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Work Smarter Not Harder This Winter


With the cost of living increasing at its fastest rate in 40 years, looking at how you can limit expense is a question on everybody's mind.

Horses and the cost associated with taking care of them is a big financial commitment, and with the price of forage, feed and bedding at a premium it is set to be a challenging winter for many of us. As horse owners ourselves, we at Saracen Horse Feeds understand the difficulties our customers might face in maintaining your horse’s care. Here are our ‘top tips,’ on how to make your horses feed work smarter for you and your horse this season.

Feeding the Fussy Horse Happy grazing

Are you feeding a complete feed?

Complete or ‘fortified,’ feeds are concentrates that contain all of the vitamins and minerals that your horse will require on a daily basis. When fed at the recommended feeding rate, this will ensure that no other additional ‘hard feed,’ or nutritional supplements will be required. Concentrates will often include extra packages such as digestive aids and nutrients for hoof and skin quality, so be sure to check what your feed is offering before adding extra expense to your horses’ diet.

Make the most of your livery package.

For many of us keeping our horses at home is a luxury that we can only dream of, but keeping your horse on a livery yard can have its advantages. Many yards will include forage as part of the package, and so it can be possible to make your horses fibre intake work harder for you this winter. Ensuring that poor doers receive a minimum of 2% of their body weight in forage per day will support both good digestive health as well as calories for weight maintenance too. Fibre acts as an insulator for your horse in the cold months, and keeping them warm with a belly full of forage will help to reduce the amount of calories they use on a daily basis too.

Body Condition Scoring image 1270

Monitor your horse's body condition regularly.

Regularly assessing your horses body condition can be a great way to get ahead of any changes to your horses weight to ensure you are not feeding too much or before more costly diet changes need to be made. Body Condition Scoring (BCS) is a method of assessing your horse's body fat coverage and should form part of your routine management plan. With practice, condition scoring is an accurate way of ensuring that your horse does not gain or lose too much body condition and shows results far more quickly than by the eye alone.

Check your feed label.

For owners of poor doers, formulations that include ‘Super Fibres,’ can help to lower feeding rates and still provide calories for weight maintenance. Super Fibres are ingredients such as alfalfa, soya hulls and beet pulp which can be up to 80% digestible when compared to hay, which is between 30-40%. Including these ingredients in a feed will in turn help to provide more energy (calories) than more traditional fibre sources such as oatfeed and wheatfeed. If weight gain is required, look out for them at the top end of your feed label to ensure they are included in your feed in higher quantities.

Contact a nutritionist.

Here at Saracen Horse Feeds we are dedicated to providing cost-effective feeding for our customers. We will always look at your horses ration as a whole to ensure that it is working with you and your horse and in a way that saves on additional expense.

If you would like any further information, please feel free to contact our nutritional team on 01622 718487 or email