Holistic Horse Health: Is your horse getting his greens?

Horses thrive on quality grass but how many actually have access to pasture on a regular basis. These days, not many! High land values have forced horses into smaller and smaller acreage and some horses with access to pasture can’t have it because of metabolic imbalances. Fresh, well cured grass hay is becoming harder to get with ongoing drought conditions in much of the country. So how is a horse supposed to get his greens?

I have found one of the best ways for a horse to get his greens is to include blue green algae in his diet. Twenty years ago people looked at me like I was a martian when I suggested they feed their horse algae. Now most just nod their head yes. You see, in the past 20 years nutritionists have come to realize the amazing value of algae, in particular, micro algae.

Here are a few qualities that most food source micro algae share and then we can look at their individual qualities.

Easy to digest with modern processing methods
Cleansing to the liver and kidneys due to chlorophyll content
Build blood due to chlorophyll and iron content
Prebiotic to support healthy gut bacteria
Good source of beneficial fatty acids

Now lets look at the three most popular micro algae and compare their benefits.

Spirulina

Highest in protein
Highest source of vit A in the form of beta carotene
Salty flavor
Cooling energy
Builds yin fluids in the body
Cell wall supports healthy connective tissues, decreases inflammation and lowers fat levels in the blood
Requires a larger dose than Chlorella or AFA
Contains phycocyanin to support brain function and discourage tumor growth
Not a good choice for cold or damp conditions

Chlorella(actually a green algae)

Lowest in vit A in the form of beta carotene
High in a specialized nucleic acid called Chlorella growth factor which keeps cells healthy
Cell wall binds toxins so they can be removed from the body and supports immune function
Least cooling and most tonifying for weak individuals
Highest in beneficial fatty acids
Does not contain phyocyanin

AFA

Wild grown in natural environment
No heat used inĀ  processing so enzymes are still present in product
Very bitter flavor which supports the nervous system and provides a sense of well being
Highest source of chlorophyll
Drying
Cooling
Builds Yang energy

You can see how the micro algae as a group are very beneficial but lets look at which would be best for your horse.

Spirulina would be a good blue green algae choice for a Metal or Water horse with overall good energy but who shows some mild inflammation of his joints or connective tissues. Spirulina would not be a good choice for a sluggish or overweight horse that showed a tendency to stocking up or other tissue swelling.

Chlorella would be a good choice for an older horse with low energy and generalized weakness
Chlorella would not be the best to increase beta carotene or vit A levels.

AFA would be a good choice for a hard working performance horse or any horse with good energy that did not have access to quality pasture.
AFA would not be the best choice for an old frail horse with generalized weakness and failing systems.

So now that you know how beneficial algae can be there is no excuse for your horse ever missing his greens. Madalyn

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