Feed balancers for horses have risen in popularity over the years – and for good reason. More than a vitamin and mineral supplement, when fed at the correct amount a balancer will provide your horse with all the nutrients he needs. The best feed balancers allow you to get all the essential nutrients into your horse, in a low-volume and low-energy way, which is particularly helpful if you’re watching your horse’s waistline.
Of course, nutritional requirements change with age and workload, so like other feed products not all feed balancers are created with the same goal in mind. Balancers can usually be divided into one of the following groups…
- light balancers – formulated to provide all the nutrients they are likely to be missing from the restricted diets of good-doers and horses in light work
- performance balancers – designed to support competition horses and those working hard
- senior balancers – formulated to support digestion, comfort and movement in older horses
- stud balancers – aimed at pregnant or lactating mares and youngstock with higher protein requirements
Although these products provide a wide range of nutrients, if your horse has a particular issue or demand on his lifestyle, a specific supplement – such as a joint supplement – may provide him a greater benefit. It’s also important to note that, in most cases, you need to feed an electrolyte in addition to the balancer if your horse requires one.
Most feed companies offer free nutritional advice, so if you’re unsure which is the best feed balancer or other product is right for your horse give them a call to discuss. You can also read through some advice they gave H&H on how to choose a feed balancer for your horse.
NB: Cost per day has been calculated using the maintenance measure for a 500kg horse in light work (where there was variation) and the RRP of the smallest available bag/tub. Some products require you to feed more in certain situations, which will increase the cost per daily measure, while buying a larger bag/tub will likely decrease it – these costs per day are a guide only.
Light balancers: what’s on the market?
Baileys No.14 Lo-Cal balancer
Sizes: 20kg | RRP: £27 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.68 |
Aimed at horses at rest or in light work who require a calorie-considered diet, this pelleted balancer is ideal for good-doers on restricted grazing or soaked forage who would otherwise miss out on important nutrients. Low starch (6%) and sugar (5.5%) levels make it suitable for equines prone to laminitis, while it is also suitable for equine prone to gastric ulcers.
Dodson & Horrell Go Lite balancer
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £18.25 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.61 |
This low-calorie balancer is suitable for horses in need of a calorie-controlled diet and those prone to laminitis. It contains an effective level of biotin, zinc and methionine for hoof strength and growth, as well as natural antioxidants to support overall health, and protected yeast to support a healthy hindgut and nutrient uptake.
View at dodsonandhorrell.com
Sizes: 5kg, 10kg, 15kg, 25kg | RRP: £41.99 for 5kg | Daily feeding rate: 80g | Cost per day: £0.67 |
This complete supplement supplies 25 essential vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 and -6 to add shine to your horse’s coat. It also provides vitamin E and selenium, which are important antioxidants that support healthy muscle function.
Sizes: 3.3kg | RRP: £31.99 | Daily feeding rate: 110g | Cost per day: £1.07 |
Described as a highly palatable weight management supplement, this is designed to provide essential micronutrients to horses on a restricted diet. It includes metabolism-boosting marine extracts to provide essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and promotes wellbeing for good-doers while supporting healthy weight loss.
Saracen Essential Balancer
Sizes: 20kg | RRP: £31 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.78 |
Whole cereal grain-free, low in sugar, starch, and calories, this balancer is suitable for good-doers. It is dense in vitamins, minerals, and quality protein sources, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, live yeast and micronutrients that are essential to support optimum hoof growth. It can be fed alone to balance forage only rations, fed alongside other compound feeds to top-up the nutrient specification or to balance rations that are fed below the recommended intake.
View at saracenhorsefeeds.com
Science Supplements WellHorse Leisure
Sizes: 1.3kg | RRP: £29.99 | Daily feeding rate: 42g | Cost per day: £0.97 |
Part of the WellHorse range that is suitable for horses on restricted diets, this balancer contains every important nutrient and meets the NRC (National Research Council) and BASF (Animal Nutrition) recommendations for vitamins and microminerals. It also contains nutrients to support hoof growth, skin and coat condition, and protected live yeast to support a healthy digestive system.
