Every horse varies massively in their dietary requirements. A huge number of variable factors affect their requirements and how too much or too little feed can affect their bodies.
Some of the below factors affect what your horse requires:
- Forage availability (grazing and hay)
The most common feeding concern over summer is horses gaining too much weight. This can cause a number of health complications and so it is important to restrict the diet accordingly.
At this time of year, the grass is assumed to contain less sugar than earlier in the year, this will vary a lot depending on the weather over the summer. A warm, wet spell can lead to significant grass growth, so even horses on restricted grazing may be taking in more than you think.
Grass intake can be controlled by strip grazing, track systems, limiting the time out in the field or if those aren’t an option a grazing muzzle can be used. This can be especially useful when one or two horses within a herd need to be restricted.
“I have used a grazing muzzle for years with my rather chunky Shetland, Harry. He got the hang of it really quickly and they last much longer than I expected. I have used the Hy Equestrian Grazing Muzzle for the last few years and it’s perfect for the job!!”
Follow this link to the Hy Equestrian Grazing Muzzle:
It is important for gut health that horses don’t spend extended periods of time without forage and so this can be difficult to manage when restricting grazing. It can be useful to supplement with hay to prevent a period without forage. This can still be restricted by using a haynet or a hay ball to limit intake and provide additional stimulation.
“In winter I use my Parallax Hay Balls to entertain the horses when they are stabled for longer periods. They are great and virtually indestructible, unlike some of the other versions on the market. They come with big or small holes to further restrict intake if required. I would use them in the field too, but our fields are too steep and I’d never see them again!!”
Follow these links to view the Parallax Hay Balls: