Entries by Dr Nerida Richards

Don’t Forget the Milk!

If you are looking at your foal’s diet in FeedXL it is crucial you include mum’s milk. It is a goldmine of nutrients for your foal and must be taken into account. Forget the milk and you will end up overfeeding, which will then cause problems with growth that is too fast. OK you say, […]

How to Make Sense of Pasture Analysis Results

Have you ever got the results back from a pasture or hay analysis and been left scratching your head trying to figure out what the numbers mean? Frustrating isn’t it!? That is unless you have a tool (like FeedXL) to interpret the numbers for you. Let me show you what I (Nerida) mean. The analysis below shows the […]

How to Treat Free Fecal Water

Do you have a horse that has water that runs out of the anus before, during or after he poos? This condition now has a name! Free Fecal Water, or FFW. And also, happily it now has some research behind what may cause it as well as a potential treatment. If it is something you […]

What You Should Know About Anaerobic Fungi

Anaerobic Fungi! These little critters live in our horses’ hindguts! And they are responsible for an estimated 30 to 40% of the fibre fermentation that occurs in there! So as well as thinking about how diet might affect our horse’s hindgut bacterial populations we also need to think about how it might affect their anaerobic […]

Iron: Is There a Link to Laminitis?

Dietary iron is thought by some to contribute to the incidence of laminitis in horses, with serum ferritin starting to be used as the measure of iron status. I (Nerida) don’t know if this is the case, but in reading human literature, it seems the relationship between serum ferritin and inflammation is a bit of […]

Grazing Muzzles

I personally love grazing muzzles. A muzzle means my horses can be out grazing 23+ hours per day. Without them they would be strip grazed (trashing my natives pastures in the process) or locked up for extended periods, which for gut and mental health is not ideal either. But they come with their challenges. They […]

Too Much Salt Might Be Killing Gut Bacteria

The last two weeks has seen extreme weather conditions for us in my local area in Australia. In the last 14 days, 7 days have been 40 degrees celsius or higher (104 F +) and of the other 7 days only one was below 37 degrees C (99 F). To make things worse, the nights […]

Iron for Horses: Could Forage Be Enough?

Comparison of equine dietary iron requirements to iron concentrations of 5,837 hay samples N. Richards and B.D. Nielsen, 2018 Introduction Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells. According to the 2007 Horse NRC, Fe requirements are 50 ppm for growing foals, lactating and pregnant mares, and 40 ppm for all other classes […]

Sunbleaching or Sweat?

I think it must be a combination of both! Poet and I did an unintentional experiment over our Christmas break that seems to show that the sunbleaching that occurs in some horses over summer is a combination of sun and sweat. Where we live flies can get bad, so my horses have flymasks on during […]

Setaria Grass and Bighead: What You Need to Know

Setaria should really be classified as toxic for horses. It is a subtropical pasture with such high levels of oxalate that it makes it almost impossible to prevent Secondary Nutritional Hyperparathyroidism (Bighead disease) in horses grazing this grass. Grasses like kikuyu and buffel grass readily cause bighead disease with an oxalate content of around 15 […]