Running Cool Blog

From Winter to Spring: 4 Tips for Feeding Your Horse

Cameron Jensen - Tuesday, August 08, 2017

As Winter becomes Spring, new nutrition challenges arise. But, with some forethought and planning this month, you can protect your horse’s health. In this article, we share four important tips when feeding your horse from Winter to Spring.

Tip 1: Manage pasture intake

The arrival of Spring is a particular concern for the insulin-resistant or laminitic horse, as grass growth is dramatically higher in fructans and water-soluble carbohydrates. However, even if your horse doesn’t require a dry lot or grazing muzzle, there are steps every horse owner should take.

For horses without access to pasture during Winter, the transition to grazing should be done slowly. If grass growth poses a risk on your property, horses should only be allowed to graze for short periods in the morning over the coming weeks.

Tip 2: Monitor body condition

During Winter, temperature and workload can effect horses differently. While some horses gain weight over Winter due to lack of exercise, other horses lose weight keeping warm. Before jumping into your horse’s Spring diet, you must first assess body condition.

When evaluating your horse’s body condition, it’s always best to seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified equine nutritionist. Only with an unbiased and accurate condition score can you make the necessary changes to increase or decrease your horse’s caloric intake safely.

Tip 3: Consider quality concentrates

At the start of Spring, many horse owners are eager to bring their horses back into work. If your horse’s workload increases, their energy requirements also go up. A quality horse feed, such as Running Cool, will provide them with the essential protein, vitamins and minerals they need.

However, care must be taken when choosing the right horse feed for your horse. A qualified equine nutritionist will help you assess workload and body condition to ensure you select a well-balanced horse feed that will maintain ideal body condition.

Tip 4: Protect against dehydration

As the weather warms, hydration must remain a top priority. Every horse should have unlimited access to fresh, clean drinking water, and be offered additional water following exercise and transport. Your water sources should also be checked regularly for signs of contamination.

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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The Role of Nutrition on Horse Behaviour: Part 3

Cameron Jensen - Monday, July 31, 2017

 

Creating a diet for your horse begins by assessing their age, breed, workload and overall health. But, what about when your horse’s feed ration is unbalanced, leading to unexpected and unwanted behaviours?

In our new series on the role of nutrition on horse behaviour, we explore this further…

Every horse is an individual and your horse’s diet should be specifically formulated for them. It’s important you continue to pay attention to their nutrition throughout life as their caloric needs may change — at different times of year, when their workload increases and as they age.

Encountering unexpected — and certainly unwanted — behaviours can be challenging. While some behaviours are mild, such as difficulty when tacking up, other behaviours can be downright dangerous, like rearing, bucking and spooking under saddle.

As a horse owner, it’s important you don’t jump to any conclusions too quickly. Your horse isn’t necessarily trying to be “stubborn” or “nasty”; in fact, they’re often trying to tell you an important message — and it’s up to each of us to listen.

Remember, unexpected behaviours can be linked to a number of causes. Before making any changes to your horse’s diet, you should have them assessed by your veterinarian to ensure pain or an underlying health problem isn’t the cause.

If these possibilities have already been eliminated, it’s time to consider their diet.

Diet and Feed Management

In Part 1 and 2 of our series, we recommended simple dietary changes you can make for your horse when you consider their age and workload. A forage-first diet, high in fibre, low in sugar, is fundamental for health, wellbeing and performance — and good behaviour.

But, what if your feed ration is correct and your feed management is wrong? There are a number of common mistakes horse owners make at feed time, particularly when feeding performance horses whose diets demand higher energy. These include:

  • Providing too much feed in one sitting. It’s imperative that each serving of feed doesn’t exceed 2kg. Ideally, your horse should receive the full ration across two or more meals per day to ensure their digestive tract isn’t overloaded all at once.
  • Focusing on grain and concentrate, without providing enough forage. Fibre is the most important ingredient in your horse’s diet. Without adequate forage, including pasture and hay, undigested starch from grain and concentrate disrupts the normal fermentation process.

Together, these feeding mistakes can lead to irritation, inflammation and pain in the hindgut — sometimes exhibited as mild colic signs. However, other problems can occur, including unwanted behaviours, such as:

  • Unwillingness to work
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chewing of fences or other surfaces

However, when the right type and amount of feed is given, your horse’s health, wellbeing and performance benefit. If you still have questions about your horse’s diet, speak with a qualified equine veterinarian or nutritionist. To learn more about our Running Cool range, please call (07) 4666 3366 or visit www.runningcool.com.au.

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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The Role of Nutrition on Horse Behaviour: Part 2

Cameron Jensen - Monday, July 24, 2017

 

Creating a diet for your horse begins by assessing their age, breed, workload and overall health. But, what about when your horse’s feed ration is unbalanced, leading to unexpected and unwanted behaviours?

In our new series on the role of nutrition on horse behaviour, we explore this further…

Every horse is an individual and your horse’s diet should be specifically formulated for them. It’s important you continue to pay attention to their nutrition throughout life as their caloric needs may change — at different times of year, when their workload increases and as they age.

