Diet Examples

Following are the daily rations for each horse as guideline examples with descriptions of each horse. Not all products may be available in your areas and our base diet has changed over time. If you have questions, please feel free to ask. My personal horses have covered all the issues: Hard keepers, easy keepers, Cushings horses, minis, ponies, full size and drafts. Horses with genetic issues, ulcers, name it! This list of horses covers 10+ years of addressing issues with diets and herbs. The first horse listed (Gideon) was the horse that really started me on this journey of addressing issues through the horse's base diet and learning about and focusing on herbs for supplementation rather than chemical additives.














GIDEON The "hard" keeper. 2004-2014 (deceased)

2004 16Hand Egyptian Arab/Dutch Warmblood Diagnosed with type 2 EPSM 2010

Body Weight approx 1150lbs

UPDATE: 2014 Gideon's disease progressed to a point of no return and was put to rest.

He is greatly missed.


Free fed approx 6-8 flakes local grass hay with low sugar content in slow feed hay bag. During winter months 1 small flake of alfalfa as he tended to drop some weight when it is cold.

  • 4 cups Haystack Low carb/low fat (no longer used due to recipe change)
  • 4 cups Coolstance (Copra meal)
  • 1/4 cup IRONHORSE
  • 2 TBS Powdered Herbs (mix chosen via Herbal sampling)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Herbs (mix chosen via Herbal sampling)
  • 1/2 TBS salt
  • 1 TBS flax oil
  • 1 TBS Nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBS MSM

BELLE - medium keeper

2012-2013 (rehomed)

Approx 2008 14.2Hand Quarab (or straight QH,we arent sure)

Body Weight approx 930lb-"mediium" keeper

Very Active/in training 3-5 times a week

UPDATE 2014 Belle is with a new owner enjoying life on a ranch!

 Rations fed twice per day/Free Fed local grass hay approx. 6 flakes

  • 4 Cups Haystack low carb/low fat (no longer used due to recipe change)
  • 1/4 cup IRON HORSE
  • 1/2 cup Rice Bran
  • 1 TBS Powdered Herbs (her pick)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Herbs (her pick)
  • 1/2 TBS salt
  • 1 TBS Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/8 C Flax Oil
  • 1 TBS MSM
  • Additional herbs if needed

Belle carries more muscle now than is seen in this picture. This was before I figured out that even though she is smaller, she needs more calories than Senti.

SENTI - "easy" keeper

2011-2018 (rehomed)

2003 15 Hand Quarter Horse-Body Weight Approx 1050lb

Regularly Active, walk/trot lesson horse. Stifle issues limit use.

Rations fed Twice Per Day/Free Fed Local low sugar grass hay, sugar sensitive "easy" keeper. More mineral demanding than Belle or Gideon. Approx. 4-5 flakes of hay twice per day.

Senti came to me underweight and under muscled but with a cresty neck. Even though her previous owner had her on very limited rations, what was given was not the right choice for Senti. She has since lost the cresty neck and has built muscle. Both she and Belle eat the same low sugar hay but their carbs and fats are distributed differently.

  • 4 cups orchard grass pellets
  • 1/4 cup IRON HORSE
  • 1/2 cup Rice Bran
  • 1 1/2 TBS Powdered Herbs (her choice, Herbal Sampling)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Herbs (her choice)
  • 1/2 TBS salt-more in hotter weather
  • 1 TBS Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 TBS MSM
  • 1/2 TBS Boreal Balance Minerals

Additional supplements include:

  • deworming herbs 4 days per month spring till first frost.
  • garlic granules 2 TBS for 6 weeks starting in March then drop to 1 TBS till end of fly season.

Though many of these items can be mixed together for easy use, I prefer to keep them separated so I can make adjustments if necessary. With Senti I learned about "mineral hogs". Some people (and animals) burn more vitamins, some more minerals. Senti tends to burn a lot of minerals. Boreal Balance is a very good mix of minerals to add to my program, though I do not use it at their recommended dosage due to the fact that my herbal blends add quite a lot of minerals to the diet naturally. When introduced carefully, Boreal Balance can be used as a "free feed" mineral mix.

