mechanism. Electrolytes need to be incorporated to help replace the essential salts in the body that are lost through sweat, so the best rehydration therapies include the use of electrolyte preparations, either in feed or water, to encourage drinking.

This is where Rein Water comes in. Rein Water is a proprietary mix of over 60 Redmond minerals, salt, and Daily Gold. It is like an equine Gatorade…without the sugar. When mixed with water, the minerals and salt will dissolve and mix well giving your horses the electrolyte benefits they need to stave off dehydration. The good news is, because it helps mask the taste of foreign water and gives horses the trigger to drink more, it will help your dehydrated horse drink and stay hydrated and healthy, especially when you’re on the road or in new surroundings.

 

Good traveling, good drinking. And remember, a healthy horse is a hydrated horse.

How Long Does The Rock Last?

By | Equine Health, Products | No Comments

When you bring your lucky horse their first Redmond Rock, you’ll find they will likely devour it pretty quickly. Some people tell us their horse finishes it in a week or two. If that’s true for your horse, don’t be alarmed. This is normal at first. Usually, their consumption will start to slow after the first or second rock, when they’ve loaded up on the trace minerals their body might have been craving. Give your horse plenty of fresh water and let them enjoy it at their pace.

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Julie Goodnight with horse

Does your horse like you?

By | Stories | No Comments

We know horses are very emotional animals, and we know them to also be very relationship oriented. The question is, what does your horse think of you? And what are the signs that tell you? People say all the time, “I want my horse to like me and I want my horse to trust me!”

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Julie Goodnight jumping

Three Common Mistakes that Erode your Horse’s Trust

By | Stories | No Comments

Horses know good leadership when they see it because their lives depend upon it. We probably all agree that the ultimate relationship with a horse is one in which the horse looks up to you, wants to be with you and feels safe and peaceful in your presence. But all the groundwork and relationship building exercises in the world won’t help you develop this relationship unless you present yourself as a competent leader at all times.

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Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

By | Stories | No Comments

by Jolene Green

I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. About ten years ago I was introduced to horses. They changed my life. I quickly realized they could be a powerful force for hope, growth and joy for my client’s lives as well. I searched out and began practicing EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Assoc.), one form of EAP, but there are many, many other forms and  styles. When I tell people I do EAP they always ask, “What is EAP?”  Officially it means Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. As a professional, I practice a formal therapeutic style, but if you own or have the privilege of being a partner with a horse, most likely you have discovered every time you are with a horse, it is therapeutic.

You probably find yourself quoting “there’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse” often, especially to your non-horsey friends, but have you ever wondered why?

Fortunately many researchers have asked that question with fascinating results. Dr. Anna Baldwin and Dr. Gehrke (there are others) in independent studies by measuring HRV (heart rate variability)  showed horses “seem to live in a coherent (happy, calm, peaceful) state” unless “scary situations” arise. When your heart is in “coherence” as established by The Institute of HeartMath, you are calm, joyous, in a state of gratitude, peace and well-being. Turns out horses live in that state unless frightened. Even then, as prey animals, when what they perceive as a threat passes, they return to their coherent state within minutes. Horses have VLF or ELF (Very LowFrequency or Extremely Low Frequency) heart electromagnetic waves. People not so much. These very low frequency heart waves are directly related to health and well being. People who don’t have enough of these are more prone to inflammation and PTSD, anxiety and depression.

The human heart puts out an energy field up to 8 to 10 feet, as measured by a magnetometer. A horse’s electromagnetic field is five times larger than the human one and is also stronger than ours. So within 30 seconds of touching a horse his heart will take over your heart and bring it to his level, helping us feel better. “Research shows that people experience many physiological benefits while interacting with horses, including lowered blood pressure and heart rate; increased levels of beta-endorphins (neurotransmitters that serve as pain suppressors); decreased stress levels; reduced feelings of anger, hostility, tension, and anxiety; improved social functioning; and increased feelings of empowerment, trust, patience and self-efficacy.”  (Dr. Maria Katsamanis & Dominique Barbier THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS)  This is a lot of scientific talk that tells us what we already know: being with our horse/horses makes us feel better.

A returning vet with severe PTSD came to my place, The Barn, after his wife called me saying if things didn’t change she was taking their 3 small children and leaving. She said he was angry, hostile, impatient and scaring their children. He came to 10 one-hour sessions. He never said a word. He just went to the horses (I have 10), pet them, kneeled down by them, stayed with them.  In one of his sessions, he leaned over my horse, Tina, and cried for an hour. Tina didn’t move. She occasionally reached back and touched him on the shoulder. On his last session, he walked over and said “They reminded me to be human. They helped me find my heart again.” He didn’t return. When I called to check in with his wife, she said she had her sweet husband back.

Another man called to make an appointment for his 15 year old daughter. He chose to stay for the session, sittiing in a chair just inside the fence. Tina (my Norwegian Fjord) walked over to the man, put her nose on him and stood that way the entire hour of his daughter’s session. At the end of the hour, I asked him why the horse was with him. He said “She’s comforting me. The reason we’re here is because my wife is an alcoholic. When she drinks, she abuses my daugher. The State told me if I don’t get my wife out of the house, they’ll put my daughter in foster care. I filed for divorce today and I’m broken hearted.”

