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CoolStance copra is a unique horse feed because it has low Non Structural Carbohydrate (NSC), and yet has a high digestible energy content.
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PowerStance is a unique powdered coconut oil supplement. PowerStance delivers the secret ingredient from CoolStance as a powder.
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Turmicle is a unique golden blend that combines all the natural benefits of Curcumin longa and Curcumin zanthorizzha, powdered coconut oil, ground black pepper and Resveratrol, in a convenient and easy to use powdered supplement form.
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Stance Blog

CoolStance® from Sustainably Sourced Coconuts

Tim Kempton - Thursday, March 09, 2017

CoolStance® copra is a unique horse feed because it has low Non-Structural Carbohydrates (sugar and starch, NSC) and yet has a high digestible energy content. CoolStance is packed with ‘cool' energy from coconut oil and fibre from coconut meal. CoolStance is suitable for most horses and can be fed to maintain a natural state of gut health and insulin sensitivity, i.e. normal insulin metabolism. CoolStance is unique because it can be fed twice a day to suit our modern lifestyle, and yet does not cause a spike in insulin or glucose concentrations. CoolStance is made from the white part of the coconut, which has been dried, baked and ground. It is a totally natural product and is chemical and GMO free. It is the only low NSC, high energy GMO free, all natural feed available.

Stance Equine works very closely with our coconut meal supplier Markam Agro in Papua New Guinea to support ethical and sustainable coconut production.  This not only ensures we provide quality products for our customers, but also ensures the long-term success of the local farmers in PNG. Markham Farms employ approximately 1,200 people and firmly believes in giving back to the Papua New Guinea society by ensuring its corporate social responsibilities are fulfilled.  Consistent efforts are made to provide education and medical facilities for the local society and employees and preserve the environment at its natural best. Markham activities include:

  • A plantation school maintained by the company has over 500 students with multiple classrooms,
  • Schooling for all children at the farm,
  • Providing a fully equipped 24 hours clinic and emergency ambulance,
  • Free accommodation, water, firewood, security and number of other benefits to all its employees


Key Benefits of CoolStance 
  • CoolStance copra has been fed as a quality product to horses for over 30 years!
  • Provides high-density ‘cool’ energy from oil and digestible fibre (15 MJ DE/kg DM)
  • Contains <2% starch and may reduce the effect of hot or fizzy behaviour in horses
  • Contains <11% Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC) making CoolStance a low GI feed
  • Contains coconut oil, which is a saturated oil and is not prone to rancidity or oxidation
  • Rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) which provide readily digestible energy
  • MCT from coconut oil may have antimicrobial actions from the Lauric and Caprylic acid
  • Provides a balanced supply of protein and energy
  • May improve body, hoof and coat condition.
  • May help to avoid metabolic disorders (tying up, laminitis, colic, EMS)

Feeding Oils to Endurance Horses for Aerobic Performance (part 2)

Tim Kempton - Sunday, February 19, 2017
In previous articles, we discussed why endurance horses are designed to operate at peak performance under aerobic conditions, i.e. in the presence of oxygen, and why grain is the enemy of the endurance athlete. We introduced the term ATP which is the chemical form that energy is delivered to the muscles. ATP is derived mainly from carbohydrate and/or fat. It is how the ATP is delivered that determines how well your horse completes, and recovers from, the ride.

During competition, most endurance horses cannot eat nor digest sufficient feed at each veterinary check to produce the ATP required to meet the energy requirements for the next leg/loop. It is essential therefore that you fill up the fuel tank (energy reserves) before the event. A 400kg horse can store approximately only 13,000 cal/kg as glycogen, but a massive 590,000 cal/kg as fat! That is the good news. The bad news is that horses can only use these fat reserves if they are metabolically adapted, fed the right oils, and not overloaded with high Non Structural Carbohydrate (NSC or grain) feeds.

***Horses can store 40 times more energy as fat. Horses can only use body fat if they are fat adapted***

Feeding Oils. There is good logic as to why you should feed oils to an endurance horse. Oils contain 2.5 times more energy than carbohydrate. It produces 3 times more ATP than carbohydrate under aerobic conditions, and horses can store 40 times more energy as fat. It is imperative, however, that the diet remains balanced for carbohydrate, protein, fibre, minerals and vitamins, since overfeeding oils can cause reduced fibre digestion and unbalanced mineral supply. The constraint to efficient fat utilisation however is that the energy (ATP) from fat can only be released when carbohydrate (grain) intake is low, ie. When INSULIN levels are low. Also, it takes 2-3 weeks for a horse to become fat adapted, i.e. for the metabolic pathways, hormones and enzymes to switch to using oil rather than carbohydrates and glycogen.

***Grain produces insulin which switches off the hormones for the utilisation of fat as an energy reserve***

Omega oils? There is a lot of unnecessary confusion about oils. Horses have a small stomach and are designed to eat at least 18 hours a day. Horses don’t have a gall bladder and therefore secrete bile continuously to emulsify the fats. Horses can be fed up to 25% of Digestible Energy as oil. Oils are either saturated or unsaturated, have different carbon chain lengths, and are either non –essential, or essential (cannot be manufactured by the horse). All animals, including humans require a balanced intake of essential oils. It is suggested that the correct balance the essential oils Omega 6: Omega 3 is about 4:1. The problem arises however when we give feeds with high levels of Omega 6 (from grains and polyunsaturated (PUFA) oils rich in linoleic acid (Omega 6) from sunflower, corn, soybean, canola). These feeds can produce Omega 6:3 ratios of 30-40:1 which can cause inflammation and assorted health issues. The approach has been to treat the symptom and not the cause by feeding oils with a high level of Omega 3 from flax, chia, to try and balance the 6:3 ratio.

