Keeping our horses and ponies in good condition is important for their health and well-being, but sometimes they may struggle to maintain weight and so will need extra feeding. The emphasis should always be on building condition in a safe and controlled way, with a good conditioning feed that supplies the right nutrients:
Fibre is key for building condition but not all fibres are created equal. The quality of fibre can be quite different depending on its composition. A feed that is high in fibre won’t necessarily promote the best condition because it is the quality of the fibre that is the most important. Good-quality fibre is therefore, essential for promoting weight gain and condition because the better the fibre is digested, the more calories it provides. Sources of highly digestible fibre which supply extra calories are great for weight gain and condition and because they are non-heating they help to build it in a calm and controlled manner. At Castle we use soya hulls and beet pulp in our conditioning feeds, to provide a rich source of good-quality, nutritious and highly digestible fibre, which is well fermented by the gut microbes and will help to promote better condition. The addition of yeast metabolites, scientifically proven to support the hindgut microbes and enhance fibre digestion, means there are more calories available to further boost condition.
Oil is extremely conditioning and has 2.5 times more calories than the equivalent weight in cereals, so is great for weight gain. Fats and oils also provide controlled condition as, like fibre, they are a source of non-heating, slow-release energy. Oil will also provide Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are essential to promote skin and coat health and overall good condition. At Castle, we deliver generous levels of oil in our conditioning feeds, through a blend of linseed and soya. This combination of oil sources also provides a good balance of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The inclusion of grass meal in our conditioning feeds also contributes to the optimum Omega 3 and 6 Balance.
Protein is important to help build muscle tone and integrity, but the quality of the protein is key, so a good conditioning feed should always contain sources of high quality protein. At Castle Feeds, we understand the importance of providing the right building blocks for great condition, so we use linseed, soya and peas throughout our conditioning feeds because they contain an excellent amino acid profile to build the best quality protein and support premium condition.
Vitamins and Minerals
The best condition in your horse is only achieved through a fully balanced diet, so primary nutrients need to be balanced with a good supply of essential micronutrients, to build condition in the most effective way. Vitamins and minerals are vital and perform hundreds of roles within the body, so they need to be supplied in adequate amounts to fully support weight gain and condition. Minerals such as zinc and copper are vital for skin and coat health, which will improve the overall condition of your horse. At Castle Feeds, we use fully balanced vitamins and Zinpro performance minerals within our conditioning feeds because they are designed for optimal absorption to help promote improved condition.
We have a range of conditioning feeds available under the Castle Horse Feeds brand, all of which combine excellent conditioning with exceptional value for money. From our Smart Zero range, to Smart Müesli and Smart Linseed, to the immensely popular Castle Condition & Show Cubes and Mix, we have the ideal conditioning feed for your horse.
If you have any questions about creating the best diet for your horse, please contact our nutritionist Lisa Elliott (MSc) at email@example.com or call 01497 570345.