The caveat “don’t believe the hype” can be applied to many fads in horse care. With so many products and services available, horse owners are often left to their own trial and error to determine which work and which don’t.
“Nutritional analysis certainly falls into this category. While there are some methods currently being investigated to better evaluate a horse’s nutritional status, the only reliable means of determining whether your horse is receiving adequate nutrition, including micronutrient intake, is nutritional consultation with a qualified professional,” advised Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research.
Nutritional consultation will:
- Ensure your horse consumes sufficient energy to maintain an appropriate body condition and fuel growth, exercise, or reproduction;
- Assess the overall diet and the need for supplements based on the horse’s lifestyle, intended purpose, age, and activity level;
- Remove unnecessary components of the horse’s diet, making horse care more economical; and
- Customize management strategies to the individual horse.
“We are always looking for ways to improve our understanding of nutrient digestion by incorporating other analytical techniques into a comprehensive nutritional-assessment strategy. Until these techniques are perfected, ration analysis remains the best service to optimize any horse’s diet,” summarized Crandell.
Interested in a nutritional consultation for your horse? Contact a nutrition advisor at Kentucky Equine Research today to get started.