A Horse’s Natural Diet and Modern Feeding
Keeping horses in stables and feeding them high starch feeds is a world away from their natural environment.
Horses have traditionally been fed grain based feeds but modern science has now allowed us to understand that cereals are not the best form of energy for every horse, whether resting or working.
Feeding cereals in large quantities within the confines of a stable moves the horse away from its genetic evolution - of a roaming continuous fibre eater.
Feeding Grain - Behavioural and Health Issues
As the demands of domestication have taken horses away from this lifestyle, the practice of feeding large quantities of grain has proliferated and the occurrence of behavioural and veterinary conditions has increased as a result.
Feeding traditional grain feeds can have a number of undesirable effects on both working and resting horses.
Low GI Horse Feeds
Low GI Horse Feed has a huge place in the diet of the modern horse, whether it is the high performance sports horse or the retired companion with Cushings.
Low GI Feed is relevant to all equines as it offers sustainable energy without cereals. Instead, its fuel source is from digestible fibres and oils.
GI – Glycaemic Index
The name ‘GI’ stands for Glycaemic Index which is the measure used to ascertain the effect of sugar in the horse’s blood.
There are lots of different types of Low GI feeds on the market, many with names based around “Cool Feed.”
Look Out For Cereals
Our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is one of the few low GI feeds on the market with no cereals or cereal by-products.
Not all low GI or low sugar horse feeds are the same.
Low GI Horse Feeds Can Offer A Range Of Health And Performance Benefits
BEHAVIOURAL ISSUES – HOT AND FIZZY BEHAVIOUR
Low GI Feed is a popular choice of feed for those who have horses that traditionally ‘hot up’ on cereal based feeds but who nevertheless require power and performance for competition.
Behaviour In The Ring – Performance Without Attitude
Cereal based ‘explosions’ can considerably affect behaviour in the ring and Ultra Low GI feeds are increasingly finding their place with top competitors who require premium athletic performance but without the attitude.
Our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is the among the best low starch, calming horse feeds on the market. Many other Low GI horse feeds contain cereals - but our formula is grain free.
Ultra Low GI feeds can also have a massive impact not just on your horse’s performance but also his health. There are a number of conditions where cereal overload or intolerance are either the cause of a clinical problem or where the horse has a pre-existing condition which means that feeding cereals or grains is no longer an option.
1. ACIDOSIS AND COLIC
Cereals in feed and effectively an overload of starch in the digestive system is the principal culprit in equine acidosis in the hind gut.
Horses evolved to have forage as the main component of their diet.
Working and sporting demands required optimum athletic performance from the horse so grains were used as the fuel source.
Grains and Digestion
The trouble with grain is that is has high starch levels and horses can struggle to digest this quickly enough, even with cooked cereals.
When it isn’t digested quickly enough, the undigested starch passes into the hind gut and ferments. This can lead to behavioural and clinical symptoms as the increased acidity in the gut damages the horse’s gastric wall.
Horses with high acidity in the hind gut may exhibit:
• decreased performance
• loss of condition
• stable vices such as crib biting and wind sucking.
In more serious cases, untreated high acidity in the hind gut may lead on to:
• Tying up with its established clear link to dietary imbalance (for Tying Up, Read about Fiskens Parole)
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Prevention is definitely better than treatment and these conditions can all be managed and even eradicated completely by feeding our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed alongside a correct feeding regime and adequate forage.
Why take the risk in the first place, even if your horse is not showing any clinical or behavioural signs at the moment?
2. LAMINITIS, CUSHINGS AND EQUINE METABOLIC SYNDROME (EMS)
If you manage laminitic and Cushingoid horses you know only too well the importance of removing starch from your horse’s diet.
Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is the perfect weapon of choice in managing these conditions.
Whether laminitis is initially triggered by a feed related overload – too much grass or a rapid change of feed which the hind gut bacteria struggle to cope with – or is part of the package that comes with Equine Cushings, it is crucial that the horse is placed on a low starch diet to avoid any triggering or exacerbation of symptoms.
Our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed (ULGI) is perfect for managing the dietary needs of laminitics and Cushings horses.
These horses often have associated weight issues – they may need to lose weight or you may be worried about maintaining weight on an old horse – but you will be able to feed adequate rations with confidence.
ULGI helps to maintain the correct weight without the concern that the horse may be receiving levels of starch that are too high for its underlying condition.
What’s In Our Ultra Low GI Feed?
Our Ultra Low GI Feed works by providing your horse with a source of energy through the use of highly digestible fibre and oils.
Safe, Slow Release Energy
Fibre and oils can cater for your horse’s energy requirements be it maintenance, through to light work or serious competition.
Fibre and oils make available to the horse a slow release source of continuous energy without any of the issues associated with traditional grain based feeds.
No Oats, No Cereals, No Lucerne
Our feed contains soya hulls which have a Glycaemic Index of just 7 whereas oats have a GI of 100.
There is absolutely no cereal in our formula and also no lucerne.
Our Ultra Low GI is one of the few Low GI feeds on the market with no cereal or cereal by-products.
The Glycaemic Index measures the effect that a particular feed constituent has on the sugar levels within the bloodstream of the horse
Micronized Lupins are another highly palatable constituent of our feed, a good source of protein and a secondary source of energy via the fibre content. The lupins are micronized to ensure that the content of the plant is readily available to the horse’s digestive system.
Oil, Omega 3, 6, 9
Cold pressed Canola Oil provides the essential Omega Trio of Omegas 3, 6 and 9, adding a further source of energy, assistance with joint maintenance and the promotion of healthy skin and a sheen to the coat.
Yeast, Minerals, Vitamins
To promote a healthy environment in the hind gut, our Ultra Low GI Feed contains Levucell SC ‘Titan’ encapsulated Live Brewers Yeast and finally, a broad spectrum mineral and vitamin supplement so there is no need to add any additional products to ensure a rounded and balanced diet.
Fiskens Ultra Low GI Feed
As a calming horse feed, our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is a winner all round. Your horse will be happy and comfortable on our high fat, low starch horse feed and you will have the comfort and reassurance that you are doing the best thing possible for your best friend’s dietary health.