A Guide to Feeding your Horsepersil grass affected!

Here is a Guide for people who aren’t sure what they can feed.

All horses, big and small need the same basic high fibre diet. For those of us who don’t have large properties, this means feeding hay most of the year.

The purpose of daily hard-feeds on top of the hay is to ensure our horses don’t miss out on essential nutrients including salt and selenium. Where possible feed twice daily, you can make up both feeds at once to save time.

Most people find it hard to believe how easy it is to maintain shiny coats showing the horse’s TRUE colour, strong hooves, healthy immune systems and a sane brain on such a simple diet. It can be a leap of faith to ditch the pre-mixes, Lucerne forages, soy-hulls and molasses in favour of more ‘old-fashioned’ choices.

We have moved away from feeding beet though it is still an option for horses who need to lose weight but as it is bland, some horses prefer their feeds without it. And there are very experienced folk who strongly recommend NOT to feed it to horses and ponies with laminitis despite it having the “Tick”.
It goes without saying that all horses need exercise.

Click on the links that relate to your horse for feeding advice...

For Horses already in Good Condition (and not Grass Affected)


For Horses in Good Condition
(and not Grass Affected)

The feed should be only what is necessary to get them to eat their salt and Premium NZ Horse Minerals. Basically oaten chaff and a sprinkling of something they like such as whole oats, copra or rice bran pellets.

For horses needing to gain weight and/or topline

Feed as above but add Rice Bran pellets, boiled or crushed barley and Omega 3 oil. Feed Premium MVA (Minerals Vitamins and Amino Acids) and XtraCal which will balance the low calcium:phosphorous ratio of feeds like bran, barley and copra.
If the horse has had a nutritional set back and is lacking top-line, add ShapeUp (which contains bio-available amino acids), ideal for boosting muscle and general health.

For horses needing to lose weight

The same as horses in good condition. Hard feeds are only enough to deliver the salt and minerals. If they are really obese, soak the hay for at least an hour before feeding. This abslutely makes a difference and helps them to lose those extra pounds.
Use small mesh hay-nets, two of them if necessary, one inside the other to slow down hay consumption. Swinging these from a tree adds another degree of difficulty!

For 'Grass Affected horses

Feed as above plus whichever combination of GrazeEzy and/or SOS works for their particular issues – this depends on the suitability of your grass at various times of the year.

For performance horses who need more energy

As above with the addition of more oats. Feed Salt, Premium MVA and XtraCal.

For horses on oxalate grasses including Kikuyu

Make sure you feed XtraCal on a daily basis along with the feeds suggested above.


Articles about Feed


It was pointed out to us by Sue Dawson our UK distributor, that if horses are already on a hay diet they are already consuming plenty of fibre in which case there is no need to feed beet for fibre. This got us thinking, our horses are all in great condition and their diet is predominantly hay so why feed beet? Taking it out has resulted in smaller sized feeds which they eat equally well.

This is in no way saying that there is anything wrong with beet. We have listed the advantages below. It is an excellent option for many horses and beet works well with other items like copra (you can soak them together) grains and rice bran pellets. This is because while they are all higher in phosphorus relative to calcium, beet is the opposite being higher in calcium so they tend to balance each other..


Beet pulp is the fibrous material left over after the sugar and moisture have been extracted from sugar beets which is put through a cooking process to increase digestibility. Unprocessed beet pulp is quite moist and prone to mould, so it needs to be dry for storage, hence it is packaged as shreds, flakes or pellets.
Whilst it can be fed dry, most people prefer to soak it in water before adding it to feeds. Pellets need a longer soak time to soften up than do shreds or flakes.


· Any horse who has dental problems that make chewing hay difficult (it is already ground to the size the molars would have ground it to)

· Geriatric horses who have trouble chewing or digesting other types of forage.

· You wish to give a warm feed when it is cold, just like a bran mash

· A hay or grass substitute. (NB, it should make up no more than 40% of the horse’s total forage)

· Increasing water intake, especially in winter or for endurance.

· Horses who have ulcers due to its high content of ‘Pectin’ a soluble fibre which draws water from the intestines to form a kind of a gel which has the effect of reducing any tendency towards acidity.

POINTS TO BE AWARE OF when considering whether to feed beet:

· It is not a great source of nutrients--it has a relatively high calcium content and very little phosphorus, is low in B vitamins, and has virtually no beta-carotene (the precursor of vitamin A) or vitamin D. (Not an issue when you are also feeding the Premium Horse Minerals or the MVA)

· Not a good source of protein due to its poor amino acid profile. (no problem if you are feeding Premium MVA or ShapeUp)

· Beet pulp is not high calorie--it has only slightly more calories than good quality hay. Apparently it can be used for weight gain but you have to feed quite a lot.

· There are very experienced people who specialize in caring for laminitic equines who have reported to us that some of the horses under their care, only got better upon the elimination of beet pulp. Attempts to reintroduce it caused relapses. This reinforces the fact that you have to treat every horse as an individual and what suits some, may not suit others.

Evaluate the points above to decide whether beet is a good option to feed your horse.