Q: Balancers — are they essential? I am thinking of introducing a balancer to my horse’s diet. Is there any point? I keep reading the ingredients and think to myself they didn’t have that in the wild, why do they need it now? He is currently out at grass 12 hours per day and on top of this he gets hay, two handfuls of hifi and a magnesium calmer. I am questioning his diet because when moving field for new pasture, he really struggles to settle down and suffers with belly aches and so on. Would a balancer help?
A: You have asked some very pertinent questions. There is lots of confusion around balancers and how to use them. Fundamentally a well-designed balancer should do just that, balance the diet when it is fed in the situation it was designed for. This is why choosing the right one to feed to meet your individual horse’s needs is important. live yeast and MOS to support digestive health.
Providing a balanced diet is key for long-term well-being. This will ensure your horse has the appropriate nutrients at the right levels and in the correct ratios in order to maintain optimum health.
An unbalanced diet can cause many issues including poor hoof quality, a dull listless coat or a compromised immune system. In the wild you are right, horses and ponies don’t have access to complementary feeds, however as a consequence they might not live as long and can suffer with some of the issues I listed above. Having said that, the variety of herbs, grasses and shrubs they graze is often more diverse than the pastures that our domesticated horses graze which means they may receive more of a balanced forage supply.
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that grass and/or hay will provide a balanced diet and there is no way of telling unless you have it fully analysed. So to make sure your horse’s diet is balanced, it is advisable to provide a balancer to provide optimum levels of vitamins and minerals without unnecessary calories. As your horse also seems to struggle with changes in pasture, it may be beneficial to choose a balancer that contains some additional digestive support to help maintain a healthy population of hindgut bacteria. Consider feeding Spillers original multi balancer which contains a comprehensive range of vitamins and minerals to balance the diet alongside live yeast and MOS to support digestive health.
For more advice on electrolyte supplementation call the SPILLERS Care-Line on 01908 22 66 26.