Feeding Insulin Resistant & Cushings Horses

My senior gelding (mid to late 20s… no one quite knows) was recently diagnosed with Cushings. My teens mare my diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. I had them on the lowest carb feed I could find, but the vet said both needed to lose weight – meaning we needed to cut down on carbs even more.

Low Carb Feed

We ditched the low carb feed and switched to Teff Grass Pellets. Teff is a low sugar/starch grass – lower than any other grass I could find. The horses love it and are already trimming down. Since this is just straight grass, I have them on Farrier’s Formula to make sure their feet are getting proper nutrition.


I also decided to put my gelding on SmartPak Equine’s SmartPituitary Senior Pellets for pituitary support since he has PPID (pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction) AKA Cushings. Additionally, my gelding and mare get SmartMetabo-Lean Pellets for now until I get them down to their ideal weight.

During the summer, I have also been giving them FlyAway Garlic to help keep the flies at bay and Apple-A-Day Electrolytes for salt replenishment.

My horses are on an acre of pasture, which is not much for two horses. But according to my vet, you don’t want Cushings/insulin resistant eating a lot of grass anyway (to keep their sugar down.)

So far, this new feeding regimen is working out great! I will retest my horses in a few months to see what their blood sugar looks like in comparison to what it was when they were first diagnosed.

Cushings Medication

Side note: my senior gelding is taking a prescription, PRASCEND, for his Cushings. I am having a heck of a time getting him to take his pill, so I am getting creative with administering it. Horse pill pockets, applesauce, watermelon. Stay tuned for what works best…

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