Pasture or hay is all a horse needs! Or is it?
This is something we often hear… and 99% of the time it is WRONG!
Forages are (almost) always too low in trace minerals to meet a horse’s requirements and leaving them un-supplemented on forage only diets usually results in problems with their hooves, joints, immune system, muscles … everything really!
They may look OK, but there is usually a bunch of stuff going on inside that you can’t see until a deficiency is quite pronounced.
BUT, there are always exceptions to the rule and here is one example. This is a pasture from New Zealand that is able to meet all trace mineral requirements without any additional supplementation.
Even for selenium, which is something we don’t expect in New Zealand!
Sodium is a bit low (nothing unusual there) and iodine was not tested, but the fact is it is actually a pasture that horses would do OK on without extra supplementation. Just need a bit of iodised salt!
The horses on this pasture were being fed a selenium-containing balancer pellet and recently tested with blood selenium levels just in the high range (nothing scary, just high).
The lesson in this, forage analysis is a wonderful tool when assessing your horse’s diet and FeedXL makes it so super easy to really see what forage is providing and what you need to add, which in this case is very little.
If you’d like to have your forage tested, we love to recommend Equi-Analytical.
Do you have a question or comment? Do you need help with feeding?
We would love to welcome you to our FeedXL Horse Nutrition Facebook Group. Ask questions and have them answered by PhD and Masters qualified equine nutritionists and spend time with like-minded horse owners. It’s free!