Alfalfa Meal -- Alfalfa meal is a highly processed, cheap filler that is used to supplement protein content for livestock. We do not use any kinds of "meals" in our treats -- only pure, Certified Organic, human-grade Alfalfa powder or leaf. There is a huge difference.
Artificial Flavorings: Food industry manufacturers (including horse industry manufacturers) use artificial flavorings to cut product costs. Artificial flavorings and sweeteners are MUCH cheaper than the natural good taste of a whole food, but effects of artificial flavorings and sweeteners on health are questionable. Artificial flavorings and sweeteners have been linked to everything from allergies to possible causes for cancer.
Another reason manufacturers use artificial flavorings is because of the consumer trend toward avoiding unhealthy refined sugars. Artificial sweetners allow us have the sweet foods we crave without the actual calories or blood sugar spikes sugar can cause. At first glance, artificial sweetners and flavorings seem logical for us and even for our horses -- especially when it comes to our "Easy Keepers" and "Air Ferns."
But the next time you consider feeding yourself or your horse something with artificial flavorings, consider this:
* Artificial flavorings work through smell, which activiate the taste buds. Just think of your favorite food and how good it smells and try not to let your mouth water! Your sense of smell is dozens of times stronger than your sense of taste and your horse's sense of smell is much stronger than his taste buds, too.
* Horses are known for being able to discern a poisonous plant from a non-poisonous plant through their amazing sense of taste and smell. This innate ability can keep a horse alive.
* Artificial flavorings can easily overpower a natural food/taste/smell that actually tastes repugnant to your horse.
* Metabolically challenged horses are called metabolically challenged because their bodies are just that -- challenged. Do you really want to feed them something that could be challenging their system even more?
* Food manufacturers are not required to post on their websites, each and every ingredient contained in their products or on their labels. So it is quite common to buy something, thinking it is does not contain any artificial ingredients, only to find out upon further inspection once the product arrives, that it contains artificial ingredients.
Beet Pulp: While beet pulp can be a low Glycemic Index food for low sugar horses, beet pulp is not a whole food -- it is what remains of a whole food once the sugar has been extracted from the beet. This extract was a throw away item until people noticed that turning a refuse into a feed could be a cheap way to feed horses and other livestock. Lack of regulations in the manufacturing of beet pulp comes with too many risks and concerns for Skode's to use it in our treats.
Oils and Fats: No one knows what the safe fat intake level is for an Insulin Resistant horse.
Important points to note:
* Clinical trials to induce laminitis in horses do so by feeding horses oil (fat.) Ponies develop much worse Insulin Resistance when fed fat. * EPSM horses fed high fat diets sometimes develop Insulin Resistance as a result.
Rice bran, corn oil, soy --these things may be very tasty and even sometimes appropriate components of your horse's nutritional programs -- especially if your horse is expending great amounts of energy. However we suggest that if you choose to feed these things, you do so in carefully measured doses -- not as a filler or binder in a feed or horse treat!
Soy Bean Hulls, Soy Beans, Soy anything! Soy and its derivates are the #1 causing allergen for horses, according to university field research reported by the Official Equine Cushigns and Insulin Resistant Group run by world renowned Dr. Elleanor Kellon, DVM and equine nutritionist.
We launched Skode's Low Sugar Horse Treats with the intention of providing our own horses with pure, whole food nutrition. When we began selling to the public, we stuck to our standards and values.
Sure, it would be cheaper to make a low sugar horse treat that uses non-regulated horse feeds and fillers such as soy hulls. Those things cost less than the human grade and orgainc whole foods we rely upon. But we know you want the best for your horse. And we provide it!
These are ingredients you will never find in a Skode's Low Sugar Horse Treats: