For those of you out there who have a horse, you’ll know that it takes up quite a lot of your time. Most days, you’re outside looking after the horse – feeding it, scrubbing it, taking it out for rides and essentially making sure that it’s good and healthy and enjoying life as much as you are.

That’s all well and good, of course. Most people who own a horse love their horse. All very nice, it is but what it does do is interfere with your down time, your leisure time. The truth is that once you have a horse, you don’t get to have much leisure time any more. Your days are taken up with looking after and making sure that the horse is okay. Then, when the weekend comes, what do you do? Nothing, you tend to do nothing because you’re broke from paying for horse-care and your time is taken up with care as well. You might also have to go to horse events or whatever.

In order to have a life with a horse and a life outside of the ordinary (in other words, getting away for a holiday at the weekend), the perfect solution I’ve found is to simply combine your travels and demands with the horse with the 5th wheel lifestyle.

If you are a fifth wheeler already, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, then I can only pity you for not having discovered the beauty of this lifestyle earlier and if you own a horse, then I think that it’s truly the only life for you.

There are other hobbies that people combine with their horse lifestyle. For example, at the horse events, you will always see some people with a motorcycle trailer tied on behind the horse trailer or an ATV trailer with a bunch of gear inside for mountain climbing or God knows what.

For my money, however, I suspect that the majority of folk who own a horse out there would prefer not to have to abandon their horse and go doing something else at the weekend. They tend to see the horse as every bit as much a part of the family as… well, the family. They would prefer to have their horse close to them so that they can look after it if anything happens. They would surely have a much more relaxing time if the horse was with them. And relaxing is the whole point of a weekend break.

Investing in one of these rigs isn’t easy but if you’re a full-time horse person, then it should be a no-brainer to get yourself a solution that will allow you to combine your hobby and your pleasure. In other words, it’s a worthwhile investment and life is short. When I first bought my fifth wheeler, I thought that I would never pay it off. I traded it in for a dump trailer and I never looked back. Three years later, I was able to trade that in for a car hauler. Now that is something that really gives you additional freedom.

While the dietary needs of all horses are of great importance, high-performance horses need a specific combination of ingredients and nutrients to allow them to perform their best. The diet of these particular horses can make the difference between having a winner and a loser. The following provides a summary provides information about some of the ingredients or nutrients that make a difference in the diets of performance horses.

Feeds with high fat or added fat

High fat horse feed provides a number of benefits for the performance horse including the following:

  • Improves endurance
  • Reduces the horse’s risk of developing certain types of metabolic issues
  • Provides energy as well as having a calming effect on the performance horse
  • Reduces the heat loan during hot weather

Most owners of performance horses prefer corn oil, soy oil, canola oil and high fat rice bran oil for horses. While it is feasible to use animal fat, it may not be as appetizing as other fats. Your horse needs a minimum of ten days to two weeks on a high fat diet for him to achieve the maximum benefit.

Energy Content

There are many comparisons you will note about the energy levels of different horse feed, especially when it involves high fat feeds or highly digestible fiber sources. The most common source of comparing feeds in today’s market is digestible energy (DE). Your horse can obtain energy from fiber, fat, starch and protein. In the feeding of performance horses, it is important to try to maximize the energy they receive from high quality fiber and just the right level of fat. Protein is not a very efficient energy source, while too much star can cause a variety of digestive problems that include equine colic.

Reduced Protein Levels

Another way to improve the performance of your horse is to reduce the protein levels and provide a proper amino acid balance. Doing this limits excessive nitrogen that is produced when owners and handlers provide extra protein for use as an energy source. The important amino acids are lysine, methionine and threonine. Methoinine is important for hoof quality and providing help for the coat.

Minerals

Minerals

There are several different minerals that are necessary to ensure horse health as well as optimum performance for your horse which include the following:

  • Calcium, phosphorus, copper and zinc for bone growth
  • Potassium has gained a lot of attention lately especially for horses who have Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP). This is an inherited disease of the muscles which is the result of a genetic defect. The treatment includes the avoidance of alfalfa and horse feed that contains a high content of molasses.
  • Selenium helps prevent many problems that are related to exercise such as the tying-up syndrome as an example.
  • Chromium is not currently approved as an additive in commercial feed, performance horse owners are beginning to take notice of it. It is only approved at the present time for swine feeds.

