Every Horse, Every Day
We all know that good nutrition is vital for health and performance, but have you ever wondered what your horse actually needs every day to stay happy and healthy and can balancers help?
In our latest blog, Lisa Elliott. MSc, Equine Nutrition Solutions discusses what nutrients every horse needs every day, why they need them and the best way you can provide them for lifelong health and performance:
Horses are herbivores and have a unique digestive system. Essentially, they are a hindgut fermenter, and their digestive system reflects this. They have evolved over many thousands of years to eat a continuous supply of fibre, like grass or hay, which flows through the digestive tract in a constant small trickle, meaning they are known as trickle feeders.
Because of the way their digestive system has evolved, every horse, therefore, has a daily need for fibre (complex carbohydrate) and plenty of it ideally supplied on an ad-lib basis. Fibre not only supplies energy but also helps promote a healthy digestive tract and hindgut microbiome, and the health of the microbiome is key to overall equine health.
- Carbohydrates – which like fibre can be ‘complex’ or ‘simple’ like sugar
- fats and oils
- vitamins and minerals
Nutrient needs for Every Horse, Every Day
Water is vital for health and performance and is directly or indirectly involved with every physiological process essential to life. Water becomes even more vital when horses are working regularly to support optimum performance and recovery. Water intake can be boosted by adding salt to the diet and ensuring every horse has access to clean, fresh water.
Carbohydrates provide a form of energy for work, condition, and performance. Carbohydrates come in two forms – complex (fibre) and simple (sugar and starch). Good quality forage naturally provides both types and is therefore, an excellent source of energy to support everyday work and condition.
Fats and Oils also provide a source of energy and can be useful for harder working horses who need extra energy for condition and performance. Fats also provide essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which have excellent benefits including supporting immunity, healthy joints, skin, coat, and hooves and given that omegas 3 and 6 occur naturally in fresh grass it’s easy to see that they are an everyday essential for optimum equine health.
Protein is often thought of as an energy source, but this isn’t the case. Protein has a structural role and is incorporated into muscles and connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments – it is only used as an energy supply when the diet isn’t supplying enough from carbohydrates and fat. Protein is made up of chains of amino acids, so the horse’s every day need is for amino acids. There are 21 essential aminos acids, and 10 of these need to be provided in the diet. Certain amino acids, however, always need to be present to build protein or synthesis is limited and these are known as ‘limiting’ amino acids, namely, Lysine, Threonine and Methionine. Lysine is the first limiting amino acid as its supply normally runs out first, so it is important that dietary protein contains good levels of lysine but also adequate levels of threonine and methionine for correct protein synthesis
Vitamins and Minerals are essential micronutrients either organic (vitamins) or inorganic (minerals) which are essential for everyday health. They are involved in every physiological process for life and your horse couldn’t function without them. The vitamins and minerals horses need every day include Vitamins A, C, D, E, B-complex, vitamin K, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, sulphur, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, iodine, and cobalt.
Vitamins and minerals perform hundreds of beneficial roles throughout your horse’s body, from strengthening bone, contracting muscles, balancing fluids, and keeping the heart pumping to energy metabolism, growth, and immunity. They are known as essential micronutrients because they are needed in smaller amounts than macronutrients (carbohydrates and protein).
Vitamins and minerals need to be provided daily through the diet, apart from those that can be synthesised by the body (Vitamins C and D) or by hindgut microbes (Vitamin K and B-complex vitamins). Vitamin and mineral requirements will be greater with the more work the horse does and for stallions, pregnant mares, and growing foals, so it’s important to ensure your horse is receiving the correct levels through the diet, to match their everyday work and physiological needs.
Supporting Every Horse, Every day with Coligone
Whilst forage is an excellent way of providing many of the everyday nutrients a horse needs, quality and factors like season, soil type, stage of growth and whether it is fresh like grass or cut and preserved like hay, can mean that amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamin and minerals can sometimes be lacking.
This is where balancers are invaluable in meeting everyday needs because they can be used to effectively ‘balance’ the diet, supplying essential nutrients for optimal health and performance. The nutrient density of balancers makes them an extremely useful and advantageous addition to any horse’s diet, because they supply these essential nutrients within a very small amount of feed (typically 100g per 100kg bodyweight), meaning they can be safely fed everyday to every horse.
Coligone Balancer, Stud Balancer and Racing Balancer are designed to meet the nutrient needs of horses ranging from maintenance and regular work up to racing horses and mares, stallions and growing youngstock. Coligone balancers can be fed daily to provide every horse, with the full benefits of Coligone to promote digestive health and maintain calmness no matter what the demands. Each balancer provides ScFOS, MOS and yea-sacc which alongside daily forage supports healthy, happy hindgut microbes, enabling them to synthesise essential B-complex Vitamins and Vitamin K. Additionally, Coligone balancers provide natural buffers to ensure acid levels remain healthy throughout the digestive tract, helping to enable healthy digestion and absorption of key nutrients for everyday health, and helping to prevent the development of ulcers as a consequence of work and lifestyle.
Coligone Balancers provide key health boosting vitamins, Bioplex Minerals, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, alongside micronutrients specifically bonded to vital amino acids, like lysine to maximise bioavailability and promote overall health and vitality. Coligone Balancer, Stud Balancer and Racing Balancers are formulated to reflect specific nutrient needs according to work and lifestyle demands and cover a wide range of horses and ponies. In this way, Coligone Balancers can be used to supply vital nutrition to truly support every horse, every day, and promote optimum health and vitality throughout their lives.
Please click or copy and paste the link for more info on Coligone, including the entire range, prices, and ordering: https://www.coligone.org/
If you have any questions about creating the best diet for your horse and keeping your horse healthy through the right nutrition, please contact Coligone – 0333 0503785/07986 183616 or firstname.lastname@example.org