There are myths a plenty when it comes to saving money on your horse’s feed.
We take five of the most common feeding-on-a-budget rumours to Stephanie George, nutrition advisor at Saracen Horse Feeds.
Here she explains which ones are true, and those you should avoid.
1. ‘Cheap chaff is just as good’
Stephanie says: “Some chaff-based products are fortified, which can make them more expensive.
“If you’re already feeding a balanced diet and adding chaff as extra, it could be more cost effective to use a non-fortified product."
2. ‘Just use normal table salt’
Stephanie says: “True, sweat mainly comprises of sodium and chloride, which is what table salt is made from.
“You only need to feed an electrolyte supplement when a horse is sweating heavily to replenish the potassium, magnesium and calcium that are lost in much smaller quantities.”
3. ‘Sheep nuts are the same as pony nuts and cheaper’
Stephanie says: “False. Sheep feed has been formulated specifically for the needs of sheep and not equines.
“Sheep are also very sensitive to copper so these feeds contain copper antagonists, which could cause deficiencies in horses.”
4. ‘Check the contents and go for quality ingredients that can be fed in less volume’
Stephanie says: “True. For example, fibre ingredients such as alfalfa, soya hulls and beet pulp (‘super fibre’ sources) provide a higher energy (calorie) intake when compared to other fibre ingredients such as wheatfeed and oatfeed.
“The higher energy intake provided by the super fibres will mean that you can feed less.”
5. ‘Double net forage to make it last longer so you’re not over feeding’
Stephanie says: “Double-netting will indeed help make forage last longer by slowing down consumption.
“With that said, feeding forage ad-lib is what horses’ digestive systems need, therefore ‘over-feeding’ of forage isn't an issue unless you have a very good doer that's prone to excess weight gain and its associated health issues.”
If you’re trying to save money on your horse’s feed bill, look no further than our Spring 2018 issue of Your Horse Magazine.
Stephanie George explains the simple tricks you can do to balance your horse’s diet and your bank account.