GLORY - Medium Keeper

(deceased due to PSSM)

2004 PMU baby, Percheron, Fjord, QH and TB

Body Weight Approx 1150lb

Regularly Active, walk/trot and some cantering.

Glory was found to have EPSM like Gideon, which is common to PMU horses. She passed away suddenly on January 31, 2017 most likely due to an aneurysm. She was a once in a lifetime horse and will be greatly missed by all. 

Rations fed Twice Per Day/Free Fed Local low sugar grass hay, sugar sensitive but not an "easy" keeper. Possibly sensitive to alfalfa or raspberry leaf. Approx. 4-6 flakes of hay per day.

Rations per meal (fed 2 times a day)

  • 4 Cups Orchard pellets
  • 1/3 cup IRON HORSE
  • 1/2 cup Rice Bran
  • 2 TBS Powdered Herbs (her choice)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Herbs (her choice)
  • 1 TBS salt-more in hotter weather
  • 1 TBS Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 TBS MSM

Glory came to me in 2015 with good weight but under muscled but with a very cresty neck. Even though her previous owner had her on a good diet, it was not quite the right choice for Glory as she seemed to have sugar issues. She was in the process of losing the cresty neck and had built muscle. Both she and Senti eat the same low sugar hay but their carbs and fats are distributed differently.

PERCY - Came in as a "hard keeper" with stomach issues. (rehomed as a lesson pony)

2005 12.3H Hackney Pony

Walk/trot lessons, learning to drive

 Rations fed twice per day.

2-3 flakes hay

Rations per meal

  • 1 cup orchard pellets
  • 1/4 cup Iron Horse
  • 1/4 cup Rice Bran
  • 1/2 TBS powdered herbs
  • 1 TBS Chopped Herbs

Percy was the most challenging horse I've ever had to get on herbs. He would not eat his feed wet or mixed together. It took over 2 months to get him to eat his goodies mixed and wet. He also didn't put weight on in that time so I'm guessing he has pretty severe stomach issues. He was also very girthy and grouchy when saddled. Percy came to me January 2015. He is now a fat, sassy pony who loves to be loved on! Percy went on to be a little girl's riding horse, a lesson pony, and at last update was learning to pull a cart!

Memory - 1987 Arab Mare

(laid to rest at age 31)

Memory came into my care in very poor shape. No energy, in pain, and could not eat hay due to lack of back teeth. Though I could not heal all her issues, she went from being a horse unwilling to move to a horse with spunk and energy being used for a child's walk/trot lesson horse. Memory's journey started with me in 2014 however, her severe arthritic issues continued to escalate (as they are not reversible) and in the fall of 2017 it was decided by her owner to finally put her to rest. Memory taught many little children to ride and love horses (three of which were my grandchildren) and she is greatly missed.

Rations fed twice per day wet

  • 8 cups orchard pellets
  • 4 cups Haystack Special Blend
  • 1/2 cup Rice Bran
  • 1/2 Cup Iron Horse
  • 1 TBS nutritional Yeast
  • 2 TBS powdered herbs of her choice
  • 1/2 cup chopped herbs of her choice

Additional supplements include:

-deworming herbs 4 days per month spring till first frost.

-garlic granules 2 TBS for 6 weeks starting in March then drop to 1 TBS  till end of fly season.

Though many of these items can be mixed together for easy use, I prefer to keep them separated so I can make adjustments if necessary.


Newly added to our "herd" fall of 2017 is Sandelee (age 34 as of May 2022) and Amber (age 31 as of May 2022), my first mini horses! They are wonderful elderly senior horses and are teaching my grandchild how to appreciate the seniors in our lives! Photo below is the day of their arrival...a typical Oregon day of rain! Both are on the same diet and share/argue over who's bucket is who's. Though they both still eat hay, they get large buckets of warm wet mash as their past diet was not appropriate for these old ladies. They were free grazing grass, being fed orchard grass and "senior" mix that was very high in sugars and starches. Though these pictures dont show it, they were very overweight for their size. They have lost a lot of weight, their coats are now shiny and soft. Though it took some convincing that this new diet was better than their old sugar filled diet, they are now happily munching away on and even being demanding of their new meals! They are now on a diet of:

Grazing on nice sunny days (as they both had rain rot, no more standing out in the rain!)

