Equine Nutritional Solutions

Harbro is now well established in the equine community, we have our own range of high quality and competitively priced horse feeds which are available through our network of country stores. 

In addition our stores also stock a number of leading horse feed and supplement brands including Dengie, Spillers, TopSpec, Baileys, Dodson & Horrell and NAF. 

For all those other equine essentials we also stock equine wormers, grooming accessories, yard equipment, rugs, hats, clothing and footwear, so we are definitely the one-stop shop for all your equestrian needs. 

Advice

Changing Season – Feed to Work Level

One of the golden rules of feeding, is feed according to work done, is very important to bear in mind when feeding your horse. It is particularly important at this time of the year when the nights are getting lighter and the weather improves and workloads, very often, increase.   Feeds are generally classified by the level of work they are designed for and whether or not your horse needs more or less condition. There are a whole host of feeds available within each of these categories which can lead to some confusion. The first thing to remember is that feeding your horse the wrong “class” of feed can lead to problems; some more serious than others.

Behaviour Issues

Overfeeding your horse by using a feed intended for harder working horses can lead to undesirable behaviour. This may manifest itself as out of character “fizziness” or spookiness or general bolshiness.  The horse is basically experiencing the effects of having too much energy and is using it up at the first given opportunity (i.e. when you get on him to go out for a nice, quiet hack).  Some of this effect is not just due to the amount of feed but also to the type of feed. Feeds formulated for higher levels of work will tend to have a higher starch content, which provides fast release energy.  Indeed explosive energy!!  A change to a feed formulated for the appropriate, lower level of work, will make life much easier for you and your horse and will generally be a lot easier on your pocket too!  Look for feeds that are high in oil and fibre (e.g. Harbro Horse and Pony Nuts and Mix).  At this time of year there is the added issue of the effects of spring grass to deal with too, so don’t automatically assume because your horse’s workload has increased that he suddenly needs a higher energy feed or more feed. The extra energy from the grass may mean that you don’t need to increase your feeding and may actually have to look at using a lower energy feed or the use of a balancer pellet instead.

Work Level

Ascertaining what level of work your horse is doing is one of the first steps to getting your feeding sorted out. The below table should give some indication as to what category your horse falls into but if in doubt make use of one of the many help-lines available to you and ask the question. 

Resting

Also includes very light hacking

Light Work

1 hour hacking 5 days a week, Novice Dressage and Show Jumping

Light-Medium

1-2hours hacking/fittening, Pre-Novice/Novice eventing, up to Medium Level Dressage

Medium

Advanced Dressage, Intermediate/1* Eventer, A&B show jumper

Medium-Hard

Advanced/2* Eventer; International Show Jumper

Hard

Racing,  3 and 4 * Eventer

 

 

Selecting a Feed

Once you have ascertained the amount of work your horse is doing, it makes it easier to select an appropriate feed. The use of a weigh tape will help you to decide what amount of feed is required and, used on a weekly basis, will soon alert you to any increases or drops in weight enabling you to adjust feed levels before there is a big issue. Remember to feed by weight and not volume and this in itself will prevent any over or under feeding.  Also remember that 1kg of one feed type does not necessarily come up to the same level on your scoop as another type, weigh each feed individually.  All horses are individuals and what works for one horse won’t necessarily suit another, even if they are the same weight and doing the same work level.  Laid back horses may require a feed containing instant release energy sources (higher cereal content feeds e.g. coarse mixes) whereas fizzier types will require feed containing slow release energy sources (high in fibre and oil and generally nuts/cubes).  Stand back and look at your horse and ascertain if you need to make any adjustments  according to the amount of work he is doing, his current condition, his breed, his current energy level and his temperament. Help is only a phone call away.

Weighty Issues

A more serious consequence of over feeding or incorrectly feeding your horse is that it can lead to him being over conditioned or, at the extreme, obese. Horses seem to be kept at a higher condition score now than they were 10-20 years ago and, whatever the cause, it is a worrying trend.  Fit not fat always used to be the watch phrase used to describe a fit healthy horse, now there seems to be a growing number of fat and fairly fit horses out there.  This is most likely a consequence of feeding diets which are over specified for the activity of the horse, and the growth in popularity of the “cobby” type, with the realisation that they make a fantastic and sensible all-rounder. They are also, in the main, incredibly good doers.  Like humans, carrying too much weight can put excessive strain on joints and major organs (heart, lungs etc) and potentially shorten the working life of a horse. There is also the concern about laminitis in overweight horses.  Imagine how much better and livelier you feel for shedding a few pounds.  For many horses it is possibly the amount of extra weight that they are carrying which makes them lethargic and “lazy”. Feeding them more feed will only exacerbate this problem.  Before running to the feed shop to change your horses feed to make him more lively make sure he is not carrying excessive weight and that he is fit enough for the job expected of him.  Most good doers thrive well on chaff plus a balancer pellet (to ensure they are receiving all the protein,  vitamins and minerals they require) topped up with a small amount of oats (if extra oomph is required), and oil for stamina if needed. 

