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Equine Nutrition Hub

Q & A: I'm going to be doing more with my horse should I change the hard feed?

QUESTION: ๐—œ'๐—บ ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฒ'๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—œ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜€, ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€, ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€, ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—œ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ?





ANSWER: There will be some horses who may need to have their hard feed adjusted but don't jump too fast...


Some will start to work harder after a winter break or due to the increase in competitions, hacks etc. However, do not be tempted to up feed quantity or type until the work you are doing has increased and there is the requirement to do so. Remember the golden rule โ€˜never feed in anticipation of work doneโ€™. If you do, it may lead to excessive weight gain or potentially unwanted behaviour plus exacerbate certain clinical conditions. Monitor weight, BCS (Body Condition Score) alongside exercise levels and particularly at this time of year the effect of the changing grazing on your horse or pony. Only then if required make changes to hard feed gradually. You may just find the increased grazing provides the additional energy (calories) your horse requires even with an increased workload... If you do have to increase or change the feed however, ultimately you want to do it in a safe, considered manner.


Ensure that whatever the diet you are feeding that it is balanced and that you are providing electrolytes as necessary. If you are unsure it might be the perfect time for a diet check.

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