Supporting your Insulin Resistant Horse

Holistic Horsekeeping Newsletter, October 2022, Volume 27, Number 10 Dr. Madalyn Ward – How to have a healthy happy horse

The challenge with Insulin Resistant(IR) horses is that they love to eat but they tend toward very slow metabolism so what they eat converts to fat instead of being burned off as energy. All the extra carbohydrates consumed by IR horses that are not burned as energy or laid down as fat are consumed by sugar loving gut microbes. These sugar consuming microbes are tougher than beneficial fiber digesting bacteria so the balance is upset. A toxic gut develops when the sugar digesting microbes overgrow and produce waste products. These toxic products put extra stress on the liver and immune system. I like the Lean Muscle to help rebalance the gut bacteria and improve overall digestion. 


So supporting your IR horse involves a combination of feeding low calorie, low iron hay at a rate of 2% of his body weight, balancing the diet so that there are adequate amounts of copper and zinc to support carbohydrate metabolism, providing exercise to build more muscle than fat, fitting a muzzle so your horse can be out some on pasture, providing nutrients to encourage good carbohydrate metabolism such as CoQ10, wheat sprouts for antioxidants, Lean Muscle  for liver support and gut detoxification, encouraging circulation with NitroPro, plus meet the individual needs of your horse. If this all sounds like a full time job, it can be. 

Beware of weeds! Some pastures can look barren but closer examination shows sprigs of green weeds. Your best efforts to dry lot your horses can also fail if weeds are taking the place of grass. Most weeds are harmless for a normal horse but IR horses can get too many calories from them. Weeds can also be very high in iron which is not ideal for the IR horse. Using a muzzle will also slow down weed consumption.  

Homeopathy is a valuable tool to help the IR horse shift into a better level of health so that his entire micro biome becomes more balanced and his general vitality shifts to a better place. Homeopathy, in combination with diet and management, is needed to bring the IR horse to a place where he is able to process carbohydrates better and burn them as energy. Homeopathy, in combination with pain control from Hemp oil, can help an IR horse that has tipped into laminitis. Drugs to control pain are counterproductive with IR induced laminitis. 

I offer homeopathic consults to help you find the best program for your IR horse. I also offer a One on one mentoring is an option for those who want to learn, in depth, how to support horses with homeopathy. The goal for supporting the Insulin Resistant horse is to bring him to the highest level of health possible so you and he can both have a good life. 

Have you read Horse Harmony: Understanding Types and Temperaments and Horse Harmony: A Feeding Guide? If you are new to the temperament typing system developed by Madalyn Ward, DVM, then this is an excellent place to start. You can find both in paperback and digital Kindle formats on Amazon by clicking the links above on the book titles. You can see a preview of Horse Harmony HERE to see what it’s all about. Then surf over to and you’ll find plenty of other temperament typing resources including help in typing your horse from one of our specially trained temperament consultants, an overview of each type, an online class on temperament typing, balancing formulas by type and more.

++++ Copyright ++++

Unless otherwise attributed, all material is written and edited by Madalyn Ward, DVM. Copyright (c) 2021 and Madalyn Ward, DVM. All rights reserved.

If you like the material in this newsletter please let your friends know about it. You may reprint material in other electronic or print publications provided the above copyright notice and a link to is included in the credits.

You can get off this list by sending an email to

When you forward this material, please send the entire newsletter. Thanks!

Please also enjoy all of Dr. Ward’s web resources:

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

About Madalyn Ward, DVM

This blog provides information based on my unique take on horse health and well being. The articles are based on experience of treating and working with horses for over 40 years. In most cases the articles are focused on an holistic approach to health and management. When conventional medicine offers good research or therapy, I share this information as well. Madalyn Ward, DVM