EQUUS - - Young Horses Health Check -

cal­ci­fi­ca­tion of the bone di­rectly un­der the car­ti­lage layer) and bone cysts. Stated sim­ply, all of these oc­cur when the for­ma­tion of car­ti­lage at the end of long bones is over-stim­u­lated or the con­ver­sion of car­ti­lage to bone is some­how dis­rupted or in­hib­ited. Al­though there is a strong ge­netic com­po­nent to many de­vel­op­men­tal con­di­tions, they can also be caused by man­age­ment---specif­i­cally, too rich of a diet and too much con­fine­ment. Al­though pro­tein was once thought to be the nu­tri­tional cul­prit in DOD, re­cent re­search shows that car­bo­hy­drates--and sweet feed, in par­tic­u­lar---may be the cause. Re­gard­less of the nu­tri­tional un­der­pin­nings, the pre­ven­tion is the same: feed­ing young, grow­ing horses only the nu­tri­ents they need.

“Young horses should not be fed like steers in a feed­lot,” says Nel­son. “Horses should be fed to op­ti­mize ath­letic abil­ity and sound­ness for a long life of use­ful per­for­mance. We want these ba­bies to grow well, but too much

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