Our horses are a privilege and a gift. They change our lives and our hearts. And, if you are like me, we never get enough. They are good therapy.

Julie Goodnight

Trust your intuition to avoid injury

By | Food for thought | No Comments

“Try That One More Time.” When it comes to horses, these words are often looked back on with regret. They’re often the words muttered right before something goes terribly wrong. Words matter. Sometimes we need to listen to the words that come out of our mouth and to listen to the voice inside instead.

I strongly believe that most incidents with horses are entirely preventable and if we consider an incident to be an opportunity to learn, not a failure, then we get safer and more effective with horses as times goes on. If you think about incidents as “freak accidents,” you’ve lost the opportunity to learn, grow and improve. There’s always a cause and effect; there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow as a horse person. Recently, I had a message from a rider that was sadly an all-too-familiar refrain. Here’s what the message said:

I had been riding seven months and was posting while trotting and doing 20-meter circles and reverses. We had ridden over an hour. It all clicked that day. I ended with a canter. The trainer wanted me to canter one last time. My intuition said no. I told myself to just do what she said. As we are cantering she (the trainer) is yelling use the crop, use the crop. [The horse] got scared, did a 360 and went into a full run. I hung onto the mane with one hand as she instructed then finally I fell. I couldn’t move. [The trainer] tried to pull me up. I told her not to. She assured me I was ok and the breath was just knocked out of me. I finally was able to get up in searing pain. She had me get back on and post and trot. I did, like a fool. All bent over, I untacked, put him up, drove home two hours. My husband rushed me to the ER. I had broken T-12, crushed L-1, fractured my whole vertebrae and had a concussion. I was told I missed paralysis by 1/8 inch. For three months I couldn’t lift more than the weight of a coffee cup. Riding brought me so much peace and joy –before this incident.

There are quite a few lessons to be learned here. Falling off is part of the sport and can only be entirely avoided by not riding, but while it’s a rough and tumble sport, I do not believe serious injury has to be a part of it. If we learn to not push the limits of our horses and our own abilities, if we learn to pay attention to that inner voice that often warns us when things aren’t quite right and if we let go of archaic and egotistical approaches, the risk goes way down.

Words Matter
I’ve seen many horse wrecks that started with the words, “Let’s try that one more time…” In several decades of work with the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to safe horsemanship instruction, I’ve learned these words to be a red-flag warning. What those words really mean is, “Even though I think we’ve already done this enough, and even though I think there’s a chance we’ve already accomplished what we needed to, let’s get greedy and do it one more time.” When it comes to horses, this kind of approach often backfires.

I’ve learned this important lesson myself over the years and I can think of more than one instance where ‘trying it one more time’ was the worst possible choice and resulted in a wreck and/or an injury to a horse or a rider. When we say things like, “one more time,” or “I’ll try,” or “maybe we should,” there is an unstated concern that something might not go right. When you hear words like that, why not complete the thought and consider why you need to do it again, what good can come of it, why do you think you might not be able to do it and why are you not sure of what the right thing to do is? Maybe just stepping back for a moment and reconsidering isn’t such a bad idea.

When you let words of doubt creep into your vocabulary, like “I’ll try,” it really means you don’t think you can do it. You are doubting yourself and giving yourself an escape. The problem is that horses respond to your level of confidence and determination, be it high or low. When you use words like “if” and “try,” you erode your own confidence and your horse may respond negatively as well—by challenging your authority or losing his own confidence. When you feel the need to use doubtful words like try, if, or maybe, just take a moment to consider why you feel that way. Is this a smart thing to be doing? Are you prepared and qualified to do it? And what good can come of this or what can go wrong? If the answers are affirmative, go for it and drop the ‘try.’ I AM going to do this! If any of the answers are less than affirmative, maybe rethinking or thinking it through, is not a bad idea.

Trust Your Inner Voice
When people are describing bad incidents with their horse, I often hear them say, “I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but my trainer/spouse/friend pushed me, so I did.” Our inner voice of wisdom is important and although it may not always be right, it’s worth at least considering. Far too often in hindsight, it seems clear that had you listened to that inner voice, the wreck may not have happened.

It’s important to hear, respect and consider your inner voice and to take responsibility for your own self—don’t abdicate that responsibility to anyone. Don’t let others pressure you into actions that you don’t feel good about. You know yourself and your horse better than anyone. You know your capabilities and you know where you are emotionally in that moment better than anyone. Yes, sometimes it’s helpful to have someone to gently push you into things you aren’t entirely comfortable with, but no one has the right to pressure and cajole you onto something you are not prepared for.

If you have realistic goals and an objective view of both your and your horse’s capabilities, then you should be confident in your own decisions and not let yourself cave into the pressure of others. Remember, your trainer works for you, not the other way around. Make your expectations and needs known and don’t be afraid to stop, look and listen when you hear that inner voice of warning.

