Running Cool Blog

2 Steps for Feeding the Performance Horse

Cameron Jensen - Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The goal of any nutritional program is to provide a performance horse with a well-balanced diet that protects their health and supports them to reach their full athletic potential. In this article, we share the two steps for feeding your performance horse. 

It’s important to remember that nutrition doesn’t have to be complex. There are seven fundamental ingredients that every horse needs in their diet, regardless of their workload. These include:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fibre
  • Fats
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Water

Step 1: A Well-Balanced Diet

For the performance horse — just like the pleasure horse — a diet is only truly well-balanced if it contains all of these ingredients. So, let’s explore these further:

  • Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals have been grouped together to emphasise both are fundamental ingredients for sustaining performance. Without sufficient vitamins and minerals, even small deficiencies can limit your horse’s athletic potential. To learn more, click here.
  • Fibre: Fibre is arguably the most important ingredient in any horse’s diet. Every horse should receive a forage-first diet that is comprised primarily of roughage sources to assist in preventing dehydration, colic, gastric ulcers, behavioural problems, and more. To learn more, click here.
  • Fats: Fats, usually given in oil form, improve body condition, without promoting hot, fizzy behaviours typically associated with high-grain diets. Unsaturated fats, such as rice bran oil, provide your performance horse with readily digestible energy. To learn more, click here.
  • Protein: The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your performance horse’s muscles, skin, hair and hooves. When supplied in the diet, high quality protein repairs tissue and maintains healthy coat and hoof condition. To learn more, click here.
  • Carbohydrates: Every performance horse requires energy, and both structural and non-structural carbohydrates play a role. In short, fibrous sources provide slow-release energy, while sugars and starches provide rapid-release energy. To learn more, click here.
  • Water: The importance of water cannot be overestimated. Every horse must have continuous access to fresh, cleaning drinking water to remain hydrated, including in Winter.

Step 2: Feeding Strategies for Performance

Throughout the day, your performance horse should have unlimited access to free-choice roughage, such as hay or pasture. When adding commercial horse feeds, such as Running Cool, you should consider their workload.

  • For performance horses in high intensity/short duration sports, their forage-first diet should be supported by carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle repair, recovery and rebuilding.
  • For performance horses in low intensity/long duration sports, their forage-first diet should be supported by fats for improved body condition and fibre for slow-release energy.
  • For performance horses in moderate intensity/moderate duration sports, their forage-first diet will require a combination of carbohydrates, protein, fats and fibre, depending on the type of sport.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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8 Tips to Keep Your Horse Healthy During Transport

Cameron Jensen - Thursday, June 29, 2017

Even in Winter, time spent on the road can deplete your horse’s energy, hydration and health. In this article, we share eight useful tips to ensure your horse stays healthy wherever you’re travelling this season.

Tip 1: Protect your horse’s health

Transporting your horse to another location, by its very nature, will expose them to health risks, including infectious diseases. Prior to travel, ensure your horse is vaccinated against the major threats, including herpes, strangles, hendra and tetanus.

Tip 2: Bring your own equipment

If you’re taking your horse to a competition, you should exercise caution when using communal facilities, such as hoses. The easiest way to do this is to bring your own equipment, which will also make the new environment feel more familiar for your horse.

Tip 3: Continue normal routines

No matter how far you are from home, abrupt changes in your normal routine, especially feed times, should be avoided. Maintaining the same feeding schedule is critical for reducing stress and reducing the risk of colic.

Tip 4: Hang hay low

Inside the float, your horse should have continuous access to fresh, clean water and quality hay. To support their normal feeding position, hang hay below head height - being mindful of any potential hazards. If your horse suffers from a respiratory condition, consider soaking hay prior to travel.

Tip 5: Monitor your horse’s vitals

Just like at home, you should regularly check your horse’s vital signs, including temperature, heart and respiratory rate, and hydration status. Keep an eye on your horse’s urine and manure output when on the road as well, as dehydration can quickly lead to impaction colic.

Tip 6: Limit contact with other horses

If your horse is arriving on a new property, you should allow up to two weeks for quarantine. This minimises the introduction of new infections and parasites, and gives your horse time to adjust. When at competitions, try to limit direct contact with other horses.

