Ayurveda and Nutrition for Your Horse
The incredible practice of Ayurveda goes beyond the benefits of plant based medicine to treat and prevent illness, while rebalancing systemic issues in the body. The premise and belief of Ayurveda is that ‘nothing is right for everyone and something is right for everyone’. Each individual is made up of different physical traits and personalities. We all have different wants and needs, and we all process what we experience in unique ways. So, it only makes sense that each of us has different nutritional requirements for our nervous and digestive systems that help us to balance and nourish our bodies on a cellular level!
As a society we measure our nutritional needs against a specific pre-determined “chart” of what we need in our bodies. The truth is this pre-determined nutritional diet is not the same for every person; there is no one size fits all!
Our animals are no different in that they each have individual characteristics that are unique to them, and so they need the correct nutritional program in order to achieve both internal and external balance for optimal health! With the multitude of commercial feeds on the market it can surely be overwhelming and seem too complicated to decipher what is the right feed program for your horse. Therefore, I have attempted to simplify the choices and suggestions using Tribute, Brooks, Purina, and Masterfeeds.
The Vata dosha supports the function of the nervous system, digestive system, and physical movement. Vata’s tend to be lean and refined, small framed, and “delicate” in nature. Their diet should consist of:
- Soft mushy foods served warm
• Foods that are rich in protein and fat
• Omit corn when possible
• Supportive oils include avocado, coconut and olive oils
Tribute produces a high fat and protein grain that is also corn free called, Kalm n Fit. Adding a ration of Essential K ensures a balanced diet.
Brooks also has several options for the Vata diet; Un-ti is a great option to assist in supporting the nervous system. Other alternatives are Pacemaker and Leading Edge. Flax Appeal would also be an excellent addition to support the digestive system.
Purina provides several choices as well that satisfy the Vata needs. Integri-t is a nourishing high fat option, and the addition of Optimal balances the vitamin and mineral levels rounding out a supportive, corn free grain option.
Masterfeeds provides an excellent option called Podium Cool Energy. A low starch, complete nutritional blend including omega 3’s to support the digestive system.
The Pitta dosha supports the digestive system and metabolic functions. Pitta’s tend to be medium physique, strong and well built. They have a strong metabolism and good digestion resulting in a strong appetite! Their diet should consist of:
- Foods that are cooler in temperature, and decrease internal heat
• Dry, stabilizing and dense, avoid “soupy” meals
• Oats are a good option, avoid corn
• Supportive oils include coconut, olive, and sunflower
• Avoid almond, sesame and corn oil
Tribute makes an excellent dry, dense, and corn free pellet called Kalm n EZ. Again, the addition of Essential K rounds out a supportive blend.
Brooks provides an option called Leading Edge for the benefit of the Pitta function. Flax Appeal would also be an excellent addition to support the digestive system.
Purina has several options that support the function of Pitta. Evolution Sport Elite, Optimal and Trimax are all excellent grain blends.
Masterfeed’s Surmount is an all-around balanced grain that provides a dry, dense pellet that has a low starch and high fibre ratio to support the digestive system.
The Kapha dosha supports muscle, fat, bone, and fluids. They are strong with a heavy build, and tend to carry extra weight. Most people call them “easy keepers” due to their slower metabolism. Their diet should consist of:
- Must be easily digestible, smaller meals more frequently is preferred
• Warm is preferred
• Honey and ginger mixed in each meal is best
• Minimal oil, lots of roughage
Tribute options include Essential K, and Kalm n Ez as they both contain no corn and are excellent for horses suffering from Insulin Resistance, and other Endocrine system related issues.
Brooks makes a high in fibre, and corn free grain called Competition Plus that is an excellent choice for Kaphas.
Purina has several options that work well for Kaphas such as Equalizer, Fibra Plus, Integri-T, Optimal, and Trimax.
Masterfeed’s options include a 12% Fat and Fibre pellet, or Surmount pellet.
The key to a healthy happy balanced Equine starts with proper nutrition!
For more information on how Ayurveda can benefit your horse, please visit our website.