Nutritional Articles RSS

Winter woes? Unwanted behaviour?

Are you noticing a difference in your horse's behaviour? Digestive problems, leading to sensitive and even poor behaviour are more commonly seen during the winter months as horses spend prolonged time stabled with less access to daily turnout and consistent forage. We have provided some helpful feeding and horse care tips below. FEEDING TIPS Lower the daily starch intake without compromising daily nutritional needs, for which balancers are ideal Ulsa-Cool provides ONLY 6g of starch and 3.5g sugar per day for an average 500kg horse Feed smaller meals to regulate digestive function Include supporting ingredients to improve digestive function such as probiotics, beta glucans and nucleotides A low starch chaff such as alfalfa contains additional calcium which can help buffer acidity further Feeding a handful of chaff...

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Obesity in ponies and horses - A growing concern?

Obesity is a growing concern and the leading health risk for ponies and horses.   What is obesity? When calorie intake exceeds calories burned through movement and exercise. Excess body fat can lead to further negative impacts on a pony or horse’s daily health.   Causes of obesity Over-feeding – especially those who are retired or not ridden Not knowing where the calories come from. The main source of calories in most equine diets is grass Too little exercise Improved care of grazing land Insulin resistance – which can increase blood sugar levels Over-rugging in the winter months, leading to unnatural weight maintenance rather than natural weight loss.   Typical signs of obesity Every horse and breed are different in...

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Laminitis - Think now

What is Laminitis? “Bacteria breaks down undigested material causing acidity in the hindgut, which kills the bacteria that digests fibre. As the bacteria die, they release toxins into the gut, which are then passed into the bloodstream through the gut wall. These toxins provoke a response within the horse that is thought to disrupt blood flow, which, in the feet, can cause laminitis.” The Blue Cross Blood flow to the laminae is disrupted, causing inflammation and swelling in the tissues of the hoof, usually combined with severe pain. Laminitis causes lameness, heat and pain in the hooves, with a strong digital pulse that can be felt in the arteries down the back of the fetlock and pastern. Any horse or...

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Winter feeding top tips for competition horses

Winter feeding top tips for competition horses As horses become stabled for extended periods of time, and are clipped out for competition, you may find excitable behaviour becomes more prevalent. Feeding a low starch, whole cereal free diet can help curb extra enthusiasm. Balancers tend to be low in starch and sugar, and free from whole cereal, using oils and fibre as a form of slow release energy. All Blue Chip balancers are molasses free, helping to curb fizzy behaviour. If your horse has daily turnout, it’s still likely the grass will need supplementing with hay/haylage at this time of year, further supported by a balancer to make sure they continue to receive their daily needs of protein, vitamins, minerals...

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What do I need to consider in terms of nutrition as the grass changes in autumn/winter?

As autumn begins, grass growth slows, and its nutritional profile becomes deficient in key vitamins and minerals. Horses tend to spend more time stabled, and as a consequence it’s an important time to supplement their forage ration (grass, hay or haylage). Every horse is an individual, and we should feed according to their condition and workload, but as a general guide 2 to 2.5% of their body weight can be fed daily for weight maintenance. An average 500kg horse could be fed around 10kg to 12.5kg total feed/day, aim for 80% of this to be forage (approx. 8kg to 10kg). Additional forage provision allows your horse to maintain a healthy gut as a trickle feeder, fermentation in the hind gut...

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