The following photos show the progress of a horse which was supported by minerals balanced to the forage eaten. The ratios were carefully looked at to provide optimum levels as matched to the NRC requirements. The first photos were taken at the end of March when the horse’s skin was starting to get worse as spring began.
This horse had been on a few different commercial feeds, and skin supplements and creams, but always suffered from low level itching through the winter. As spring started it would develop bald areas. Obviously distressed the horse would rub and bite itself until it was raw in the summer. The owner had always had to use rugs to protect the horse, and creams and oils on exposed areas. Interestingly other horses which the owner had purchased at a later date also started to show the same symptoms which is when a mineral imbalance was suspected.
An analysis of the forage eaten by this horse revealed very low levels of copper and zinc, plus high levels of molybdenum and manganese. It appears that where this pattern is seen many horses may be prone to sweet itch symptoms. The photos opposite show the same areas just two months later! Addressing the ratio of minerals allowed the body to heal itself naturally. To date the itching has not returned on this horse and the other horses also are much improved. The blankets and potions are now gathering dust!
So if you have a sweet itch prone horse it may be supported if you can nutritionally focus the ratios of minerals in its diet through forage analysis or feeding forage focussed balancers. You will need an equine balancer which contains only the minerals which target the common deficiency patterns in forage. The minerals you should look for in such a balancer are: phosphorous, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium and iodine. It is also helpful to have extra B vitamins, biotin and the amino acids lysine and methionine. Healthy skin supported by optimum forage focussed minerals is more likely to maintain strength to naturally combat the incidence of skin troubles such as sweet itch and mud fever. So put those potions away and reach for minerals which are forage focussed.