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Attention Horse Lovers

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Do Not Feed Your Horse Until You Read This Click Here To Read The Free Report The Vets DON'T Want You To See!

   
Horses On Quality Food

Here's how to choose the best food for your horse.

When it comes to choosing the best food for your horse, there are so many options to choose from. A walk down the feed store isle, can be quite daunting with wall to wall options and so many promises. I am going to show you a quick and easy way to pick which foods are good for your horse, and which ones you should steer well clear of. I am getting a bit ahead of myself though, so I first want to ask you a couple of quick questions.
   
Horses On Quality Food

Do you have your horse's best interest in mind?

When we first take home our horse or foal, we make all sorts of promises to them about how well we are going to look after them, ride with them every day, take them to pony club and protect them from harm. Kids are especially good at these promises. However, a few months down the track, and they have turned the paddock to dust, eaten the neighbours palm trees and pulled the washing off the line. It can be easy to get frustrated with them and throw those promises out the window. The kids are now too busy with soccer, cricket and dancing to feed and ride the horse, and you're now the taxi driver trying to fit it all in. When it is time to make a decision for your horse, please make it from the same heart that took home the foal or horse for the first time.
   
Horses On Quality Food

Will you choose a healthy diet for your horse?

The horse food industry has some very close similarities with the people food industry, so I will use people food to help show you some points. In the modern world we all now have a good understanding of healthy food (fruit and veg, fresh meat, dairy) and junk food (processed foods, macca's, pie 'n' chips). If we largely have a healthy diet with occasional junk food, we can expect to have a largely healthy body. If we reverse these diets and have mostly junk food and occasional healthy food, we can expect health problems like obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure etc. It is fair to say that if we live on junk food we will most likley die earlier and spend a lot more time (& money) at the doctors.
    
Foal On Quality Food
The same applies to horse food. There is healthy food and there is junk food. If we have a healthy diet, we will have a healthy happy horse that lives longer and needs less visits to vet. If we feed junk food all the time, we can expect our horse to live a shorter life, filled with health problems and vet visits. Which option do you think is in the best interest for your horse. The healthy one of course. Here's the big question though, Does your horse get to make that choice for himself, or are you choosing it for him? We choose for them, so we have to choose a healthy lifestyle for them.
    
Horses On Quality Food

The fundamentals of your horse.

Now that we have chosen to have your horse's best interest in your mind and you have chosen a healthy lifestyle, let's look at the fundamentals of a horse's diet.
Horses need to eat 1.5-2.5% of their bodyweight each day of dry matter. This means that a 500kg horse needs about 7.5-12.5kg per day of roughage. If your horse has free access to high quality pasture (1 horse per hectare / 2.5 acres) this would be sufficient for a spelling horse. The pasture is only as good as the nutrients in the soil, so in the Townsville region, that would mean fertilising and irrigating. Even though we have good wet seasons and grass grows quickly, the nutritional value of this bush grass is very poor.
   
Horses On Quality Food
This leaves most of us having to buy the roughage to feed. This can be in the form of hay or chaff. Chaff just means the hay is chopped up and put into a bag, but there are different methods of doing this. The best quality hay & chaff is Lucerne, which is high in nutrition, but can be quite expensive if you are feeding a lot of it. Other high protien hays include Millet, Oaten & Wheaten hay, but are seasonal and difficult to source on a regular basis. The most common form of roughage is Rhodes Grass, which is a lot less expensive, but also less nutrional value.
Not all rhodes grass is created equal. For your horse, you want a varitey called Finecut Rhodes which was specifically bred for hay production, and when irrigated and fertilised from rich soils, produces a good quality product that you can trust for your horse.
    
Foal On Quality Food
Daily Nutritional requirements. The age of your horse, his / her activity level and their sensitivities, will determine their daily requirments. Generally they will need a mixture of Lucerne / Oaten chaff and a premixed feed like Mitavite's, Museli mixes or Pellets. The age and type of activity is used to choose the best products, and the activity level and weight is used to work out how much to give them. If they are sensitve to colic, founder or other problems, there are feeds you should steer clear from. You can look through the different feeds here on the website or we can create a diet specially for your horse.
   
Feeding A Horse
Vitamins and minerals. If you are using the correct quantities of premixed feeds all these requirements are taken care of. However if you are not feeding the full amount or are mixing your own formula, you need to add a vitamin and mineral premix like Equilibrium Mineral Mix. If you are mixing a premixed feed with other products you can reduce the amount of vitamin mix added. For example if you are feeding half of the recommended dose of Mitavite, you can use half of the recomended dose of Equilibrium.
   
Horses On Quality Food
Supplimentary Products. There are many supplementary products available like Copra, Millrun, Rice Bran Soybean Meal etc. The do not products do not form a complete diet, so the best results from these products happen when they are added to an existing complete diet. Some people make the mistake of replacing a complete product with a supplimentary product for the sake of saving some dollars. All that is acheived is diluting or watering down effect of the feed. This ultimately causes a loss in condition and then you need to feed more to bring them back to good health.
   
Foal On Quality Food
Can you win the lotto? If you are trying to formulate your own mix of feed without good knowledge behind you, you have about the same chance of getting it right as you have getting 6 numbers in the lotto. It is about 5.6billion to one. So if you would rather spend time enjoying your horse than reading text after text on nutrition, find a complete diet for your horse and stick to it. If you want to put on weight feed more of this diet, if you want to reduce weight feed less. Don't forget that it takes 6 weeks for the horses stomach to accomodate a change in diet, so if you are swapping and changing all the time, your horses intestines will be in turmoil.
   


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