• With less grass and reduced access to grazing through the winter, here are some tips to help make sure your horse doesn’t go short of what he needs.
  • If they’re of good nutritional quality, hay and haylage can be relied upon to provide your horse with a reasonable calorie contribution and, depending on the severity of the weather, fewer additional calories may be needed from hard feed.
  • For good-doers, it is wise to source later cut, stalkier hay or haylage as this is less digestible and likely to be less nutritious. Poorer-doers will benefit from softer, leafier, earlier-cut forage as this is more digestible and generally more nutritious.

  • For horses with higher energy demands, or those who are poor forage-eaters, additional or alternative fibre sources may be necessary. Alfalfa chaff is a good source of digestible fibre and quality protein so can be fed to replace some of the forage ration.
  • Soaked sugar beet pulp is also a good source of digestible fibre and can be fed mixed with alfalfa or oat straw chaff in a separate bowl to give your horse a choice of forages in the stable. Soakable combinations of beet pulp and alfalfa are also good for providing additional digestible fibre and can be more conditioning than beet pulp alone.
  • High fibre cubes or nuggets may also be offered as a fibre source and are ideal fed in ball-type anti-boredom toys.
  • Where hay or haylage is in really short supply, be wary of feeding oat straw as a full or partial replacement as its high indigestible fibre content may compact in the gut causing colic. For good-doers, it can be mixed with hay or haylage to help avoid the risks of compaction while reducing overall calorie intake.

For more brilliant feeding tips, visit: http://www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk