With Olympia well underway and now that we are well and truly in the throes of winter, where dark nights, cold weather and changing turnout conditions pose all kinds of challenges to us as horse owners, a common problem we encounter is maintaining our horse or pony’s weight and condition as we progress through the winter show season.
In order to effectively manage this as winter draws on, there are several easy changes you can make to the diet of your horse or pony to ensure that they are receiving adequate nutrition to help them thrive throughout the cold snap.
- Include More Fibre
Fibre is the most ‘warming’ dietary component, due to its digestion in the gut producing heat, which your horse or pony can utilise in vital metabolic processes to keep himself warm, rather than wasting the energy provided in the feed that you give him to build condition. To add fibre to the diet, using a chaff is an effective way of including fibre in a bucket feed, whereas ensuring ad-lib hay or haylage is available allows a natural, trickle-feeding action to occur, keeping the gut motile and healthy as fibre is passing through on a regular basis. All Blue Chip balancers contain a high quality probiotic, which doubles the digestibility of fibre in the hind gut, allowing increased levels of nutrition to be gained from the ration that you include in your horse’s diet, helping to provide those extra calories needed for winter warmth.
- Feed a Balancer
Feeding a balancer is a perfect way of ensuring that your horse or pony is receiving all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need on a daily basis as the grass quality and quantity fluctuates throughout the winter, which is a major factor in condition and weight maintenance. All Blue Chip Balancers contain specifically tailored levels of all the vital nutrients your horse needs to thrive and maintain optimum health, alongside additional zinc, methionine and biotin as part of the SoundHoofTM supplement which helps to promote the growth of strong, pliable horn, ensuring hooves remain in excellent condition in the constantly changing ground conditions that winter brings with it. Another benefit of feeding a Blue Chip Balancer is that they are the only balancers to include Nucleotides, which act as the building blocks of DNA and RNA and aid digestive efficiency by increasing the surface area available for absorption in the gut, allowing your horse or pony to gain the maximum amount of nutrients from the feed that they take in. They are also integral in the immune response, helping your horse to fight off common winter ailments that may take hold by aiding white blood cell production to keep bacterial and viral infections at bay.
- Make Age a Consideration!
If you own a veteran, the winter can be particularly difficult for them as their appetite and the efficiency of their digestive system decreases with age. Blue Chip have developed the Super Concentrated Senior Balancer which provides all the benefits of their best-selling feed balancers, in one highly nutrient dense portion of as little as 100g per day for the average horse, which can be easily fed straight from the hand – perfect forthose struggling to eat the portion sizes they used to. The Super Concentrated Senior Balancer contains Glucosamine, MSM and Hyaluronic Acid to promote joint comfort and mobility during periods of prolonged stabling, alongside CushinComboTM, a veteran-specific supplement, which contains Chaste Tree Berry extract to help maintain correct pituitary function; a major contributory factor in the development of Cushing’s Disease, which affects a large number of horses over 14 years old.
As the seasons change, it is always important to assess what impact the differences in environment, weather and routine will have on your horse or pony as they can be detrimental to their overall health and well-being. Feeding a Blue Chip Balancer makes winter showing so much easier, as being healthy on the inside results in a glossy, gleaming coat on the outside, even when clipped to help you gain the winning edge this season.
The post Spotlight on Showing: Tips on Keeping Winter Show Condition appeared first on Blue Chip Feed | Horse Supplements & Horse Feed Balancers.