Holistic vs. conventional horse care costs and efficacy

Holistic vs. conventional horse care costs and efficacy

Holistic vs. conventional horse care costs and efficacy
Holistic vs. conventional horse care costs and efficacy

Holistic vs. conventional horse care costs and efficacy

Holistic vs. conventional horse care costs and efficacy . After years of practising both conventional and holistic care for horses, I made the decision to investigate the differences in terms of cost, efficacy, and overall outcomes between holistic and conventional approaches to the management and treatment of horses.

In this post, I will examine the outcomes for the typical trail horse, which is rode about twice or three times each week. In my calculations, I utilised the typical prices for feed and veterinarian care in my region (Austin, Texas), as well as the prices for drugs and supplements from a large horse supply catalogue.

After that, I talk about the concerns that are associated with each aspect of care, such as feeding, supplements, vaccinations, dewormers, and first aid. In the next months, I will be releasing a variety of profiles in which I will compare horses competing in a variety of equestrian sports, as well as young horses, older horses, and broodmares.

>>> Feed Costs for Holistic Horses >>> Feed Costs for Conventional Horses

On the one hand, since grain is simpler to store and somewhat less expensive to feed than hay, traditional horses are slightly easier on the wallet when it comes to their nutrition. The holistic horse, on the other hand, which has access to more hay, maintains its happiness and entertainment, and is less prone to acquire costly habits and vices such as gnawing on wood, cribbing, or weaving.


Hay and oats were formerly sufficient for a horse’s nutritional requirements, but modern agricultural methods do not result in the production of feeds that are rich in vitamins and minerals. In the past, horses received all the nourishment they need from hay and oats. The quality of the hoof is the first region to be impacted by such low nutrition, and very few horses are able to keep their feet healthy on a diet consisting only of hay and oats. If you have any doubts about this, you may verify it by looking through any horse supply catalogue. The one I looked at provided a total of 22 different topical hoof conditioners in addition to 28 different vitamins. In the form of a complete meal, Cell Tech’s Super Blue Green Algae provides the body with an extensive collection of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. It may be fed at a low cost, it helps maintain good hooves, and it is beneficial to the horse in every other way as well.


Some individuals will decide not to vaccinate their horses at all, while others will decide to utilise additional vaccinations in addition to the ones I’ve outlined in the preceding paragraph in contrast to trail horses. Over-vaccination, in my opinion, is one of the most prevalent causes of chronic illnesses like laminitis and uveitis, and it also adds to allergy problems like eczema and dermatitis. Overvaccinating a horse puts a strain on its immune system, which may have negative effects on the digestive system and ultimately lead to mineral shortages. Colic is made more likely by the fact that stress reduces the quantity of beneficial bacteria that normally reside in the digestive tract.


Even though we are lucky to have some very safe chemical dewormers like Pyrantel and Fenbendazole, there are still some individuals who favour utilising natural remedies to help the digestive and immune systems of horses rather than using chemical dewormers. It is always a good idea to double verify your programme with faecal examinations at least twice a year, no matter which approach you choose to use.

Initial Medical Care

When I was a totally traditional practitioner of medicine, I saw that the majority of horses suffered from small injuries or illnesses at least several times per year. Because of the frequency with which these small crises occurred, the majority of my customers began stocking up on medications and educated themselves on how to manage these ailments on their own. This kept me busy.

When I started using a more holistic approach to treating my equine, which included giving them fewer immunizations and improving their diet (which included the use of probiotics like Acidophilus), I discovered that the horses need less and fewer medications. When my patients suffered from small wounds and punctures, they no longer required bute or antibiotics. These wounds healed rapidly and without any difficulty, thus there was no time lost when riding as a result. In addition to this, the irritating chronic nasal discharge that had previously prevented horses from working for weeks at a time was no longer present.

When a virus or bacterium is introduced into the environment of a horse that is handled holistically and has a robust immune system, the horse will often experience fever for a limited amount of time. This reaction inhibits the development of the infection and deprives it of the nutrients it needs to survive. The horse will benefit from a brief course of probiotics at this period since it will assist maintain its immune system. As soon as the fever subsides, the horse makes a speedy recovery with very little nasal discharge and no coughing. After that, the horses resume their normal duties without any concerns about falling into an old habit. Horses who are handled conventionally and are given anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics may often feel better in the short term, but they will eventually have a relapse or develop a persistent nasal discharge.

It’s Time to Reveal the Results!

The example of the trail horse that I mentioned earlier is an accurate representation of what I have seen and experienced in my business. I’ve discovered that holistically maintained horses are substantially healthier overall, which results in fewer chronic issues and more days of riding time. This is despite the fact that the expenses associated with managing a horse either conventionally or holistically are around the same. In point of fact, horses who are handled using traditional methods have almost seven times the amount of sick days as horses that are treated using holistic methods.

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