Safechoice Equine Feed

Available in three different formulas to meet the needs of different horses. SafeChoice horse feed formulas are proven, controlled starch feeds that give your horse the quality nutrition it requires. And you the peace of mind you’ve always wanted.

All of the SafeChoice feeds deliver an ideal blend of nutrients for unmatched digestion and performance. This is Smart Grain Formulation, which reduces the risk of metabolic concerns, supports muscle maintenance, and improves immune support. And it’s what sets SafeChoice apart from all other horse feeds.

Controlled starch horse feed formulas for all horses
Helps take the worry out of feeding. Controlled starch diets with added fat are widely recommended to help improve performance and reduce metabolic concerns.
Makes feeding convenient. It’s scientifically balanced to meet the nutritional requirements of horses in all life stages, particularly those with higher energy or caloric requirements.
Nutrition you can rely on. Every bag of SafeChoice Horse Feed contains calorie-rich fats from vegetable oil, guaranteed amino acid levels to support muscle maintenance and development, plus added prebiotics and probiotics to aid in nutrient digestion.
Helps your horse make the most out of every feeding. All three SafeChoice Horse Feeds are pelleted to reduce sorting and enhance digestibility of the nutrients critical to a horse’s health and performance.

Original Formula: Nutritionally balanced for growing and mature horses alike, SafeChoice Original helps make feeding a wide range of horses more convenient – without sacrificing nutrition quality or peace of mind.

Performance Formula: The controlled starch formula for hard workers and hard-keepers. It has the balance of highly digestible energy you’ve come to trust from SafeChoice Original, plus it’s formulated with more energy from fat to meet the needs of performance, breeding horses and lactating mares.

Special Care: Specially designed for horses that are prone to metabolic issues related to starch intake, and is formulated at just 11% starch. If you’re looking to avoid corn in your horse’s feed, SafeChoice Special Care is the perfect choice. It’s also ideal for easy keepers, ponies, and miniature horses.

A little Animal Humor

How fun is this pair? Makes us want to watch them all day!

Winterize Your Horse

Winterize Your Horse

As the winter months begin we need to make sure that our horses are ‘winterized’ and best able to adapt to and be comfortable with whatever nature presents. Special attention should be paid to shelter, nutrition, water, exercise, and hoof care to keep you horse healthy and happy during the winter months.

Shelter

Shelter is the first important requirement on your list to winterize your horse. In the wild, horses would use the commonality of the herd for warmth; generating and sharing body heat while gathered in tight little groups behind a natural windbreak. You will also notice this behavior in domesticated herds; however, not everyone has their own herd, which would make the shared warmth impossible. Therefore, it would be optimal to have an enclosed stall within a dry/warm barn in which to house your horse during bad winter weather. Always keep your eye on the weather forecast so you’ll know if your horse should be stalled or turned out for the day/night.

If your horse is pasture-bound, providing a 3-sided run-in shed will allow him to get out of the elements at his choosing. In some states, it is a requirement that a run-in shelter be provided. You can also utilize a well-fitting waterproof, wind- resistant winter blanket to provide additional warmth to your horse. Make sure the blanket is ‘water-proof’ and not ‘water- resistant’ as water-resistant blankets will eventually allow water to soak in. If the horse is wet under the blanket, he’ll be just as cold as if he didn’t have a blanket on. It is important for you to check the blanket often for placement, dryness, and cleanliness. A dirty blanket can cause fungal infections. Regular grooming during the winter months is imperative to keeping your horse fungus free. It also provides you with an opportunity to make sure the blanket isn’t rubbing anywhere.

Nutrition

Your horse should have a great body condition as he goes into the winter months. A poor body conditioned horse will not fare well during this time of year, and you will be investing more money trying to keep him healthy. You should provide your horse with quality, clean hay. Most sources identify the amount of hay to feed your horse is between 1% – 2% of his total body weight. In other words, a 1,000 pound horse should consume a daily ration of 10 to 20 pounds of hay. again keep your eye on the weather forecast, and if it seems a severe batch of winter weather is coming, increase the amount of hay fed two or three days in advance to aid the horse in keeping warm.

Graining and supplementation of your horse should continue at the amounts/portions fed prior to winter weather. This is, of course, depending upon exercise and body condition. Always check your horse’s body condition by running your hand over their barrel feeling for their ribs, as well as along their backbone and croup feeling for bony protrusions. If your horse is loosing condition, minimally and systematically increase their grain intake. A general rule of thumb is to increase grain quantities by ¼ measures each week until the body condition begins to improve, and then continue that amount/portion throughout the winter months.

Water

Horses require a minimum of 5- 10 gallons of clean, ice-free water. Since your horse’s diet is primarily hay/roughage, water will aid in its digestion. Some horses will not drink an adequate amount of water during the winter months as cold water is not very palatable to them. Always keep a salt block available during the winter to encourage drinking.