Spillers Lite + Lean Balancer
Sizes: 20kg | RRP: £28.49 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.71 |
This balancer is high in amino acids, including extra lysine, methionine and threonine to help support lean muscle and topline – this is particularly important for horses fed low-energy or soaked hay. It also contains cinnamon, FOS and magnesium to support weight loss and a healthy metabolism and is suitable for those prone to laminitis.
View at spillers-feeds.com
TopSpec Lite feed balancer
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £22.75 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.76 |
Designed for good-doers, this balancer is a ‘non-heating’, cereal-grain-free formula, with low levels of starch and sugar, and a considered level of protein to help maintain muscle function but avoid promoting body condition. It contains all the micronutrients required to balance the diet of horses in light to medium work in a small amount of exceptionally low-calorie feed. It is suitable for horses and ponies that have recovered from laminitis providing they are not obese.
Performance balancers: what’s on the market?
Baileys No.19 Performance Balancer
Sizes: 20kg | RRP: £30 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.75 |
Aimed at good-doers in work, this low-calorie, balancer provides all the nutrients you’d find in a competition mix or cube, but without the associated calories, making it ideal for horses who are stressy or excitable but require nutrients for health and performance. Low levels of starch and sugar also make it suitable for horses prone to gastric ulcers. It can be fed as the sole concentrate, alongside forage, or added to reduced quantities of other hard feeds, to ensure a fully balanced diet.
Castle Horse Feeds Smart Balance
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £19.99 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.67 |
This balancer is a concentrated supply of vitamins, performance minerals, amino acids, omega-3 and antioxidants, along with an advanced digestive aid. It is free from cereals, soya and molasses, low in starch and sugar, and contains non-GMO ingredients.
View at smarthorsenutrition.com
Connolly’s Red Mills PerformaCare Balancer
Sizes: 20kg | RRP: £26.99 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.67 |
Designed for the performance horse, it contains elevated levels of nutrients, quality protein and antioxidants, as well as prebiotics and a natural gastric acid buffer. It is formulated to support post-exercise recovery, lean muscle mass and topline, gastric and immune function, and coat and hoof condition.
View at redmillsstore.co.uk
Dengie Performance+ balancer
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £31.61 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £1.05 |
This is formulated to balance the diet of performance horses, those in work on fibre-only rations or those being fed less than recommended of a fortified feed. It’s a molasses-free blend that includes alfalfa and linseed with glucosamine for joint support, prebiotics to support digestive health, B vitamins for efficient energy metabolism and hoof condition, chelated minerals for efficient absorption and herbs for palatability.
View at dengie.com
Dodson & Horrell Ultimate balancer
Sizes: 10kg, 20kg | RRP: £18.15 for 10kg | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.91|
This balancer is a low-calorie source of vitamins and minerals with additional digestive, hoof, recovery, immune, and protein support. It is ideal for topping-up natural vitamin levels in forage and is described as suitable for all horses.
View at dodsonandhorrell.com
Feedmark Original Balancer
Sizes: 5.1kg, 10.2kg | RRP: £51.99 for 5.1kg | Daily feeding rate: 85g | Cost per day: £0.87 |
This includes a balanced supply of vitamins, minerals and body-conditioning ingredients that are rich in amino acids to aid topline. It contains a probiotic to support digestion and healthy hindgut function. Suitable for all horses needing condition and energy, without the fizz.
Global Herbs GlobalVite
Sizes: 3kg, 6kg, 12kg | RRP: £30 for 3kg | Daily feeding rate: 50g | Cost per day: £0.50 |
Packed full of easy-to-absorb minerals that are necessary to support general bodily functions, maintaining peak condition and immune system stability. This balancer helps to support healthy joints, skin and hooves.
NAF Five Star Optimum concentrated feed balancer
Sizes: 3.7kg, 9kg | RRP: £29.99 for 3.7kg | Daily feeding rate: 100g | Cost per day: £0.81 |
This concentrated formula is described as suitable for all – from the family pony to performance horse. It contains key ingredients to optimise gut function, combined with optimum nutritional supplement specification that balances a high-fibre, low-concentrate, or performance diet.