This approach does not address the underlying issue created by feeding grain based diets, especially for the endurance horse. It is now well accepted that feeding high NSC (grain) diets can cause poor temperament, tendon and ligament problems (lameness) and metabolic issues (insulin resistance, tying up, cushings, laminitis, EMS, and colic). Logically, if you feed less grain, and less Omega 6 oils, you will also reduce the intake of Omega 6, and bring the Omega 6:3 ratio back into balance. More importantly, you may also reduce the metabolic issues caused by NSC (grain) feeding.

This removes the need to feed expensive Omega 3 oils. If horses are grazing pasture, and well prepared hays, they will usually eat enough Omega 3 to meet dietary requirements. (Refer to the great book Equine Applied and Clinical Nutrition, expensive but worth it for all horse owners). Which oil? The key is to select a balance of oils that are palatable, haven’t been highly processed, do not go rancid, provide the correct balance Omega 6:3:9 and that deliver ATP to meet the horses energy demands under aerobic conditions. Most oils are absorbed and transported slowly to the liver via the lymphatics. The medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oils such as coconut oil however are unique in that they are absorbed directly into the portal blood and transported directly to the liver. Coconut oil therefore is used as a non-glucose source of ready energy. One of the main advantages of coconut oil is that when compared to PUFA oils, it improves muscle glycogen storage and utilisation. Most importantly, feeding oils also reduces thermal load, which is critical for recovery under heavy work load and hot conditions.

Why feeding twice a day can be bad. We usually feed our horses twice daily because it suits our busy lifestyle. If we feed high NSC feeds, this creates spikes in both insulin and glucose, which cause hormonal shifts that switch off fat adaptation and fat utilisation pathways. In a published nutritional study of horses at pasture, when given feeds of different NSC content, the sweetfeed (33% NSC) and pelleted (25% NSC) feeds gave large spikes in both insulin and glucose. By comparison, 2.3kg/day of copra meal (10% oil, 11% NSC, 15 MJ digestible energy) did not metabolically increase glucose or insulin (Richards et al 2016 Animal Feed Science and Technology). Copra meal is the only high energy, low NSC feed that can be fed to endurance horses as single feed that does not have a negative influence on insulin and glucose levels.

Our goal is to provide horses with a feed that is high in fibre, provides good sources of oil, and low levels of NSC (low grain). It is impracticable for most people to feed more than twice a day, and therefore it is important to read the feed label and select a feed with low NSC, high digestible energy, and low levels of Omega 6.
The next article will discuss how to adapt your horse to a high fat diet, and what other supplements are required to optimise aerobic performance and fat utilisation.

by Dr Tim Kempton
Stance Equitec

Feeding the Endurance Athlete (part 1)

Stephanie Saxton - Sunday, February 12, 2017

Feeding the Endurance Athlete

Dr Tim Kempton

Stance Equitec.

This series of articles explores and challenges the science of feeding and training of performance of endurance athletes. 

Setting the scene.    Elite athletes, be they human or equine, have specific training requirements depending on the type of activity.  Ursain Bolt holds the world record or 9.58 secs for the 100 m sprint. Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda won Gold in the 2012 Olympics marathon. Imagine in your mind the physique, training and nutrition of these athletes.  In the equine world, Ursain Bolt is the racehorse and Stephen Kiprotich is the endurance horse. Their physiques are completely different.  The fundamental difference is that the sprinter derives energy for short bursts of speed from the anaerobic (without oxygen) chemical pathways in the body, whereas the marathon runner uses the aerobic (with oxygen) pathways to supply energy for hours of running. The muscles need oxygen to perform for these long periods of time.

Endurance horses are marathon runners, they need a feed to supply energy for hours.  So why are they often fed feeds designed for racehorses that provides energy for minutes?   Many of the issues seen in endurance horses (inflammation, nervous behaviour, ulcers, tying up, colic, lameness) can be attributed to feeding the wrong feeds.  We need to explore some science to explain why.

Energy supply.  The most important nutrient for endurance horses is energy (assuming protein, fibre and minerals and vitamins have been optimised).  Energy is derived primarily from two sources, oil and carbohydrates (sugar, starch and fibre).  Oil has twice the energy content compared to carbohydrate. There are some good oils, and also many bad oils. The sugar and starch content of carbohydrates is called Non Structural Carbohydrate (NSC) and is similar to Glycaemic Index (GI).  In all animals, the chemical production of energy occurs either under anaerobic (without oxygen) or aerobic (with oxygen) conditions. The energy is supplied to the cells as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP is simply the term to describe the currency of energy supply (its like $).  ATP cannot be stored in the body, and must be produced continuously from the carbohydrate and oil in the feed.  Oil produces more ATP than carbohydrates under aerobic conditions.

Energy storage.  Energy is stored in the body either as animal starch (glycogen) or fat.  Based on human studies, it is estimated that a 400 kg horse stores approximately 13,000 cal/kg  as glycogen and 590,000 cal/kg as fat . The constraint is however that the energy from fat can only be released when the carbohydrate intake is low, ie when the level of the hormone insulin is low.  Insulin is the hormone associated with diabetes. Horses can get diabetes (insulin resistance) the same as humans. High levels of insulin from grain based feeds can block the release of energy from fat. 

Muscles.  Horses have different types of muscle fibres, which are suited to ether sprint or endurance activities.

Sprint activities include racing, polo, harness racing, polocrosse, campdrafting, show jumping, ie  activities less than 3 minutes.  These horses rely mainly on the Type IIa and Type IIb “fast twitch” muscle fibre groups. Sprint muscles use anaerobic energy supply, and produce lactic acid as a byproduct. These muscles fatigue quickly.

Submaximal or endurance activities include dressage, eventing and  endurance use Type I “slow twitch” muscles that rely on aerobic metabolism. 

These fast and slow twitch muscle groups therefore require completely different feeding strategies. Fast twitch fibres need “sprint” or “explosive” energy over a short term, supplied under anaerobic conditions. Slow twitch fibres need “sub maximal” or “endurance” energy for long term (>10 mins to hours) of activity supplied under aerobic conditions.

