Analysis of hay coming back from the laboratory this year is so much better than that made in all the rain the year before. Some horses are still changing over, some are already benefiting on the better quality for a month or so -which will be all to the good if the weather lets us get back to regular hunting this winter as hunting the entire season takes a bit of feeding for.
Barring injuries. most horses that have come into the winter season in good condition are fit till after Boxing day , but then after this xmas period much then depends on conditions & stamina which can start to be an issue ….so it may be worth looking at a little additional short feed before that happens and some good Bushel weight with some nice smelling rolled of crushed oats and 2 or three coffee mugfuls of Goldenmeal is a first choice.
This Goldenmeal mixture increases the energy density of the total diet i.e. the concentration of calories per kilo of feed, and not just asking the horse to eat more to gain more calories. The oats are ideal because at the same time as contributing carbohydrates (*note) they help keep up the fibre levels – meanwhile the Goldenmeal brings concentrated calories from other sources namely complete protein and highly available vegetable fats along with Calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
Whilst the energy in oats can be called kinetic – the energy in Goldenmeal is more directed into storage to also provide for the extra tissue and membrane rejuvenation needed to sustain muscle during the most inclement time at the end of the season.
Good quality oats are availble from Animal Instincts and Goldenmeal from Trinity Consultants in 12.5Kg packs. Goldenmeal, as the name suggests, is golden yellow and is based on whole ground Soybeans which are steam pressure cooked by forcing them down in what is ostensibly a gun barrel with an ever decreasing diameter …so that by the time the far end is reached they are boiling in their own oil but unable to catch fire as no oxygen in present. This process cooks and sterilises the beans into the most nutritious vegetable protein of all, high in valuable phosphorus to which calcium and magnesium is then added to maintain critical balance making the mixture the most effective complementary conditioning feed for horses without having to feed large amounts and a neutral effect on temperament.
(*note) For hard keepers feed a mixture of 60% Oats and 40% Flaked maize with the three mugfuls of Goldenmeal