Free feed low sugar hay

Recipes below are buckets for each horse, twice a day

2 cups soaked orchard pellets or Teff pellets (which we finally have in our area!)

1/2 cup rice bran

1/4 cup Iron Horse

1 TBS mixed herbs (Joint Plus, Senior Boost, Meadow Munchies)

1 TSP Nutritional Yeast

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Vitamin E with Selenium (once or twice a week, not full dose)

Mineral Salt Block


Amber and Sandelee have been on basically the same diet, though I no longer supplement the selenium but instead added extra kelp into their diet, plus Sugar Down. They are dewormed with Worm Gone Max every other month (about 1 week at a time). They are still going strong at 30 and 33, though Sandelee has slowed down a bit. 


Amber and Sandelee fall 2017AmberThe girls

UPDATE: Amber and Sandelee March 2021

Sandelee's age (33) is showing a bit more these days. She's slowed down quite a bit, is having a harder time eating hay and shows a lot more white on her face but she is still trucking along!

Amber is still and spritely as ever and races for the stall each night for dinner. Her, Sandelee and Nina are good friends, though Nina has bonded more with Grace lately. Mara is a daily miracle. We thought for sure she wouldnt make it through last winter but here it is a year later and she is still trucking along! Our vet thinks she is closer to 30 than 20, so its even more a miracle she is still with us. She has numerous issues that cant be fixed but as long as she seems happy, we're happy to help keep her going. 

UPDATE March 2022

Sandelee is mainly on a bucket diet now, though she can graze on short fine hay and short grass. We have to be very careful as her teeth are so aged that she has had several minor choke episodes, which fortunately I have been able to take care of myself (after the first one, when we were still figuring things out with her) Both old ladies are still spunky and have their occasional "zoomies". Amber struggles a bit with threadworms in the summer monthsso we do a lot of detoxing with Cootie Kicker and deworm with Worm Gone Max 5-7 days out of every warm month. Other than that, they seem to be doing very well for such old ladies!


Mara is the first true Cushings horse that I have owned. She joined our herd May 2018 and as of that time was in her low 20s and a Welsh pony, with a full Cushing coat, hoof issues, very overweight, and has all the accompanying signs of Cushings: sweating even in cold weather, no shedding, excessive drinking and urinating. She also has extreme arthritis in her fetlocks, severe thrush and even in 100 degree weather did not shed! We changed her diet to: (fed twice a day)

2 cups Orchard Grass pellets

1/4 cup Rice Bran Pellets

1/4 Cup Iron Horse

1/2 TBS Cootie Kicker

1/2 TBS Sugar Down

1 oz Back in Balance Minerals

After six months on the above diet, with minimal effect (she did lose a lot of weight, lowered cresty neck, and other small positive effects) I mixed our newest blend Cushings Control which addresses all the areas effected by Cushings. Mara is now finally shedding and she is sweating much less than normal (after being on the blend just 2 months!)

Mara first shed January 2019    Mara first shed after two months on Cushing's Control.


Misty came to us two months after Grace arrived (June 2018). She was unwanted by a lady I sold a saddle to and came to join our herd. She foundered in the past and was still on pasture and is showing some rotation in one foot. Her front feet still curl up on the ends but the grow out is nice and straight. By summer 2019 we should have her feet all straightened out!

UPDATE ON MISTY August 30, 2019. Misty passed away (possible heart attack) and will be greatly missed!

Misty is on a diet of:

2 cups soaked Orchard Pellets

1/4 cup Rice Bran Pellets

1/4 Cup Iron Horse

2 tsp Sugar Down

2 TSP Joint Rebuilder PLUS

1/2 oz Back in Balance Minerals

Her coat is nice and soft now, she has lost a bit of weight (needed) and her very foundered horse cresty neck is much reduced. She is on mainly low protein/low sugar hay like the rest but is allowed to graze on occasion. Her boyfriend, Little Cloud keeps her moving while they are outside and has so far had no issues from limited grazing as the Sugar Down and healthy oils helps regulate insulin levels.

