Horse Feed Ingredients: Benefits of High Fiber, High Fat & Low Starch Horse Feeds
A horse’s health and performance are directly linked to the health of its digestive system. High fiber feeds, which closely mimic a horse’s natural high fiber and low carbohydrate diet, provide for a healthier digestive tract and allow horses to look and perform better.
High fiber diets are not necessarily new— high fiber feeds have been around for a long time; however, many of these diets sacrifice calories because high fiber ingredients are naturally lower in calories than grains. Therefore, a horse has to eat more feed to get the same number of calories provided from a typical grain-based feed.
Triple Crown® has addressed this problem by incorporating quality, high calorie fiber ingredients, high levels of vegetable oil and stabilized rice bran to make up for the fewer calories normally associated with high fiber diets. In addition, the use of EquiMix® helps a horse’s natural digestive system operate at peak performance by improving fermentation and digestion of key nutrients.
THE FIBER QUALITY DIFFERENCE
A good rule of thumb used to be “the higher the fiber, the lower the calorie content,” and in many cases this is still true. However, the type and quality of the fiber used in manufacturing feeds is extremely important in determining how “energy dense” a diet may be. For instance, Triple Crown uses shredded beet pulp as the primary fiber ingredient, which provides as many calories as oats. Other quality fibers include soy hulls, wheat middlings and alfalfa meal. Fiber products such as rice hulls, oat hulls and peanut hulls are very low in digestibility and provide only a fraction of the calories found in grain. Therefore, to what extent the old rule applies depends greatly on the quality of fiber used in the feed.
All Triple Crown beet pulp-based feeds are considered “complete” because they contain enough dietary fiber that a horse can thrive just by consuming the feed without any hay or pasture. However, we still recommend that horses continue to get long stem hay or pasture for as long as they are able to graze or eat hay.
INCREASED FAT REPLACES LOST CALORIES
Even using quality fiber ingredients, high fiber feeds are, by nature, going to have fewer calories than grain diets. With the advent of research in adding fat to horse diets, we now supplement those lost calories by adding fat. By utilizing high levels of vegetable oil, flaxseed meal and stabilized rice bran, we can make up those lost calories and even make these feeds higher in calories than typical grain diets. By utilizing these types of fat, we maximize the potential of the Omega-3 fatty acids found in rice bran and flaxseed and the Omega-6 fatty acids found in the vegetable oil. Omega-3’s help promote good coat condition and immune response while Omega-6’s are solely responsible for additional calories. With proper exercise and training, horses will use the energy provided by fat at lower levels of activity, sparing energy required at higher levels and increasing stamina.
USING THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY
With the inclusion of its exclusive EquiMix, Triple Crown feeds help optimize intestinal function. EquiMix uses organic minerals to help improve absorption without negatively interacting with other minerals, probiotics to help maintain a healthy microbial population in the hindgut, and digestive enzymes to enhance the small intestine’s natural ability to break down nutrients. It also includes Mannan Oligosaccharide (MOS) to help neutralize challenges to the digestive system from mycotoxins, found in hay and pasture, and pathogenic bacteria, such as E-coli and Salmonella. Kelp meal, a natural source of micro minerals, helps aid in structural soundness and improves protein and energy utilization.
New to Triple Crown’s EquiMix is ButiPEARL™ Z EQ, a slow release combination of zinc and butyric acid, which helps strengthen the lining of the gut, leading to improved nutrient absorption and a stronger barrier against pathogens. To learn more, visit triplecrownfeed.com/equimix.
TRIPLE CROWN PRODUCTS CONTAINING HIGH-FIBER, LOW-CARBOHYDRATES & HIGH FAT
Triple Crown Senior
Typically, Triple Crown Senior is recommended for horses that can no longer maintain their body condition on a normal hay and grain diet. In addition to visible signs – weight loss, dull hair coat, diminished muscle tone, reduced activity levels – the older animal is undergoing internal changes. The whole digestive process is impaired by age. The teeth become less efficient in grinding food, the small intestine becomes less efficient at absorbing nutrients, and the fiber fermentation process becomes more delicate and easily upset. As digestion of certain nutrients becomes progressively more difficult, the horse will require more food. Faced with these issues, you’ll need to replace the horse’s regular feed with one that’s easier to chew and digest, while providing the higher level of nutrition and calories needed to maintain good health. Triple Crown Senior provides that nutrition along with the proper number of calories to maintain weight when body condition is already a problem.
Triple Crown Growth
In young horses, providing more calories through quality fiber and fat reduces the need for elevated levels of carbohydrates. Lower carbohydrate levels reduce spikes in growth hormone levels, giving the horse a more consistent growth pattern, thereby helping to avoid joint problems in young horses. Use Triple Crown Growth until the age of two, then contact Triple Crown for a feed recommendation. Growth also provides the elevated nutrient levels required for gestating and lactating mares and breeding stallions.
Triple Crown Complete
Triple Crown Complete is ideal for the adult horse, harder keeper or performance horse. The high fiber, high fat, moderate carbohydrate diet offers a way to feed the majority of horses and help improve body condition while also helping to reduce the hyper-activity sometimes associated with diets containing mostly grains (corn, oats, and barley). It is also very applicable in situations where hay or pasture may be suspect for quality or quantity or in situations where allergies to dust and mold inhibit the amount of normal forage consumed.
If you’d like to learn more about horse feed ingredients and what sets Triple Crown apart from the competition or would like a recommendation on the best feed for your particular horse, please contact us today.