Hoof Care

Some may believe that hoof care is not an important issue during the winter as horses are not ridden as often. While hoof growth may slow some during the winter months, it is still of utmost importance that you continue to have your farrier check your horse’s hooves and trim them as necessary. Many abscesses form over the winter months and are caused by the hoof’s impact against frozen ground.

Remember that we have a great stock of winter horse blankets, just contact us if you need to know what we stock and/or recommend for your horse.

Senior Horses

 

Most horse owners agree that the topic of “Senior” in the horse world is a very debated and conversed subject. There are a lot of horse owners that believe that a horse is as old as you make him/her out to be. However the common age to be considered entering into the “senior” category for a horse in anywhere between 16-18 years.

It is very important to understand your horse’s needs and expectations before you decide whether or not to feed a Senior horse feed.

Obviously horses with teeth problems or no teeth will benefit immensely from having a Senior horse feed in their diet. These feeds are meant to be fed solely to the horse or with hay. They are formulated to break down easily when moisture is present therefore a horse owner can even wet down the feed to make mash for very sever cases.

What about the horse that can eat a full ration of hay? From there you as a horse owner will have to make an educated decision on whether or not your horse has the proper body score and energy levels for what you are using him for. You can have you veterinarian or a certified equine nutritionist help you with this part of the puzzle.

Once you have decided whether or not your horse will benefit from a Senior horse feed you will then need to decide which Senior feed will best suit you and your horse. Currently at our facility we stock eight different varieties to meet each individuals needs.  Currently there is a special going on for a Nutrena Senior feed called Truimph. Please visit their website at www.triumphtrail.com to get a buy on get one free coupon. This is a great deal and if you find that this Senior feed is not the one for you they are offering refunds. Check out the website for all the minor details.

Changes Occurring with Aging

Four factors unconstructively affect the ability of senior horses to stay healthy and maintain proper body condition: decreased nutrient absorption, poor teeth, environmental and herd stress and disease.

Decreased Nutrient Absorption

Because of consistent, effective deworming programs, horses have a better chance of surviving to an older age. Intestinal worms can scar the intestines, which affects nutrient absorption. The presence of worms also causes a decrease in nutrient absorption because the parasites compete for nutrients. The deworming program of the geriatric horse needs to be vigorous, and routine deworming should be a primary part of your horse’s health care program.

Other factors that can be responsible for decreased nutrient absorption by the digestive tract. The effectiveness of the intestinal lining decreases with age which makes it difficult for nutrients to pass the surface in order to reach the bloodstream. Research has documented a decreased absorption of phosphorus, vitamins and protein in the aged equine.

Another factor affecting availability of nutrients is the particle size of the feed when it reaches the intestinal tract. If the teeth fail to chew a food sufficiently, the size of the food particle will be too large for the digestive enzymes and microbes to effectively digest it. The net result is more food passing through the digestive tract undigested. The decreased efficiency of the digestive tract due to aging cannot be stopped but dietary adjustments can be made for this problem. Offering more of the nutrient in highly available forms and in small particles are ways to improve the overall digestion and health of the horse.

Protein digestion appears to be a particular problem in the older horse. Muscle tissue wasting is a common occurrence in the aging horse. If the body does not have enough protein in the diet, it will start to break down its own muscle tissue to provide protein for important body functions. With a decreased ability to absorb protein in the digestive tract, the feed offered to the geriatric should be higher in protein than what would be given to a normal maintenance horse, usually around 14% protein. Not all protein sources are created equal, so the quality of the protein offered is also important. Soybean meal is an excellent protein source for aged horses because of its high quality amino acid composition.

Dental Problems

Time takes its toll on the teeth of the aging equine. Problems that occur with normal wear and tear are tooth loss and deterioration of the biting surface. During normal tooth growth, the biting surface wears down and the tooth continually erupts from the jaw bone; the result is shorter roots over time. The root of the tooth of an older horse can get short enough that the tooth can become easily dislodged from its place. Because of this, care should be taken not to float teeth too aggressively in an older horse.

Inevitably, some teeth will fall out or have to be pulled out because of decay or infection. Also, without careful attention to the molar surface throughout the years, some irregularities can become severe enough to interfere with proper chewing. The biting surface can become wavy, especially if there is tooth loss on one part of the mouth but not on the opposing surface. In other cases, horses that lose incisors will have trouble tearing the grass blade away from the root. 

Environmental and Herd Stress

Environmental temperature changes get harder to tolerate as a horse ages, particularly cold weather. Some of the sensitivity to cold may be from the reduction of fat cover on the body which normally acts as insulation. Another factor may be changes in hormone production, which regulates the body’s ability to adjust to external heat and cold.

Fiber digestion in the hindgut produces heat which will help horses stay warm in the winter. If there is a reduction in the intake of fiber, there will also be a reduction of internal heat produced. Adequate shelter from the elements would be advisable for the geriatric.