Misty First Week

MIsty first week


LITTLE CLOUD-joined our crew fall of 2018

Little Cloud is our first male mini, and he is quite the character! Health wise his issues are pretty easy. He was very malnourished, being thought of as "fat" and was only being fed about 2lbs of grass hay a day and little else. He was very food aggressive (as nutritionally starved horses are) and even though his bones were not showing, he was what I consider very underfed. He is now eating at least 6lbs of hay a day, plus the following:

2 cups soaked Orchard Grass Pellets

1/4 cup Rice Bran pellets

1/4 Cup Iron Horse

2 TSP Joint Rebuilder PLUS (for stifle issues)

2 TSP Sugar Down (always good for minis!)

1 oz Back in Balance Minerals

Grazes with Misty

Little Cloud

Little Cloud is a Red Roan, while Misty is a Grey. He is the funniest little guy, full of spunk and vinegar! He is also fully cart trained and will be having fun with the kids this summer! He also likes to run crazy with our black lab pup when let out of his stall and thinks he owns all the ladies. He is still feed aggressive, but after being malnourished for so long, that will take some time to recover.


Kanika AKA "Nina" is the youngest of our crew. Cloud went off to be best buds with a 13 year old boy with special needs, and Nina came to our house, being too high energy for working with special needs. Nina was having a very hard time keeping on weight and at the age of 6, the owner put her on a senior feed. As her body was already very out of whack, the senior feed caused her to have a very cresty neck and I am sure she was on the way to foundering. Since being with our herd (April 2020) she has gone through a lot of changes. She put on a lot of weight, gained fatty pockets, and the cresty neck has gone up and down. This is expected changes as Cloud went through the same process so I was prepared for Nina to go through this as well. My farrier Michael (who has been working with us for a year and a half at this point) was telling me I needed to put Nina on a starvation diet because she was overweight (he doesnt get what I do yet) and I said "wait and see". Two trims ago, when Nina was finally looking like she was coming into "balance" and he was impressed. Her feet never got hot, and while she went through an "ugly" stage, she has constantly been changing. Unfortunately during this winter (2021) we have had issues that caused Nina to backtrack a bit but now she is back to making progress and hopefully by next year we will have her in balance and ready to have a baby. At 7 years of age, Nina is full of spunk and would have a very lovely baby. 

Nina's current diet (feed two times a day)

2 cups soaked Teff or orchard pellets

Rotation of Cushings Calm and Sugar Down 2 tsp

Kelp granules (about 1 tbs a day)

Mineral salt (about 1 tbs a day)

Rice bran Pellets (about 1/4 cup a day) 

Grazing on short grass when weather allows

Local Grass  hay blend

During the winter months instead of her own blend of herbs she was on Sugar Down, Cushings Calm and Worm Gone Max (4 days a month) While this was mostly effected, I chose to take her back to her own mix of herbs as that seemed to be more effective for her.  

 Nina closeup


Nina has been struggling this last year with laminitis. She came to us with severe stomach issues and a huge cresty neck (sugar issues) but was doing well. Unfortunately, my farrier was not doing a good job with the minis and ended up mechanically foundering Nina. We have been struggling to straighten out her feet ever since. She is now with a new farrier who has gotten the rotation out of her feet, but the laminitis persists. However, in the last few months of working on her feet, I have also changed her diet. As with the rest of the horses, I have been doing a heavy detox with Cootie Kicker. Interestingly, the heavy detoxing is causing her cresty neck to finally shrink and is about half the size it was before starting the detox. Though I have given her detox herbs in the past, the horses all just seemed very "toxic" so I have been doing a much heavier detox than I normally would, which seems to be exactly what Nina needed to really address that huge neck! She is still having some pretty serious foot pain but we are making progress...its just slow going. Though I have had several other laminitic horses (came to me in various stages) I haven't struggled with other horses and their feet the way I have struggled with Nina so it took some trial and error to figure out what was going on with her (including the time it took to figure out part of her problem was the last farrier)  Interestingly, she came to me a very nervous and unhappy horse, but had no feet problems. She may have feet problems now, and is in pain, but she is still a happy calm little horse. 