Vitamins

  • Vitamin E is a good choice for horses that have a tendency to suffer from muscle or fatigue-related problems.
  • Biotin is essential for hoof and hair growth and quality. It is most effective when you combine it with methionine.
  • Vitamin C may provide some benefits for horses that are suffering from stress. It is also essential to monitor Vitamin A and Vitamin D levels in order to avoid the occurrence of toxic levels.

Probiotics

There are a variety of probiotics products available on the market as well as in feeds, especially yeasts and Lactobacillus. The purpose of these products is to improve digestion of fiber and help the horse maintain his appetite. They are also a good source of B vitamins.

Nutraceutical products

While there are many nutraceutical products on the market that make various claims of horse health, the research is presently quite limited and is not based on any scientific evidence or controlled studies. However, some of the products may be beneficial for some horses.

Horses are naturally grazing animals whose digestive systems are designed to allow them to eat all day long. Unfortunately modern methods of horse care overlook this natural process which causes many domestic horses to suffer a variety of digestive disorders that result because of this unnatural feeding process.

One of the most common problems is ulcers. In fact, studies indicate approximately sixty percent of horses are under treatment for ulcers. Those horses that only receive horse feed twice a day and are left in a stall all day without food are at a high risk of developing ulcers.  While the symptoms can vary, the most common ones include the following:

  • The horse may be girthy
  • Picky eating
  • Signs of nervousness
  • Tucked up gut
  • Sore back
  • Highly sensitive when he is being groomed
  • Mouthy
  • Has a tendency to bite
  • Lame in the hind end
  • Pinning his ears while he is being saddled
  • Stools may be loose or water
  • Hard keepers
  • Signs of pain
  • Losing weight

The health of the stomach and hind hut are crucial for optimal horse health. If a horse is in pain because of ulcers it can cause problems during training. Ulcers are often a big problem for performance horse because of the stress that results because of the required travel between barns for shows. Even ordinary horses can suffer stress because of relocation, being pressured to perform or even losing one of his horse buddies. This stress puts a horse more at risk for the development of ulcers. Environmental issues also play a role in horse health with nervous horses being the most likely candidates for developing ulcers.

Horses can develop ulcers in either the stomach or the hind gut, but the problem is the hind gut is often overlooked. This part of the digestive system is extremely vital to digestive health because most of the horse’s energy and nutrients are obtained through the fermenting process that occurs in the hind gut.

A great deal of research has been conducted that confirms the existence of hind gut ulcers. The most common cause is the use of NSAIDs. These anti-inflammatory products work to reduce pain and inflammation by blocking prostaglandins, a chemical that is present in both damaged and healthy tissue; the NSAIDs do not differentiate between the two. The healthy tissue control mucus production and blood flow, and when the NSAIDs block the prostaglandins, the mucus lining of the intestinal tract is damaged which results in the formation of ulcers in the right dorsal colon. These horses will have increased sensitivity on the right side below or in the region of the loins and flank area. It is essential to avoid the use of medications such as NSAIDs, antibiotics, wormers and some other prescribed medicines because these may sometimes interrupt the microbial population in the hind gut and cause a variety of digestive upsets including ulcers.

In order to ensure optimum horse health and keep him free of ulcers, a proper feeding program is essential.  If your horse has ulcers, it doesn’t matter how much hay you provide; he will still not eat very well because of the pain in his stomach. The first thing you need to do is address his problem with ulcers in order to ensure he will once again enjoy his horse feed and will no longer be such a picky eater. Horses that spend a substantial amount of time in the stable without access to pastures should be provided with high quality grass hay all day long. You may also want to provide your horse with a small amount of alfalfa because of the calcium content that will help absorb any excess acids. Horses that have ulcers as well as those who may be acid prone should have access to hay all day long.

If you do nothing but treat the symptoms by providing your horse with antacids and don’t make any dietary changes in his diet, you will disturb the natural digestive process and thus cause the stomach to produce more acid. This will make it seem like your horse is better, but the symptoms will soon return, and as long as you continue this same cycle the symptoms will continue coming back. A complete recovery requires doing what is necessary to heal the stomach and/or hind gut.

New Triple Crown Horse Feed Website

 

WAYZATA, Minn., July 12, 2013 — Triple Crown Nutrition, Inc. proudly revealed its new and improved website today: www.triplecrownfeed.com. The new website design reflects the company’s desire to offer consumers a first class experience while connecting them with the Triple Crown brand. The new website is user friendly and answers many common equine questions.

