Balanced nutrition for the long term health of the horse is too often pushed aside for the short term financial rewards come sale time.
This is not a horse specific industry issue. It’s also seen all the time come bull sale season.
Buyers claim that they prefer to see a horse (or bull) in their ‘working clothes’ which basically means fit, healthy & ready to get straight to work as soon as they get home. Not over fed to the eyeballs with grain. You can hide a hell of a lot of faults with layers of fat.
An overfed horse or bull has to be instead be brought down slowly off hard feeds which of course delays training time or when they can be ‘bushed’ out to the paddock of cows they were intended for.
Sale results say differently though, especially the led horses. Those that breed can see the difference between a youngster fed to grow at a rate to match their bone & joint development vs a youngster that’s been over fed.
The overfed youngster most definitely seems to present better in the sale. But bigger isn’t always better…
Yet the big bucks are always paid for yearlings that despite the date of birth it says on their papers, look much older than they are.
Overfed & underworked is commonplace.
Prepping a yearling to be fit, not just fat is an art form.
Excercise, but only lightly & not hard enough to cause or contribute muscleskeletal issues.
To calculate your horses nutritional needs there are a number of online calculators. Many horse feed company’s also have their own specifically tailored to their products. Some will even work out costings to help with budgeting.
A couple of freebies…
Please comment if you know of any other great resources 😀