One of the presenters at the Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Association (ECTRA) Annual Convention this past weekend was Christine Taylor from Equinature.
You can visit Equinature at: www.equinature.com
Christine had a lot of great information to share with us about feeding horses and the different things we can do to improve our horse's overall health.
Her company, Equinature, makes all natural products for horses to eat as well as all-natural products for other uses around the barn, like bit wipes, salves, fly spray and healing ointments.
Long story short, she talked about the grain we feed our horses. Do you know what it is made of? Did you know that after grain is manufactured it only has a shelf life for three months? After the three months is over, the grain starts decreasing in nutritive value. But there is no manufacturing date or expiration date on grain bags.
Christine also mentioned supplements and used herself as an example. When she bought her horse and started eventing, she was spending about $150 a month on supplements. He then developed ulcers and she believes it was because of all of the supplements she was throwing at him that he did not really need.
By taking care of her own horse, she discovered that feeding our horses healthier foods, with no additives, preservatives etceteras, improved their overall health and decreased the need for supplements and other health care items.
She recommended feeding horses fruits and vegetables in additon to their hay. She purchases discarded fruit from her local grocery store, and in the summer purchases bruised fruit and vegetables from a local farm stand. There are only a few things horses cannot eat - all in the nightshade family. These include things like tomatos, peppers and eggplant.
I was really intrigued by her presentation and plan to do some follow up reading and start making gradual changes to my horses' diets.