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Equimins Ltd Blog | Natural Horse Supplements, Supplies & Products Equimins specialises in producing natural horse supplies, products and supplements for the major areas associated with caring for a horse. All products are proudly made in the UK and excellent specification quality products are of paramount importance. Using this blog we want to share some of the knowledge we have gained through nearly 30 years of experience.

25 September 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Feeding fibre this winter

It’s a question that we hear a lot…can my ridden horse survive on fibre and nothing else this winter? In most cases, the answer is absolutely…but let’s explore why this is…

First of all, let’s not forget what the horse is meant to eat. A horse’s digestive system is designed to process fibre and thrive on it…eating fibre is what the horse was meant to do and hay, haylage, grass and feeds made from chopped grasses all fall into this category.

Of course, horses that live on open plains and eat fibre all day, every day aren’t expected to complete a dressage test or be ridden for an hour each day, but they do cover many miles moving around as a herd in search of food. Not all that long ago, we blogged about workload and how it’s very easy to over estimate your horse’s work. If you’re in any doubt, have a look at this blog as it really is surprising how much work a horse has to do to be in medium work…with the British weather, dark nights and other commitments, it’s easy for a horse that’s in medium work during the summer to have his workload drop off through the winter.

Now, we’re not saying that every horse will thrive on ad lib hay. We’re very pro the use of balancers, such as our Advance Concentrate advance_complete_pellets copyComplete, to complement a fibre diet, to make sure that the horse is getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs, to ensure optimum health and help the digestion of fibre. If a balancer isn’t for you, we do also supply supplements such as Pro-Bio and Tip Top that give a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, and there’s even Tip Top Supplement Treats that can be fed from the hand to top up on important elements…without the need for a bucket feed.

tiptop_supp_treat_ecopack_1.5kg[3] copyOf course, there are some horses that need a little extra help. This could take the form of adding an oil to the feed, or even something like Cooked Linseed which provides slow release energy and fibre too. Sugar beet is another source of slow release energy that can help boost calorie intake as well.

What we’re trying to say is that yes, most horses can thrive on a fibre only diet, especially when it’s fed alongside a balancer. If you notice a drop in condition, then you can always add other elements like oils to the diet to add more calories so don’t think you HAVE to feed a mix or cube if you don’t want to…there are plenty of other options out there, even if your horse is in work.

For help with your winter feeding, contact us.

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