Nutritional consultant Sally Tobin has launched the Healthy Horse Company to help improve equine diets.
“Horse owners tend to buy hay or haylage without knowing the nutritional or mineral content,” she said.
The company uses accredited labs in the UK and abroad to give a nutritional and mineral profile of hay, haylage and grass.
Samples of 100gms of hay are tested to identify the digestible energy, protein, sugars and range of macro-minerals.
This type of analysis has been used for many years by farmers to help create diets for cattle.
It is now becoming more common in the horse world, believes Tobin, for all types of horses from youngsters to eventers.
The levels of sugars shown are “particularly important for those managing laminitic ponies or horses,” she said.
Owners are advised on any mineral deficiencies in their equine’s forage and how to balance them with additional supplements.
“There’s no point buying supplements until you know what’s in your hay,” maintains Ms Tobin.
The company can provide bespoke feeding plans depending on a horse’s age and work.
Prices for the hay and haylage nutritional analysis start at £25, the bespoke feeding plan is £65.
More information on the Healthy Horse Company