FOUR REA­SONS to re­view your HORSE’S DIET

EQUUS - - Handson -

Con­sis­tency is a good thing when it comes to equine di­ets. If your horse is do­ing well on his cur­rent feed, there’s no need to go mess­ing with it. But there are times in a horse’s life when his diet needs to be re­ex­am­ined and a change in feed may be war­ranted. Here are four such times:

• #hange of life stage There are feeds for­mu­lated and mar­keted for ev­ery life stage a horse may go through, from grow­ing wean­ling to ma­ture se­nior. As a horse moves through these stages, his nu­tri­tional needs can change sig­nif­i­cantly, so he may ben­e­fit from switch­ing to a feed made specif­i­cally for his new sit­u­a­tion. As your horse reaches dif­fer­ent age-re­lated mile­stones, keep an eye on his over­all con­di­tion, and be pre­pared to make an ad­just­ment in his feed if nec­es­sary.

• #hange in ac­tiv­ity level A busy ath­lete may need a high-calo­rie, nu­tri­en­trich feed, while that same horse on an ex­tended break be­tween sea­sons has much dif­fer­ent di­etary needs. Like­wise, the en­ergy re­quire­ments will grow for a plea­sure horse who is step­ping up his ac­tiv­ity level be­fore a busy trail sea­son. Any­time a horse’s ac­tiv­ity level changes, it’s wise to con­sider whether his ra­tion is still ap­pro­pri­ate. Some­times, sim­ply feed­ing more or less of the same prod­uct is fine, but you may need to

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