Feeding a horse balancer | Elite Equine UK Friday Feature
Why do we feed horses a balancer? Or should we feed horses a feed balancer?
First off, a horse balancer does not improve their balance, it is always good to get that one out of the way first. They are though something that many horse owners have come across, but potentially don’t know the true purpose off. Many of us will feed a horse balancer to potentially resolve a dietary issue, whether it be a porky pony requiring lower quantities of feed, under muscled horses needing a little extra support to develop top line, or just because it seems like a good idea and like we’re doing the right thing for our horses. However, a horse feed balancer can aid balancing a horse’s diet by providing all the essentials nutrients required for optimal health and performance.
Feeding an all-round balanced diet not only promotes all-round good health but can have a positive effect on coat condition, healthy hooves, the development of top line (in conjunction with an appropriate fitness plan) and a healthier immune system.
There are many reasons why our horse’s may not be getting a balanced diet, despite our best intention.
- Feeding below the recommend amount or required amount of hard feed.
- Feeding straight concentrates only
- Horses living out 24/7 with no additional hard feed, or when the grazing is less than ideal
- Feeding a forage only diet
There are also several reasons we, as owners, look to horse balancers for support.
- If your horse or pony tends to be overweight, a horse feed balancer can offer the right level of vitamins and minerals without the additional calories
- If a horse or pony is on box rest and not only needs a lower calorie diet but also needs the benefits of antioxidants to help support the immune system and recovery process.
- During the high demands of work, competition and travelling. When additional strains are placed on our horses, and we want to give them some additional support.
An ideal balancer will provide the optimal levels of vital vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to help balance the base diet with adding minimal calories and starch.
The Elite Equine Rosehip Supplement possess several similar qualities to that of a mainstream horse balancer, despite it not being able to be fed as a standalone feed.
- Source of micronutrients and antioxidants
- Low starch and low calorie
- Fed in smaller quantities
- Can be used as a top up to concentrate feeds
- Offers a good level of support to those horses on box rest or working at increased levels
When it comes to your horse’s health and nutrition it is always our recommendation to speak to an independent nutritionist for expert advice. We’ve included some links below to selection of independent equine nutritionists working across the UK
Independent Equine Nutrition – www.ien.uk.com
Nikki Meggison – www.equine-nutritionist.co.uk
Fiona Watkins – www.thehorsenutritionist.co.uk
Donna Case – www.thehorsefeedguru.com