MAX (1996 to May 2022)

For some reason, I never took the time to add Max to this list. Max was 25 when I bought him as a riding horse. He did spend two years giving rides to me and my grandkids. It wasn't often, but he had a lot of body issues that needed dealt with. They are as follows:

1) Extreme digestive issues. I wasnt told until after I bought him that Max was having colic episodes 5-6 times a year. I do believe lack of proper care and stress was a huge factor in that. Max was an unused stallion for 19 years of his life. He was only AI collected once a year but lived on a property surrounded by mares. He became a "windsucker" because of all that stress. Even though he was owned by one person most of that time, he was passed from caretaker to caretaker, fed garbage food, and mostly kept in a stall in a very moldy, dusty barn. His last two years before coming to me, he was owned by a very ignorant person who was new to horses, and didnt really care about Max and his issues. I was able to get Max down to colicing 1 to 2 times a year, mostly because we were still working on healing his digestive tract, and figuring out what his triggers were. He was an internalizer, so when he stressed, rather than acting out, he wind sucked. He also need ALL foods (including hay) wet down during winter months as he would not drink enough water, even when given a bucket of warm water. You can see in the picture below of how wrinkled Max's face was due to stress and pain. (Taken by me just before I bought him)

2) Because of being mainly stalled and stressed, Max had a lot of body issues that needed to be taken care of. His right hock was damaged (most likely from kicking the stall) and his right front knee was very arthritic from pawing while eating due to stomach pain. He had multiple body work sessions, plus we do regular carrot stretches, and lots of walking to help with his issues. However, in his last year with us, Max injured himself several times trying to "be the stud", but his old body just want up to it. 

Due to Max's long term digestive issues, in his last year with us he started having minor choke problems. In May of 2022 I went out to feed and found standing in a corner, unwilling to be caught and salivating heavily. The vet diagnosed him with "deep chest choke". Treatment would leave damage and scaring, which would lead to more choke issues and more potential colics. We decided at that time that the old boy have paid his dues and it was time for him to join our "Heavenly Herd". Months later and I still miss him running up to the gate at mealtime, whinnying and tossing his head like he was a young stud again. You were a good old boy, Max. Rest in peace. 

Max early days

Max's Diet (fed twice daily)

Endless local grass hay, wet down. As he was very nutritionally deficient in the beginning, he was eating about 8 flakes a day (stalled, no grazing) in a slow feed hay bag, but reduced to 4 to 6 flakes a day, depending on weather and grazing available once we brought him home. 

2 cups (dry measure) Teff Pellets (4 cups in winter)

1 to 2 cups Rice Bran Pellets

1 to 2 cups Coolstance

Joint Rebuilder Plus 1 to 2 tablespoons 

MSM 1 tbs

Tummy B Calm 2 tbs to start, reduced to 1 tbs after seeing improvements. 

2 tbs Nutritional Yeast to help keep up muscle mass

2 tbs Kelp for added minerals

1 to 2 tbs Mineral Salts (we use Redmond Rock but also leave out Redmond blocks for free feeding) When we first bought Max, I noticed he had been trying to eat the giant salt block the past own had given him. He had very soft feet and it took nearly a year before his body was remineralized and he started growing decent feet. He was never skinny in the past, but he was not fed properly so was very nutritionally starved. 

Outside of not feeding him well, Max was also not...loved. He was a very emotionally distant horse and had a hard time connecting. In his last year I finally felt he was figuring out how to connect to people. My non horse person husband and him definitely made a connection and they became "buds". He also finally allowed me to give him pets and love on him so on the day it was finally time to say goodbye, I was able to love on him and give him comfort and I felt he knew that and accepted it. It was also very clear he was telling me it was time to say goodbye. I can't say he was the horse I have been the closest to, but he definitely took a piece of my heart. Moreso than I realized until after he was gone. I am very happy he got to spend his last few years with us. 