Encountering unexpected — and certainly unwanted — behaviours can be challenging. While some behaviours are mild, such as difficulty when tacking up, other behaviours can be downright dangerous, like rearing, bucking and spooking under saddle.

As a horse owner, it’s important you don’t jump to any conclusions too quickly. Your horse isn’t necessarily trying to be “stubborn” or “nasty”; in fact, they’re often trying to tell you an important message — and it’s up to each of us to listen.

Remember, unexpected behaviours can be linked to a number of causes. Before making any changes to your horse’s diet, you should have them assessed by your veterinarian to ensure pain or an underlying health problem isn’t the cause.

If these possibilities have already been eliminated, it’s time to consider their diet.

Diet and Age

As your horse ages, you’ll need to re-consider their dietary needs. But, for now, let’s turn our attention to the young, nervous horse. These horses in their early stages of training are often mild and obedient at home, but in new environments become increasingly anxious.

For most young horses, they’ll develop confidence over time as they continue encountering novel experiences. But, with some simple dietary changes, life can become much simpler — and set your young horse up for lifelong health.

A study conducted by Dr Jan Bowman at Montana State University studied 12 young Quarter Horses at the beginning of training. Each horse was trained five days a week; one group received a hay-only diet (grass/alfalfa), while the other also received two kilograms of sweet feed per day.

During training, each horse wore a pedometer and heart rate monitor, so they could be easily scored for obedience and separation anxiety. As you may expect, the results linked high levels of sugar to nervous behaviours.

In contrast to the horses on a hay-only diet, the horses given sweet feed were:

  • Livelier
  • Less obedient
  • More resistant to being saddled
  • More inclined to buck and run
  • More anxious when separated
  • More inclined to vocalise

By reducing the amount of sugar in your horse’s diet, you will notice positive changes in behaviour. A forage-first diet, high in fibre, is ideal for every horse, regardless of their age. For those in training or competition, energy should be supplied in the form of fat and fibre, instead of grain.

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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The Role of Nutrition on Horse Behaviour: Part 1

Cameron Jensen - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Creating a diet for your horse begins by assessing their age, breed, workload and overall health. But, what about when your horse’s feed ration is unbalanced, leading to unexpected and unwanted behaviours? 

In our new series on the role of nutrition on horse behaviour, we explore this further…

Every horse is an individual and your horse’s diet should be specifically formulated for them. It’s important you continue to pay attention to their nutrition throughout life as their caloric needs may change - at different times of year, when their workload increases and as they age.

Encountering unexpected - and certainly unwanted - behaviours can be challenging. While some behaviours are mild, such as difficulty when tacking up, other behaviours can be downright dangerous, like rearing, bucking and spooking under saddle.

As a horse owner, it’s important you don’t jump to any conclusions too quickly. Your horse isn’t necessarily trying to be “stubborn” or “nasty”; in fact, they’re often trying to tell you an important message - and it’s up to each of us to listen.

Remember, unexpected behaviours can be linked to a number of causes. Before making any changes to your horse’s diet, you should have them assessed by your veterinarian to ensure pain or an underlying health problem isn’t the cause.

If these possibilities have already been eliminated, it’s time to consider their diet.

Diet and Workload

The purpose of your horse’s diet is to supply them with the energy and nutrients they need. When considering your horse’s caloric requirements, you must first evaluate their workload. As your horse’s workload increases from light, to moderate, to strenuous, they’ll require more energy.

However, there are two common reasons for unexpected behaviours that can be linked to diet and workload. These are:

  • Providing your horse with too much energy for their workload
  • Providing your horse with energy from carbohydrates, instead of fibre

A study conducted by Dr Nell Davidson et al. entitled ‘The effects of diet and exercise on the behaviour of stabled horses’ compared the behaviour of two groups of horses, maintained on different diets (forage/grain vs forage) and exercise regimes (light vs strenuous).

It should come as no surprise the horses given the forage/grain diet and only light exercise demonstrated the highest levels of restless behaviours when stabled and the highest levels of uncooperative behaviours when handled.

Quite simply, these horses were fed more calories than they utilised. If your horse is on a light exercise regime, they should be given a forage-first diet, high in fibre, supported by a balanced concentrate to ensure they receive the right blend of vitamins and minerals.

For those horses on a moderate to strenuous exercise regime, grain should be replaced with fat and fibre in their forage-first diet. Horses should also be given the opportunity to exercise and socialise with others. Keeping them at pasture supports both health and wellbeing.

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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3 Steps to Correctly Feed Your Horse

Cameron Jensen - Monday, February 06, 2017

Nutrition plays a central role in your horse’s health and, yet, mistakes are often made when feeding horses. Determining your horse’s nutritive requirements sounds complicated, but it’s made easier by these three simple steps…

By far, the most common mistake made by horse owners is over-feeding their horses. Over-feeding is detrimental to your horse’s health - and your wallet. An overweight or obese horse is at higher risk of life-threatening diseases and simply cannot perform at their optimum.