Summary.  Endurance horses are marathon runners. They rely on aerobic metabolism to produce ATP and to use the energy stored and supplied for slow twitch muscular function.  The endurance horse cannot efficiently utilise fat for energy if it is fed on high levels of carbohydrate (grain). Grain is suited to sprint activities, and causes an increase in insulin, which can switch off the hormones that allow the horse to use fat as the primary energy source. Simply put, grain can be the enemy of the elite endurance athlete.

Articles in the following QERA newsletters will share the science of endurance nutrition, feeding and training techniques to optimise aerobic metabolism using low NSC, high energy feeds based on fibre, good oil, and strategic supplements such as turmeric to reduce inflammation, and increase nutrient absorption, storage and utilisation.

For further information contact Stance Equitec 1800 782 623 or info@stanceeequine.com.au

How To Guide: Introducing Horses to CoolStance Copra Meal

Tim Kempton - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Congratulations on making the switch to CoolStance, this is a terrific product. It is low in sugar and starch, high in fiber, provides a great source of protein and contains good fats from coconut oil! Plus it offers a great range of minerals and amino acids already!! CoolStance is the only all natural, low NSC, high energy feed available. We understand that some horses can be quite fussy when transitioning to CoolStance. So we’ve put together some information to help you and your horse through the transition. Each horse will be different in their approach but customers who are committed definitely see the results once their horses do start eating CoolStance.

1.  Include a balanced Vitamin & Mineral:

CoolStance is not a complete feed.  CoolStance must be fed together with a medium quality grass hay. CoolStance has a low calcium (Ca) content, and may require an additional Ca supplementation (particularly for horses grazing oxalate pastures). In Australia we have developed VitaStance, a premium vitamin, mineral and amino acid mix specifically designed to complement feeding CoolStance. Currently outside Australia (USA, UK, SA, NZ) we don't have a brand that we recommend, so look for a balanced trace mineral vitamin mix that provides quality Ca.

2.  Start off slowly and gradually increase:

As with starting any new feed, it is always best to transition slowly to allow the horse to accept the smell and the taste, and also the bacteria in the gut time to adapt. For some horses this could be starting off with 1/4 cup per day and gradually increasing the amount over a week (as you add in more CoolStance reduce the amount of other feed/s). For horses who are fussier this may mean starting with as little as a teaspoon. A few tips and tricks: sometimes adding in foods they like (grated carrot, apple, pear, etc) can help with the initial introduction to CoolStance. Some people have success introducing CoolStance with molasses or a strong smelling supplement. Other times a bit of tough love works, just keep offering up the CoolStance until they get hungry enough to try it.  

3.  Each horse is different:

Feeding rates will vary from horse to horse and how much they need will depend on their energy requirements. The best guide will always be your horse!! Watch their energy levels and body condition and adjust feed accordingly. However, generally we recommend 1-2kg OR 2-4 lbs/day (ideally divided between two meals, AM/PM feeding). Always ensure you horse is receiving sufficient fiber from pasture or hay, horses stomachs are quite small and they are designed for continuous grazing.  Since CoolStance contains only low levels on NSC (sugar and starch), unlike grain based feeds, there is no issue with horses over consuming CoolStance.

Horses will vary the amount they eat on a day to day basis. If a horse leaves CoolStance, immediately reduce the amount offered to what it ate.  Wash out the feed container to remove any residue.  Place the feed bucket in the shade during feed time.

4.  CoolStance can be fed wet or dry:

Most people like to feed CoolStance wet, as the consistency of the product is a fine meal and the addition of water will allow the meal to swell. Adding water can be great for improving hydration and providing a soft feed for older horses. If you choose to feed CoolStance dry ensure that your horses have access to plenty of clean fresh water, as they chew/ masticate/ swallow they will produce saliva to wet the meal, and this increased saliva production will make the horse thirsty. If you feed dry, place the feed bucket away from the water trough, so your horse has to walk between the feed bucket and the water trough.

 It is good to point out here that increased saliva produced during eating may also aid digestion and is what we aim for when talking about ‘slow foods’ (See article on Slow Foods Vs Fast Foods). Some people add just enough water to dampen the meal, some add equal quantities of water to CoolStance so it becomes light and fluffy (this happens quite quickly, CoolStance is not a product that you need to soak), others like to add lots of water so the meal becomes soupy (this is great during summer)!

5.  Feeding twice a day

Horses eat CoolStance twice as slowly as grain based feeds.  Also unlike grain based feeds, CoolStance does not cause a spike in insulin or glucose after it is eaten. This means CoolStance is the ideal feed that can be fed twice a day to suit our busy lifestyles, and does not cause metabolic upset in your horse caused by spikes in insulin and glucose.

We hope this has helped to give you some information on feeding CoolStance, if you have any further queries please don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly sales team (sales@stanceglobal.com). You can also check out other great articles on CoolStance, including ‘Coconut Meal, My Horse Won’t Eat That’ and ‘NSC for Horses’ on our website: www.stanceglobal.com and our Stance Equine YouTube videos: 

(How to Feed Stance Equine Cool Stance Feed, by Kati Trimmell) https://youtu.be/UR7DkqHLeuA

 (How to feed CoolStance Copra Horse Feed Wet or Dry, by Matthew Whiteman) https://youtu.be/-XouRGEmGpU

(Dr Tim explains the benefits of CoolStance copra for horses) https://youtu.be/lt9UEhMjoiU



Coconut Meal? My Horse Won’t Eat That!

Claudia Garner - Monday, January 23, 2017

I get some version of this response (title of article) just about every time I strike up a conversation with someone new about  Cool Stance. But, the truth is, I have yet to meet a horse that hasn’t readily accepted it when transitioned thoughtfully. It’s true that a horse accustomed to eating grains high in starch and sugars is likely to turn its nose up at Cool Stance if you suddenly replace his usual sinful dinner with a bowl of healthy coconut meal (the same could be said about most of us as well!). But, the fact of the matter is, no one should ever transition any horse from one type of feed to another abruptly.

