Let your horse lick their way to a balanced diet

Let your horse lick their way to a balanced diet

Let your horse lick their way to a balanced diet 150 150 katesheppard

There is so much more in a tub lick than you think.

Licks are often given to horses to alleviate boredom during hours in the stable. Think about the action of licking, encouraging the horse and giving the horse additional opportunity to lick in itself is of benefit to both digestive and mental health.

Licking and chewing encourages calmness and relaxation. As a result of the licking and chewing saliva is produced. The production of saliva is essential for a healthy digestive system. Saliva is a natural buffer and lubricant. Gastric tissues that are well covered in saliva will always be much happier. Unlike humans, horses can only produce saliva during the licking and chewing process. Another reason why horses should always have access to forage.

Providing our horses with an almost endless supply of forage should be our first thought when it comes to planning their diets.

What is forage? Forage is grass, hay, haylage & straw. Typically forage achieved by providing turnout in fields of grass and then hay or haylage when there is no grass available. Next you must consider how you will supplement that forage to provide a balanced diet. A balanced diet is a diet that meets all the horses vitamin, mineral, protein and energy requirements.

Lets just focus on vitamin, mineral & protein. Energy additions to the diet must only be added to meet ridden work.

Most leisure horses and ponies do not need additional energy added to their diet. Remember that when energy is eaten but not used by the body during exercise, that unused energy becomes fat. That fat will NOT become muscle.

So how will you balance your horses diet without additional energy (calories)?

Let them lick their way to a balanced diet. Let them benefit from the essential licking and chewing action and saliva production, whilst taking in all the additional vitamins and minerals.

A lick will promote a trickle feeding pattern for your horse, feeding in the most natural way possible will help your horses digestive system to operate with maximum efficiency. Like with any new feed, introduce the lick gradually some horses will appear greedy and like they won’t ever stop licking, they will. Allow regular access to the lick, once your happy your horse is over the initial novelty of the lick allow free access where ever possible. I leave the lick in my horses stable. Your horse should be allowed to self regulate the consumption of the lick by having access to it where ever possible.

We have a wide range of licks in store that will also provide additional supplementation to meet specific health requirements, Joint, Respiratory, Hoof & Skin. There are licks designed to support specific nutritional needs. We are more than happy to discuss your horses individual requirements, pop in store for a chat.