GRACE (approximately 16 years old as of 2022)

I saved Grace on the day she was to be put down. Her owner had abandoned her at a small boarding stable who's owner was 80 years old and having health issues. He had contacted four veterinarians about Grace's condition, two of which said to put her down, two said she could be treated but her issue would return. Its been a journey of just over 4 years now, and Grace is stable and happy being a field pony with her buddy Mara. You can find the start to Grace's journey in our blog section, which starts HERE.

Grace's Diet fed twice daily

Endless local hay in a slow feed hay bag

Teff Pellets 2 to 4 cups dry measure  (though we started with orchard grass pellets but Teff is lower in sugar and the horses seem to like it better!)

Coolstance 2 to 4 cups. We started her with Iron Horse All in One but the senior horses (especially the minis) have a harder time with that much oil so for convenience sake they are all fed Coolstance and I often rotate higher fats in in the winter time (such as chia seeds) as Grace does much better on higher fats to keep her weight up. She does not do as well on higher protein hays for weight gain as she then has too much nervous energy.

Rice Bran Pellets 1 to 2 cups

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (given in mainly warm months for aiding in pest control) which all the horses get. 

Nutritional Yeast 1 tbs To help build muscle as calm frayed nerves as Grace can tend to be a very nervous horse.  

Redmond mineral Salt 1 to 2 tbs in bucket plus Redmond Salt Rocks in turnout. 

MSM 1 tbs

Kelp 1 tbs

Cushings Calm and Sugar Down rotated in as we feed Mara and Grace as a "herd" so those are mostly added for Mara's benefit, though Grace also benefits from them to help keep her body in balance. 1 tbs

Cootie Kicker in the spring for at least a month 1 tbs to boost immune system (see below Worm Gone Max) 

Worm Gone Max about 5 days a month during warm weather as Grace tends to carry a heavier parasite burden due to a very damaged immune system. 


NEW as of July 2022 

Cisco (age 20) and Sven (age 2) Mini Geldings

Cisco and Sven came to me very toxic and in need of a long term detox. Both have digestive issues though you can see from Cisco's big belly that he has advanced digestive issues plus very out of shape. He is a bit of a grumpy old man but very sweet and wants lots of pets and attention. Sven is the boss of the two and is full of spunk but also a very sweet little guy. He is going to be trained as a cart horse. Both are very nutritionally deficient, and are happily eating their new herbal blends without issues. They are housed right in between all of the mares and are getting along just fine. 

DIET- shared and fed twice daily

Teff Pellets 2 cups (dry measure)

Rice Bran Pellets 1 cup

Coolstance 1/2 cup

Rotation Cushings Calm and Sugar Down to help rebalance their bodies...thought surprisingly they have very little cresty neck. 1 tbs

Cootie Kicker Both are very toxic so doing a much longer detox than normal. We are on week 2 and both are looking a bit cleaner but we still have at least 2 weeks to go 1 tbs

Tummy B Calm 1 tbs As Cisco has advanced digestive issues, the boys are on a higher amount until symptoms reduce.

Worm Gone Max 4-5 days per month 1/4 cup (so 2 tbs each about)

Nutritional Yeast 1 tbs

Kelp 1 tbs

Redmond rock salt 2-4 tsp depending on weather


NOTE: During the summer months I tend to feed the horses in divided "Herds". The Mini Mares (Nina, Amber and Sandelee) are one herd, Mara and Grace, and now Cisco and Sven. During the winter months when they are often stalled, they are also tested and fed their own herbs via using the Herbal Sampling Kit. When I boarded horses in the past, they were all fed separately so were all fed their own herbs (plus mixes as needed to boost known areas of issues) however the last 5 years since getting our own property, I changed to herd feeding to see how effective it is...and challenging. 

Need help introducing your horse to herbs? CLICK HERE

Would you like to read some testimonials? CLICK HERE