Certain horses and ponies are what is known as 'good doers', these types are typically native breeds such as the Connemara, Highlands, Shetlands and New Forest ponies to name but a few. These breeds are easy keepers as they have evolved to survive in harsh conditions hence are able to 'make the most of poor quality grazing whilst constantly being on the move for better pasture. The majority of these types of horses and ponies are no longer kept in this manner and the changes to diet and lifestyle can make keeping these equines slim and healthy a bit of a challenge! Obesity is serious as it can cause a number of serious health problems, including; insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, heart conditions, and potentially a decreased life span so in our latest blog Scientific Nutritional Products takes a look at feeding the equine good doer. Firstly it is important to remember that forage is the most important aspect of your equine's diet so it is vital that your horse or pony receives sufficient levels of fibre. Forage such as grass and hay helps keep the digestive system healthy preventing issues such as gastric ulcers and hindgut dysfunctions like colic. If your good doer is suffering an ever expanding waistline it may be beneficial to reduce the amount of hours they are turned out on lush pasture, and provide a low calorie hay as an alternative for some a period during the day. Secondly exercise is absolutely paramount for the good doer type. Stick to a regular routine of exercise for your horse and pony and if your equine has got out of shape and overweight start your exercise regime slowly and gradually build it up. A helpful way to increase workload without overdoing things is to “cross-train” and vary the work they undertake - remember if you don't have time to ride a 20 minute lunge offers a great alternative option! Finally if your equine is on "weight-watch" then it is essential that you choose a concentrate feed which is low in energy and low in starch in order to reduce calorie intake, whilst ensuring the feed provides adequate protein levels to prevent unwanted muscle loss. Pairing a low calorie feed or low levels of feed with a vitamin and minerals supplement is highly beneficial as often the fully balanced comprehensive feedstuff only provides sufficient micronutrients when fed at the recommended levels hence leaving those equines on lower levels of feed deficient. Horse & Pony Multi-Vitamin Supplement from Scientific Nutritional Products to ensure your horse or pony is receiving the nutrients he needs even on a reduced diet. The supplement includes over 25 essential vitamins and minerals providing equines nutrients to support the immune system, bone and teeth structure, eyesight and nerve and muscle functioning. The palatable powder supplement can be easily added to small amounts of feed, such as a low calorie chaff and is ideal for those equine's of the 'good doer type'. For more information about Scientific Nutritional Products and the range of equine supplements available visit the website www.horsesupplementsdirect.co.uk
Feeding the Good Doer
Posted by Tom Gatenby on 16 July, 2014
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