Step 1: Measure your horse’s bodyweight

Knowing your horse’s bodyweight is fundamental to protecting their health, and it should be done either by using veterinary scales or a weight tape. Not only does bodyweight determine ration size, it helps you monitor weight changes, and give correct medication and worming doses.

Step 2: Determine your horse’s workload

This is where most horse owners make feeding errors; often a horse’s workload is over-estimated and, as a result, the horse is over-fed. A horse’s workload may vary in intensity - from light to very heavy - and the type of physical activity will influence their caloric requirements.

Speaking with your veterinarian or a qualified equine nutritionist is recommended. But, here’s a quick overview from the ‘Nutrient Requirements of Horses’, 2007:

  • Light intensity - average heart rate 80 beats per minute - 1-3 hours exercise per week - 40% walk, 50% trot, 10% canter. Disciplines in this category may include recreational riding, showing and the early stages of training.
  • Moderate intensity - average heart rate 90 beats per minute, 3-5 hours exercise per week - 30% walk, 55% trot, 10% canter. Disciplines in this category may include recreational riding, showing, polo, agricultural work and the early stages of training.
  • Heavy intensity - average heart rate 110 beats per minute - 4-5 hours exercise per week - 20% walk, 50% trot, 15% canter, 15% gallop, jumping or other skill work. Disciplines in this category may include showing, polo, agricultural work, eventing and the early stages of race training.
  • Very heavy intensity - average heart rate 115 beats per minute - the number of hours and physical activity varies. Disciplines in this category may include three-day eventing and racing.

Step 3: Check the label and instructions

Finally, you must feed according to the directions on the feed bag. Your horse should receive the minimum recommended amount, depending on their bodyweight and workload, to ensure they're receiving the energy, vitamins, minerals and protein they need.

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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4 Common Ways Horses Become Dehydrated During Summer

Cameron Jensen - Wednesday, January 25, 2017

At the height of Summer, adequate water intake is essential to remain hydrated, maintain core body temperature and replenish water lost in sweat. In this article, we explain four common ways your horse may become dehydrated and how to avoid them.

There are six vital nutrients every horse needs in its diet, including carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water, yet water is often the first to be overlooked.

During Summer, the high temperatures and longer days increase the risks of dehydration. Let’s take a closer look at four common ways your horse may become dehydrated.

1. Your horse loses water in sweat

During moderate to high intensity exercise, your horse may lose up to 10 litres of water in sweat per hour, which must be replaced. Water should be offered to your horse before and after exercise, and cold water hosing can help to reduce core body temperature.

2. Your horse may not drink enough water

On average, horses consume 22-55 litres of water per day and this amount may only increase during Summer. Every horse needs to remain hydrated, including those sitting idle in the paddock. Providing horses with shade and unlimited fresh water is imperative.

3. Your feed rations may lack water

In comparison to fresh pasture, which contains 60-80% moisture, commercial horse feeds and baled hay lack moisture. Mixing a cup of water into your horse’s daily feed rations is an easy method to provide added water in their diet and may be necessary during times of drought.

4. Your horse’s health may limit water consumption

Hydration not only helps to avoid health problems, but it’s also important when your horse is suffering from any condition that results in fluid loss, such as diarrhoea or chronic kidney disease. Additional water will aid hydration and support their recovery.

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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Feeding Horses to Reduce Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome

Cameron Jensen - Monday, December 19, 2016

Research into equine gastric ulcer syndrome has found that up to 90% of racehorses and 60% of performance horses suffer from gastric ulcers, mild to severe, at some point during their careers. However, correct feeding practices can reduce the risk to your horse.

Before we delve into how you can use correct feeding practices to protect your horse’s digestive system against gastric ulcers, let’s first examine the risk factors your horse may be exposed to.

Gastric ulcers are commonly caused by:

  • Strenuous training
  • Lack of turnout time
  • Lack of turnout time with other horses
  • Exercising on an empty stomach
  • Certain forage types
  • Feed deprivation
  • Over-use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Now, that we understand what can cause ulcers, let’s discuss some ways that correct feeding practices can help to reduce the likelihood of their development.

  • Increase turnout time with other horses: Horses thrive when the three F’s are prioritised - friends, forage and freedom. Turnout time with other horses provides your horse with unlimited access to pasture, while being active with paddock mates, which is important for their wellbeing.
  • Provide small, regular meals: Rather than feeding your horse one large meal per day, which in turn deprives them at other hours, feed smaller, regular meals two or three times daily. Forage, such as hay or pasture, should be provided continuously.
  • Feed lucerne hay before and after exercise: A small meal of lucerne hay before and after exercise is another way to protect your horse’s stomach against ulcers. However, any forage will assist in promoting chewing to produce saliva that is needed to buffer harmful stomach acid.

If your horse already has gastric ulcers, it’s paramount that you consult your veterinarian to devise a suitable treatment and management plan.

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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