Good quality hard feed is important and the right kind of extra nutritional support can be sometimes useful. This doesn’t mean that you need lots of different formulations, our motto is: keep it simple but keep it good.
We insist on only the best-quality forage, which as any nutritionist will tell you, should be the basis of every horse’s diet. Its what horses are designed to eat and helps keep their digestive system working properly, as well as keeping them happy whilst stabled and travelling. Also, think about where your horse will be eating his hay. This may sound strange, but some horses prefer the back of the stable to eat in the peace and quiet, whilst others like the front so they can be nosy and eat at the same time!
There are so many types of hard feeds and supplements or balancers on the market at the moment, its easy to become confused. We use just four types of feed, keeping it simple but managing to feed all categories of show horse quite happily. Its best to consult a nutritionist that can help and advise on your horse’s individual needs.
In my experience, pelleted feed balancers have more advanced formulations than the broad-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement. Although hard feed should contain all necessary components, you may have to give more of the feed than your horse actually needs to provide a full complement. A balancer fed at the appropriate rate is a great way of adding the nutrients without adding unwanted calories. Feeding Chaff with a good oil content is a good form of slow-release energy and is also good for coats, providing a simpler and less messy way of adding extra oils.
Speak to a nutritionist or a feed company representative. These people are trained to design effective diets for all horses. They can troubleshoot diets that don’t work or advise a change in management if necessary.