Also, if you’ve ever had a loose horse on your farm or in your barn, you know that when it comes to choosing what (or how much) to eat, horses definitely don’t always know what’s best  for them!

Stance Equine USA offers a recommended protocol for introducing Cool Stance, but I don’t want you to just take the company’s word for it. So in this article, I’m going to share some personal stories of how several of my friends and I have successfully transitioned a variety of horses over to Cool Stance, with amazing results.

Left: Robin and Hardy Brown with their horses, Dahlia and Chip.

First I want to introduce you to Robin and Hardy Brown who own Chainey Briar Stables in Ridgeville, SC. The Browns were so excited about the early results they got from Cool Stance back in 2011 that they stepped up as the very first dealers in the Southeast! “Since we are a boarding stable, we have transitioned a number of horses of many breeds, backgrounds and diets over to Cool Stance, usually with minimal to no resistance”, explains Hardy. “With new horses, we start with just a sprinkle or about 1/8 cup of dry Cool Stance on their current food. Some horses will do some sniffing or pushing the food around with their upper lip, and one or two horses have tried eating around it, but typically within a couple of days they finish everything.” Hardy goes on to explain that over the next few days they gradually add more Cool Stance up to about 1/2 a cup, and then introduce some moisture to get the horses used to eating wet feed. Usually within three weeks they are completely switched over to the appropriate amount for each particular horse’s needs, which could be anywhere from 1.5 to 5 cups of Cool Stance, twice per day.

“Then”, Hardy adds with a smile, “we stand back and watch the transformations unfold!”

Many people are concerned initially with the fat content in Cool Stance (9%).  But what those of us who use the feed have found is that because coconut meal contains only 
medium-chain triglycerides, you get all the benefits of a healthy oil (enhanced coat color and condition for example), without adding unwanted weight. And because Cool Stance is packed full of readily digestible protein (20%), you also get improved muscle tone and top-lines.

Kit and Val, both Georgian Grande horses (a cross between a Saddlebred and a Friesian) who are owned by Michael Zeigler, were boarded at Chainey Briar Stables from 2008 until 2014.  As you can see from the photos on the left, they are a perfect example of the positive changes we frequently see in coat condition/color and top-line!





Kit and Val before Cool Stance







Kit and Val after Cool Stance

 

 




My own Arabian gelding, Shoki, is further proof that the fats in Cool Stance are safe and effective, even for “easy keepers”.  For many years I struggled to control emerging metabolic issues with Shoki.  He was considerably overweight and had started to develop a cresty neck and fat pads behind his shoulders.  My veterinarian was quite concerned about his weight.  I had already tried a variety of “low starch” commercial feeds and had increased his exercise, all to no avail.  So, I was excited when I learned that Cool Stance contains no more than 11% non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) and no more than 2% starch!  As you can see from the photos below (click on images to enlarge), after transitioning to Cool Stance Shoki dropped considerable weight and his cresty neck line disappeared, but he still maintained excellent overall body and coat condition.  The last photo on the right shows him earlier this year, at age 26 and completely retired – but still fit and maintaining wonderful muscle tone on Cool Stance.






Shoki before (2008)
 

 





Shoki after (2010)



 





Shoki today (2016)

Cool Stance is also very effective at putting weight on thin horses!

Meet Jett, a 7 year old paint gelding owned by Lauren Clarey.  Jett recently came to Chainey Briar Stables as a new boarder, arriving on September 17, 2016.  He was immediately transitioned over to Cool Stance.   You can see from the before and after photos below that Jett’s body and coat condition have both drastically improved in just 2 months.  We’re all excited to see how phenomenal he’ll look when he sheds out next Spring!

 Jett on Sept. 17, 2016

 

 Jett on Nov. 27, 2016


 

Kristi Rodgers is a Natural Hoof Trimmer serving clients throughout the greater Charleston area. She first decided to try Cool Stance in 2014 after seeing the positive results a few of her clients, including myself and the Browns, were getting. “Unfortunately, Bam Bam, my little Lippitt Morgan horse, rejected CoolStance the first time I tried it”, Kristi explains.  “She is an easy keeper weight-wise, but is picky, funny enough.  I tried to change her over too fast that first time and then I just dropped the idea when it didn’t work immediately.”


                             
Kristi and Bam Bam


But over time, a few more of Kristi’s clients started feeding Cool Stance and she just couldn’t ignore what she was seeing. “So, a few months ago I decided to try it again,”  Kristi explains. This time, she transitioned Bam very, very slowly… over about five weeks. “Now I feed her and she eats all of it!”, Kristi says with a big smile. She also wanted to share Bam’s special recipe, which is (all in one bowl):  two cups of beet pulp, two cups of Cool Stance, a tablespoon of Probios, and a scoop of 
High Point – all mixed with about five or six cups of water, once a day.  Bam also gets all the coastal hay she wants, pasture and

 Bam Bam showing off her playful personality while waiting for a trim.  And look at those dapples!

freedom for about 12 hours a day.  When asked what results she’s seen, Kristi’s face lights up again as she explains, “Bam Bam has always been very healthy hoof-wise, so I wasn’t looking for changes on that front. But, I can definitely see a difference in her coat and attitude. She’s also cooler now and less prone to freaking out.  She’s still a bundle of power and energy though, which I love!” Going back to Bam’s feet, Kristi adds, “I don’t see a single hoof ripple or stress line in her hooves from when I started Cool Stance, which assures me that Cool Stance didn’t disrupt her metabolism. At this point, I’ll never feed anything else, that’s for sure!”

Providing 1630 calories/lb of digestible energy, Cool Stance is also an excellent feed for performance horses that need readily available “cool” energy that won’t make them hot or “fizzy”.

