What are Horse Feed Balancers?
There are now horse feeds available to suit every age and variety of horse. Despite the huge choice, horses’ diets can still often benefit from being balanced. Horse feed balancers are carefully formulated products which provide the additional nutrients required if a horse’s diet is deficient for any reason. This could be because they are eating forage only or are on a low calorie diet for weight loss.
There are two types of horse feed balancers available – oat balancers and concentrated balancers.
These are specially formulated to be fed in conjunction with a diet of oats. They can be a course mix or in pellet form and are popular with racehorse trainers. Racehorses are often fed an oat diet for energy. However, oats are low in many minerals including calcium and are also low in amino acids which are crucial to muscle function. Oat balancers provide these important nutrients. They also contain additional energy to enhance stamina and to help performance horses to retain weight. Basically oat balancers contain the same sort of nutrients as race feeds but in a more concentrated form.
These are more concentrated products than oat balancers and are fed in smaller quantities. They are formulated to balance forage, particularly poor quality forage, and are low in energy. This is so that the additional nutrients can be provided without the risk of weight gain. General mixes and cubes are formulated to complement average quality forage. So they may provide insufficient nutrition if the quality of the forage is poor. Balancers will redress the shortfall.
The concentrated balancers are at their most useful when you are having to feed reduced quantities of compound feeds. This might be to control weight or over excitement. They are beneficial for horses whenever they require more nutrients without additional calories. Concentrated balancers can also benefit performance horses which are recovering from injury. The protein in the balancers is vital for muscle tone and tissue repair whilst the vitamins and minerals aid general health.
You Can Have Too Much of a Good Thing
If you think that you might need to include a balancer in your horse’s diet then take a look at their diet as a whole before making your decision. You should examine the nutrients in everything that you provide to your horse in case more than one product contains the same nutrients. Acquaint yourself with the recommended daily amounts for the weight and workload of your horse because with certain nutrients consuming too much can be as harmful as consuming too little.
In order to establish whether or not you need a balancer it may be necessary to have your forage analysed to discover its precise nutritional content. Most of the leading feed manufacturers provide this service. You only need to use a balancer if the forage combined with any other feeds that you provide does not deliver adequate levels of nutrition.
If your horse requires a nutritional boost then horse feed balancers could be the perfect solution.