Spillers has launched an informative online campaign, Nutrients not Calories, to help horse owners learn about the unique benefits of balancers, to us help keep our horses healthy and slim, and Newmarket vet Lucy Grieve has applauded the initiative.

Balancers are worth their weight in gold when your horse needs to cut back on calories but not nutrients, and used in addition to appropriate management they can help you to reduce the risks of obesity and its associated conditions such as laminitis.

Throughout the summer, nutritionists at Spillers will be publishing a series of blogs, videos and infographics to explain what balancers are, the power of feeding by the cupful rather than by the scoop and the daily nutrients horses need beyond those supplied by forage alone.

The campaign has the support of Lucy Grieve, a frontline vet at Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons, Newmarket.

“A significant proportion of the UK equine population (up to 70%) are overweight and so actually require a weight loss diet which excludes compound feeds altogether,” said Lucy. “In these cases, a ‘balancer’ is appropriate and allows the horse to receive what it needs without receiving the excessive calories that are going to do it more harm than good.

“I think compound feeds are probably used too much by too many, where a balancer is usually sufficient,” she continued. “Unfortunately, many horse owners think their horse is in harder work than it actually is, warranting increased rations but hard work would actually be an advanced eventer or racehorse in full work! I try to persuade all my non-professional clients to start with a balancer (together with forage) before even considering a compound feed. It’s amazing how many weight and behavioural issues are solved by this simple move!”

Clare Barfoot RNutr, marketing and research and development director at Spillers, added: “A good balancer provides optimum levels of vitamins, macro and micro minerals and amino acids to balance the base diet, with minimal calories and starch. This makes them ideal for horses and ponies that keep their weight on a forage-only diet or those needing less than the recommended amount of compound feed.”

Lucy Grieve concluded: “Every horse needs enough of the essential vitamins, minerals and quality protein to stay healthy but in my experience a lot of people still don’t really understand balancers and what lifesavers they are! I applaud Spillers for this educational initiative. We all love our horses and want to do our best for them and by opting for a balancer we can help to do just that.”

The Nutrients not Calories campaign starts in June and will include some product offers as well as new blogs every couple of weeks until the end of August. Follow Spillers on Facebook to find out more.

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