                                  Corrie and Harmony

Corrie McGovern is a photographer and co-owner of MCG Photography. She is the “food procurer and caretaker” of not only her own paint mare (Harmony) but also a friend’s little Quarter Horse gelding (Cruise) who is boarded at the same barn.  Corrie says she had no problem transitioning either of the horses over to Cool Stance. “Harmony and Cruise did a 14-16 day transition,” she explains. “Both dove right in. I pre-packaged it 7 days at a time to make sure we were consistent with the amounts and change.”

Corrie explains that Cruise did go through a bit of a “detox” phase during the transition where he seemed lethargic and not quite himself.  However, after five days fully on Cool Stance “the fog cleared and he found his inquisitive self again. It felt to me very similar to the phase people coming off gluten, sugar and or carb-based diets also go through”, Corrie explained.  She says there is now a third horse that came to their barn on 1 cup of Cool

Cruise with his buddy Harmony

Stance, along with his other feeds. Jasper was initially taken off the Cool Stance in an effort to simplify his feeding protocol but Corrie says, “Pretty soon we noticed dandruff, weight loss and his feet started to take a turn for the worse. Of course, there could be multiple factors involved but he is back on Cool Stance now and looking phenomenal!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed these stories.  And, I hope you will share this article freely with others who might be interested in the benefits of this highly versatile, naturally GMO free, forage-based feed!  Perhaps the information here will provide the motivation and reassurance more owners or trainers need in order to give this phenomenal feed a shot with their own horses.  If so, I hope they’ll share their success stories with me!

Oxalate Pastures: How Do They Affect Horses?

Tess Lawrence - Thursday, August 21, 2014

A horses grazing activities make up a major part of their diet, yet all too often horse owners fall into the trap of disregarding the nutritional composition of the pastures available when considering the horses overall requirements. Unfortunately, educational articles and talk are generally based around hard feed, as opposed to pastures. This can cause a misunderstanding that 'grass is just grass', instead of recognising that pastures have greatly varying nutritional compositions, and that some can actually be detrimental to your horse. Such is the case for oxalate pastures. This particular type of pasture is often hardy and persistent, and can be found in most corners of the globe. It's effects can be significant if not managed correctly. It can be a big contributor to the condition Osteodystrophia fibrosa (Big Head) and can also compromise the integrity of essential, weight bearing bones.


Why are oxalate pastures bad for horses?

Oxalate pastures are full of - you guessed it - oxalates. When oxalates are present in higher amounts than calcium, it creates an calcium oxalate compound in the grass that essentially ties up calcium. What this means is that it effectively inhibits the horse from absorbing any calcium from the grass during digestion.

Horses uses their well developed large intestine to digest nutrients from the food they eat. This is unlike ruminant animals such as cows and sheep, who digest much of their food through their multiple stomachs. As horses only have one stomach, their ability to digest low quality food is minimal. When feeding on oxalate pastures, unavailable calcium passes straight out through their manure. Over time, the body reabsorbs calcium from existing sources (bones), and this is where the problems start! Initially, the horses body will reabsorb calcium from non weight bearing bones in the face and skull- which is how Big Head is caused. Once weakened, the nasal contents are able to push the bones out, creating hard lumps and swelling.

Over time, if a horse is grazing solely on oxalate pastures and is not being supplemented, the body will start leeching calcium from weight bearing bones as well. This can lead to poor performance, stiffness and weakened bone composition.

Typically, the ideal 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio is reversed or altered in oxalate pastures too. 


How do I know if my horse is grazing on oxalate pastures?

The following group of grasses are the most common in the oxalate category. The most conclusive way you can find out if your pasture is oxalate in nature is to get a pasture and soil test. Stance recommends testing grasses at Dairy One in the USA. Click here to check out their services.

It should be noted that many of these oxalate pastures have been introduced as they are good livestock grazing. However, as mentioned previously, the digestive process for cows and sheep is greatly different than that of a horse, which is why the pasture suitable for one may not be suitable for the other! 

Please also note that pastures may vary even from paddock to paddock on the same property!

Pennisetum Clandestinum, commonly known as Kikuyu grass, is native to arid East African regions. It can now be found in most areas of the world and is known for its ability to survive in harsh climates and take over other types of pastures. Kikuyu grass is characterised by its thick roots and good ground coverage. The calcium availability of Kikuyu grass for horses is only 20%.





Cenchrus Ciliaris, or buffel grass, is one of the highest level oxalate pastures, with only 17% calcium availability. It can be recognised by its long seeded head and often forms in clumps.





Narok Setaria is another highly oxalate grass. The oxalate content in this type of grass is so much higher than the calcium content that the calcium availability is 0%. Setaria is a long, wispy grass with a long seeded head.




Megathyrsus Maximus, or Panic grasses are another type of oxalate pasture. The calcium absorption for horses comes in at 42% which is higher than some other grasses, however this number is still in the risky territory for horses. It can be recognised by their long, split heads and their tendency to grow around the base of trees. 




Other types of pastures that may be hazardous to horses are Guinea and Pangola grasses.

Some suitable grasses for horses include Rhodes, Flinders Grass and Bluegrass. 


How can I help my horse if they are grazing on oxalate pastures?

If your horse has no choice but to graze on an oxalate pasture, there are some things to do to make sure they are still getting some calcium that they can absorb in their diet. A good form of available calcium is lucerne hay, or oaten chaff. Additionally, supplementing with a good quality, balanced vitamin and mineral supplement such as VitaStance (in Australia). This supplement contains a good source of both calcium and phosphorus, which is vital for remineralising bones. Outside of Australia, the supplement and other roughage you choose to feed should have a 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio. 

Ideally, feed your horse in a yard, or somewhere away from the source of oxalate grass. And of course, if you can at any stage, remove the horse from the oxalate pasture altogether!


The key to keeping your horse as nutritionally balanced as possible, no matter what pasture they are on, is education. Find out what pasture your horse primarily eats, then supplement based on what they are lacking. 

