Spring is Here!


UK Spring pasture grass is capable of accumulating high amounts of 'Nonstructural Carbohydrates (NSCs)', which are implicated in equine nutritional diseases (and associated with rapid fermentation, and chronic metabolic disorders).  The types of NSC's found in grasses fall primarily into three categories: sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose), starches, and fructans.

Amounts of NSC’s are highly variable throughout the growing season and also, between grass species and variety.  Certain grass species, for example, Ryegrass, can contain more sugar, more starch and more fructan than other grasses.

The net effect of this is that our equines are more inclined throughout the Spring and Autumn period to gain weight.  For many horses and ponies, it is crucial that we do not allow them to become overweight, as this will have severe health implications.

Reviewing your horses hard feed ration at this time is therefore advisable and we can help, just use our advice request form.  It is sensible to try to reduce calories or Digestible Energy (DE) levels in a ration, in order to compensate for the extra calories delivered by the spring grass.

If you are feeding a complete feed such as one from our Chestnut Lifestyle Range, with vitamins and minerals included in the feed – then you may  consider reducing the amount fed.  However, it is important to consider that feeding less may mean that your horse is not be receiving the important necessary level of micro-nutrients – i.e., vitamins and minerals – that they require. 

There are two main solutions to this problem:-

  1. Migrate to feeding your horse a balancer
    A ‘Balancer’ is by definition, a vitamin and mineral supplement with amino acids (protein) added.  Balancers are highly concentrated, meaning you only need to feed a small amount (as opposed to feeding larger quantities of a complete feed).

    Here at Chestnut Horse Feeds our Everyday Essential Balancer is formulated to deliver all the necessary vitamins and minerals that your horse requires, without providing excess calories.
  2. Migrate to feeding your horse a straight vitamin and mineral supplement 
    The alternative to feeding a balancer is to feed a straight ‘vitamin and mineral supplement’.  As the name suggests, these supplements deliver all the necessary micronutrients that your horse requires without providing any other nutrients, like amino acids.

We have reviewed the marketplace and are proud to deliver to our customers, a market-leading supplement in the form of Equine America – Everyday Vitamin and Mineral Supplement.

Equine America - Everyday Vitamin & Mineral is an ideal way to help ensure optimum health and performance in horses and ponies, as it provides over 25 essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements that may be missing in the diets of horses and ponies (particularly if concentrate feed is being reduced or restricted).  Everyday Vitamins and Minerals also contain probiotics and prebiotics to support digestive health.

If you have any questions or would like us to review your Spring feeding rations, just get in touch, we are here to help.