As part of its campaign to help keep horses at a healthy weight, Spillers is sharing advice on balancers as the ideal way to ensure horses receive a balanced diet without compromising their waistline or their owners’ bank balances.
Clare Barfoot RNutr, marketing and research and development director at Mars Horsecare UK, said: “Balancers are worth their weight in gold when your horse needs to cut back on calories but not nutrients and an added benefit is that the low feeding rate makes them a very cost-effective solution too.”
In the summer some horse and ponies appear to get fat on thin air. Yet, while forage only diets may easily meet or exceed energy (calorie) requirements, they are unlikely to provide a balanced diet and may be lacking in key nutrients such as copper, zinc, selenium, vitamin E and lysine.
“This is when a balancer can be useful,” Ms Barfoot said. “A balancer is designed to make up for the shortfall but without adding unnecessary extra calories, due to the low feeding rate.”
Fed at typically 500g per day for a 500kg horse, a balancer will contribute negligible levels of calories, starch and sugar to the total diet. Depending on pack size, a bag of balancer will typically last 30-40 days for 500kg horse and will usually cost less than £1 per day to feed.
Ms Barfoot added: “Many balancers contain added functional ingredients such as joint and digestive support. Although this will undoubtedly affect the price tag, the recommended amount of balancer still costs less than the recommended amount of compound feed.
“When choosing a balancer, consider which functional ingredients may be of most benefit to your horse.”