Having a spare paddock so that you may rotate your horse/s is also ideal. Horses are selective grazers and will often 'eat down' certain areas of their paddocks where their preferred grass is, and leave unpalatable grasses. By having your paddocks rotated, it enables you to let the preferred grasses grow back and prosper, instead of weeds potentially taking over bare patches of ground.

Additionally, good hygiene and manure spreading or disposing practices are highly efficient and can boost your paddocks pasture productivity!


Happy Riding (and grazing)!

Tess- Media and Communications Manager

Anhydrosis- a Heated Issue

Tess Lawrence - Thursday, July 10, 2014

ANHYDROSIS

A HEATED ISSUE

It’s summer time in the Northern Hemisphere, which means the mercury is rising and the sun is shining! All in all, it’s a wonderful time of year- or at least it should be. For horses with Anhydrosis, it can spell disaster. While we associate the hot weather with fun and games, horses afflicted with Anhydrosis feel nothing but discomfort and stress. While we can’t exactly turn off the sun, there are other ways we can manage the comfort of our equine friends with this condition.

What is Anhydrosis?

A horse that is puffing for prolonged periods of time after exercise instead of sweating may have Anhydrosis.

Anhydrosis is a condition that does not discriminate between breed, age, sex or color. Also known as dry horse syndrome or the puffs, it is defined as the inability to sweat effectively in response to appropriate stimuli. Put simply, the horses sweat glands simply give up. 

Normally, horses can expel up to 65% of their body heat through evaporation of their sweat, so horses that are unable to do this greatly risk overheating. 

Anhydrotic horses can also suffer prolonged periods of elevated pulse and respiratory rate after exercising as they try to cool themselves through puffing. In unaffected horses, respiration would only account for 25% of heat loss. Regularly, the process of a horse returning to normal body temperature takes no more than 30 minutes.

There are varying degrees of Anhydrosis, the most common being what is classified as incomplete. Horses may live for many months without diagnosis in this situation as the symptoms do not present themselves often or to the severity that chronic and acute cases do. This may simply be because the horse may not be under the stress of intense exercise at any given point in time.

Symptoms of Anhydrosis

Symptoms that may be indicative of Anhydrosis may include;

  • Inability to sweat after exercise
  • Significant and prolonged puffing
  • A dull and dry coat
  • Loss of patches of hair on the face
  • A particularly lethargic and intolerant attitude towards exercise, particularly when it coincides with hotter weather. 

  • Some horses have also been known to sweat profusely for weeks or days before they come down with Anhydrosis.
    If your horse has an incomplete case of Anhydrosis, it may not exhibit all or any of these symptoms. However, if your horse suddenly has a drastic change in performance or is resistant to activities they would normally enjoy when the climate is hot and humid, it might be worth investigating the Anhydrosis route.

     

    What causes Anhydrosis?

    There is no known cause for Anhydrosis, and its onset can be slow or sudden. What we do know is that it is typically seen when a horse is moved to, or lives in, a hot and humid climate. We also know that the sweat glands of the horse become unresponsive and cease working. 

    There are many theories surrounding the cause of Anhydrosis, one of which is related to the horses diet. It is thought that perhaps nutrient rich diets, especially those high in carbohydrates, may cause hormonal imbalance and metabolic heat production. This metabolic heat production (the heat created from the digestion of food) may be affecting insulin and cortisol levels which eventually comprise the horses inability to sweat.

    How to manage Anhydrosis

    If we prescribe to the above theory, then feeding a low NSC diet should help to manage those horses with Anhydrosis. Stance customers have had success feeding CoolStance to Anhydrotic horses, as shown in the preview of a testimonial from Terese and her horse Abbey below (before pic above, after pic below);


    My mare, Abbey, is a 21-year-old Hannoverian TB cross, Grand Prix dressage horse.  She was anhydrotic 2 years ago, and the beer and one AC helped then. 

    The change in my mare after only one feeding of Cool Stance (well she was on Power stance for 4 weeks) was sweat under the saddle and back legs and a dynamo of energy. The sweat started after only one small feeding of Cool Stance. 

    The pictures in this e-mail were maybe 6-8 years ago. What amazes me is how much better she looks NOW, at such an older age. Trust me, the way she looked one month ago was pitiful. I thought I would lose her this summer. The present Abbey is an Easter miracle.

    See more testimonials from Stance Equine customers here.

    Other ways that you can manage your horse is to only work them in the cooler periods of the day, as well as supplying them with suitable electrolytes (such as Equitec's OsmoPlex) and constant access to clean, fresh water. If possible, also provide your horse with a shelter so that they may escape the direct heat of the sun in summer.

    So while there may be no sure fire cure for Anhydrosis, there are certainly measures that we, as responsible horse owners, can take to ensure that our equine companions are as comfortable as possible. By cutting out high NSC feeds like grains, it is possible to help your horse by generating less heat when metabolising its meals. Please link to our home page to find out where your nearest CoolStance stockist is, and we look forward to hearing your results!


    Happy Riding,


    Tess, Media and Communications Manager

     

    Top tips for creating perfect plaits!

    Tess Lawrence - Tuesday, July 01, 2014

    CREATING THE PERFECT PLAITS

    BY ALYSHA FAETS

    Stance Ambassador and plaiting extraordinaire Alysha Faets takes us through how to create the perfect plaits on your horse. Alysha has a strong presence in the NSW show and dressage arenas and has plaiting down to a fine art!

    When entering the show ring, presentation is one of the leading factors of standing out in the crowd.

     Having the perfect plaits is something which takes a lot of practice, but is very rewarding once the skill is acquired! There is nothing better than the confidence you get when you go out into the ring knowing you are looking your best! Read on for some tips I have picked up on how to create the perfect plaits:


    What you will need- Plaiting Up Kit Basics:
    - Elastic Bands
    - Horse thread and needle
    - Scissors
    - Comb
    - Choice of product
    - Unpicker


    Instructions:

    I prefer to plait up after I have washed my horse, so the mane is still damp. It is your own personal preference if you choose to plait up with a wet mane, or if you prefer a dry mane held together with products. I find it easier to plait up when the mane is wet.

