Your vet has just confirmed that your mare is pregnant, and you can’t wait for that healthy foal to arrive! When should you be changing her feed? How much weight does she need to gain? What additional nutrients does she require to grow a healthy baby? All these questions are important to consider when planning a nutritional program for your expecting mare. How you feed a mare while she is pregnant not only affects growth and development in utero but can also have lifelong impacts on the foal. Your mare's diet affects the foal's bone and tendon health, neurological development, immune status and more.
Soy is a common ingredient in many equine feeds. Different parts of the soybean can be used to provide protein, energy, and fiber in your horse's diet. Soybeans are popular because of their versatility and affordability. Soy oil is a palatable fat source for horses who require additional calories. Soybean meal and roasted soybeans also have a superior amino acid profile compared to other commonly fed protein sources. This makes soy a desirable addition to the high-protein diets required by lactating and growing horses.
Adding fats and oils to your horse’s diet is a great way to increase calorie supply without relying on grains and high-NSC feeds. Fats can be added to the diets of underweight horses as weight gain supplements. Oils also provide cool energy to support exercise performance, weight maintenance and gut health. High-fat feeds are typically made with rice bran, ground flax, or vegetable fat. Oils such as canola, soybean, flax, or camelina oil are also popular options for horses.
Is your horse getting what she needs in her current diet? Does she have health concerns that could be improved through feeding practices? If you own or care for horses, chances are you have asked yourself these questions at some point. You may have even sought out the services of an equine nutritionist to help you formulate a balanced diet for your horse.
Electrolytes are minerals that play a key role in cellular function and regulate fluid balance in the body. Electrolytes carry an electric charge when dissolved in fluids such as blood or fluid in and around cells. These are critical for nerve transmission and muscle contractions.
Magnesium supplements for horses come in many forms and are used to support muscle function and calming. This important macromineral is required in the equine diet to facilitate muscle contraction, maintain ion balance in the blood, and activate enzymes throughout the body.
Emaciated horses have a very low body condition score with extensive loss of muscle and fat. These severely underweight horses need to be carefully managed with veterinary care and precise nutrition strategies during their recovery. Reintroducing feed must be done slowly to allow your horse’s body to adjust.
Horses involved in endurance riding require appropriate fitness training, careful management, and balanced nutrition to support stamina and recovery. Endurance racing may involve horses covering up to 100 miles or 160 kilometres in a single day. This poses challenges with maintaining energy, hydration and soundness. During intense training and competition, endurance horses can have 60% higher energy demands compared to horses at maintenance.
The macrominerals calcium and phosphorus are the most abundant minerals in the horse’s body. They are important for bone strength, cellular function, muscle health and more. Ensuring adequate calcium and phosphorus intake is particularly critical for pregnant and lactating mares, as well as growing horses.
The label on your horse's feed bag provides valuable information to help you make feeding decisions for your horse. Known as the feed tag, this label describes the nutritional composition of your horse's feed and how it is intended to be used.
In the last year, over six thousand horse owners from all over North America used Mad Barn to analyze their horses' diets. We looked at diets for weanlings, broodmares, pasture [...]
Camelina oil is commonly fed to horses as an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. It is used to support weight gain, joint health, coat quality and general well-being. Camelina oil is extracted from the seeds of the camelina sativa plant, also known as false flax. It contains 35 – 40% alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid.
What do you need to know to properly care for and feed your horse in the cold winter months? Horses are very adaptable to a wide range of temperatures and are well-suited to living in cold climates. However, you may need to adjust your feeding and management practices when the weather turns cold to keep up with your horse's higher calorie demands.
Curcumin, derived from the turmeric plant, is a spice that recently become popular to feed to horses as a dietary supplement. It has purported anti-inflammatory benefits and is used in horses with laminitis, arthritis, metabolic syndrome and other health conditions. Turmeric has long been used in traditional herbal medicine to help relieve symptoms associated with digestive, skin, respiratory and joint disorders.
Riding and working with horses poses some inherent risk of danger, but the risk is greater when working with an aggressive or moody horse. For this reason, horse owners often look to calming supplements to help make their horse more manageable and easier to train.
When it comes to feeding senior horses, there are many factors to consider to support longevity and healthy ageing. Making sure your horse’s core nutritional needs are met and keeping up with routine healthcare are critical to promoting optimal well-being for many more years to come.
Equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM or EPSM) is a genetic condition in horses that affects how muscle cells store sugars. This can lead to exercise intolerance, stiffness, and an abnormal gait in your horse. Horses with PSSM are at higher risk of tying-up episodes, known as exertional rhabdomyolysis. These episodes cause significant pain and are characterized by stiff, firm muscles along with profuse sweating and reluctance to move.
Adequate mineral intake in your horse’s diet is essential for overall well-being and function. Minerals play important roles in supporting tissue structure, enzyme reactions, energy metabolism, and maintaining electrolyte balance. Mineral deficiencies can contribute to poor hoof and coat quality, joint issues, metabolic concerns, and growth issues. Excess intake of minerals can also cause health issues.
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxic substances which are produced by mould and fungus in your horse’s hay. Mycotoxins can cause negative effects in horses including colic, gastrointestinal upset, weight loss, feed withdrawal, immune suppression, impaired performance or poor growth.
Yeast are single-cell organisms that include over 1,500 unique species found naturally in soil, plants, fruit, and on the skin and in the intestinal tract of mammals. Live yeast are used as probiotic supplements for horses, primarily to improve fibre digestion in the hindgut, bind toxins and support healthy intestinal tissue. Horses that have disrupted hindgut function observed as diarrhea, constipation, fecal water syndrome, and horses on high-grain diets would likely benefit from yeast to support a healthy gut.