Episode 15: Dr. Lacher talks supplements


Dr. Erica Lacher

Listen to Episode 15

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Dr. Erica Lacher of Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in northern Florida likes to research any supplement that her clients are giving their horses or thinking of giving their horses. Turns out, she says, almost none have any research to support their claims. If there is a study on, say, turmeric or CBD, chances are it was done on mice and using enormous doses. Still, people love supplements – to the tune of $100 million for horses and a whopping $31 billion for us humans.

While the placebo effect may not impact your horse, it does impact you and your wallet.

Lacher and her husband, Justin Long, produce the podcast, “Straight from the Horse Doctor’s Mouth,” which features many interesting equine vet-related topics.

Learn how to be more objective with these products, using a simple technique and a good friend. Results from your own tests may surprise you!

Thanks so much to the ongoing support from:

Lucerne Farms – pick up a bag of their Totally Timothy to help your hard keeper this winter!

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WorkWear vest for women

Horse & Rider Books – enter “besthorse” at checkout to enjoy 20 percent off.

Kate’s Read Food – enter “cayuse30” for 30 percent off your first order.


We heard from several listeners after this episode, among them Dr. Browne, a liver pathologist. He wrote:

I don’t ride or work with horses, but I think a lot of what I hear on your podcast can be applied indirectly to other facets of life. I was especially interested in this episode. As a liver pathologist, I frequently see the damage done by so called herbal remedies and nutritional supplements. Your guest focused on the listed magical ingredient. What most people don’t realize is that nobody knows what all of the other unlisted ingredients are in things like protein powders. There is no regulation or accountability. It amazes me what people are willing to put in their mouths, and hearing that they do it to horses, too, saddens me.

Listen to Episode 15

Go to Main Podcast page

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One Comment

  1. As Dr. Sheryl King said at the Best Horse Practices Summit in, I think, 2018 (paraphrasing): horses need forage, period. All the studies she has been involved with, that used horses as testers, that is what the findings revealed. Ta Da!

    One thing I caution my less scientific friends is to ask about the science and find out who is selling the product. If your vet tells you that dosing your horse with Silica is a good idea, but the only research to be found is by the manufacturer of said supplement, AND the vet sells that for the manufacturer, then that is a closed loop that means they may not be objective, eh? That happened in my barn (not my vet). Many of the ladies went for it. Iyiyi!

    Love Dr. Lacher’s explanation about the placebo effect from the human and how to test on your own. My answer to supplements is simple — it’s no thank you. I wish people would learn about the sensitivity of the horse as easily as they buy into the barn buzz. I joke (although it may not be funny) that they only contagion in the barn is rumor.

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