Read the labels of that ‘cool’ feed – they may be labelled as ‘oat free’ but they’re all too often still formulated with other cereals.  No feed can be considered ‘cool’ when it contains grains such as barley or maize (corn), even those that are extruded or micronized. Yes, cooking the cereal helps to improve pre-caecal digestion and avoid digestive disturbances, but the energy levels generated could be in excess to requirements leading to either unwanted weight gain or adverse behaviour.  Ultimately, it’s all about helping horses to be fed a more natural diet as nature intended and keeping the digestive system settled.  Horses in light work can utilise energy from volatile fatty acids produced from fibre digestion, so limiting starch in the diet and feeding more fibre is a far healthier option.

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