If you own a horse or wish to own one, you must learn everything about their diet, nutrients, and grooming needs to ensure their healthy development. In the past, the research around equine diet and nutritional needs was insufficient, which led to a shortened life span for most horses. With time, equine diet and relevant nutrition has been studied and researched, which has resulted in the development of several healthy diet plans and items for horses. One such food item that is gaining traction is horse feed balancers, which are loaded with nutrients needed by horses for healthy development. These come in the form of pellets and are fed to horses as a part of their daily diet.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about horse feed balancers.
What Exactly are Horse Feed Balancers?
As mentioned, horse feed balancers are produced in pellet forms and fulfill a horse’s daily nutritional needs. Since these pellets are small in size, feeding them is easier as compared to other foods. These supplements are given to horses that feed on hay, grass, or forage and lack essential nutrients.
Horse feed balancers are packed with a wide range of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals to maintain a horse’s health and retain their energy levels. In other words, balancers are supplements fed to horses to balance their nutritional needs when they primarily feed on hay or grass. Common nutrients found in most balancers include zinc, Vitamin E, lysine, and copper. These balancers are mainly loaded with fiber. Since horses need a fiber-rich diet to maintain their gut health, they are given feeders as their main supplement. Biotin is added in certain mixtures to promote healthy hooves. Similarly, glucosamine is added to relieve issues related to joints. One major misconception surrounding feed balancers is that they are loaded with starch and sugar. In reality, the small pellets contain negligible amounts of sugar and starch and are completely safe for most horses.
Benefits of Horse Feed Balancers
It helps your horse achieve better health by improving immunity.
It improves your horse’s digestion and gut health.
It helps develop muscles and increase energy levels, especially before enduring physical activities for a prolonged period.
It improves the quality and health of hooves.
With added nutrients, certain balancers can improve joint support.
How to Choose a Balancer
Among a myriad of options available online and in stores, picking one brand and type of balancer can be a difficult task. Ideally, a horse feed balancer must be chosen based on the horse’s age, weight, and lifestyle, and workload. Balancers with special ingredients are also available for horses that suffer from weight fluctuations or get sick often. The experts at ForagePlus.co.uk recommend buying feeders that are free of soya, molasses, alfalfa, cereals, or any other fillers as they could hinder your horse’s healthy growth. Even though most balancers are labeled as ‘Lite’ or ‘Low’ on their packages, they are not necessarily low in calories.
What is the Best Time to Feed your Horse?
Pay attention to the amount of food that is given to your horse as overfeeding can lead to weight gain, which will eventually lead to various health problems. Mixing balances with forage is highly recommended as it provides a variety of nutrients. Feeding a balancer to your horse is specifically needed when they work hard and are on a forge diet or when they work light but are also on a light diet. It is also needed to maintain your horse’s weight. The feeding schedule depends on your horse’s workload; feed a small portion of hay and balancer in the morning and a larger portion at noon on days with a heavy workload.
The recommended intake of horse feed balancers is 100 grams per 100 kg body weight of your horse. So, if your horse weighs 400 kgs, feed 400 grams of balancer per day. This amount is recommended for your horse to meet their daily nutritional requirements. If you are unable to afford the recommended level of pellets mentioned on the bag, you must ensure that your horse is fed a balanced diet by incorporating other crucial ingredients. Even though horse feed balancers cost more than a bag of mix and nuts, it will save you a lot of money in the long run as they last longer. Moreover, balancers are healthier, which makes the investment worthwhile.
Now that you have learned everything about horse feed balancers, you are ready to customize your horse’s diet plan based on their weight, physical activity, health, and nutritional requirements. Horse feed balancers are needed when your horse is on a plain diet. You must ensure that they are fed a balanced diet.