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Country Park Herbs



In this Part Four of our exclusive report from the European Workshop on Equine Nutrition (EWEN), Dr Mariette van den Berg discusses a recent study by Professor Meriel Moore-Colyer and colleagues, which examined the effect of soaking on the bacterial profile of meadow hay and perennial rye grass hay - two hay types that are commonly fed to horses in the United Kingdom.


Owners or trainers of hard working performance horses are generally aware of the need to provide salt to meet their horse’s daily requirements and to replace electrolytes lost in sweat during a strenuous workout.  But, what about horses with less strenuous exercise regimens? For example, the weekend trail riding horse, the daily plodder or the much-loved paddock ornament. Do they need salt added to their daily diet too?  First, let’s identify what salt is and its role in the body.


Horses can become dehydrated for a number of reasons... For example, during Summer when the weather is hot and horses naturally sweat more, or during Winter when the water may be too cold to drink. Additionally, horses may be required to travel substantial distances to competition venues and, during or following travel, horses may exhibit signs of stress, such as sweating. During outings, horses may not consume adequate water and feed intake may also be restricted leading to varying degrees of dehydration.


Athletic competition often requires horses to run, jump, turn, start and stop - placing an enormous strain on the skeletal system. As such, a performance horse may fail to reach their athletic potential because of injuries and diseases of the joints, which are the most common causes of lameness. As joint problems can be a limiting factor in career longevity of athletic horses, care and maintenance of the joints are a major concern among horse owners.  The equine joint


Name: Hops Biological Name: Humulus lupulus Parts Used: Strobile (the fruiting body) Contains: Amino acids, asparagine, beta acids, bitter, calcium, carbohydrates, choline, essential oils, fats, fibre, flavonoids, fructose, glucose, humulone, lupulone acids, magnesium, oestrogenic substance, resin, rutin, pectin, phosphorus, polyphenolic tannins, potassium, protein, quercetin, selenium, tannins, valerianic acid, vitamins A, B complex, C (rich), volatile oils and zinc.


During cold weather, the horse requires additional energy to maintain its internal body temperature and keep warm. The exact amount of energy depends on the severity and extent of the cold period. 


Name: Rosemary Biological Name: Rosmarinus officinalis Parts Used: Flowering tops and leaves Contains: Alpha-thujone, beta-thujone, bioflavonoids, bitter, borneol, bornyl acetate, calcium, camphene, camphor, carbohydrates, cineole, diterpenes, essential oil, fats, fibre, iron, linalool, magnesium, phosphorus, pinene, octanone, potassium, protein, resins, rosmarinic acid, sodium, tannins, thymol, triterpenic acids and vitamin C.


What are equine feed balancers?  A blend of highly bioavailable essential nutrients provided as multi-supplements in just one nutrient-dense product, and containing no whole cereals or molasses.  Focusing on providing nutrients to support metabolic functions, and long-term overall health and wellbeing. Rather than a ‘one product suits all’ scenario, our feed balancers are tailored to suit different categories of equines, including overweight, underweight, performance and senior horses. What makes our equine feed balancers superior?


The team at Omega Feeds have scientifically formulated a range of horse feed products based on the goodness of the sunflower.  Sunflower seeds are the unsung superfood containing high-quality vitamins, minerals, cofactors and enzymes, which makes them an excellent addition to your horse’s diet! What makes their products even more unique is they take the sunflower seed, dehull it, and separate the fibre and fat components to create a product range that is more easily digestible and suitable for a variety of horses. 


Many surprising benefits have been attributed to the addition of fat to the equine diet and there are many oils available to the consumer - canola, maize, soybean and blends of these to name a few options available.  All have similar levels of energy and omega essential fatty acid profiles. Rice bran oil, in particular, has become quite a sought after product; not only for its high-energy value and essential fatty acid content, but also as rice bran oil is one of the few natural sources of gamma-oryzanol and ferulic acid.


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