Tip 7: Disinfect your equipment

Following travel, it’s advised to wash down and disinfect any equipment, including your horse’s float, to protect any horses at home from new infections. And, as a bonus, your gear will also be ready to packing next time you hit the road.

Tip 8: Watch your horse’s temperature

Once your horse is back home and settled after their journey, you should continue to check their rectal temperature twice daily for one week. An increased temperature is often one of the first signs of pleuropneumonia (travel sickness).

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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Common Horse Nutrition Mistakes During Winter

Cameron Jensen - Tuesday, June 20, 2017

During Winter, the cold and damp conditions can bring up a number of health problems linked to diet and management. In this article, we share five common nutrition mistakes that you can easily avoid this Winter.

Mistake 1: Providing inadequate calories

When it gets cold outside, your horse has to utilise more energy to stay warm. A forage-first diet that provides your horse with unlimited free-choice roughage does more than you think. Fibre is the key ingredient for warmth this Winter, so be sure your horse is getting enough.

Mistake 2: Forgetting about water intake

Just because your horse isn’t sweating, doesn’t mean they aren’t dehydrated. Throughout Winter, your horse may consume less water than they really need, so it’s up to you to remain vigilant. Ensure they have unlimited access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times.

Mistake 3: Missing the signs of weight loss

Under a thick Winter coat, you may not notice subtle changes in condition. Even if you’re confident that your horse is getting enough calories, by examining them daily at groom time, you’ll be on alert for signs of weight loss, poor teeth and hoof health, infections, wounds and irritations.

Mistake 4: Limiting turnout time

Unless your horse’s pasture intake must be limited, you should allow them to graze amongst a herd throughout Winter. Stabling for prolonged periods inhibits movement, vitamin D absorption and social behaviours. In addition, poor light and ventilation also have adverse effects on health.

Mistake 5: Neglecting dental care

One of the most common reasons for unexpected weight loss is poor dentition. Keep an eye on your horse’s behaviour at feed times during Winter. If you notice anything unusual, consider a dental examination, so your horse will be able to properly chew and digest their feed.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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Running Cool: Choosing the Right Feed for Your Horse

Cameron Jensen - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. We’ve created a range of superior horse feeds that are suitable for every horse, including pleasure, performance and breeding. Let us help you choose the right feed for yours… 

Running Cool Barley/Soy Booster

Does your horse need to gain weight?

Choose Running Cool Barley/Soy Booster - the first choice horse feed for condition.

Running Cool Barley/Soy Booster is our best-selling horse feed, most often utilised for safely and successfully achieving weight gain.

Containing barley, vegetable protein meal, including fully extruded full fat soyabean meal, legume hulls, vegetable oil, calcium, phosphate, limestone, salt and our Running Cool multi-vitamin and mineral supplement to improve body condition.

Click here to learn more.

Running Cool Leisure

Is your pleasure horse kept in light to medium work?

Choose Running Cool Leisure - the first choice horse feed for the pleasure horse.

Running Cool Leisure is specifically formulated provide cool energy. Ideal for active horses and ponies in light to medium work to provide a cool source of highly digestible energy.

Containing barley, vegetable protein meal, including fully extruded full fat soyabean meal, legume hulls, millrun, vegetable oil, calcium, phosphate, limestone, lysine, salt and our Running Cool multi-vitamin and mineral supplement to sustain energy.

Click here to lean more.

Running Cool Sport

Is your performance horse kept in medium to heavy work?

Choose Running Cool Sport - the first choice horse feed for the performance horse.

Running Cool Sport is specifically formulated to power performance. Ideal for active horses and ponies in medium to heavy work that require energy and protein for enhanced athletic ability.

Containing barley, lupins, vegetable protein meal, including fully extruded full fat soyabean meal, legume hulls, millrun, vegetable oil, calcium, phosphate, limestone, lysine salt and our Running Cool multi-vitamin and mineral supplement to maximise performance.

Click here to learn more.

Running Cool Breed-Ezy

Is your horse breeding or growing?

Choose Running Cool Breed-Ezy - the first choice horse feed for a positive start to life.

