What to Feed Horses When Training is Halted
Has Your Training Stopped?
This has been a spring unlike any other. While many racehorses and other professional horse operations continue to train, other trainers and horses have had to pump the brakes on their regimens. This has many owners wondering what to feed their horses.
What to Feed Horses: The Basics
When people ask what to feed horses, our recommendation always starts with forage. However, for horses that have not been exposed to lush pasture due to consistent training regimens, or have a compromised metabolic system, this can be a little tricky. A horse’s digestive system is relatively delicate, and any sudden change in diet will likely lead to some upset—colic, or worse, laminitis. So while you may be tempted to let your horse graze the season’s bountiful pastures, we caution you to let your horse transition from hay to fresh grass very gradually. To begin, try turning him out for about 30 minutes at a time a couple of times a day. After a few days, increase turnouts to 60 minutes; after a few more days, to 90 minutes. Continue slowly increasing the time your horse is allowed out to pasture until he can be out the entire day. For some horses, 30 minutes with a grazing muzzle, or a dry lot may be sufficient.
What to Feed Horses for Nutrients
While forage should serve as the basis of your horse’s diet, it likely won’t be able to fulfill all his nutrient requirements. Therefore, when determining what to feed horses, you may need to consider additional concentrated feeds.
What to feed horses in training is straightforward: energy. However, what to feed horses when that training comes to a standstill can be a little less clear. Horses still need necessary nutrients, just not all the additional calories.
We recommend gradually changing from a high-performance equine feed to a feed designed for a maintenance horse. These feeds typically contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients necessary for equine health, but have fewer calories than feeds intended for athletes. Another alternative, particularly for easy keepers, is a ration balancer, which will provide nutrients without calories.
As with the switch from hay to pasture, any change in feed should be done gradually.
Recommendations from Hallway Feeds
Just like our high-performance feeds, our feeds for maintenance are made with the highest quality ingredients and are custom-crafted to suit specific equine needs.
Staminoats® is a nutrient-dense ½ inch pelleted feed. Fortified with Stamm 30®, Staminoats provides the necessary protein, vitamins, minerals, and critical micronutrients, so again, there’s no need for additional supplements.
Equibility® is a fully fortified pelleted feed, formulated for the active, mature horse. It utilizes our Edge Technology® of soluble fibers and vegetable oils to reduce the starch and sugar content, and provide a “non-heating” feed. Fortified with Stamm 30®, when fed at the recommended feeding rate no additional vitamin and mineral supplementation is necessary.
Poize® is a premium quality textured feed intended for mature horses experiencing light to medium levels of activity. Poize combines highly digestible forms of soluble fiber, like beet pulp, soy hulls, and North American chaff, with the addition of top quality whole grains to make an extremely palatable and digestible feed. Fortified with Stamm 30®, when fed at the recommended feeding rate no additional vitamin and mineral supplementation is necessary.
If your horse is an easy keeper and just needs a ration balancer to top up his nutrition, Stamm 30 provides a concentrated source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also fortified with our exclusive Buffered Mineral Complex (BMC), which acts as both a gastric buffer and hindgut buffer; it also increases bone density.
Pure & Simple Balancer is a ration balancer with amino acids (to improve muscling), biotin (to increase hoof strength and structural integrity), antioxidants like Vitamins C and E, minerals, and specific yeast cultures that help maintain a healthy hindgut. Pure & Simple Balancer is also a non-GMO product enabling you to feed a complete non-GMO ration should you choose to do so.
If your horse has been suddenly sidetracked, and you need additional guidance to ensure his new nutrition needs are adequately met, give us a call, 859-255-7602. We’ll help you figure out what to feed your horse to keep him at his best.