Joe Camp, author of the National Bestseller The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons
from the Herd; the horse’s #1 advocate for happier healthier lives
I’ve heard that a lot.
You set your standards too high.
Better than too low I’ve been known to whisper.
Usually I just shake my head and walk away.
Most recently I’ve been searching for a treat that is actually good for my horses. A treat that isn’t loaded with sugar or molasses, or grains which are mostly non-structural carbs which turn to sugar when metabolized, or soy, or hydrogenated vegetable fats or oils. We train with treats and use a lot of them. So I’ve been reading a lot of labels. Most of them are scary.
There is no such thing as a treat that is actually good for your horse. Get used to it.
That’s a quote from someone who’s supposed to know better.
But that’s not the way I believe. I’ve learned that when you dig deep enough, search long enough and question loudly enough, you’ll discover the most amazing things. Things that will make for happier, healthier horses. And find it I did!
A Treat That Is Totally Good For Your Horse!
From people who appear to actually care about your horse’s health and happiness. This is the singular best treat on the market as far as I’m concerned because Omega Fields’ Omega Nibblers® Low Sugar is the only treat I have found that uses 99.9% pure Non-GMO stabilized ground fortified flax. That’s .9% higher than required for human food grade. Nobody else does this. Every heart-shaped treat contains 684mg of properly balanced Omega 3s, and 15 of these treats are a tasty Omega 3 alternative to ½ cup of Omega Horseshine. And you can save 10% by clicking this link.
Omega 3s are absolutely essential to your horse in so many ways! They fight inflammation, they support and build the immune system, improve bone and joint health, restore cracked and brittle hooves and support strong solid hoof growth, they can eliminate sweet itch and bug-bite sores, are recommended for horses with insulin resistance and Cushings, and can reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, all while promoting shiny, healthy coats and smoother skin texture! Our Stormy looks like she has been shellacked. Seriously. It’s the shiniest winter coat I’ve ever seen. And the shine outside confirms the shine that’s going on inside.
Every domestic horse on the planet needs Omega 3 supplementation because no one, horse or human, can manufacture their own Omega 3s. A horse in the wild will get his Omega 3 needs from the many varied kinds of fresh native grasses that have never been exposed to chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and never been GMO’d. Domestic pastures virtually always come up short because they’ve been exposed to one or all of the above, and grass hay loses its Omega 3s when it is cut and dried, so the horse (like the human) needs Omega 3 supplementation.
But supplementation without molasses and/or grains with high levels of non-structural carbs that turn to sugar the minute they enter a horses body (all grains have high NSCs). Like Corn or corn by-products, wheat or wheat middlings, barley, etc. Even carrots and carrot by-products carry a high glycemic index. Dr. Mark DePaolo, DVM says, “Horses are not designed to eat sugars or carbohydrates. ALL grains, when digested, are processed and metabolized as sugar which is detrimental to your horse’s health and well-being.” Also these sugars load up your horse with high doses of Omega 6, an inflammatory when not balanced properly with Omega 3.
And without soy. No Soybean meal or soybean oil. According to Dr. DePaolo, “Soy is highly estrogenic and should never be fed to either sex of horses, especially those that are already suffering from any type of metabolic disorder like Hypothyroidism, Insulin Resistance or Cushing’s Syndrome. And 99.9% percent of soy included in human and horse food is genetically modified to be Round-Up Ready. Glyphosate, one of the active ingredients in Roundup, is the leading cause of leaky gut syndrome in horses. Leaky gut syndrome can cause food allergies, diarrhea, mal-absorption syndrome, colic and irritable bowel syndrome.
“Phytates in soy are also undesirable. They will bind to certain nutritional minerals in a horse’s diet and prevent them from being absorbed into the body. It is very common for a horse that is being fed soy to be lacking Iron, Manganese, Chromium, Cobalt and sometimes Selenium when tested utilizing horse hair analysis. These minerals are very important in the production of proteinaceous connective tissues such as tendon, ligament, joint cartilage, hoof and hair coat.”
Nibblers® Low Sugar contain no hydrogenated vegetable fats or oils, all of which put high levels of unbalanced Omega 6s into your horse which cause free-radicals and inflammation when not balanced properly with Omega 3s.
If you are currently using another treat, I encourage you to check out the label. I have for every major treat out there. You will find no other brand using such a high quality flax. Many don’t even use pure flax, opting for a less expensive and less effective flax by-product like flax meal. And you will find many treats filled with sugar, molasses, grains, soy and vegetable oils. Now read the ingredients for Omega Fields’ Omega Nibblers® Low Sugar treats: Stabilized Ground Flaxseed, Stabilized Rice Bran, Alfalfa Meal, Beet Pulp, Yeast Culture, Salt, Natural & Artificial Apple Flavor, Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Preservative).
If it sounds like I have become a spokesperson for this company I have recently agreed to do just that. Because I’ve been blown away by Omega Fields and their products. It’s the first company I’ve ever met whose standards are as high or higher than my own. Thus, the first time I have ever agreed to do such a thing.
As mentioned earlier, we train with treats. Once the horse has said I trust you, of his own free will with no strings attached, he will become a very willing partner. We have seven horses and every one of them will do anything in the world for us… IF they understand whatever it is we’d like for them to do… IF we can communicate that wish to them in a clear and intelligible manner. It’s all about the communication! And I’ve never found a better way of confirming their understanding of communication than the concept of You do something I like and I’ll do something you like. See Our book Training with Treats.
We do not give treats to our horses just because they are cute, or just because we love them. We use treats exclusively for training. And boy do they work! Can you imagine how much easier it would be to communicate with a horse who has a vocabulary and can actually think?
I began the process not unlike Benji’s training began by pointing out to Cash what the word foot actually means, and what action I was requesting. I put my hand behind his knee and lifted his leg into sort of a Spanish walk position. All the while saying, “Your foot, your foot” over and over. Then I’d say “Good boy” and give him a treat while still holding his leg up. Only then would I lower his foot back the ground. In very short order I was no longer lifting the leg, but merely touching his knee and he would lift it up himself. And soon after that all I needed were the words and a bit of hand motion. It was fun to watch his comprehension unfold, very similar to Benji’s. And fun to watch him come up asking to be trained :).
Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up with a dog training mentality, but frankly I wouldn’t know where to start if I were to attempt to teach this without the treat. Whatever route that might take I’m certain Cash would not have understood it so quickly. He wouldn’t have grasped my communication so readily. Nor would he have been as motivated to reach, and understand, and do. In other words he was enjoying the process, which made both of us happy. And lo and behold, he was also learning that when I asked for something new, something he had never done before, he’d get that brain engaged quickly because there might be something good in it for him. He was seriously focused on figuring it out. You do something I like and I’ll do something you like.
Seems fair to me.
And at last I need worry no longer about doing too much training and feeding too many treats.
Thank you Omega Fields. The people who seriously care about my horse’s health and happiness. – Joe Camp
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To pause a photo, hover your “mouse” over it.
Note the absence of halter and lead.