As autumn progresses, grass becomes scarcer with little nutritional value, so be ready to supplement your horse’s diet with additional forage, even if he’s turned out 24/7.
Not only does this provide essential digestible fibre to keep the gut healthy and support condition but it also warms the horse from inside as heat is released during its fermentation. Consider Baileys Fibre Plus Nuggets, Alfalfa Blend and Speedi-Beet as alternative digestible fibre sources, especially for the older horse who may be dentally challenged!
Fibre helps warm the horse from the inside
Keep an eye on condition by monitoring your horse regularly. Poorer doers should be rugged sooner rather than later to conserve energy used by the body to keep warm, while good-doers should be encouraged to burn some body fat by wearing just a thin rug or nothing at all.
Maintaining a balanced diet throughout the winter months, whether your horse is in work or not, is important to support health, well-being and muscle tone. Baileys Lo-Cal balancer is ideal all year round for the really good-doer, while a Top Line Conditioning Cubes are preferable for those whose energy requirements are higher and will deliver more calories per scoop than an ordinary horse & pony mix.
Whatever your choice of feed alongside forage, keep meal sizes manageable by dividing the total recommended amount into as many small feeds as you can. The horse’s stomach is small for his size and not very stretchy so look at the amount in your bucket and get creative, if you can’t feed more than once or twice a day.
To avoid overloading the stomach, chaffs and sugar beet can be fed as a separate 'side salad' rather than mixing them with compound feed.
For more great feeding tips, visit: www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk
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