The first couple of years of a horse’s life are the most important in ensuring they fully develop, laying the foundations for future success. The greatest rate of growth takes place in the first year of your horses’ life, a nutritionally complete diet is key to building strong skeletal foundations. If their development is compromised during these early years it is impossible to make up for later on.

Top tips

Top-quality milk – a mare’s milk provides 100% of a foal’s nutritional requirements during the first month. It is especially important to ensure the mare is on a high-quality feed to ensure the milk provides the correct nutritional requirements.

Provide increased protein, vitamins and minerals - youngsters need an increased amount of protein, vitamins and minerals compared to adult horses. Ensure youngsters are getting these increased amounts until they are 2 years old.

Regular farrier appointments – ensuring the hooves grow in the correct angles from an early age can save joints and bones from stress injury later on.

Early equine dental appointment - an equine dental appointment during the first few months of a foal’s life is especially important, as it allows for the discovery of issues such as overbite which, if caught early, can be corrected.

Provide turnout - the less time foals and youngsters are in stables the better, provide as much turnout as possible.