The Nether­lands:

An abun­dance of choices

EQUUS - - Eq Tack & Gear -

and when How the it much comes United could to States feed­ing the have Nether­lands horses? in com­mon It’s a valid ques­tion: Af­ter all, the western Euro­pean coun­try is 237 times smaller than Amer­ica, with lim­ited, low-ly­ing pas­tures and a cli­mate that is fa­mously wet and mild. It’s a far cry from the ex­pan­sive, dry plains of Texas or the snowy moun­tains of Ver­mont. But the Dutch cul­ture is as “horsey” as any, with ap­prox­i­mately 500,000 reg­u­lar rid­ers out of a pop­u­la­tion of only 17 mil­lion car­ing for 450,000 horses. Rid­ing is the sec­ond most pop­u­lar sport in the coun­try, af­ter soc­cer. Not sur­pris­ingly, then, there is a huge in­dus­try to sup­port the Dutch eques­trian pur­suits, ground be­tween and this horse cre­ates own­ers com­mon in the United States and the Nether­lands: Both groups have a huge va­ri­ety of choice when it comes to feed­ing. “There are at least 50 to 60 dif­fer­ent pel­leted con­cen­trates and mix­tures from 10 to 20 dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies [avail­able in the The Nether­lands],” says Mar­i­anne Sloet van Ol­druiten­borghOoster­baan, DVM, PhD, of Utrecht Univer­sity. Like their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts, many Dutch horse own­ers make the most of this va­ri­ety by mix­ing dif­fer­ent grain prod­ucts and ad­ding sup­ple­ments to cus­tom­ize meals for each horse “Many own­ers will buy com­mer­cial con­cen­trates,” says Sloet van Ol­druiten­borgh- Ooster­baan. “But there

Like their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts, many Dutch horse own­ers mix dif­fer­ent grain prod­ucts and add sup­ple­ments to cus­tom­ize meals for each horse.

are Horses get prod­ucts some­times also from a over lot in­di­vid­ual of the 10 peo­ple week.” or more that horse dif­fer­ent make own­ers mixes. horse Even own­ers with these do face choices, feed­ing Dutch chal­lenges. One of the big­gest, says Sloet van Ol­druiten­borgh- Ooster­baan, is lack of ac­cess to pas­ture in win­ter. “Most horses get no pas­ture [dur­ing that time] as it is too wet,” she says. To com­pen­sate, si­lage and/or hay is fed. She rec­om­mends to her clients that ra­tions be bro­ken up into at least three to four feed­ings a day, with the first meal at 7 a.m. and the last at 11 p.m.

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