Feed & Nutrition

Horse owners are familiar with the tragic pictures shared on social media of the emaciated horse rescued by the authorities, or the one that could not be saved due to its poor condition. Malnourished horses are a reality even in our affluent Western world. Sometimes these horses are the result of well-intentioned people trying to “save” unwanted horses, only to find they are unable to do so because of cost or scarcity of feed.

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We all want healthy horses with beautiful muscle tone, that are neither too fat nor too thin. In short, we want our horse to have the ideal body condition. But what is an ideal body condition and, especially, how does one evaluate it effectively?

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Though powerful, horses are also fragile. Since we are consistently pushing their limits, performance horses are the most vulnerable of all. The saying, “Illness comes on horseback but departs on foot,” could easily be referring to the joint injuries that afflict far too many of our horses. Unfortunately, these injuries are quite difficult to treat. Our best option is to use nutrition as a simple and effective prevention strategy.

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This past summer had no shortage of sunny, dry days. While the weather may have been ideal for the show season, or for trail riding with your favourite horse, 2018 was not a great summer for growing hay in Ontario and parts of Quebec. With only around half the normal days of rain between May and August for most parts of Ontario, hay yields are low and, in some places, very low.

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While we have become increasingly aware of the special needs of horses with sensitivities to starch and sugar, there remains a large population of our performance horses that can benefit from moderate inclusion of NSC (non-structural carbohydrates: starch and sugar) in the diet. Non-structural carbohydrates are found in varying amounts in all feed ingredients, with the exception of ingredients that are solely comprised of fat. The largest source of NSC in most horses’ diets is forage. Hay and pasture particularly can be very high in sugars depending on the variety and growing conditions.

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Low water intake remains the most prevalent cause of nutrition-related impaction colic. The following circumstances describe the most common reasons why your horses may be reluctant to drink:

SciencePure Mare Support

Product Review - The world of supplements can be hard to navigate, especially if you have more than one concern that you’re trying to address when supplementing your horse’s diet. Whether it’s joint health, gut health, or just overall health, it can become overwhelming at the best of times.

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