I often get asked how to feed in winter and to be honest as with the rest of the year it really does depend on the individual horse... For some it is an ideal time to focus on weight loss, whilst for others it may be a case of needing to increase the calories to maintain condition. To get you started here are my 5 Simple Steps for feeding in winter:-
As the weather gets colder the digestion of forage in your horse’s hind gut will help to keep him warm as well as keeping the overall digestive tract healthy. As such remember to feed plenty of hay or haylage throughout the winter months to aid this.
For many horses they will start to receive slightly more hard feed to maintain weight through winter and with that comes an increase in nutrients which is ideal. Do make sure though that for those who don’t need to or perhaps do not receive the full recommended amount of hard feed that they receive either a balancer or vitamin and mineral supplement to keep the diet balanced.
I know through my many consultations that in the winter months excitability can seem to come into play what with fresh clips and chilly winds. If you find your horse becoming sharp or spooky consider feeding a product lower in starch yet higher in fibre and oil. A simple place to start with this is if you are feeding a mix, take a look at the cube equivalent which may well supply you with identical calories but a lower starch yet elevated fibre and oil levels.
Don’t forget to check field water every morning and get rid of any formed ice when you turn out so your horse is not left thirsty whilst you are cosying up with a nice cup of tea in the office!! Remember, a horse that doesn’t drink enough is at risk of impaction colic.
And by this I mean by a fully insured independent equine nutritionist. A good one will take the time to get to know your horse, considering life stage, work load, any clinical conditions and help you to understand the rationale behind your horses feed regime and how you can flex it as necessary.
Please contact Donna directly on +44(0)7901337826 or email at: email@example.com. Donna Case is a fully insured leading Independent Equine Nutritionist and founder of ‘The Horse Feed Guru’ an Equine Nutrition Consultancy Service based in Newmarket but operating both nationally and internationally. Donna has worked in the past with Team GBR Dressage and Eventing squads and as a nutritionist at many high profile equestrian events, but anyone can access her services for their horse or pony. To find out more visit: www.thehorsefeedguru.com