Are you a dedicated rider who would benefit from funding towards extra training? Do you know a deserving charity that is need of specialist equipment? Are you or is someone you know embarking on an equestrian course and would like a helping hand? Would you like to recognise your equine physiotherapist or farrier who has gone beyond the norm for your horse? Then make sure you nominate for the bursary.
This is the case regardless of whether your horse is stabled or still kept out at grass all year round.
For the grass kept horse the main priority will be to make sure they are provided with adequate forage to replace the grass which will now be non-existent or of poor quality, to enable them to keep warm.
Latest studies reveal that one in three horses and ponies is now overweight.
Dengie senior nutritionist KATIE WILLIAMS, MSc (Dist), looks at those most at risk and what we can do to help them slim down.
We meet lots of overweight horses at Dengie yard clinics, so it was no surprise to find that two recently published papers reveal that about 30% of the equine population is obese.
Although this figure is shocking, it often takes an episode of ill-health – such as laminitis – for some owners to sit up and actually do something about their horse’s weight.
In one study, Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Equine Obesity in Great Britain Based on Owner-Reported Body Condition Scores, by Charlotte Robbins, nearly 16% of horses and ponies were reported to have a history of laminitis – a much higher figure than the 7% previously shown in the 2005 BEVA (British Equine Veterinary Association) study.
Patch, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred, owned by Cassie James from Shropshire, is literally a shining example of how correct feeding can help improve condition to your horse’s coat.
When Cassie bought Patch he had been out of work for around nine months and needed a helping hand to get some bloom in his coat and some added condition.
Question: My horse is lacking condition after the winter months – can you provide advice on what I need to feed?
By Anna Welch, BVSc, BSc, MRCVS. Veterinary Nutritionist, TopSpec.
Most horses do best when fed all the forage that they can eat (i.e. ad-lib). This is a more natural way of feeding than offering large feeds. It usually makes sense to buy good quality hay or haylage because the more nutrients provided by forage, the less hard feed your horse will need. However there are exceptions, such as laminitic horses.
Saracen frequently run campaigns promoting responsible ownership of veteran horses and were keen to help out with feeding these equine stars who give so much pleasure to disabled riders.
Included in this range of three specialist complete fibre feeds is Mollichaff Condition – a feed which does exactly what it says – it encourages weight gain and condition in all types of horses and ponies.
As the season grows cooler, the nutrients in grazing diminish and equines can find it harder to maintain condition. The key to preventing a ‘drop-off’ in the colder months is to ensure your horse receives a nutrient rich, fibre based diet all year round, paying particular attention to the change in seasons…