    Firstly, brush your horse’s mane and make sure it is an even length. Depending on the thickness of your horses mane, you may need to pull it or use a thinning comb to ensure the plaits won’t be too thick and become baubles against your horses neck. Practice with one rosette first, and critique ‘the look’ before cutting it shorter or thinning.

    After this is done, follow these steps;




    Use a comb to evenly divide your horse’s mane (about 7 or 8cm is a good width per plait). Then separate into three even sections. 
    The goal is to have even rosettes of the same size. Obviously not every mane is perfect to plait, so keep the width of the plait the same size down the whole mane, even if part of the mane has been rubbed.









    I prefer to plait downwards, keeping the top 
    semi-loose and gradually plaiting tighter.











    Finish the plait by using an elastic band. 












    Then neatly fold the excess hair under the plait, and finish it with the band.














    Roll your plait underneath, tight at first to make a ‘ball’.











    If you're happy with how the rosette looks sitting against the neck, it is now time to start sewing! Before stitching the ball, put your needle and thread through the end of the plait as you are rolling it up.











    Then use your needle and thread to sew it in place. Keep holding the rosette until you've pulled the thread through a couple of times to keep it in position.

     





    TIP: Step back for an overall view once you have finished the first couple. This will help you picture how the rest will look, and encourage you to continue or unpick and try again.





    When you have finished, remember to give your horse or pony a big pat! Then spray with any final hair product you have chosen to keep your plaits in place, and if possible, put a well fitted skinny hood and cotton hood on top so that the plaits cannot be rubbed out.

    One thing to remember is that perfect plaits take a lot of practice. Once you have plaited up a couple of times, you will learn your horses mane and which part takes more time. Like with anything in life, practice makes perfect so if you think your skills leave a bit to be desired, just keep trying and you will be a professional before you know it! 

    Lots of love, Alysha Faets
     

    The Dummy's Guide to Equine Metabolic Syndrome

    Tess Lawrence - Sunday, June 29, 2014

    Here at Stance, we've created a culture to educate and help horse owners in need. Recently, we have had a call to action to produce some easy to understand information on Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and insulin resistance, so here is the result! We understand that most horse owners aren't scientists or academics, so we have endeavored to create the ultimate 'Dummy's Guide to Equine Metabolic Syndrome'.

    We hope this blog breaks down the issues you really need to know about in an easy to understand, usable text. As always, if you do have any questions about the topic, or simply wish to know more, please email us here- we're happy to help!


    What is Equine Metabolic Syndrome?

    Equine Metabolic Syndrome (or EMS) is a condition that can describe a myriad of ailments. To a large extent, conditions that fall under this heading are caused by insulin resistance, a term that is popping up more and more in the horse world. Insulin resistance in horses is essentially the equine form of diabetes, and may be a major contributor to both Cushing's and Laminitis- both of which carry serious consequences. 

    While this condition may be a genetic dysfunction, more often than not insulin resistance is caused by a diet that is too rich in non structural carbohydrates (NSC). NSC are the digestible carbohydrates, or sugar and starch in feed- the equivalent to the glycemic index (GI) in human food. They are measured by calculating the water soluble carbohydrates and starch of a feed. It is now thought that feeds with more than 12% NSC may increase the chance of insulin resistance, particularly if exercise levels are low.

    Insulin resistance effects the normal process that a horses body would take when digesting a meal. Normally, when horses eat, the pancreas will release insulin to assist the liver cells and muscles absorb the glucose in the food, and the blood glucose levels will subside quite quickly. When the body becomes insensitive to insulin, blood glucose levels may remain elevated for a prolonged period of time.

    Read on for a breakdown of how Insulin Resistance can occur:

    1. The horse ingests high levels of NSC in their feed, which is absorbed into the blood as glucose.
    2. The pancreas produces a normal amount of insulin to signal to the liver cells and muscles to absorb and break down the glucose.
    3. The liver cells and muscles, which have become dull and unresponsive, don't recognise to the signals from the pancreas to absorb the glucose.
    4. The pancreas continues to pump out insulin, flooding the body and increasing the amount of time it will take for the blood glucose levels to return to normal levels, if they do at all.
    This process of an insulin resistant mimics what humans generally know as an 'insulin spike', and this is why horses with insulin resistance can often be overweight or obese.

    Symptoms of Insulin Resistance

    • One of the most prominent, telltale signs of insulin resistance, is the appearance of abnormal fatty deposits. These mostly appear on the crest of the neck, the rump and just above the horses eyes. The horse below shows the typical areas where the fatty deposits sit.

    • Another possible symptom is a gluttonous appetite, which stems from the insulin spikes discussed earlier. Although this may simply be a 'healthy appetite', if your horse is suddenly becoming ravenous and displaying other symptoms associated with insulin resistance, it might be worth closely monitoring.

    • Symptoms of Cushing's Syndrome- such as a thick wavy coat, excessive thirst, excessive, large amount of urination and general lethargy and decreased immune system function. A horse with Cushing's is not always insulin resistant, but it is a common occurrence. The below picture is a typical Cushingoid coat.
    • Symptoms of Laminitis- Most laminitic horses are typically also insulin resistant. One of the biggest signs of a horse or pony that is suffering laminitis is their stance. Rocked back on their haunches, so as to take the weight off their very sore and tender front feet. Check out the picture below to see this stance. Read one of our previous blogs here, to find out more about laminitis and founder.

    These symptoms are not conclusive of insulin resistance, nor is list exhaustive of all possible signs. These are common symptoms, however a veterinary professional should always be consulted to make a diagnosis!


