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Feed and Management Tips for Cushingoid Horses and Ponies

Published 14th September 2020
Estimated 1 minute read time.
Feed and Management Tips for Cushingoid Horses and Ponies

Feed and Management Tips for Cushingoid horses and ponies

- Choose fibre based feeds that are low in starch and sugar, such as HAPPY HOOF as HAPPY HOOF Molasses Free.

- Balancers are the ideal way to ensure that good doers receive suitable levels of vitamins, minerals and quality protein without feeding excess calories, starch and sugar.

- Avoid cereals and mixes – high starch diets may encourage rapid weight gain & increase the risk of insulin dysregulation.

- Consider choosing feeds approved by The Laminitis Trust but remember that these are not the only suitable options.

- If weight gain is required oil can be added at up to 100mls per 100kg of bodyweight per day to provide additional energy (calories). However simply adding oil on top of your horse's current feed may unbalance the diet, so consider choosing a feed that already contains a higher level of oil.

- Feed small meals – a maximum of 2kg for horses, less for ponies.

- Do not restrict forage intake to less than 15g per kilogram of bodyweight per day dry matter. In practise this equates to approximately 18g of hay per kilogram of bodyweight per day in horses and ponies without access to grazing.

- Have your forage analysed for water soluble carbohydrate (WSC-sugar plus fructans) which should ideally be less than 10%.

- Soaking hay for 12-16 hours in tepid water can reduce WSC by up to 50% but results are variable and in hot weather soaking for more than 6 hours is not recommended.

- Make all changes to the diet slowly, this includes changes in forage and grazing.

- Maintain a regular exercise programme where possible.

- Additional antioxidants such as vitamin C may be beneficial although not scientifically proven

Spillers available at WCF:
- Happy Hoof 20kg £15.50
- Happy Hoof Molasses Free 20kg £15.99

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