Monday, September 8, 2014

Why Worm August 15?

The naturally pastured horse benefits from a late summer worming even more than an early fall worming. The horse evolved to gain weight in the spring and fall and lose weight in the winter. Grasses change their nutritional content as fall progresses but I am finding that most of my horses put on a bit of prewinter weight even when eating the exact same hay they have been eating all summer.

The only explanation is a slowing of metabolism as the days shorten. Of course, I never want my horses obese but I do want them to go through their natural body cycles. If they evolved to gain weight in fall and spring and loose it in the winter I do not want to fight that cycle. I have a strong hunch that metabolic syndrome in horses is tied not only to obesity, but to winter obesity, in particular.

Therefore, I want my horses to take full advantage of the fall weight gaining season so thy can take full advantage of the winter weight loosing season to come.

I want my horses to go into the fall with a very low parasite load. That is why I am moving my worming to late summer instead of after the frost.

(As one can see in the picture above my metabolism must also slow as the days shorten.)

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