    How to manage insulin resistance

    If your horse is diagnosed with EMS or insulin resistance, don't give up- there are some very easy ways that you can manage their condition. We learned earlier that this syndrome is often caused or inflamed by feeds with a high NSC content. Some simple feeds, like corn and oats contain over 40% NSC- not something that is often advertised. The tables below lists some other common feeds in the USA and Australia and how much NSC they contain;

    As you can see, Stance Equine CoolStance premium copra meal comes in at the lowest end of the scale in both tables, with 12% NSC, which is recommended for horses with insulin resistance. Stance also recommends to check the NSC content in the roughage that you choose for your horse. Some hays, like Timothy hay, have been found to contain over 30% sugar by Rocky Mountain Research. Medium quality grassy hay generally has lower levels of sugars and starch, which may be more suitable for EMS horses. 

    Another important step to managing horses with insulin resistance, particularly given the fact that many of these horses can be prone to being overweight, is adequate exercise and turn out time. Diet is no substitute for exercise, nor vice versa. If you aren't able to turn out your horse at times, make sure they are getting their exercise by being ridden or otherwise exercised as much as you can. Another way to encourage horses to be active in their paddocks is to give them something to play with. Most horses are naturally inquisitive, and if given a simple toy like a soccer ball, or even an empty milk bottle with a cut up carrot in it, they can spend a substantial amount of time chasing it around, and 'having a ball' (pun intended)! These activities also stimulate their brains, which is always a good thing!



    To conclude, the most important thing you can do for your horse, whether it has EMS or not- is to continually monitor them- their physical appearance, their diet and their behaviour. Just like you would with your children, set them up NOW with good diet and exercise practises for the future. If you do have a horse that you suspect might be insulin resistant, seek veterinarian advice. And remember- you are not alone in your journey with your insulin resistant horse! Here at Stance, we're constantly investigating new ways to assist horses with these conditions, and we encourage everyone to actively seek this information from us. We are not only your feed supplier, but your fellow horse owner, and we often have the same issues that you do. We hope this blog has acted as a guide to insulin resistance and how to manage it!

     Good luck, and happy riding! 


    Tess

    Media and Communications Manager

    Meet our Ambassadors #1!

    Tess Lawrence - Friday, June 06, 2014

    Kahla Hall

    I'm Kahla Hall and I'm from Garland Grove Arabians. We are a small stud that is hoping to expand and breed beautiful purebred and high percentage part bred Arabians. 

    I have been riding since i was about 3 and have been competing at high level since I was 8 on my then 'cracker of a horse' and every girls dream pony, DoogalbeeDazler. Doogie took me to many titles winning national, east coast and royal wins. My parents owned a large stud named Murland Park Arabians which unfortunately dispersed back in 2005. 

    In 2010 we started back up with the purchase of a beautiful filly, Shatana Angelina Jullye. Angelina is by multi champion and national champion producing mare, Orabanda Harlan Fashion and by the one and only Gai El Jullyen owned by JH show training. 

    Angelina is everything I ever wanted in a horse and has taken me back to the top in a short period of time. Angelina made her debut undersaddle at the 2014 EC at only 3 years of age and after only 8 weeks of work. She is an excredible horse and I cannot wait for her to be back out in the ring.  

    In December 2013 we welcomed a stunning chestnut gelding by the.name of Cee Kay Chasing time. Chase is 8yrs old and he will make his big saddle debut this year. He is extremely talented and such a quick learner and above all his just a pleasure to have around. 

    In may 2014 I surprised my mum and her husband with one very special gift. In June 2014 we will welcome Angelina's only full sibling, Shatana Lady Gai'diva. Boo is only a yearling and has not yet made her showing debut. She is a beautiful bay that ticks all our boxes. Boo will be retained as part of our breeding programme after she has had her showing career. 

    In the future we have great plans for Garland Grove Arabians, also purchasing back two of our Murland Park bred mares. 


    I look forward to the years to come competing on beautiful Arabians. With lots of hard work the sky is the limit for us and we are honoured to have Stance Equine part of our team and look forward to sharing our journey with them. 



    Leanne Beasley

    Hi I am Leanne Beasley of Costa Park Stud, we are a small stud of 9 Shetlands and my Arab x (my riding horse). I have had horses for over 31 years. I have been using Coolstance premium copra meal for over 17 years! I started feeding Copra to a Paint horse I bought to get into show condition and been using every since. I have found Coolstance to be an excellent feed to feed any breed of horse and pony. 

    I have been breeding Welsh, Welsh x , Arabs and Paints since 2000, in that time we have only bred 10 foals.

    We show only in hand after a car accident in 2011. It was then we bought our first Shetland mare and foal (due to myself being unable to run fast anymore) and have gone on from there. Winning many Supreme of Supreme with our show team thanks to Coolstance, Vitastance and Powerstance.  Our first Shetland Costa Park Porscher has excelled in the ring beyond our dreams, and we are so proud of her!


    Kerri Grisham

    Kerri is an extremely talented and determined lady, with a passion for Arabians. She has worked in America and Australia, with her pride and joy, Amurath Santiago following her. Kerri and Santiago share a very special bond, and now that Santiago has retired from his very successful show career, he is going into the movie business! Kerri's daughter, Addison, is following in her mothers footsteps, and is already proving to be a great show halter prodigy as well.

    Kerri suffered a very serious accident jumping, when she was only 16, that left her in a wheelchair. As a true credit to Kerri's resilient and extremely strong willed nature, she has not let this stop her, and is well known and much loved in the Arabian community around the world. Stance is very lucky to have Kerri on the team, and we love seeing the gorgeous Santiago as well as Kerri's other beautiful Arabians! Visit www.grishamhillarabians.com for more information about Kerri and Santiago's adventures!




    Products

    CoolStance

    CoolStance copra is a unique horse feed because it has low Non Structural Carbohydrate (NSC), and yet has a high digestible energy content.
    Learn More

     

    PowerStance

    PowerStance is a unique powdered coconut oil supplement.  PowerStance delivers the secret ingredient from CoolStance as a powder.
    Learn More