Tips and Topics

Feeding Directions: Mere Suggestions or Strict Guidelines?

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Feeding directions are an important place to start. As human beings, we have the ability to manage our own daily food intake, but our horses don’t have that choice. They depend on us to provide the feed they need to survive. In the old days, the components of a horse’s diet were limited to plain grains and basic forages (hay and grass). Modern technology has changed that and now feed manufacturers have a wide range of ingredients at their disposal.... Read More »

Category : Health & Management | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Feeding Horses – Energy Sources Matter

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Dietary energy dictates body condition in healthy horses. Too little energy and the horse loses weight; too much energy and the horse gains weight. Typical diets of pasture, hay, and concentrate often do not supply sufficient dietary energy to horses that have increased calorie needs. Such horses include hardworking performance horses, lactating mares, and aged horses. The fat in rice bran contains more calories per mouthful than pasture, hay, or... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

Laminitis: What’s Grain Overload Got to Do with It?

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What is laminitis? Laminitis occurs when the tissues that connect the coffin bone to the hoof wall, called the laminae, become inflamed and the blood supply is compromised. Laminitis varies in severity depending on the amount of damage inflicted on the laminae. Mild cases usually result in very little permanent damage to the laminae, while the more severe cases can result in founder, or the sinking of the coffin bone. There are several factors that can... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Ensure Reproductive Efficiency

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Elevate® and the Breeding Horse Vitamin E is an essential component of body-wide antioxidant defenses. These defenses play a vital role in ensuring healthy immune, cardiovascular, and reproductive function in the horse. As increased demands are placed on horses during breeding season, one can justify the added benefit of supplemental vitamin E to the mare, foal, and stallion. Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamin E The most common source of vitamin E used in... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Tips and Topics

Getting the Most for Your Money with Ker-A-Form™

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Providing proper nutrition for your horse is one of the most basic ways to ensure his well-being. High-quality forage and well-formulated, properly fortified concentrates should provide the basis for his diet. Occasionally, however, these components are not enough to guarantee optimal health. In cases in which beneficial nutrients cannot be delivered through a diet of forage and concentrate, scientifically proven supplements should be considered. Care... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Tips and Topics

Research Proven Neigh-Lox® is Suitable for All Horses, No Matter Their Age or Use

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For years, horsemen have believed that the surefire way to sidestep gastric ulcers is full-time grazing. However, that widely held theory was challenged recently. Researchers at the University of California at Davis set out to determine the prevalence of gastric ulcers in broodmares. Results of the study indicated that pregnancy was not a factor in the development of ulcers, but the sheer number of ulcers found in these pasture-managed mares was... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part III

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Is Fiber a Carbohydrate? In Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I, we reviewed simple carbohydrates and in Clarifying Carbohydtrates Part II we looked at rapidly fermentable carbohydrates. This Nutritional Minute describes slowly fermentable carbohydrates (fiber) and discusses the concerns associated with all carbohydrates in the equine diet. Slowly Fermentable Carbohydrates Slowly fermentable carbohydrates, or fiber as they are commonly called, are... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part II

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Clarifying Carbohydrates Part II There are many types of carbohydrates in equine diets, including simple carbohydrates, rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, and complex, slowly fermentable carbohydrates. Your horse digests each type of carbohydrate differently. Some types of carbs are better for your horse than others. Click here for Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I for information on simple carbs. This time we will reviewing rapidly fermentable... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I

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Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I There are three different types of carbohydrates utilized by horses: simple sugars and starches, rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, and structural carbohydrates. This part of our series will deal with simple sugars and starches. What are carbohydrates and why are they important? Carbohydrates are substances made up of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). Various forms of carbohydrates are made through... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Think “E” for Excellent Nutrition

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Vitamins are often clumped together as a single entity, and the contributions of individual ones are sometimes overlooked. In recent years, scientists have been taking a closer look at vitamin E. Though the nutrient was first discovered more than 80 years ago, the scientific community continues to find new uses for this much-heralded vitamin. The far-reaching effects of vitamin E in equine nutrition are well known. Vitamin E plays imperative roles in... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Tips and Topics

Put the Bloom Back in Your Horse’s Coat

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Does your horse struggle with dull, flaky hair coat? Are his mane and tail dry and brittle? The quality of your horse’s hair is based in part on his genetic makeup, but nutrition can also play a role. Nutrients affect hair quality Protein: Skin and hair need protein. Proteins are made up of different amino acids and each amino acid has a purpose. Protein deficiency is rarely seen, but your horse may be lacking certain amino acids that affect hair... Read More »

Category : Health & Management | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Vitamin E and Equine Motor Neuron Disease

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What is Equine Motor Neuron Disease? Equine Motor Neuron Disease (EMND) is a degenerative disease of the motor neurons located in the spinal column and brain stem. Motor neurons are the nerves responsible for signaling muscles to contract and move. The motor neurons of horses with EMND become damaged. The damaged neurons send incorrect signals to the muscles and affect the musculature of the horse. Symptoms associated with EMND include: A constant... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Gastric Ulcer Treatment: A Two-Step Approach

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Veterinarians and horsemen recognize the harmful effects of gastric ulceration in their horses. Colic, chronic diarrhea, decreased appetite, and weight loss are documented clinical signs of gastric ulceration. Anecdotal reports point to changes in behavior as well, including depressed attitude or a surly, sour disposition. Fortunately, scientists and nutritionists identified the frequency in which gastric ulcers occur in horses and formulated products... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Tips and Topics

Myths Concerning Feeding Fat to Endurance Horses

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MYTH: Fat is an unsuitable ingredient in the diets of endurance horses. FACT: Fat is not only a perfectly acceptable component in the diets of all performance horses, it sometimes proves to be a necessary ingredient. Due to the intense work that endurance horses perform, many are unable to maintain optimal body condition when fed forages (pasture and hay) and traditional concentrates (textured or pelleted sweet feed). Because fats contain more than two... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

The Trouble with Fructans

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What is a fructan? Fructan is a type of sugar found in cool-season grasses. Instead of being digested in the foregut, fructan passes into the horse’s hindgut, where it ferments and causes the production of lactic acid. If too many fructans are consumed at one time, high levels of lactic acid can accumulate and cause the pH of the hindgut to drop. Even small changes in pH can negatively affect the delicate microflora that live in the hindgut and aid in... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

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