The EPSM Page

Above: Yvonne Welz riding Kendra, APHA Paint mare who has EPSM. This photo was taken about one year after initial diagnosis

EPSM (Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy) or PSSM
If you own a Quarter horse, draft or warmblood, please visit this webpage to read all about EPSM (Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy), to know what symptoms to look for. Other breeds can have this condition, too, so EPSM should be considered if a horse ties up, is stiff behind, has unexplained back soreness, or any kind of chronic hind end lameness. EPSM horses should receive no grain at all, and will require fat in their diet to keep their muscles from becoming sore.
Dr. Beth Valentine:

EPSM is also called "PSSM" especially when it occurs in Quarter Horse breeds. Dr. Stephanie Valberg has done a lot of research on Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM) in the Quarter Horse breeds: This disorder has recently been traced to a genetic defect in Quarter Horses. In a recent study of healthy Quarter Horses, up to 12% had PSSM. (

The gene for PSSM has now been identified!
Click here to read about the latest advances in genetic testing for PSSM, and to find more info on how to submit blood/hair samples for the genetic test.

EPSM/PSSM is usually easily managed with 1) as much turn-out as possible 2) as much regular exercise as possible 3) a low starch/low sugar and high fat diet. I initially followed the diet instructions per the websites above, but have had much more success managing Kendra's EPSM using the program and supplements from Dynamite Specialty Products.

Click here to read Kendra's EPSM story. (Acrobat PDF file)
Note: this was written prior to her current diet, which is now OIL-FREE. Read below for more information about her Dynamite diet. She's oil-free, and better than she's been since first diagnosed!


I really did not want to turn this into an info-mercial, but what the heck. This is just too good!

Yvonne riding Kendra in Piaffe, June 2011. This 12 year old Paint mare is better than ever, thanks to an oil-free, high nutrient diet!

I am using the Dynamite program, here's our site:

Here's what Kendra eats once per day - besides Bermuda grass hay (free choice, in a Natural Feeder) and one flake of Alfalfa hay:

1 lb Hay Pellets, soaked in water (I use an alfalfa/bermuda grass pellet)
1 Cup Sunflower Seeds
2 oz Chia seeds
1 Cup Dynamite TNT
1 oz Dynamite Vitamin/Mineral
1 Cup Dynamite HES
1/2 oz Dynamite Easy Balance
Dynamite Dyna-Pro
(Plus she has access to the Dynamite Free Choice Minerals: Izmine, 2 to 1, 1 to 1, and NTM Salt.)
*See Newflash below

And this diet has been a miracle for her, she is doing better physically than ever. In the past year and half, not one incident of tying up, no muscle cramps, and her arthritis (which began developing after years on the high oil diet) has literally reversed itself.

One day I woke up and realized: I don't eat vegetable oil personally. I won't touch the stuff. Why should I make my horse eat it? Truthfully, the high oil diet does seem to provide some symptom relief for EPSM. But at what cost? Vegetable oil is simply not healthy - for horse or human.

Expensive? Well, I tallied up the numbers before I made the change. Guess what - I was spending more money on her previous diet, with all the oil and commercial feed mix purchases, as well as an assortment of joint supplements and etc., than on the Dynamite program with distributor pricing. If you'd like to get wholesale pricing, let me know and I can provide the details (it is really easy).

This program is very simple, nutritious and just makes good common sense.

Here's feedback from someone else who tried Kendra's diet on her own horse:
" Thank you so much for sending Kendra's Dynamite diet.  I started my guy on the same diet, minus the Easy Balance about 6 weeks ago - and he is turning into a different horse!  He has more muscle than ever in his hind end - it is starting to look like it fits his front end (not too small) and he is happy!  Interesting also - he seems to have mellowed out a lot. He was generally not that friendly, somewhat grumpy and quite spooky.... he is now a totally different horse!  He is pleasant, personable, and not always on guard, ready to flee!  I think even his face even looks different. I can pick up his hind feet more easily, most often now without the leg flinging up and shaking, his shivers symptoms have minimized."

Newsflash: August 2011. I've added one more thing to Kendra's diet for the past month, and the preliminary results are incredible. It is a human supplement called Protandim that I have been taking personally, and am now trying out on my horses. What is so exciting is that the horse dose is the same as the human dose, which makes it very economical at $40 per month. Protandim is unique with 3 patents and 7 published studies. Basically, it is clinically proven to reduce oxidative stress by 40% in 30 days, and it activates genes that produce millions of antioxidents per second.

What does this mean for Kendra? I went on a week vacation, and when I returned (and saw her with fresh eyes), I realized that after 30 days on Protandim Kendra was a new horse! She has had rock hard muscles since she was 5 years old, and though she has been doing well for the past couple years, she has always been so tight. I looked at her a couple days ago, and realized she was so loose, her chest muscles looked like she had boobs! Her butt muscles were soft like play dough. For Kendra, this is a miracle! I look forward to what will happen these next few months, will she regain the long, loose stride she had as a 4 year old, when she won a Dressage intro test with a 76% percent? Is this actually reversing all the years of muscle damage of EPSM? Could this be the miracle product we all hope for? Stay tuned!

The Horse's Hoof, INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTOR OF Dynamite Specialty Products
Learn more here: The Horse's Hoof Dynamite website

We feed and proudly recommend Equine Chia seed:

©2011 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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