Buying Guides Low-energy feed

Whether you want a tasty addition to your good-doer’s bucket or need a complete feed to suit his laid-back lifestyle, a low-energy feed could bring out the best in him

Many horse owners think that light work consists of something along the lines of a 30-minute outing a couple of times a week, but the reality might surprise you. 

Traditionally, light work means around an hour’s daily hacking in walk and trot or the equivalent, and a lot of working horses don’t actually reach this level of work. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s useful to know as it’s likely to affect the way you feed him. Be honest with yourself about how much work he’s doing, as overfeeding him could result in weight gain or excitable behaviour.

Some horses in minimal work may not require a concentrated feed at all and if your horse is lightly exercised a few times a week, you might find he manages perfectly well with his forage ration and a balancer to ensure he’s getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs. However, if you feel your horse could do with a little extra, a low-energy mix or cube could be the answer.

These types of feed are also useful if your horse is a good-doer and his workload meets the criteria of light to medium work. A low-energy mix or cube will give him a little something extra on top of his forage ration and provide him with the tools he needs to fulfil the demands of his exercise regime, too, without the risk of unwanted weight gain.

Be aware, however, that if you’re only feeding your horse a token amount of concentrated feed, he won’t get all the vitamins and minerals he needs from it, as the broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals your horse requires is only provided when the mix or cube is fed at the recommended rate. Topping it up with a comprehensive feed balancer or complete vitamin and mineral supplement will help you get the balance just right. 

TOP TIP – As with any change in diet, introduce a low-energy mix or cube gradually.

We’ve calculated the price per day based on feeding a 16hh, 550kg horse in light work.

Castle Feeds High Fibre cubes

High-fibre, low-starch and low-sugar cubes containing yeast to support and promote beneficial bacteria in your horse’s gut.

castlehorsefeeds.com

Cost per 20kg: £8.49

Cost per day: £1.06

 

Spillers Horse & Pony cubes

With over 30 nutrients to help support all-round health, this feed contains controlled starch levels and added magnesium to help reduce the risk of excitability.

spillers-feeds.com

Cost per 20kg: £9.10

Cost per day: £1.37

Equerry Cool cubes

A high-fibre formula with low levels of sugar and starch, plus added vitamins and minerals, including magnesium.

equerryhorsefeeds.com

Cost per 20kg: £9.75

Cost per day: £1.46

Baileys Meadow Sweet With Turmeric

A high-fibre feed that’s fully balanced with no whole cereal flakes, a light coating of honey and a complete turmeric supplement.

baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk

Cost per 20kg: £12.50

Cost per day: £2.33

Allen & Page Ride and Relax

A barley and molasses-free muesli mix that’s low in starch and sugar, making it ideal for horses who tend to be excitable.

allenandpage.com

Cost per 20kg: £13.82

Cost per day: £1.03

Saracen High Fibre cubes

Cubes with a high-fibre content for horses who require a low-starch diet, fully fortified with vitamins and minerals.

saracenhorsefeeds.com

Cost per 20kg: £12.00

Cost per day: £1.20

 

Rowen Barbary Leisure Plus

A fully balanced mix with added
camomile flower, spearmint, nettle and calcareous marine algae to help support
a healthy gut.

rowenbarbary.co.uk

Cost per 20kg: £14.32

Cost per day: £1.43

Dodson & Horrell Pasture mix

A low-protein, oat free, non-heating mix that contains biotin and magnesium, and added L-Lysine to help maintain muscle.

dodsonandhorrell.com

Cost per 20kg: £11

Cost per day: £1.65

TOP TIP – It’s important not to rely on guesswork when feeding your horse. Make sure you know exactly what a scoop of your chosen low-energy feed weighs so you’re certain of exactly how much you’re giving him.

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