 

 

  • HORSE & PONY FEED RANGE

    HEALTHY DIET, HAPPY HORSE

    What you choose to feed to your horse or pony is vital for ensuring that they are not only healthy but that they have the ability to perform at the level you require. Whether you are a ‘happy hacker’ or striving for success in the competition arena, nutrition is a key component. Horses and ponies are all individuals, however achieving the right feeding regime, doesn’t have to be complicated, our Equine Nutritionist, Dr Vicki Glasgow recommends you assess the following:-


    • Condition & weight
    • Workload
    • Lifestyle
    • Temperament

     

    HARBRO HORSE RANGE 

    All our products have been created using the finest quality ingredients and are enriched with vitamins and chelated minerals, to ensure your horse or pony receives a balanced diet. All Harbro feeds comply with the UFAS BETA NOPS Code* *Horse & Pony Vits & Mins Lick is not covered by UFAS BETA NOPS Code.

  • HORSE & PONY NUTS

    Our Horse & Pony Nuts have been designed to provide a high quality feed for the active horse and pony in medium to light work.
    High fibre and high oil.

    Low starch.

    Enriched with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (to ‘mop-up’ free radicals).
    Contains garlic and seaweed to provide nutritional support and help aid digestive, respiratory and immune function.
    Fully supplemented Horse & Pony Nuts provide high levels of vitamins and minerals to ensure the health and well-being of your horse.

  • HORSE & PONY MIX

    Our Horse & Pony Mix has been designed to provide a high quality feed for the active horse and pony in medium to light work. Suitable for fussy feeders and those requiring a bit more oomph.
    High fibre and high oil.
    Low starch.
    Slow release energy for controlled performance.
    Enriched with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (to ‘mop-up’ free radicals).
    Contains garlic and seaweed to provide nutritional support and help aid digestive, respiratory and immune function.
    Contains quality ingredients including cooked cereals and grass pellets to provide sources of highly digestible starch and fibre.
    Fully supplemented Horse & Pony Mix provides high levels of vitamins and minerals to ensure the health and well-being of your horse.

  • HORSE & PONY HAYLAGE

    High quality, low sugar, ryegrass haylage, providing a delicious and nutritious forage which is palatable and dust free, helping to support digestive health and respiratory function.

  • HORSE & PONY CONDITIONING CUBES

    Our Horse & Pony Conditioning Cubes have been designed to provide a high quality, cost effective feed for horses and ponies prone to weight
    and condition loss.
    High calorie weight gain formula.
    Quality protein to encourage muscle and topline development.
    Slow release energy for controlled performance.
    High in omega 3 fatty acids for that show day shine.
    Yeast to help maintain a healthy hindgut, especially at times of stress.
    Easy soak formula for horses and ponies with poor dentition.
    Can also be fed as a high energy feed for those requiring extra energy for improved performance and increased work level.
    Fully supplemented Horse & Pony Conditioning
    Cubes provide high levels of vitamins and minerals to ensure the health and well-being of your horse.

  • HORSE & PONY CONDITIONING MIX

    Our Horse & Pony Conditioning Mix has been designed to provide a high quality feed for horses and ponies prone to weight and condition loss.
    High calorie weight gain formula.
    Quality protein to encourage muscle and topline development.
    Slow release energy for controlled performance.
    High in omega 3 fatty acids for that show day shine.
    Yea-sacc to help maintain a healthy hindgut, especially at times of stress.
    Contains Evo for improved palatability and a calm attitude.
    Contains seaweed.
    Can also be fed as a high energy feed for those requiring extra energy for improved performance and increased work level.
    Fully supplemented Horse & Pony Conditioning
    Mix provide high levels of vitamins and minerals to ensure the health and well-being of your horse.

  • HORSE & PONY VETERAN MIX

    Our Horse & Pony Veteran Mix has been designed to provide a high quality feed for horses and ponies in the later years of life, which are prone to weight and condition loss.
    High calorie for weight loss prevention.
    Quality protein to support muscle condition.
    Yea-Sacc is included to aid hindgut digestion in the senior horse.
    Contains Evo for improved palatability.
    Contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and seaweed to provide additional nutritional support for the ageing horse.

  • HORSE & PONY VITS & MINS

    If your horse or pony is fed a forage based diet or is receiving a reduced level of concentrate then it is advisable to offer a broad spectrum vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplement to ensure their diet is balanced.
    Our Horse & Pony Vits & Mins is a handy vitamin, mineral and antioxidant lick with the added benefit of garlic and seaweed which can be fed in the field or stable, allowing your horse to have free access throughout the day.
    Suitable for horses and ponies at rest or in medium to light work.