Spring clean your horse’s diet

by | Sep 8, 2018 | Blogs | 0 comments

A FRESH START…

It’s never too early or too late to ‘Spring Clean’ your horse’s diet. Whether your horse is purely at maintenance or a high level performer, finding out the best and most simple ways to keep him healthy is one of the most important things you can do for him.  The pay-off will be a happy, energised and stress free horse with a silky, glossy coat, good feet and improved temperament and performance.

Keeping things simple can make a huge impact on long term overall health and well-being, so start your Spring Clean with 3 basic steps….

 

CHECK DIGESTIBLE ENERGY INTAKE

  • Too much digestible energy for daily requirements = weight gain and/or hot, fizzy behaviour and vice versa.

SOLUTION:

WEIGH ALL FEED INCLUDING HAY AND CHAFF, EVERY FEED!

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, right? Hay, chaff and hard feeds vary in weight and bulk densities, so to make sure your horse is getting the correct amount of fibre for his size and weight, purchase a spring balance and scales and get weighing.  Managing digestible energy intake will ensure your horse gets his appropriate nutrients and daily fibre gut fill.  Weigh your horse too; you can use a tape or a weighbridge and work on approx. 2% of bodyweight for daily total dry matter intake.

CHECK AND ASSESS WORKLOAD REQUIRMENTS    

Be honest with the work you give your horse – really honest. Feed for the work done and not what you think he is going to do.  Any time off work means you should increase the fibre and gradually reduce or cut out hard feeds appropriately.

CONSIDER WHETHER YOUR HORSE REALLY NEEDS HARD FEED

Think about the work your horse is doing and ask yourself – where would he naturally get his energy from?  Yep, fibre of course!  Remember fibre provides the main source of a horse’s energy intake.  Many horses in light up to medium work can perform perfectly well on just quality fibre, so long as their essential nutrient intake is being met, of course.

If your youngster is just starting work, don’t over supply digestible energy otherwise you could potentially be dealing with hot, fizzy behaviour and a whole heap more!

Yes, a really hard-working horse will likely need some sort of starch based hard feed for fast-release energy.  In this case, manage the diet carefully by splitting hard feed into several small portions to avoid overloading the digestive system with too much starch at one time.

For grain sensitive horses or where there are metabolic challenges, consider replacing some or all of the hard feed with oil. This will provide calories but in a slow-release, cool energy form.

 

CHECK ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS ARE BEING MET

How do you check this?

SOLUTION:

There are 3 easy options to check whether your horse’s essential nutrients are being met:

Look at the horse – A healthy horse has a glossy coat, good condition hooves, bright eyes, plenty of energy and an overall happy outlook. Sometimes it’s good to just let the horse speak for himself!

Diet review and nutrition consult.  You can contact us for this.  We pride ourselves on being thorough!

Computer feed programmes – useful for checking vitamin and mineral levels in the diet – remember though – algorithm based programmes can’t take into account every possible feed anomaly despite their best efforts.  Without hay and/or pasture analysis they are not going to provide you with the full picture. The biggest part of your horse’s diet is fibre and this will supply many of his essential nutrients. Without this analysis, inputting just his hard feeds and current supplements will not give the full picture and could be misleading…

PROVIDE QUALITY ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS TO MAKE UP ANY SHORTFALL IN THE DIET…

It’s not just grass that has fluctuating levels of nutrients; hay is also highly susceptible from the moment it is harvested, baled and stored.  Hay nutrient quality depends on

  • the time of year when cut, (protein, vitamin and mineral levels)
  • time of day when cut, (NSC levels – this is the starch plus water soluble carbohydrate content)
  • how long it has been stored for (Vitamin depletion). Once grass has been cut for hay it loses vitamin E and is no longer a viable source of essential fatty acids such as Omega 3. Also, the longer hay is stored for, the less Vitamin A it contains.

WHATS THE BEST AND EASIEST WAY TO PROVIDE QUALITY ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS?

Feeding a premium quality Fibregenix feed balancer will bridge any nutritional gaps and supply every nutrient the horse needs; all combined in one product. This saves you from having to buy individual supplements (which gives better value and savings long term), and also helps to prevent further dietary imbalances and toxicity from over-supply.

PROMOTING YOUR HORSE’S HEALTH & VITALITY IS EASY WITH FIBREGENIX…

A Fibregenix feed balancer is the logical approach to managing the nutrient intake in your horse’s diet and because our balancers are so concentrated you will be feeding in grams and not kilograms!

Worried about weight gain or have a good doer? – Fibregenix Lami Low-Cal diet balancer ensures your overweight horse or pony will be getting all the essential nutrients he needs whilst on a restricted diet.

Worried about your horse’s condition or toplineFibregenix Prime Original will put more condition and topline on your horse and provide all the ingredients for great overall health. Peak health inside always reflects on the outside, so coats will shine and have the silkiest feel to them even when clipped. With quality protein and high levels of folic acid, it’s also ideal for broodmares, foals and youngsters.

Concerned about your performance horse that’s working super hard, or do you have a veteran or horse with a compromised digestive system? Fibregenix Platinum Pro performance balancer is a technically advanced feed balancer formulated specifically for the fit performance horse. It delivers the optimum balance and level of each nutrient with a synergistic effect, which in turn, optimises and enhances health and performance.

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