“It is time to take our website to the next level,” said Rob Daugherty, Chief Executive Officer of Triple Crown Nutrition, Inc. “This site reflects the thinking and efforts of the Triple Crown Team, as well as our commitment to being open and accessible to the consumer.”

 

Website enhancements include:

 

Improved Navigation – lets visitors find the information they need to learn why Triple Crown products are truly best in class. The Triple Crown Dealer Locator was also upgraded to help them find the closest locations to buy Triple Crown horse feed.

 

Clean User Interface – allows visitors to get as in-depth as they choose with easy-to-navigate information. Users can connect through common social media networks and online chat with feeding experts.

 

Improved Layout – features a more modern layout with an integrated blog for easy and convenient use. The new site is now mobile friendly and has improved browser compatibility.

The site was specifically designed using SEO best practices and reaffirms Triple Crown Nutrition’s commitment to excellence and accessibility for its customers.

Triple Crown Nutrition, Inc., headquartered in Wayzata, Minn., is a premium horse nutrition company whose products are primarily sold through independent horse feed dealers across the United States.

 

Contact:

Brian Parham, Vice President of Operations

Triple Crown Nutrition, Inc.

952-473-6330

bparham@triplecrownfeed.com

www.triplecrownfeed.com

 

Ponies are the stuff of pre-pubescent girls’ dreams – an affection which will often last well into adulthood. Indeed, the relationship between mankind and the equine species is a very deep and complex one that warrants a whole debate, thesis and book of its own.

But back to the ponies: First of all, how does one define a pony? For many people, it’s a small horse. This is, as it turns out, as close to a definitive definition as you can get. It is simply a small horse that, even when fully grown, should be of a height no taller than the withers of a normal-sized adult horse. The withers is the highest point in the trunk of the body of a mammal. It is the mid-point between the shoulder blades.

The word pony comes from the French word poulenet, meaning foal or immature young horse. The word and its meaning are both somewhat misleading because a pony isn’t a foal or an immature young horse. Furthermore, the word poulenet is an extinct one in the French language. In fact, their word for pony is the same as in English only they spell it poney. Go figure.

Etymology aside, the world of the pony is a varied one. It’s main characteristic is its size in relation to a horse. This, perhaps, explains the average 14-year-old girl’s obsession with ponies; it’s possible that they simply relate very strongly to a benign animal with extraordinary powers of perception and feeling and which is a perfectly-formed adult but one which is simply smaller than the larger version.

With their smaller proportions, they are usually thicker overall in appearance: they normally have bushier tails and manes, thicker necks, stumpy legs and wider noses and foreheads. It is thought that they evolved on the poorer lands of the Northern Hemisphere and were domesticated and used for working with people in farming and general labor. Even well into the days of the Industrial Revolution in England, ponies were used in coal mining activities, carrying on the tradition of the relationship between ponies and people.

So exactly how high should a pony be before he can be considered a horse? The accurate modern definition is that an adult pony should measure no more than 14.2 hands up to its withers. (Note: the fact that the equine world persists with these ancient measurements is a reflection in itself of how old the human/equine relationship is). 14.2 hands is 58 inches high or, if you’re European, it’s 1m 47cm. There are some variations on this height definition and indeed, there are some organizations who define a pony not by its height at all, but rather by its pedigree: In other words, if your parents were Shetland Ponies, then you’re a Shetland Pony, even if you turn out to be a strapping pony of 15 hands high! And just to add further confusion to the picture, there are some horse breeds that are smaller than the standard pony definition.

An interesting point from a North American perspective is that of what are traditionally known as the North American Indian ponies. These were commonly referred to as ponies because they tended to be short, fast, hardy animals that were favored by the Native Americans and had to be used in battle when the settlers began to invade from the east.

The animals used by the Indians were of an extraordinary mixture of horse and pony. They had descended from the horses introduced by the Spanish conquistadores over the previous centuries and it is believed that they evolved in a similar manner as described above by process of survival-of-the-fittest, eking out an existence in the wild in the scrublands of what is now the south and mid-west of the United States.

As spring arrives and you begin to check other things throughout your property, it is also a good time to check the health of your senior horse. You want to keep in mind that as a horse ages, his needs have a tendency to change rather quickly. It just makes good sense to check your senior horse before you get engrossed in your warm weather routines in order to make sure you are doing everything you can and should be doing in order to help him remain healthy and happy in his golden years. There are several things that are of great importance when you are checking the health of an older horse.

