Economical Equine Nutrition written by Clinical Nutritionist Erin Romanin (Nut Med)

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Economical Equine Nutrition

Australians have been hard hit with devastating bushfires, drought and now a pandemic. 2020 has not been the start to a new decade that we had dreamed of. Many of us are fortunate to still have an income, however many have lost not only their job but houses as well. We are more fortunate to have government subsidies and financial support for most individuals affected. However, there are still many who are far from comfortable financially or otherwise. We at Hi Form have felt the blow of the pandemic and understand we are not alone. To assist everyone, we have run many discounts including free shipping and packages to help make this time easier where we can. This article discusses many changes you can implement for a more economical feed regime.

As equestrians and practitioners, we understand that the cost of a healthy horse can seem daunting. We believe this does not need to be the case. Depending on the individual situation there are certainly changes we can make to create a healthier more economical feed regime.

Eliminating the modern way of feeding and remembering how and what horses eat naturally is the first step to a healthier horse. As any nutritionist will agree plenty of roughage is key, whether this is in the form of pasture or hay. These two sources of roughage being the most biologically appropriate, cheaper fibre sources which are not pasture based, can sometimes have a higher percentage of fillers. Eliminating fillers will ensure your money is better spent on quality ingredients.

If you have limited pasture at your current property, spelling your horse may be beneficial, given the lack of daylight hours this time of year. Most spelling agistment is cheap and tends to have large grass filled paddocks where horses can be horses. Otherwise ensuring you have a sound property management plan in place can work wonders, rotating paddocks and strip grazing are other options. Other roughage sources such as hay often fluctuates in pricing due to the prolonged drought, bushfires, and the rising water costs. To make hay last longer use a slow feeder net or double slow feeder nets to make it more difficult for the horse to pull out large chunks of hay. Keeping the hay in a net can also greatly reduce wastage.

Supplementation is not always necessary, however there are plenty of factors that can warrant supplementation to reduce the chance of deficiencies in the horse. Poor pasture, drought, poor quality hay and feed, or simply being in work can all affect a horse’s need for vitamins and minerals. Medical conditions, illnesses and different life stages can also increase the need for certain vitamins and minerals. If your horse falls into one of these categories, or if you need a more individualised approach to equine nutrition, speak to one of our qualified nutritionists.

The choice of hard feed can go a long way to making the most out of your budget and helping your horse be healthy. Reading the back of the feed bag and ensuring there is little to no fillers, bi-products, or poor ingredients, choosing a more natural feed over a highly processed feed will be money spent more wisely. Consulting with a qualified nutritionist to mix your own feed can also help if you are unable to source a quality feed in your area.

Consulting with one of our qualified nutritionists to help you work out a healthy and economical feed plan for your horse is a service we are currently offering for free, to assist you and your horses. Make the most of our years of study and individualised approach to see how your horse and your hip pocket can benefit from a more natural and balanced diet.