In the wild horses will graze up to 18 hours a day but as the green grass turns lush over the summer months many people will find that they have to limit their horses grazing either to prevent obesity, laminitis, cushings syndrome or just for good pasture management. Most horses should eat up to 2.5% of their bodyweight on a daily basis in order to keep their digestive system healthy, with the main part of their diet being forage based.
After water, fibre is the most important nutrient for the horse. There are many options available to you to increase the fibre content of the horses diet if grass is limited including hay, haylage (in chopped forms as well as chaffs) and in the form off high fibre feeds. ReadyFibre Mash from the Soft ‘n’ Soak is ideal as it is fed soaked and made out of 100% high digestible fibre. This will not only help to increase your horses fluid intake on a hot sunny day but is also contains 30% fibre.
Due to its high fibre content ReadyFibre Mash can be used as a forage replacer, which is perfect for horses that can no longer chew long stem fibre efficiently. As the fibre sources are extremely palatable with slow rates of digestion it will also support horses requiring a diet sympathetic on the digestive system. Sufficient forage in the diet will also help prevent stereotype behaviour such as crib-biting, weaving, box walking and gastric ulcers can also be prevented if horses are fed a high fibre diet.
It is possible for horses in light/medium work to have diets based entirely on forage as long as a supplement such as Vitem is included which is a complete equine feed supplement combining 12 vitamins, 7 trace elements and 4 major minerals.