If you’ve been following my TV show this season, you’ve seen Dr. Judy Reynolds of ADM Alliance Nutrition offer specific feeding recommendations for a wide range of horses. All recommendations have the same form: Feed your horse lots of forage and tweak as needed. But what does this mean, exactly? First, forage can be living grass and other plants in a pasture or it can be the same thing cut and baled to become hay. In hay form, the forage first feeding philosophy favors grass hay because of its exceptionally high fiber content, although alfalfa hay can be supplemented in moderate amounts.
Now, what about the tweaking part?
This always reflects the reality of the particular horse’s situation. What is
his current body condition? How old is he? How does he live? How is he
used? He may just need a daily dose of vitamins
and minerals not present in adequate quantities in the forage part of the diet.
But he may also need more energy than he can get from the forage. How these varying needs are met – the products
and byproducts combined to produce the desired effect – is where the state of
the art in equine nutrition lives today. The most important development in
recent times is the move away from cereal grains such as corn, oats, and
barley, once staples in equine feeds. Recently I sat down with Dr. Reynolds to explore
exactly why she designed the ADM feeds as she did. This episode has received
great response. Enjoy!