The coat of your horse is a very important area for you to check. You should keep in mind that approximately sixty to seventy percent of horses past the age of twenty develop a condition called pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID or also known as equine Cushing’s disease). One of the first signs you may notice on your horse is a winter coat that fails to shed property. As a follow up to horse health, you want to get in touch with your veterinarian if you notice the coat of your horse is still long and shaggy as it reaches late spring. If the veterinarian determines your horse does indeed have PPID, you will be relieved to know you can control the condition with Prascend. Unfortunately it may be too late in the year to do much for the current season, so you may need to clip his fur in order to make sure he remains comfortable throughout the summer.

The joints of your horse are very important to his overall horse health. Most older horses eventually develop some degree of osteoarthritis, so you want to make sure you recognize this and treat him accordingly. An arthritic horse will suffer from more pain and stiffness if you overwork him, but at the same time you don’t want to allow him to remain motionless either; that isn’t good for him either. What you want to do is encourage moderate exercise. This will stimulate his circulation, strengthen muscles and help keep his weight within a normal range. You may wish to speak to your veterinarian about some medications that may help ease your horse’s discomfort and aid healing. You may also want to invest in some supplements that are specifically formulated for supporting joint health in equines. I love horses don’t you?

Your horse’s teeth are another area of great importance. If he has difficult chewing his horse feed or hay he is prone to developing a variety of unhealthy conditions including equine colic and malnutrition; he may even choke. It is essential for your horse to have regular dental examinations at this age—preferably every six months—in order to identity and treat any issues that develop such as uneven wear, cracked teeth and gum disease. You want the horse’s veterinarian to be able to address and treat these conditions before they cause him any problems when he attempts to consume his horse feed or hay. Your horse needs proper horse nutrition in order to main optimum horse health. Take care of your horse’s teeth like you do yours.

You need to keep a close watch on the body condition of your horse. You don’t want him to get too fat or too thin, and if you notice that is happening you need to immediately consult your veterinarian or an equine nutritionist. You may discover your horse makes out better if you switch him to easy-to-chew forages and/or a senior horse feed (these tend to be higher in calories). You want to be careful when making these changes in your horse’s diet however; implement any changes gradually so it does not create problems with his digestive health. Your veterinarian can also advice you whether your horse might benefit from a supplement. There are many different ones available that can not only add vitamins and minerals to his daily horse nutrition ration but can also provide support for joints and digestive health.

The feet are also another area of concern for the senior horse. You want to be sure his farrier regimen is still appropriate at the present time. Consider whether he still needs shoes or whether going barefoot may be the best choice for him. Finally, think about whether you are having his feet trimmed as often as you should.

 

 

Back in the days when I was a young farmer starting out – I’m talking about the early 1980s – I remember attending a conference where the talk was all about the pros and cons of feeding pigs with pellets. The talk came down broadly on the side of a pellet diet for pigs and it has now become the industry standard around our neck of the woods, but I often wondered if the same would apply to horse feed as to pig feed.

The answer seems to be a resounding “yes” from talking to fellow farmers and horse keepers in the Wisconsin rural heartland. The reasons why are multiple but I think that most of all, it’s a case of convenience. Sometimes we need to put away convenience.

There can be no doubt that the like of Timothy balance cubes or alfalfa pellets for horses are convenience foods. They’re so easy to buy and to store, the horses love them; you don’t need to wait for them to grow; you don’t need to harvest them or protect them; you can easily measure what you’re feeding your horse both in quantity and cost in dollars and cents. On the other hand, there are many theories about what it does to a horse’s health long term. Does it cause insulin resistance in horses? Are you okay as long as you give equal doses of fish oil for horses? All these questions play on the minds of horse owners because what we’re dealing with here is a relatively new technology in the world of horse feed. Here, I hope to be able to help to set a few things straight…

Advantages:

Almost all pellets contain food that is cooked. This is a good thing, because similarly to us human folk, horses find that cooked food is easier to digest than raw food. It may be difficult to believe but it is true. What about the grass, you say? Yes, grass is raw when eaten by a horse, but it’s also very light. The pellets are a way of getting easily-digestible nutrients and protein in more concentrated form into your horse.

The cost of pellets is another advantage. Pound for pound, pellets offer far better value per calorie than just about any other feed horse that you can think of. Beet pulp is another one that has similar value, but you need to have variety in your diet and the variety of pellets on the market is growing by the week. In fact, the older horse will arguably benefit best of all from pellets because it replenishes a lot of nutrients that it would not otherwise be able to get, therefore improving its health and prolonging its life.

