Chinese Glucosamine

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I am concerned about glucosamine from China. How can I find out'

Horse Journal Response

Ask the manufacturer, although it may be problematic. A manufacturer may be buying their bulk ingredients from a U.S. distributor, who may be buying from outside the country.

However, with ingredients such as glucosamine you’re better assured of purity than with many things because there is no animal-grade glucosamine.

When a manufacturer buys an ingredient, regardless of where it originated, it comes with a certificate of analysis, which the manufacturer uses if the product fails internal tests. Find out if the manufacturer has internal quality control, call and ask for a certificate of analysis.

Cold-Backed Horses

I would like to know why and how to deal with or eradicate a cold-backed, crow-hopping behavior in a young horse who never offers any problems under saddle or in hand. He has a lovely disposition, but in rainy or snowy weather he is cold-backed. Will he grow out of it'

Horse Journal Response

Your horse doesn’t sound as if he’s a classic cold-backed horse, a horse who objects every day to being saddled and having the girth tightened, so consider yourself fortunate. It sounds as if he’s just unusually sensitive to cold and damp conditions.

Probably the best way to deal with this behavior is to warm up his back and girth area before you saddle and mount him. Give him a vigorous grooming, using a curry comb or grooming mitt for several minutes to stimulate the circulation over his back and throughout his girth area. Then longe him at the trot and canter for about 10 minutes, perhaps even with a quarter sheet or other light sheet to provide extra warmth.

If his muscles are soft, loose and warm, he shouldn’t find it such a shock when you mount him. He could ”outgrow” this condition after a few weeks or months, because warming him up should eliminate his anticipation of an unpleasant feeling when you mount. But if his cold-backed reaction persists despite warming him up, it would be a good idea to consult a veterinarian to see if he has a physical issue in his back or sternum.

Grass And Carbs

When it comes to laminitis, I thought dry, brown, winter grass was safe. Is it possible for a Quarter Horse gelding with no history of founder after the frost to have a problem on turnout'

Horse Journal Response

The color of the grass isn’t a reliable indicator of its simple-carbohydrate content. Unless the grass causes a severe intestinal problem, grass of any type at any time of the year is only a laminitis/founder risk if the horse is insulin-resistant.

Dormant winter grasses have large reserves of carbohydrates in the roots and lower portions of the plants, which protect the cells from freezing, bursting and dying. Grasses stressed by drought also increase sugar.

Any grass that grows after the winter or a drought wasn’t dead, only dormant. The lower portions of the grasses have carbohydrates that they use for growth until photosynthesis can start supplying their sugar.