Earth horses tend to need support for their muscles rather than their joints, and high-quality protein helps the Earth horse temperament develop strong, supple muscles. The goal is to offer horse foods or supplements that offer high-quality protein without excess calories. Alfalfa, for instance, is a rich source of protein, but is too high in calories and should not be fed to an Earth horse unless he is being worked regularly.
Low-calorie sources of quality protein that are good for the Earth horse include:
• wild blue-green algae (1 to 2 TBS/day)
• bee pollen (1 to 2 TBS/day)
• royal jelly (1 to 2 TBS/day)
Fermented products can also be a good source of protein for the Earth horse temperament, since the fermentation process makes protein more easily available. These fermented products are ideal to feed the Earth horse in moderation:
• chaff hay
Finally, sulfur is a good supplement for the Earth horse because this mineral is important in muscle development and protein metabolism and has a warming effect on the body. Ideal whole horse food sources of sulfur include cabbage and garlic. MSM is not a whole food but is good for muscle support in a hard working Earth horse.
Earth Horse Uro-Genital Support:
Dampness in the uterus of Earth mares will contribute to bacterial infections as well as fluid accumulation and cyst formation. Red raspberry is an astringent herb that dispels damp, and is included in many female tonics.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Spleen is responsible for keeping blood within its channels. In women, Spleen weakness is responsible for many cases of excessive menstrual bleeding. This symptom would not be seen in horses except after foaling. Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and bioflavonoids are nutrients which are considered hemostatic, meaning they prevent excessive bleeding. Cayenne pepper is a good example of an acceptable horse food that contains all three of these nutrients, so there is some advantage to including it in the diet of an Earth mare due to foal. These enhanced enzymes contain cayenne and other warming herbs in addition to digestive enzymes.
Dampness which slows lymphatic drainage can be an issue for pregnant mares. Swelling of the lower legs and belly responds to warming herbs such as cayenne as well as diuretic herbs, which remove damp, including uvi ursi and buchu leaves(about 1/4 cup of either). Dampness in the uterus can impair pregnancy by creating and environment supportive of pathogenic bacteria, cyst formation and fluid accumulation. Products beneficial for treating dampness in the digestive tract and supporting the immune system are equally helpful in the uro-genital system.
Earth stallions and geldings can also have uro-genital issues, such as extra heavy accumulations of smegma in the sheath or prostate problems. Echinacea will help with dirty sheaths by supporting lymphatic drainage, while pumpkin seeds(1/2 cup/day) are very good for prostate problems.
Feeding the Earth Horse
In summary, the Earth horse temperament is a slow moving horse that should be encouraged to exercise. Foods in the Earth horse’s diet should be primarily neutral to warming, support the Yang energy, and clear dampness.
Even though sweet is the flavor associated with Earth, it should not be overused, especially if in the form of refined carbohydrates. Owners of Earth horses will have to be especially careful of this because the Earth horse has a serious sweet tooth and will do almost anything for a sweet treat!
The Earth horse handles stress fairly well due to its laid back nature, but has inherent digestive weakness when it comes to assimilation of nutrients. Feeding the Earth horse temperament is all about supporting the digestive system while keeping the calories in check.