Things Your Horse Probably Does Not Need
 By Winniefield Park   •   29th Nov 2016   •   1,250 views   •   0 comments
Things Your Horse Probably Does Not Need

The list of things your horse needs may be long. But,there are some things that you donít need to put on that list, even though we find them in many tack and feed rooms. Here are six things your horse probably wonít need.

Unless your horse is working hard, or has difficulty keeping weight on, it probably doesnít need extras like sweet feed, oats, pellets or cubes. Most horses stay healthy on good quality hay or pasture grass. Concentrates are good to quickly feed your horse extra calories or nutrition if there is a lack. But, most of us wonít need to pick up bags of feed as long as our horses are getting good fodder.

Do horses need shoes? Depends on what your horse does, and the strength of its hooves. Many people put shoes on their horse as a matter of course. But, unless your horse's hooves need protection because it is working hard on rough footing, or needs more grip, it probably doesnít need shoes.

Hoof Dressings
Along with grooming spray, brushing on a hoof dressing feels like the final step to a well groomed horse. Many of us use topical dressing hoping that it moisturizes our horseís hooves like hand lotion moisturizes ours. Not so say some veterinarians and farriers. Instead, clean footing, proper hoof care, and good nutrition makes healthy, uncracked hooves. So, while brushing on some oil or cream will put a nice shine on your horseís hooves temporarily, they may not contribute to hoof health in the long term.

Grooming Spray
Grooming spray is nice to use. Most smell good, help remove grime and gives your horse a nice shine. But, for a healthy coat, itís not a necessity. In fact, some might compromise your horseís natural waterproofing and some horses may develop skin sensitivities. As long as your horse is in good health, a little elbow grease is probably enough to bring a shine out.

Psyllium Fiber
Psyllium fiber wonít hurt your horse. Some people feed it because itís believed to help prevent sand colic. Some studies seem to show that psyllium helps move sand from the horseís gut. Other studies seem to show that it has no effect. But your horse, it if is eating lots of grass or hay is already taking in a lot of soluble and insoluble fiber. Feeding psyllium is only one strategy amongst several known to help keep everything in your horseís gut moving in the right direction. So, if you choose not to feed psyllium, you probably arenít jeopardizing your horseís health, but you may not be benefitting it either.

Bran Mashes
Black Beauty may have been rewarded with a steaming pan of bran mash for preventing a terrible accident on a collapsing bridge, but bran may not be the best thing to feed horses, even occasionally. Feeding wheat bran frequently can cause mineral imbalances, and may irritate the lining of a horseís digestive system. Your horse will probably slurp down a bran mash happily, but wonít get much benefit from it. Again, hay and grass have plenty of fiber already.
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