Another advantage that mightn’t spring immediately to mind is the fact that pellets won’t attract vermin or flies when left lying around. I love spring and horses!

Disadvantages:

The first thing is that you are at the mercy of unscrupulous or unprofessional producers. Remembering the fact that you’re dealing with technology that has only been around for a few decades, you need to know that the manufacturer of your choice is someone with a strong reputation. Maybe you know a neighbor that has been using timothy balance cubes for a long time without and problems? Perhaps you’re someone whose horses have been fed on only organic horse feed up to now? If so, then you’ve got to be extra careful when switching diet. A sudden change in diet can often lead to difficulties such as insulin resistance in horses.

Either way, the one big disadvantage remains that you’re putting the health of your horse in the hands of someone else so tread carefully and confidently.

Horse owners should always make sure to include forage as the base of their horse’s diet. The design of horses’ digestive systems makes it difficult for them to tolerate large amounts of concentrate horse feed or extremely low levels of grass or hay. In fact, their systems are designed to allow small amount of feed to move through their systems consistently.

The mention of forage makes most horse owners think of hay and grass, but there are a number of other components that also fall into that category including:

While this is certainly not a complete list it provides some of the various products that fall into the forage category. Additionally when this article mentions forage, it is in reference to long-stem forage such as those listed above. It is this variety that keeps the horse’s gut healthy and moving. It is for this reason you will note the presence of alfalfa cubes but not alfalfa pellets since they are too small to have any effect on gut function and motility. Be kind to your horse.

A good many horses except maybe those engaged in moderate or heavy work are able to thrive quite well on pasture forage and a vitamin and mineral supplement. Do not misunderstand; there are some instances in which a diet consisting of predominantly forage is unable to meet the caloric demands of a horse. It is in this particular instance when you will need to supplement the diet with concentrated horse feed.

In today’s society many horses face problems with horse nutrition that include the following;

  1. Horses face long periods where they are left without forage

The design of a horse’s digestive system demands he constantly have some type of forage in front of him all day long. While the ideal situation is for him to not go longer than four hours with some type of hay in front of him, quite often this does not happen.
Keep hay out for the horses.

  1. Horses today fail to have enough forage in their diets

A horse should consume at least one percent of his weight in forage every day for proper gut health and mobility. For a 1000 pound horse that is ten pounds daily. Easy keepers should consume .5 percent while all others should be closer to two percent.

In order to resolve the problems that occur with a lack of forage, horse owners can do the following to remedy the situation:

  1. Weigh the hay you give your horse

Even if you think you know how much you are feeding your horse, you may actually be over or underestimating. Don’t take a chance with horse nutrition.

  1. Provide a sufficient amount of forage for your horse

Unfortunately there are sometimes situations where people are limited and only able to feed their horses twice a day or the barn where they are housed only provides a specific amount per day. As an owner you may have to work out a solution to accommodate the needs of your horse so he maintains good horse health.

  1. Provide forage more often

This will help solve the problem of your horse not having forage in front of him long enough because with more feedings, it will take him longer to eat what you place in front of him.

If you are faced with having to feed forage more often you can switch to lower-quality grass hays instead of the high-quality alfalfa hay you usually provide. Remember, this means LOWER quality and not LOW quality—there is a big difference. There just happens to be fewer nutrients and calories than you find in high-quality forages. A great choice here is to use hay that is a couple of seasons old and has been properly stored as filler-hay. This type of forage works very well when feeding forage more often and doesn’t cost as much as a new product. I love horses!

Everyone who has any interest in horses wants to know what the best horse feed is. But there are plenty of opinions as to which is the best and, in a way, you and your horse have got to discover the best one for yourselves.

For some time now, quite a few people have been putting hay, and more particularly alfalfa hay up on the pedestal as the best equine feed a horse can get.

On one side, you have those who believe (with a lot of justification) that hay of this sort is the most easily absorbed and the best for the horse. Then, there are the naysayers who believe that it’s worthless enough as a feed and that the horse needs more.

The truth is that every horse needs a balanced diet. Whether you’re talking about a performance horse or senior horse feed, a balanced diet doesn’t consists of eating hay all day long, no matter how good it is and how easily the horse can absorb it into his blood stream. So, give your horse a balanced diet.

