Does anyone own a horse? How do you take care of it? Feed? Train? Groom? Any paleo tips or tricks?
The generic feed is terrible, and so are mainstream horseback riding practices...
The real thing with horses is feeding them natural grasses, and raising them with great care for the animal, in a very traditional way, still practised by traditional pastoralist groups. This requires that you and the horse live in the countryside. Otherwise, you can't do it.
Well, it should be obvious not to feed him oats;). Alfalfa is pretty high in Ω3 so don't feel bad if this is your only option. Get as close to 'pastured' as possible and you should see some good results. You don't need to own 1000ac in Montana to have a healthy horse. Feed it good leafy alfalfa. Lunge it or turn it out daily so he can roll and run. Feed him lots of carrots and apples. Worms/deworming is always an issue so figure out how you can reduce the pharmaceuticals. Keep him mucked, brushed, picked, etc. and keep him learning/ mentally challenged and he'll be fine.
I used to ride in Pony Club and on the Arab show circuit. I'm not sure how healthy dried alfalfa is. It has more protein, being a legume, so it and oats are considered good for horses with high energy demands, but I would expect a diet of fresh grasses and herbs are better.
As for training and riding practices: I agree with you. We totally railroad horses with typical "breaking" techniques, forsaking the relationship aspect which is important for social animals. When I was riding I played around a bit with bareback, bit-less riding. My favorite book was Horse, Follow Closely by Gawani Pony Boy. I highly recommend it. One girl in my barn trained her horse to turn right or left based on how she shifted her sit bones. There's a lot you can do.
LMF actually makes some decent feeds. And there are low carb feeds for horses who are insulin resistant. I think the biggest thing would be to find an organic hay (you can have them tested and a lot are grown with Monsanto seeds FYI and have all the protein and cab levels checked ect) the biggest thing is turnout. Horse are meant to be outside so if you can have a shelter or even some good hefty trees you should be fine. If you can find a vet who is also a chiro and an herbalist (Chinese medicine) you would be able to stay as natural as possible.
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