Running Cool Breed-Ezy contains a higher protein content to support breeding and growing horses, including broodmares, foals, weanlings, yearlings and serving stallions.

Containing barley, lupins, vegetable protein meal, including fully extruded full fat soyabean meal, legume hulls, millrun, vegetable oil, calcium, phosphate, limestone, lysine salt and our Running Cool multi-vitamin and mineral supplement to promote a healthy start.

Click here to learn more.

Running Cool Senior

Is your horse above the age of 16?

Choose Running Cool Senior - the first choice horse feed for lifelong health and wellbeing.

Running Cool Senior contains a blend of energy, protein and micronutrients in a soft, palatable, readily digestible and dust-free feed for the senior horse.

Containing barley, lupins, vegetable protein meal, including fully extruded full fat soyabean meal, legume hulls, millrun, vegetable oil, calcium, phosphate, limestone, lysine salt and our Running Cool multi-vitamin and mineral supplement to enrich quality of life.

Click here to learn more.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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5 Tips for Feeding Your Horse During Winter

Cameron Jensen - Monday, June 05, 2017

Winter is here! It’s time to evaluate your horse’s diet to ensure they’re receiving everything they need for their health and wellbeing. The easiest way to start is with our top five recommendations for feeding your horse during Winter.

Tip 1: Fibre, fibre, fibre

Your horse’s digestive system is designed to process fibre. Fibre provides them with energy, helps to keep them warm in Winter and assists in preventing digestive upsets, such as gastric ulcers, colic and diarrhoea.

This Winter, your horse’s diet should be comprised primarily of forage sources, including quality pasture and hay. In addition, it’s important to encourage natural foraging behaviours to keep your horse chewing. Consider utilising slow feeding hay nets as low to the ground as possible.

Tip 2: Keep them hydrated

Dehydration is just as dangerous in Winter as it is in Summer. Due to the colder temperatures, your horse may consume less water, which increases their risk of impaction colic. Therefore, it’s vital they have unlimited access to fresh, clean drinking water around the clock.

But, providing water is only part of the solution. You should also encourage your horse to drink throughout the day, including before and after exercise, and at feeding time. Allowing your horse to graze also helps as pasture contains more water than hay.

Tip 3: Support their fitness

Creating the ideal feed ration for your horse begins by evaluating their body condition, workload and current fitness level. If you intend to keep your horse in work throughout Winter, ensure their diet contains the right blend of energy, fibre, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

We encourage you to continue working your horse in Winter. Vary your riding and lunging routines with different exercises to keep your horse engaged, and reward them with a relaxed hack at least once a week. Paddocking your horse, instead of stabling, will also help in keeping them active.

Tip 4: Protect their health

Winter is not a time to neglect your horse’s health.

  • Ensure your horse receives a dental examination at least once a year and watch for signs of poor dental health that can lead to unexpected weight loss in Winter.
  • Ensure your horse is seen by a professional farrier or trimmer every six weeks to keep their hooves sound and healthy in these cold and damp conditions.
  • Ensure your horse’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Every horse should be vaccinated against Tetanus, Strangles and Equine Herpes Virus. You may also consider protecting against Hendra.
  • Ensure your horse is de-wormed regularly throughout the year as internal parasites can wreak havoc on your horse’s health, including in Winter.

Tip 5: Consider all the ingredients

Lastly, your veterinarian or qualified equine nutritionist can help you formulate a diet for your horse that sustains their health and performance needs.

At Running Cool, our premium quality horse feeds are fully steam extruded to provide your horse with improved starch and protein digestibility in a soft, palatable and dust-free feed ration, combined with your choice of roughage, to enhance their health and performance.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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3 Risks of Impaction Colic During Winter

Cameron Jensen - Monday, May 29, 2017

As the temperature drops, the risk of impaction colic often rises — particularly as you increase your horse’s forage intake to promote body warmth. In this article, we discuss the three most common causes of impaction colic during Winter. 

There are many benefits of feeding forage, such as pasture and hay, including in Winter. A concentrated source of fibre, forage helps your horse:

  • Gain energy
  • Maintain body condition
  • Produce body heat

At all times of year, every horse needs to consume between 1.5 and 2.5% of their bodyweight in forage every day to maintain a healthy body condition.

