My performance horse is in hard work six days a week but I am worried which balancer to put him on as if he is just on fibre and Fibregenix will he get enough energy for his high requirements?
Firstly, let’s be quite clear – Fibregenix feed balancers are additives/supplements and not a standard hard feed. This means they won’t provide the calories (energy) needed for more intense work. We wouldn’t normally expect a performance horse in regular hard work to be overweight. However, whilst insulin resistance is more commonly linked to obesity and laminitis, it’s not just a an issue in overweight horses. Even a fit eventer can be insulin resistant as it’s an abnormal metabolic state. If your performance horse is carrying a few too many kilos and has insulin resistance then give him Lami Low-Cal. Once the weight has been lost then Platinum Pro is fine as it will help to provide those extra nutrients that a hardworking horse needs.
Next, ensure there is sufficient fibre in his diet, preferably with an NSC value of less than 10%. This will form the bulk of his calorie/digestible energy intake. You can also add some oil. Both fibre and oil will provide cool digestible energy. We always suggest simple veggie oil or a cold pressed or equine approved linseed oil. Starch intake will of course need to be limited to no more than 2g per kg of the horse’s bodyweight to avoid overloading the hindgut. Split feeds into smaller portions, and look for low starch feed mixes. Don’t forget, soluble fibres such as beet pulp can also provide medium energy and are a good substitute for grains.