Pain can make a horse so miserable it may lose the desire to eat. The principal cause of pain in the older horse is arthritis. The best thing to do for an arthritic horse is to allow it to exercise at will. Joints become stiff when a horse is kept in a stall for any length of time, and it is twice as painful to start moving again when turned out. It is advisable to keep older horses out all the time, provided there is adequate shelter such as a run-in shed. Other ways to make the geriatric more comfortable would be giving some type of joint supplement. Attention to proper trimming or shoeing may help avoid unnecessary stresses on joints.

Nutrition of the Senior Horse

Roughage is a vital part of the equine diet, and without proper amounts, problems can occur in the digestive tract. Dental problems or anorexia can make intake of sufficient forage challenging. Problems tend to happen when an older horse is asked to get its roughage from hay only. When the teeth are not in good condition, an older horse may not be able to properly grind forage to be adequately digested for energy and other nutrients.

Signs that eating hay may be a problem in a horse are low intakes of hay or rolling and wadding of hay in the mouth. If this is the case, there are now alternative fiber sources for the horse available on the market like hay cube, chopped and bagged forages, hay pellets and beet pulp. 

Most of the senior feeds on the market have some type of forage included, whether it is alfalfa meal, soy hulls, beet pulp, or a combination of these ingredients. The feeding rates of these feeds generally are higher than normal concentrates because they replace a portion of the forage in the diet as well as the grain portion.

With the increased intakes, feeding smaller, more frequent meals may be desirable so as not to overload the stomach. It can also be beneficial to break meals up into three or four offerings per day. To promote gastrointestinal health of the older horse, use of probiotics or digestive aids (yeasts, bacteria and enzymes) may be beneficial.

Supplements for the Geriatric

When the intake of feed is limited by mechanical problems such as dental or appetite-related issues, a more concentrated feed could be advantageous. Increasing the amount of fat in the diet of the senior may be beneficial because fat is a concentrated source of energy.

As we become more aware of the problems facing geriatric horses, they have a much better chance at surviving into their golden years than they would have had 100 years ago. Strong emotional ties can motivate many owners to be observant of their beloved beasts and to take the extra steps it requires to maintain them in health and comfort. Changes in routine care, environment and dietary management of the geriatric horse can help to achieve this goal.

The Tail End

Do you have tail envy? The majority of horse owners are all seeking a common thing and that is a nice think long tail on their trusty steed. So today we are giving you a few helpful hints on how to work or your broom tailed horses.

First you need to make sure your horse is up to date on his de-worming schedule and that you are providing a complete balanced feeding schedule. A couple of things that can be added to your horses diet for more tail growth is Biotin or Flaxseed, please talk with your veterinarian on what the best supplement would be to compliment your current feeds.

The horse’s tail is flexible and strong, the horse’s tail is part of his spinal column. It is made up of approximately 18 vertebrae with some horse’s possessing more and others have less. The bones get gradually smaller from the root of the tail to the tip with the last one being pointed. Tail movement is managed by portions of the muscles that extend over the horse’s rump and attach to the vertebrae. Comprehensive movements like twisting and carriage of the tail are assisted by muscle-fiber bundles located in the tail itself. There are only two arteries that pump blood to the tail so circulation is not efficient resulting in injuries that tend to heal slower.

A product known as M-T-G has received great reviews from horse owners everywhere. It has proven a great remedy for growing a horse’s mane and tail with the application of the product. Publicized as being “Miraculous”, Shapleys Original M-T-G formula has provided fast, proven results for over 69 years, according to the manufacturer. Effective at both relieving skin conditions, and promoting hair growth, users report up to 3 inches of new growth on manes and tails in a single month.

However most horse owners agree that the most important part of growing a horse’s tail out is time, keeping it clean and not brushing it and damaging the hairs, here are a few ideas that horse owners have suggested to get some growth on your horses tail.

First, wash the tail really well. Then use some Mane and Tail diluted down like 10 to 1. Don’t use a brush or comb on it, it will break the hair. Instead, pull the hairs apart a few at a time. It shouldn’t take too long since her tail is short, but it can take an hour to do this.
When her tail is nice and smooth and dry, take three long strips of old sheet. They should be about 4-6 inches wide and twice as long as the tail. Knot the three strips together at one end. Now, starting at the end of her tail bone, section the hair into three parts. Wrap each one with a strip of sheet. It helps to have another person help with this part. And braid the whole thing.
Wrap the braid so it’s reaches her hocks and leave some sheet strips hanging to help with swatting flies. Now wrap the whole braid with vet wrap, but still leave the sheet ends to swat with. Don’t take her tail down until you’re ready to give her a bath and go through the whole thing again. Do keep the tail itself clean. You can carefully wash the boney part of the tail with out getting the wrapped part wet. Use baby wipes to keep her bottom clean. Horses will rub if they get dirty under there and will rip out they’re hair.

A lot of people suggest adding baling twine to your horses tail to ensure he can still swat flies if needed.

With time and patience you will soon have a long lustrious tail according to those that have put these methods to the test.

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

line
footer
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Twitter