Fibre is, by far, the most important ingredient in your horse’s diet. During Winter, forage intake not only maintains a healthy body condition, but also enables the production of body heat — powering your horse’s health and performance.

However, there are several risks associated with feeding forage during Winter.

Causes of Impaction Colic

At Running Cool, we advocate that every horse should receive a forage-first diet year-round. Feeding forage should remain a top priority for your horse’s feeding regime, including in Winter. But, it’s important you’re aware of the risks, so you can avoid them.

  1. Dehydration - Due to the cooler temperature, horses often consume less water in Winter. Water is crucial to proper digestion as it aids the passage of food through the digestive system. Ensure your horse remains hydrated throughout Winter to reduce the risk of dehydration.
  1. Change in feed - As pastures become depleted of nutrients, many horse owners change their horse’s forage or grain source. Any changes in feed should be made over several weeks to reduce the risk of digestive upset, including impaction colic. Click here to learn more.
  1. Lack of activity - Finally, daily activity isn’t just important for healthy circulation, joints, ligaments, hooves and muscles, it also supports healthy digestion. Encourage daily activity by keeping your horse with others at pasture and giving them regular exercise.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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Formulating Your Horse’s Diet: Part 5 - Carbohydrates

Cameron Jensen - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nutrition is a fundamental part of your horse’s health, wellbeing and performance. In this new series, we discuss the components of correct nutrition to help you formulate a healthy, well-balanced diet for your performance horse or pony. 

In Part 1, we examined two of the most commonly overlooked ingredients that are vital to sustaining performance - vitamins and minerals. In Part 2, we turned our attention to the importance of fibre. In Part 3, we discussed fats. In Part 4, we explored protein.

Next, we explain the complexities of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are usually the main source of energy in commercial horse feeds. However, there are several types of carbohydrates, and each are digested and utilised differently — with some being safer options than others in your horse’s feed.

So, what exactly are carbohydrates? And, how are they processed?

Carbohydrates

At their most basic level, there are two types of carbohydrates:

  • Structural carbohydrates: Are found in the cell wall of the plant and often referred to as fibre. Common sources of structural carbohydrates are baled hay, mature grasses, beet pulp and soybean hulls. Structural carbohydrates cannot be digested in the small intestine and must be fermented in the horse’s hindgut. They are the better choice of carbohydrates for your horse as your horse’s digestive tract is designed to process fibre.
  • Non-structural carbohydrates: Are found inside the plant contents, and often referred to as sugars and starches. For example, warm season grasses store carbohydrates as starches and cool season grasses store carbohydrates as sugars. While NSC’s can be reduced by water soaking prior to feeding, when consumed in large quantities, sugars, starches and fructans can lead to colic and laminitis.

Choosing Carbohydrates

As you can see, there is a clear difference between structural carbohydrates (fibre) and non-structural carbohydrates (sugars and starches). When choosing a commercial horse feed for your performance horse or pony, consider a high-fibre, low-sugar option, such as Running Cool.

However, it’s imperative that you don’t attempt to eliminate certain types of carbohydrates altogether. While NSC’s — sugars and starches — are absorbed into the body as glucose, which can pose a problem in large quantities, glucose is essential for brain function.

Carbohydrates for Energy

Both structural carbohydrates and non-structural carbohydrates are important sources of energy for your performance horse or pony.

Typically, sugars and starches are digested and absorbed rapidly by the small intestine, and able to provide your horse or pony with a short burst of energy (glucose). In contrast, fibre is broken down slowly by the hindgut — creating a source of sustained energy (volatile fatty acids).

