Conditioning Feed For Horses - Why Use it?
A horse’s condition is measured on a scale of 1 (emaciated) to 9 (extremely obese). Clearly it is desirable for your horse to show good condition as this is beneficial for its general health. In addition, many competitive disciplines reward well-conditioned horses. Condition is determined by both fat and muscle mass. A well-conditioned horse will have uniform fat coverage and a good topline (the muscle along a horses withers, back and croup)- conditioning feed for horses and the right exercise can help to improve this.
Diet and Exercise
Good condition is the result of a good diet and the appropriate level of exercise. However, there may be times when a horse’s weight fluctuates. This could be due to reduced access to forage in the winter months or a more intense exercise regime. Weight loss can also be caused by poor appetite or underlying health issues or age related issues such as poor teeth. Before addressing your horse’s diet to improve its condition, health issues should first be ruled out and your vet consulted if necessary.
If your horse’s condition needs improving and it does not have any health related problems then you should pay close attention to its diet. Horses which have lost weight may improve simply by being fed more forage. You can also provide larger portions of equine feeds but this could prove problematic in regard to their behaviour.
The Wrong Carbohydrates
Many equine feeds are made up principally of non-structural carbohydrate (NSC). This is the sugar and starch content of the feed such as grains. These are high in energy but too much NSC can result in behavioural issues. Horses can become 'hot' or 'fizzy'. If they do not receive enough exercise they can quickly gain weight too and if this continues they will become obese. NSC based feeds can also be associated with conditions such as ulcers, lameness, laminitis and Cushings.
Weight Gain Without the Fizz
Conditioning feed for horses is formulated to provide the protein and energy that horses need to improve their condition and topline. But without the starch and sugar content that can leave them excitable or prone to illness. Conditioning feeds also feature ingredients to promote shiny coats.
These feeds feature less grain or are grain free and offer higher levels of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and oils such as linseed. The fatty acids and oils provide the necessary energy for weight gain and promote excellent coats but horses will remain calm. Conditioning feeds also include the required proteins for building good muscle tone. In short, conditioning feeds provide the extra energy required for weight gain without you having to increase the size of your horse’s meals.
Finding the Right Balance
It can be hard to find the perfect balance in your horse’s diet. Too many calories and they will become obese. Too few and they lose condition and their health will deteriorate. The wrong kind of calories and they can become excitable and may be more prone to certain conditions. You might have to carefully experiment to evolve the perfect diet. However, conditioning feeds could play an important role in increasing or maintaining your horse’s weight.
We offer a comprehensive range of conditioning feed from the world’s most trusted brands here at Equi Supermarket and at the lowest prices.