How should you adjust your horse’s diet during periods of less activity?

How should you adjust your horse’s diet during periods of less activity?

Reverdy’s answer

1. Increase the proportion of hay in the total daily ration (= reduce the energy density of the ration)

In practical terms, the quantity of concentrate feed must be reduced whilst inversely the amount of hay given (good quality meadow hay) must be increased by adding a feed for example (in order to maintain a satisfactory amount of dry matter).

For example: daily ration for a 550kg horse (with correct condition) temporarily at rest (stable + a few hours out in the paddock daily) = 10kg of meadow hay (ingested, 12kg distributed) + 2L (thus 1.4kg) of Reverdy ADULT ENERGY feed.

2. Conserve a ration well supplied with vitamins and trace-elements

Despite the drop in activity, horses need to receive vitamins and trace-elements in sufficient quantities (cf. the recommendations on pages 50 and 56 of the new technical brochure). Now, the concentrate ration being the principal source, a significant drop in the latter must be compensated by supplying a vitamin and mineral supplement such as Reverdy OLIGOVIT MINERAL.

For example: the ration shown above can be completed by adding 1 measure (thus 30g) of Reverdy MINERAL OLIGOVIT for optimum cover of vitamin and trace-element requirements.

3. Keep watch over protein content (= ensure satisfactory supplies)

Proteins are provided by the hay and the concentrate feed. The protein level of the feed is known (cf. label), this is not always the case for hay (to find out, it must be analysed, moreover we offer this service!). Now, a good number of meadow hays have low protein levels (<8% protein in dry matter). Therefore, if the quantity of concentrate feed is reduced (while generally representing the largest source of quality protein (rich in lysine); our feeds contain French soya bean meal rich in lysine, and the hay is increased whereas it is poor in protein (and thus in lysine), this dietary change is likely to bring about a deficiency in lysine. This can result in after several weeks by the appearance of a dorsal amyotrophy and a distension of the abdominal wall (worsened by the inactivity). In consequence, it is important to control the supply of proteins (above all lysine) in his ration. If necessary, it is possible to strengthen supplies by adding Reverdy MYOSTIMUL or even change the feed to Reverdy CEREAL FREE for example, better endowed with protein than a standard feed.