Sizes: 20kg | RRP: £33 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.83 |
This highly nutritious, low-intake balancer comes in the form of a mix. This allows it to provide a higher level of fibre and oil, which support stamina, and the inclusion of micronised maize helps to provide a higher energy level when compared to traditional pelleted balancers.
View at saracenhorsefeeds.com
Science Supplements WellHorse Performance
Sizes: 1.4kg | RRP: £34.99 | Daily feeding rate: 48g | Cost per day: £1.20 |
This balancer contains every important nutrient that your performance horse requires and meets the NRC (National Research Council) and BASF (Animal Nutrition) recommendations for vitamins, microminerals and macrominerals. It also supports joint health and the immune system, to keep your horse competing at its peak.
Spillers Pro Performance balancer
Sizes: 20kg | RRP: £41.99 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £1.05 |
Designed to enhance performance diets and provide digestive support, this balancer contains antioxidants, including vitamins E and C, that support muscle, immune and respiratory health, while added prebiotics and probiotics support digestive health.
View at spillers-feeds.com
TopSpec Performance Lite feed balancer
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £29.95 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £1 |
Designed for good-doers in medium to hard work that do not need extra topline or muscle development, this balancer provides everything your horse needs in a small amount of non-heating low-calorie feed. It contains a multi-supplement including that is described as including the levels of micronutrients normally only found in high quality specialised supplements.
View at topspec.com
Senior balancers: what’s on the market?
Audevard Bonutron Senior 17+
Sizes: 1.5kg, 2.4kg | RRP: £82.26 for 1.5kg | Daily feeding rate: 50g | Cost per day: £2.74 |
This provides natural, tailored support to ageing horses who struggle to keep their condition, have a dull coat or are a little stiff. It contains an ideal mixture of minerals, vitamins, trace elements and amino acids to ensure optimum balance.
View at audevard.com
Dodson & Horrell Senior Support balancer
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £27 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £0.90 |
Designed for older horses who are actively competing or in light work, this balancer provides quality protein and all the vitamins and minerals a veteran requires in a low-volume, low-calorie way, which is ideal for horses that hold their weight well and don’t need a lot of compound feed.
View at dodsonandhorrell.com
Keyflow Golden Oldies
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £37.50 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £1.25 |
Providing comprehensive nutritional care for older horses, this balancer comes in the form of a cereal-free mash, which allows it to be ingested easily, even when dentition is poor. It is low in sugar and starch and contains omega-3 to support joint mobility and muscle suppleness.
View at keyflowfeeds.com
NAF In The Pink Senior
Sizes: 900g, 1.8kg, 3.6kg | RRP: £24.99 for 900g | Daily feeding rate: 30g | Cost per day: £0.83 |
Formulated to meet all the nutritional requirements of the older horse and give him all the support he needs to stay active and feeling young, this balancer supports the digestive system, which helps your horse maximise the value of his feed intake.
Science Supplements WellHorse Veteran
Sizes: 1.6kg | RRP: £34.99 | Daily feeding rate: 54g | Cost per day: £1.18 |
Formulated to meet the demands of the older horse, it contains every important nutrient your veteran requires and meets the NRC (National Research Council) and BASF (Animal Nutrition) recommendations for vitamins, microminerals and macrominerals. It also supports joint, hoof and gut health as well as the immune system.
Spillers Supple + Senior balancer
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £32.49 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £1.08 |
This balancer supports digestion, comfort and movement in older horses. It is high in antioxidants to support immune health and has probiotics and prebiotics to support digestive health. It also contains high levels of glucosamine, MSM and omega-3 to support joint health.
View at spillers-feeds.com
TopSpec Senior Lite feed balancer
Sizes: 15kg | RRP: £34.25 | Daily feeding rate: 500g | Cost per day: £1.14 |
Designed for elderly horses that are prone to weight gain, this balancer combines the benefits of a low-calorie feed balancer and a joint supplement in a cost-effective way. It’s formulated without cereal grains and provides only low levels of sugar and starch, which helps to maintain healthy hindgut function and avoid loose droppings.
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