Horse nutrition is a more complex situation than that. There are pros and then there are the cons. Let’s have a look at this situation in more detail.

THE PROS

First of all, horses love this stuff. They love it more than rice bran oil, they love it more than beet pulp for horses with sugar on top, they love it more than life itself. And, a happy horse that’s eating away all day is a healthy horse and if they’re happy, then you’re happy.

The next thing is that alfalfa has much less fiber that’s indigestible than with other types of hay, so it’s as close to pure food as you’ll get.

For the lactating mare or the mare who’s expecting, as well as foals going through a growth spurt, the protein content is highly beneficial. The other thing that it gives out is calcium; something that’s equally if not even more important than protein. So from a protein and calcium point of view, it’s magic horse nutrition. Avoid to many treats.

In cube and pellet form, it is as good and a pure a processed equine feed that you can get. The only loss from the hay to the processed format is in the heating that tends to mess up the protein content, but if you go for green cubes (as opposed to brown or black), then you should have most if not all of the protein intact.

FACTS AND MYTHS

The Myth: Joint disease in foals can be caused by the high protein content.

The Fact: OCD and any other diseases are not caused by a high amount of protein. In fact, the opposite is true – the more alfalfa hay your horse eats, the less likely he is going to get OCD.

The Myth: Too much protein in it causes problems in the kidneys.

The Fact: No renal problems are associated with a lot of protein. What is true is that an overdose of protein becomes ammonia, which is passed through the kidneys, so the horse needs to counteract this by drinking more water. It’s also not true that too much hay causes insulin resistance in horses.

The Myth: The high protein content causes the temperature of the horse to rise exponentially.

The Fact: While the feed may make the horse more energetic, this means that the horse runs around more and therefore gets hotter, but the horse nutrition itself isn’t the cause of heating up.

Hay is great stuff for horses. They love it. They know how to deal with it, how much to eat of it and it digests in their stomachs so easily that they’ll run much less of a risk of catching any of those awful ailments that bedevil the horse, such as equine colic. When it comes to horse nutrition, hay is really hard to beat.

If, however, you don’t have such access to good quality hay, then you need to do some tinkering with your horse’s diet so that he gets the best treatment that he can. There are so many horse feed brands out there; each one of them telling you that they’re more wonderful than the last. Where to begin with all of this?

The first area to look at is that of boosters of protein. These are the Timothy balance cubes and horse grain of this world, but there’s more to it than that. The key is to mix it up. Don’t just give him rice bran oil for horses. Instead, give him a little of that in the morning, with maybe some horse grain at lunch, some beet pulp in the afternoon and then some Timothy balance cubes in the evening. This way, you’ll be aiming to vary the different types of amino acids that the horse will be ingesting. Horses are so beautiful.

Another one to give him is the packet of dried peas. These peas are just like the ones that you buy in the shop to feed yourself, but they can also be bought in bulk for those with horses (or maybe for those without horses but who really love peas… a lot.) at certain outlets.

They’re used around the world either mixed in with other horse feed brands or used on their own and horses really love them from my experience, at least. They’re usually a favorite feed because they’re so low in sugar and high in fiber. In fact, they contain 25% fiber and 25% protein.

Flax seed has plenty of fatty acid content too (omega three). In fact, the levels are as close as you’ll get to fresh green grass and they almost qualify as a great foo d in itself and not just as supplements for horses. I feed my horses with this stuff all the time. In over 23 years, we haven’t had a single case of equine colic amongst our 43 horses on average. Treat your horse right.

And let me remind you that we live in an area of Wisconsin where we just can’t get the good quality hay – not without paying through the nose for it, at least.

The other problem with hay is that it’s dependent on the weather as to its quantity and quality. The crazy weather of the last couple of seasons have meant that access to quality hay is deteriorating, sending the costs of hay skyward to the degree that it becomes an unaffordable option. This is the case of my brother over in Arizona who keeps a herd of about 20 horses. He’s using beet pulp and rice bran oil for horses on a daily basis but doing it right means that his animals are as healthy as a horse.

Finally, the important message I want to leave you all with is to be careful and not just simply give more horse grain in place of the hay that’s missing from your horse’s diet. This is a big mistake because your four-legged friend’s gut is designed to absorb fiber and not grain. The hay takes care of a number of functions, including the fact that it allows the horse to better absorb vitamins, so you’ve got to replace the function of the hay as well as the hay itself. I love horses.

 

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