Microsteed analyses the nutrient contribution from all feeds, roughages and supplements against set nutrient requirements.
This example shows the dietary intake for a 500kg showjumper actively competing who has access to pasture during the day and is stabled overnight. The diet is designed to provide energy mostly from fibre and fats as the horse is quite reactive.
Daily Intake of Nutrients
Microsteed clearly identifies the relative contribution of each element of the feed program against the horse’s requirements. The contribution of nutrients from feeds such as RE-LEVE is fixed, whereas the contribution from forage and pasture is often naturally variable and so actual daily intake will vary. For this reason, each nutrient has an optimum range rather than a fixed target to achieve.
- Pasture daytime
- Free choice hay evening when stabled
- 2.5kg Re-Leve
- 400g Equi Jewel
- 50g Restore SR Electrolytes
OPTIMUM NUTRIENT RANGES
Reviewing the optimum nutrient ranges helps to identify is the diet is deficient or excessive for any particular nutrient. In this example, all nutrients are within the target or normal range. There are some additional calcium and lysine provided above requirement, although the contribution from pasture, in particular, will change from summer to winter creating a change in actual intake of both nutrients. Microsteed shows that the daily diet is neither deficient nor excessive.
In addition to considering total daily intake, Microsteed will also consider the balance of key minerals in the total diet including calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. The balance of minerals influences absorption and also activity within the body.
Once the nutrient intake and balance are considered Microsteed also assesses the contribution nutrients make toward energy requirements. This is particularly important when considering the temperament of the horse and the nature of the work. Through reviewing energy balance it is possible to see how much energy is provided through ‘fast releasing’ and ‘slow releasing’ energy sources.
In the example diet the majority, 55% of the energy, is derived from fats and fibres. Such an energy balance is well suited for horses that can be overreactive and those that suffer from tying-up. All diets will contain the four major energy sources of protein, carbohydrate, fats, and fibres as all are present in both forages and feeds. The balance between them is dependent on the composition of the hard feed chosen.