Let Go of Archaic Notions
The idea of getting back on the horse that just bucked you off, is rarely a good idea, in my opinion. Whether you got bucked off or just fell off, chances are you are not in the best frame of mind to get back on that horse. Chances are also good that your horse is not in the best frame of mind either—he’s probably scared or anxious and something led to the problem to begin with. The adrenalin rush that comes from this kind of incident can often mask injuries that you may have sustained and getting back on may make the injuries worse.

When a rider comes off the horse, we’ll call it an “unscheduled dismount,” I prefer that she take a break, sit down and rest, get checked out medically if needed, get control of her emotions, debrief the incident, and only think about getting back on when ready. Maybe that’s today; maybe not. Often, I’ll get up on the horse after an incident, to settle it and let the rider see what’s going on. If the rider feels strongly about getting back on, that’s fine and I will support her as best I can. But no one else has the right to tell you to get back on. Not your husband, not your friend and not your trainer.

Again, take responsibility for yourself and don’t let yourself be pressured by others at times like this. Before getting back on a horse after an incident, think it through. What good will come of this? What would have prevented the incident from happening? Is my horse injured, physically or emotionally? What needs to change with my horse or with my own skills or equipment, to prevent this from happening again? Taking a little break—rather that is for an hour, a day, a week or longer, is not necessarily a bad idea. Think through what happened, how you may have prevented it, and what you would’ve done differently if you could. Armed with this kind of knowledge, you will come back to riding with more confidence and a plan to not let that happen again. Always give yourself time to heal—both physically and emotionally, after any kind of scary incident with a horse.

The sport of riding is a challenging and exhilarating sport that comes with a certain amount of risk that cannot be entirely eliminated. But we don’t need to add to that possibility by doing foolish things and taking unnecessary risks. This is a sport that takes years and decades to master and getting in a hurry and cutting corners rarely pays off. The same thing is true of training horses—generally the slower you go, the better the outcome.

Be patient in developing your skills and your horse’s training. Work with trainers that are supportive of your needs, listen to what you have to say and make good decisions. Learn to trust your inner voice and hear what it has to say. Let your rational mind be the judge of whether or not that inner voice has a point; don’t let someone else make that judgment for you. And finally, when a rider comes off a horse, take the safest and smartest approach—get medical clearance, take a break, debrief the incident and make a smart plan to get back in the saddle safely.

And don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

—Julie Goodnight, Trainer and Clinician

Julie Goodnight takes on topics you want to know more about in her online training library—part of her ever-expanding Horse Master Academy (http://signin.JulieGoodnight.com) now with a free access membership to help you search for many training articles, videos and MP3s!

For more thoughts from Julie, watch her Horse Master TV show each week on RFD-TV or catch the show online anytime at TV.JulieGoodnight.com and please subscribe to the free YouTube channel at http://YouTube.com/juliegoodnight and find her on Instagram at http://www.Instagram.com/juliegoodnight. Check out her full list of clinics and appearances at: JulieGoodnight.com/calendar

The deep connection I share with my horse

By | Stories | No Comments

There are hardly words for my connection with Six. It is so deep I don’t have a lot of words for it. It is a feeling inside that only him and I share. I know every single thing he likes and does not like, how to keep him happy without him doing anything besides looking at me. Communication in any relationship is important, but it doesn’t have to be talking. Six and I have our own communication together and we understand each other. His eyes tell his whole story. There is so much expression of love, angry, sadness, discomfort,  and happiness if you are listening. Every horse is so different like people are, some people are happy go lucky, or more on the lazy side. Six is very sensitive and his feelings are hurt very easily. He also does everything with love and meaning. He always gives 100% effort and try in everything he does. As a partner this teaches me to work harder, try hard, dedicate more not only to six but to our team together. Both teammates have to give 100% of their effort to do their best. Six is also very humble and kind, he doesn’t like to be the center of attention, just the center of my attention. He reminds me, even in a packed arena all that matters is him and I.

Every night when I tuck him in I sit in the same corner in his stall. He will always walk over and lean his head on my shoulder for a nightly ear scratch. After his ear scratch he nuzzles my hair for a few minutes before I say goodnight with a kiss on the muzzle. It’s not always about that one win of the barrel race or rodeo its about the deep soul connection with your best friend.

Kara Posch barrel racing

Carrie's barrel horse

Helping my ulcer stricken high anxiety barrel mare

By | Daily Gold | No Comments

by Carrie Kapusta-kriel

I ordered Daily Gold a week ago and started using it on my ulcer stricken high anxiety barrel mare. She was on it for approximately four days before I took her to a barrel race. This horse walked in flat-footed and calm both days at the barrel race. She ran so well that I couldn’t keep up. Highly recommend it.

This is a horse that has had anxiety and also ulcer issues for the past two years, she would be in a lathered sweat just to approach the arena gate. She no longer rings her tail while being saddled. A friend of mine made a comment at the barrel race she had to come up to me to see if it was the same horse. That’s how calm this stuff has made my horse.

I am so thankful to have gotten to use this product because I was at my wits end, if you’re having problems getting it to stick to your feed try a little palm oil that’s what I do and my mare is a very picky eater, she cleans it right up!

Carrie barrel racing