When formulating the types and amounts of carbohydrates in your horse or pony’s diet, it’s important to consider their body condition and workload to determine their nutritional needs:

  • Low intensity workload: A horse in good body condition on a low exercise regime should be provided with quality forage sources, supplemented by a balancer ration, such as Running Cool Barley/Soy Booster, to provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Medium intensity workload: A horse in good body condition on a medium exercise regime should be provided with quality forage sources, supplemented by a concentrate ration, such as Running Cool Leisure, to meet their caloric requirements, and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  • High intensity workload: A horse in good body condition on a high exercise regime should be provided with quality forage sources, supplemented by a concentrate ration, such as Running Cool Sport, to support the physical demands — with energy, fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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Formulating Your Horse’s Diet: Part 4 - Protein

Cameron Jensen - Monday, May 15, 2017

Nutrition is a fundamental part of your horse’s health, wellbeing and performance. In this new series, we discuss the components of correct nutrition to help you formulate a healthy, well-balanced diet for your performance horse or pony. 

In Part 1, we examined two of the most commonly overlooked ingredients that are vital to sustaining performance - vitamins and minerals. In Part 2, we turned our attention to the importance of fibre. In Part 3, we discussed fats. And, now, we explore protein.

Protein is perhaps the most misunderstood ingredient in the horse’s diet. Derived from the Greek word ‘proteos’, meaning ‘of primary importance’, protein is the building blocks of your horse’s muscles, skin, hair and hooves.

But, what exactly is protein? And, how does it work within the horse’s body?

Protein

Proteins are large biomolecules, or macromolecules, consisting of long chains of amino acid residues. Perhaps that definition alone is why many horse owners misunderstand protein!

Let’s simplify what protein is…

Protein is composed of amino acids, which are needed for protein synthesis so they can utilised by your horse. There are 21 amino acids and two types that your horse requires. These are:

  • Essential, or indispensable, amino acids: These amino acids cannot be made by your horse and need to be provided in their diet. They are called dietary protein for this very reason.
  • Non-essential, or dispensable, amino acids: These amino acids can be made by your horse and don’t need to be provided in their diet.

Protein is an important part of many functions in your horse’s body, including:

  • Providing structure
  • Tissue growth and repair
  • Transporting nutrients through the bloodstream
  • Transporting nutrients across cell membranes
  • Regulating metabolic function
  • Immune system support
  • Minimising fluctuations in body pH levels

Protein is essential following exercise as it assists with muscle repair, recovery and rebuilding.

Running Cool Sport is a fully extruded, energy dense complete feed specifically formulated for performance horses and ponies. It contains well balanced amounts of high quality protein and energy perfectly suited to the workload placed on sport horses.

Protein Deficiency

So, what happens if your horse doesn’t get enough essential amino acids?

Without dietary protein, tissue repair can be drastically impeded, leading to muscle loss, and poor hoof and coat condition.

While it’s important not to overload the protein in your horse’s diet, dietary protein is fundamental for your performance horse or pony’s health, body condition and performance — supporting their ability to repair, rebuild and recover faster.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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Formulating Your Horse’s Diet: Part 3 - Fats

Cameron Jensen - Monday, May 08, 2017

Nutrition is a fundamental part of your horse’s health, wellbeing and performance. In this new series, we discuss the components of correct nutrition to help you formulate a healthy, well-balanced diet for your performance horse or pony. 

In Part 1, we examined two of the most commonly overlooked ingredients that are vital to sustaining performance - vitamins and minerals. In Part 2, we turned our attention to the importance of fibre. Now, we discuss feeding fats.

Feeding fats, usually in the form of oils, is becoming more commonplace for both pleasure and performance horses. Fats are an excellent source of calories (energy). They are also a better alternative for improving body condition and oxidative capacity, without increasing excitability.

But, what exactly is fat? And, what fats are fed to horses?

Fats

Also called lipids, the fats consumed by horses are known as triglycerides, which consist of three fatty acid molecules attached to a glycerol molecule. Due to their chemistry, fats are either saturated or unsaturated, with unsaturated fats being the healthier choice for horses.

  • Saturated fat: Contains no double bonds in the fatty acid chains and are solid at room temperature, such as lard.
  • Unsaturated fat: Contains double bonds in the fatty acid chains and are liquid at room temperature, such as oil.

It is within unsaturated fats that we find the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6.

Unsaturated oils are the preferred method of supplying fat to horses for energy, body condition and performance, with common vegetable oils, such as corn, soybean, canola and rice often used. These oils are highly digestible - up to 95% or more.

