What is Equine Insulin Resistance?


horses in field at sunset

Insulin Resistance is the inability to respond to and use the insulin produced by the body. In horses, uncontrolled insulin means losing 2.5-4.5 years off their life. Insulin Resistance is a metabolic and hormonal disorder that needs to be managed by diet and supplementation. 

In normal horses, you get a normal hyperinsulinemia spike after meals, which will in a few hours return to normal baseline levels. In Insulin Resistance cases, however, blood levels of insulin are higher than normal and this can last 24 hours a day. This constant high insulin damages cells. 

For horses that suffer from Insulin Resistance, the base level of insulin is almost three times higher, resulting in constant elevation during the day. 


Brown horse in field


There are several causes that lead to Insulin Resistance. Obesity is a major problem that results in the inflammation of mediators damaging receptors in the body. This causes high levels of insulin that block Insulin’s normal action. This will lead to long and permanent damage to your horse. 

Chronic Laminitis is often related to Insulin Resistance. This is a disease that affects your horse’s hooves and ability to stay active. Laminitis is caused by an increase in insulin. An insulin-resistant horse is carbohydrate intolerant and likely needs its diet to be closely managed.

Cushing’s Disease is another cause of insulin resistance. High levels of the ACTH hormone interferes with Insulin's natural course. This disease increases glucose levels and will trigger more Insulin output from the pancreas. This disease reduces muscle mass. Muscle is the biggest user of insulin hormone, so less muscle mass means fewer receptors for insulin to work on. 

Infections of the body can also lead to further damage. Fevers will raise glucose and that will increase Insulin Resistance. Endotoxins are shown to also cause Insulin surging and are a major contributor to the problem. 

Excess carbohydrates often lead to increased levels of Insulin Resistance. This is usually seen in cases of too much fresh forage or too much high sugar fresh forage. 


Horse with foal eating grass

Effects of Insulin Resistance 

Equine insulin problems damage the heart. The heart is directly affected by Insulin Resistance. The walls of the heart increase in thickness for Insulin Resistance horses. 

High insulin also affects your horse’s hooves. This is like a small hammer banging on your horse’s foot. No shoe nor amount of Bute will help unless you first stop the hammer. 

While there is no specific set of symptoms that an insulin-resistant horse will show, there are several signs that might indicate the problem exists. This includes abnormal fat deposits, usually on the crest, rump, and above the eye. Other signs include excessive urinating and drinking and potentially developing laminitis. Be aware of abdominal bloating or abnormal weight gain or weight loss. Loss of stamina and muscle tone may also develop. 


Three horses eating grass in field

Equine Heiro 

Proper diet and exercise are essential for horse health. To help maintain your horse’s health, Horse Heiro is a supplement that will provide extra nutrients to keep up with your horse's wellbeing. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Horse Heiro is the only Horse Insulin Resistant supplement that is tested to ensure safe sugar and starch content. This product combined with the best hay, grain, and snacks is nutritional therapy. 

Horse Heiro has been tested and proven to be state lab certified to be melamine-free, pesticide-free, lead-free, and drug-free. This is a safe and pure product you can give to your horse to help maintain a healthy diet. It contains low iron levels similar to grass hay. 

If your horse can’t be on pasture due to chronic sore feet, stays large on little food, or experiences pain on the hard ground, this product is your answer. Horse Heiro is a 100% all-natural supplement that uses top-rated natural herbs to help safely and naturally combat elevated Insulin. 

There are no fillers, no artificial colors, preservatives, melamine, pesticides, or drugs. This is a great combination and concentration of organicals to make horses more comfortable and help them get back on grass pasture. Read more about what is in this product by viewing our website.

“I have an insulin-resistant pony that is on HEIRO year around. She goes out on grass in a grazing muzzle and is a wonderful driving pony. I give a lot of credit to Heiro and to Dr. Reilly for steering my vet in the right direction,” says a recently satisfied customer. 

Your horse is meant to graze and play in grass pasture. When your horse struggles with Insulin Resistance and its effects, they will be less likely to be active and enjoy pasture turnout. Supplying your horse with HEIRO and a proper diet will help get your horse back to where they belong. Horses that want to stay in dirt lots due to their foot sores, body sores, and lack of mobility are the horses that need this product the most. 

Talk with your Veterinarian, and have them test your horse’s Insulin levels prior using HEIRO, then have them test again to see how well HEIRO works after 60 days. Once the numbers improve, a controlled pasture turnout program can be started. Many horses are back to eight hours a day within two months of starting on grass. 


The Four Steps of the HEIRO Program 

In order to ensure that your horse is receiving the right type of medical treatment, you should be tracking your horse’s level of insulin two times a year. High levels of insulin damage the body. Use the four-step HEIRO program, which is proven to help control insulin resistance, to help.

  1. Hay Eating: In the right amount and right rate, your horse will have 24/7 forage, which will reduce insulin surging.
  2. Rotation Balancer: higher protein in these lower insulin three ways, they are also low carb.  
  3. Thyroid Function: Low in all Insulin Resistance horses – now at bottom of normal range for T4 = sub-optimal. Need to be in top of normal range which is proven to help insulin sensitivity and help reduce nerve pain in feet.
  4. HEIRO: 1 scoop 2x a day for 10 days, then 1 scoop 1x a day.

By following these four steps, you will be able to see a steady improvement in your horse’s mobility and they will be back on their way to enjoying life on the pasture. 

Get your horse back on pasture by supplying your horse with the best supplement on the market! To learn more about Insulin Resistance visit our website