Here at FeedXL our tagline is ‘Nutrition makes a difference’… we say it because nutrition really does make a difference.
I read a book many years ago called ‘Jackson’s Track’. A true account of life running a timber business in the early to mid-1900’s.
The business used horses to pull the (giant) trees out of the forest and they were also the main form of transport. I have never forgotten these two paragraphs!
“Some people say it is impossible to go a hundred miles a day on a horse, but I say they’re wrong. Of course, the horse has to be hardened so he’s up to the journey, you can’t just take him out of the paddock and expect him to do it…
Of course, you work a horse day after day like that, you have to get rid of him after five hundred miles.”
Daryl Tonkin, speaking of working horses around 1940.
Back then of course there was no such thing as horse nutrition (or much in the way of farriery and vet care, and I daresay nothing in the way of dentistry).
Horses were fed whatever was available and would largely have existed in this area on hay and pasture, which as we know is critically low in MANY essential nutrients, particularly if a horse is in hard work!
Compare this ‘500 mile’ expiry on a horse back then to today’s modern day endurance horses who must cover thousands of miles in a lifetime… it just shows how much difference modern veterinary, farriery, dentistry AND of course nutrition make to how much work a horse can do!
This is also a good answer to people like some members of my farming family who used to say ‘why do horses need all this special feed, we never used to feed them like that’…
Well, maybe not, but back then, those ‘never used to feed them like that’ horses were considered old in their late teens and rarely lived beyond their early twenties.
So my reply to them? Nutrition makes a difference.
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