Management Partners:

Where I buy chelated calcium, B1, reishi,  pea protein, and some herbs:

Where I buy herbs, seeds, and tinctures:

PSSM Science, Theories, and Treatment Ideas

Rehabbing horses with stiff gaits and stifle issues, testing for PSSM, horse tack reviews

Here is some miscellaneous info and links that I’ve found interesting.  I’m posting them, partially so I’ll review them again later, and partially for anyone who may also find this information helpful.  As always, be careful when trying diet changes, supplements, etc. with these sensitive horses.

Anabolism vs. Catabolism:
This article is on human metabolism, but is good information.  It discusses the hormones (including insulin, glucagon, and cortisol), the types of energy sources used, and more.  This information supports my idea that allowing Jax to eat grass during the first 15-20 minutes of a trail ride helps immensely, then goes on to explain when fat sources are used, etc.   UPDATE:  Jax no longer needs to eat out on trail rides (though he still gets little snacks occasionally!) and he no longer seems to have hypoglycemic issues.

Glucagon – Wikipedia article:
Glucagon is a peptide hormone that breaks down glycogen for energy production.  This process seems to be more efficient in people and animals that exercise regularly and have higher levels of endurance.  I’ve been testing the theory that raising Jax’s level of endurance by slowly upping the mileage that I work him will make him use glycogen more efficiently.  I’ll post more on this as I learn more. The Wikipedia article explains the glucagon process.  UPDATE:  Jax is doing much better this winter!  His endurance levels have risen and his muscles are stronger, and as I theorized, he’s maintaining better with less effort, and his muscles seem to be working more efficiently.


With my research, I’ve learned that glycogen is stored quicker in PSSM1 horses than normal horses due to an increased sensitivity to insulin.  Some of these horses also store glycogen in a configuration that is hard for their body to breakdown (glucagon process).  So, while raising the endurance level of my horse to raise efficiency in the glucagon process I came across the problem of him developing “shaky muscles” – it wasn’t a full-blown spasm, but seemed to be a hypoglycemic reaction, due to him not being able to release glycogen for energy.  I started researching hypoglycemia in PSSM horses and came across two books (through the google book search) that had great information:

Rice bran prevents high-fat diet-induced inflammation and macrophage content in adipose tissue  “RBEE-supplemented diet attenuated insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and morphological and functional alterations of adipose tissue in DIO mice. These benefits were accompanied by a modulating effect in adipocytes secretion and some biomarkers associated with macrophage polarization. Therefore, RBEE may be considered an alternative nutritional complement over metabolic syndrome and its complications…”   Longer shoeing intervals can impact stifles  Since stifle issues are rampant with PSSM horses, and since these horses can’t compensate for hoof pain, keeping their feet comfortable is extremely important – as is knowing how to help (as much as possible) when stifles start acting up.

Wikipedia Article on Triheptanoin – “Triheptanoin is a triglyceride that is composed of three seven-carbon fatty acids. These odd-carbon fatty acids are able to provide anaplerotic substrates for the TCA cycle. Triheptanoin is used clinically in humans to treat inherited metabolic diseases, such as pyruvate carboxylase deficiency and carnitine palmitoyltransferase II deficiency. It also appears to increase the efficacy of the ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy…”

More topics of interest:

Horses in pain tend to have higher cortisol levels.  High cortisol is also associated with thyroid issues.  So does this mean that chronic disease can mimic thyroid issues?  If so, do thyroid remedies help these horses?

Melatonin reduces cortisol response to ACTH in humans:

Awesome graph on how different minerals affect others

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

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