Why Cheap Horse Feeds Cost More
Cheap Horse Feed: Does It Really Save You Money?
There’s no question: caring for horses can be expensive. The gear, the training, the grooming—it adds up quickly. While some horse owners may think choosing a cheap horse feed will help their budget, they often discover it ends up costing them more.
Determine Nutritional Needs
When choosing a horse feed, it’s essential to understand what your horse needs. Is he growing? In training? Pregnant? Retired? What is his/her BCS? These considerations can help determine the nutrients and energy that will keep your horse in optimal condition. Unfortunately, a cheap horse feed will usually need to be supplemented to meet all the nutritional needs of your horse.
Young horses need high-quality, nutrient-packed feeds that support proper growth. Horse owners and trainers tend to keep a keen eye on bone and joint growth to help ward off any developmental orthopedic disease (DOD).
Research has shown that feeds with high levels of cereal grains (AKA starch) create an exceptionally high glucose level 2 to 4 hours after eating. The insulin produced during cereal grain digestion may get in the way of proper skeletal development and integrity.
Nutritionally, feeds that are lower in starch, but still have proper vitamin and mineral fortification can help encourage proper growth. Instead of a cheap horse feed that needs to be complemented with vitamins and minerals (and which may be made with an abundance of cereal grains), we often recommend Edge 14, which is formulated with superfibers, vegetable oil and Stamm 30 to support steady, sound growth and skeletal development.
Horses in Training
Racehorses need energy, energy, energy. This starts with high-quality, fiber-rich forage, which their hindgut will ferment into a source of energy. However, forage alone won’t satisfy all their energy needs, so it needs to be supplemented with a feed.
Choosing a cheap horse feed may give a racehorse calories (energy), but it could be overly high in starch. While moderate levels of starch aren’t detrimental, too much could cause hindgut acidosis. That’s why high-quality feeds developed especially for racehorses, like Race 13, provide energy through fat and fermentable fiber.
Race 13 was created through extensive research and testing and boasts a proven record of success. Formulated with beet pulp (a digestible fiber that gives the horse energy), vegetable oil, Stamm 30, and our unique Buffered Mineral Complex, Race 13 helps maximize your horse’s athletic ability. Unlike a cheap horse feed, it’s fully fortified, so you don’t need to add protein, vitamin, or mineral supplements.
Senior horses may gradually lose weight for unknown reasons; because the weight loss happens a little at a time, you might not even notice it for weeks. That’s why it’s important to closely monitor your senior horse with a scale or weight tape.
To help prevent weight loss, you may want to consider a feed created for a senior horse’s nutritional needs. If you choose a cheap horse feed, be prepared to supplement it to ensure the necessary amount of calories, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
One of our recommendations for a fully fortified senior feed is Distinguished, which is formulated with optimum levels of soluble fibers and oils for a significant boost in calories over conventional sweet feeds. Distinguished also provides BMC (Buffered Mineral Complex), which is great for improving hindgut health, increased bone density, as well as overall gastric improvement. Check out the research on BMC here. In addition, it’s fortified with Stamm 30 to provide protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Cheap Horse Feeds Can Cost You
When you consider all the nutrition packed into high-quality, research-backed feeds, they can actually be more economical than a cheap horse feed. To find the right feed for your horse, talk to your vet—or one of our customer service specialists. We’re happy to help you match your horse’s nutritional needs with one of our top-quality feeds.