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Feedbags Lie

Updated: Mar 14

Marketing works and feed bags lie. People think they are giving their horses everything they need, because the bag tells them they are. Many horse owners don't even know what they are looking for in a feed or supplement. They are left reading the promises on the label. They see the snazzy horse in the picture on the front of a feed supplement, and think, 'gee that horse looks sound and successful! Ergo, if I feed my horse this supplement, my horse will be sound and successful too!' (I have done this too!).

Here is an example of how, even if you kind of know what you are looking for, feed bags lie: Say this particular feed supplied at the recommended rate 150 grams of calcium per serve and 20 grams of magnesium.

The daily requirement of calcium is 32.3 grams, and the requirement for magnesium is about 11grams.

So this feed should supply more than enough of both. EXCEPT that requirements are often expressed in ratios, as minerals compete for absorption. In the case of calcium and magnesium - 2:1. While this feed should supply nearly twice the amount of magnesium required, the horse may still exhibit symptoms of deficiency because the actual ratio is 7.5:1.

On top of that, how many horse owner are actually feeding a pelleted feed at the recommended rate? Many pelleted feeds recommended daily feeding rate is 1kg or more. Many pony owners feed half that or less.

Some feed bags just outright lie. Like No Grain Gold which I often hear recommended for horses with metabolic conditions, because it has 'no grain' and contains mostly molasses. Molasses is the worst thing you could give to a horse suffering from laminitis.

You can do better.

Sound Advice offers nutrition consults, where we take a look at what you are currently feeding your horse and make some tweaks. In most cases clients end up spending less because they stop buying feeds that offer little to their horse, or compete with other feeds. Nutrition consults are $50, redeemable if you buy Sound Advice supplements.

You can see some before and after of nutrition clients at this post:

Are you buying a bag of feed because it has a performance horse pictured on the front? You can do better for your horse, and save money too.


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