In the depths of winter, working horses are more likely to need a helping hand in maintaining their condition. The team here at Pure Feed have compiled some top winter feeding advice to help you and your horse during these cold months…
Plenty of forage
Forage should form the main part of the horse’s diet. A horse should ideally receive a minimum of 1.5% of its bodyweight as fibre per day. At this time of year it is important to ensure that plenty of forage is available in the form of hay or haylage. It will ensure that the horse has a constant supply of food allowing them to trickle feed – a natural process for them. Horses ferment fibre in their hind gut, producing heat to help keep them warm. Providing plenty of forage will help to keep your horse warm on these colder days.
This time of year, when the weather is poor, your horse is likely to find itself in the stable more. Our Pure Treats are great for use in boredom balls and can help keep your horse entertained. They are low in sugar and starch, free from molasses and are suitable for laminitics. A healthy treat when your horse is stuck inside.
Splitting your horse’s feed into several smaller meals can also help prevent boredom and reduce meal size. Feeds should be provided alongside plenty of forage.
Consider a respiratory supplement
Increased time in the stable can also compromise the respiratory system. This can be caused by things such as reduced airflow in the stable environment or dust from bedding or forage. It is important to ensure that your horse’s stable is kept clean, high quality forage is provided and a low-dust bedding is used. In some cases, the horse will need additional support. Our Pure+ Respiratory supplement provides bioavailable sources of vitamin C and E to help support a healthy immune system, as well as MSM to support the inflammatory process and sooth the airways. Pure Plus Respiratory can help to reduce symptoms such as a cough, nasal discharge or mucous.
All the essentials
At this time of year grazing is of poor quality and forage is likely to have been stored for several months, reducing the nutritional content of it. This means that your horse’s forage is likely to be deficient in vitamins and minerals – therefore feeding a balancer is even more important. All of our feeds contain our balancer which provides optimum levels of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. We also include a pre and probiotic to help maintain digestive health.
In the winter your horse may need a little extra help to maintain their condition. Our Pure Linseed can be used alongside their feed to help top-up the calorie content of their diet. Linseed is high in oil and protein, so great for promoting weight gain and condition. Our Pure Linseed has been micronised so that you can feed it straight from the bag. We would suggest feeding 200g per day for a horse and 100g per day for a pony. This means it isn’t going to increase the bulk of their feed either. The oil also acts as a slow-release energy source helping to avoid any diet-related excitability.