In addition, unsaturated oils, such as rice bran oil, offer 2.5 times more digestible energy than an equal weight of oats and 2.3 times more digestible energy than an equal weight of corn, without putting your horse or pony at risk of colic or laminitis.

This means your performance horse or pony can be supplemented with just a small amount of unsaturated oil in their daily diet, which reduces the amount of feed, and avoids the health and behavioural problems associated with high grain intake.

Inadequate Fats

Without a source of fat, your performance horse or pony may struggle to gain weight, maintain body condition and perform at their optimum.

There are many benefits to feeding fats, including:

  • A safer option for weight gain - Fats allow you to decrease the amount of grain fed to your performance horse or pony, while promoting weight gain and improved body condition.
  • A better option for energy - Fats have been shown to increase oxidative capacity and reduce fatigue in performance horses, allowing your horse or pony to perform at their peak.
  • A sleeker, shinier coat - Fats also supply essential fatty acids to your horse or pony’s coat and skin, with the end result being a smooth, show-ready shine.

Lastly, feeding fats is also beneficial for breeding horses, including lactating mares, and horses prone to tying up.

Running Cool Sport is a fully extruded, energy dense complete feed specifically formulated for performance horses and ponies. It contains well balanced amounts of high quality protein and energy perfectly suited to the workload placed on sport horses.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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Formulating Your Horse’s Diet: Part 2 - Fibre

Cameron Jensen - Thursday, May 04, 2017

Nutrition is a fundamental part of your horse’s health, wellbeing and performance. In this new series, we discuss the components of correct nutrition to help you formulate a healthy, well-balanced diet for your performance horse or pony.

In Part 1, we examined two of the most commonly overlooked ingredients that are vital to sustaining performance - vitamins and minerals. Now, we turn our attention to the importance of fibre.

With a gastrointestinal tract capable of digesting large amounts of fibre, fibre should be the foundation of your horse’s diet. Not only does fibre provide them with energy, chewing and digesting fibrous feeds safeguards your horse from a number of health problems, including colic.

But, what exactly is fibre? And, where is it found?

Fibre

Made up of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and pectin, fibre is the cell wall material of plants.

Fibre is fermented in the hindgut of your horse, where the microbial population converts it into utilisable energy. Without energy, your horse’s ability to perform is inhibited, and they may also encounter weight loss or difficulty gaining weight.

The feed choices with the highest sources of dietary fibre are:

  • Hay and chaff
  • Pasture
  • Sugarbeet
  • Soybean hulls
  • Lupin hulls
  • Oat hulls

In addition to supplying your horse with vital energy, fibre also assists in keeping your horse fuller for longer and retaining water in the hindgut. Both of these benefits - digestion and hydration - reduce the potential for gastrointestinal upset and behavioural issues.

Let’s explore these further…

Inadequate Fibre

The consequences of feeding a diet low in fibre are serious and often linked. Every horse should be fed a forage-first diet, high in fibre, that provides them with at least 1.5% of their bodyweight in forage every day.

Without adequate fibre, your horse may experience:

  • Colic - Your horse’s digestive system is designed to continuously process food. If left empty for too long, the intestine or colon may twist, putting your horse’s life at risk.
  • Diarrhoea - A diet low in fibre can lead to diarrhoea, often resulting in dehydration and loss of electrolytes. In addition, horses with diarrhoea often digest fibre less efficiently.
  • Dehydration - Fibre provides your horse with a water reserve in their hindgut. This can become rapidly depleted for horses fed a low-fibre diet. Diarrhoea can also contribute to this problem.
  • Behavioural problems - A low-fibre diet is often associated with prolonged periods of fasting, which often lead to boredom, problem behaviours, and sand or dirt ingestion.
  • Sand colic - Any horse without access to free choice forage may consume other materials in an attempt to satiate hunger. Sand colic can also occur when horses are fed directly on the ground.
  • Gastric ulcers - Lastly, fibrous feeds require chewing and the act of chewing promotes saliva production, which aids in preventing stomach ulceration.

At Running Cool, we recommend every horse is fed a forage-first diet, followed by our nutrient-dense horse feeds that are designed for every stage of life, and for both pleasure and performance horses and ponies.

At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.

 

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