Archive for the ‘Horse Nutrition’ Category

Spotlight On: Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted on: January 20th, 2018 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

The positive health benefits of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) have been scientifically proven for humans for years. Those in the know regularly add this superfood to their horse’s diet too, for numerous reasons that range from a digestive aid to mosquito repellant. We’ve broken down this amazing, natural substance to show just why you should always have a bottle on hand in the barn.

How Apple Cider Vinegar Is Made

Step One. Crushed apples are exposed to yeast, which ferments the sugars turning them into alcohol.

Step Two. Bacteria is added to the alcohol solution, further fermenting it into acetic acid; the main active compound in vinegar.

Step Three. Strands of proteins, enzymes, and healthy bacteria are added to organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. It’s widely believed that these additives, or “mother” as they’re more commonly known, are what’s responsible for ACV’s health benefits.

It’s crucial to choose the organic version of ACV with ‘the mother’ for this and other reasons. Some ACV on the market is made from apple juice, concentrate, or cider, rather than the whole apple; so always look for the natural, unpasteurized cloudy vinegar!

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

At only about 3 calories per tablespoon, you don’t have to worry about it contributing to weight gain, making it a healthy additive choice to your horse’s diet. It’s been known to help with a number of health issues:

  1. Encourage weight loss through improved digestion and lowered blood sugar
  2. Acidifies the stomach to defend against bacteria, parasites, and food or water-borne diseases
  3. Eases arthritis symptoms
  4. Prevent and dissolve intestinal stones
  5. Create an ACV poultice to help heal thrush, fungus, abscesses, burns, wounds and infections
  6. ACV causes thiamine to be excreted through the skin, acting as a natural insect repellent
  7. Use ACV as a mane and tail rinse to remove soap film and hard water residue for super shiny results

How To Feed ACV To Your Horse

On average, a ¼ cup of ACV diluted with equal parts water, added to your horse’s daily feed is plenty. Always feed ACV in a hard plastic container, as it can leach minerals from metal or galvanized tanks. AVC is a great way to disguise unfamiliar water when on the road for competitions!

Regularly feeding Apple Cider Vinegar and ting point maintenance therapy is the winning combination for a healthy, happy horse.

Are You Feeding Your Horse Properly?

Posted on: December 31st, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Food is your horse’s foundation; his fuel for exercise and a healthy immune system. A proper feeding schedule and the type of feed you give him are just two of the elements needed to ensure a healthy, balanced diet to keep him in top form. Read on for our top tips to feed your horse.

One Feed Does Not Fit All: Every Horse Is Different

A horse’s size, exercise routine and breed all play a role in feeding requirements. For example, if your horse isn’t turned out to pasture for the majority of the day, he’ll require more hay than one who’s grazing all day long. Keep in mind that with grain, less is more. Start with a small portion and increase to your horse’s needs. If the number of races your horse does changes, their food ration will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Change Feed and Feed Schedules Gradually

Consistency is key to a good feeding schedule. The feed should be given accurately and if the type or ration size changes, ensure it’s done incrementally. Sudden changes can lead to colic or founder. Routine is paramount to your horse’s health!

Don’t Fuel Right Before or After Exercise

Try to feed your horse either an hour before, or an hour after you ride him. If it’s race day or a strenuous training session, make it closer to three hours before or after. A horse’s lungs have less room to work if their digestive tract is full, causing them to exert more energy. Exertion also diverts blood flow away from the digestive organs which can slow gut movement and enhance the prospect of colic.

Water Often and Provide Plenty of Roughage

Provide your horse with 5 – 15 gallons of fresh, clean drinking water per day. Nothing is more nutritious and beneficial to his organs, coat and general well-being. Aside from water, high quality hay or pasture should make up the bulk of your horse’s calories. If your horse is more high performance, add grain as needed.

An Additional Note on Feeding:

We would like to note that feeding processed food such as pellets or sweetened foods can be dangerous.  We have tested a number of these and found many contained mould or other toxins. Be mindful of what you feed as it can be harmful over a period of time.

We’ve also found that adding Apple Cider Vinegar to a horse’s diet has numerous health benefits as well. We’ll be shining the spotlight on this superfood later this month, so check back on our blog soon!

Happy New Year from the Leg Saver team!

Your Holiday Horse Gift Guide

Posted on: December 8th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

We’ve rounded up our favourite products to help you and your horse have a happy, healthy holidays!

#5 Time Well Spent

The best thing you can give your horse for Christmas? A well-appointed, cozy barn that up-to-date and weather-proofed, along with daily walkabouts, even in less-than-ideal conditions. Daily exercise in the form of trotting can help keep your horse trim, fit and healthy through the winter months.

#4 Hermès for your Horse

For the horse who has everything, Hermès’ line of high-end horse gear includes everything from from standard saddles to blankets, bridles, and grooming equipment. We like this water-repellent Swing Dressage Pad in an ergonomic shape and breathable construction. Already have all the “needs”? What about the Fly Hat or Stirrups in that classic brown and orange?

#3 New Releases: Horse Books

Horse & Hound’s recently-released list of six new horsey books, out for your reading pleasure covers top riders’ autobiographies, equestrian novels, and factual coffee table books. At the top of their list, Churchill at the Gallop by Brough Scott about the “Greatest Briton in History”’s time in the saddle. Pick up a book, learn from the pros–your horse couldn’t ask for more!

#2 Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

The healing benefits of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar make this gift the easiest and healthiest you can give your horse. Its wide variety of benefits ranges from natural insect repellent and digestive aid, to mane and tail conditioner and minerals supplement. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

#1 The Leg Saver

We might be biased, but all of our satisfied clients are proof that Leg Saver should be on every horse’s Christmas wish list. This natural wave form therapy can help repair and maintain horse joint health to stave off arthritis. Because isn’t that what every horse wants for Christmas? Be raring to go in top form out of the gate for a healthy 2018.

 

Contact us any time to discuss how Leg Saver can help your horse!

5 Ways To Ensure Your Horse Is Ready For Winter

Posted on: December 1st, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Horses are fairly self-sufficient creatures. These majestic animals need very little preparation for the impending cold snap. Their coats thicken to provide extra insulation as the weather chills, so all you need to do is ensure you’re properly stocked up with the right supplies and a well-appointed barn, and your horse will be happy all winter long.

The Right Food for a Healthy Winter

Winter Feed should consist of quality forage combined with grain. Ensuring hay is provided regularly will help your horse maintain his inner furnace, as digestion is a primary way he generates heat! Consider using a Slow Feeder so your horse has a consistent supply. Installing a heated water bucket will encourage regular hydration and keep the digestive flow moving. Giving him a daily dose of Apple Cider Vinegar also has numerous health benefits and, as always; stay away from added sugar and molasses.

Keep Up with Hygiene

Establishing regular check-ups for healthy teeth allows your horse uninterrupted comfort for eating and drinking, an important task they must keep up during winter months to maintain caloric intake and for warmth. Healthy hoof growth is also important, as are regular brushings to keep the mane and tail from matting. Check under their blankets periodically for signs of rubbing.

Prep the Barn for Snow and Pests

Make repairs and fortify the barn for colder weather with ample time so you’re not stuck fixing a leaky roof in the snow! Keep an eye on the feed for mold, which is common in winter, and keep it in sealed containers to avoid attracting small creatures looking for a warm winter hideout. Even blankets and tack can make attractive nests, so keep them in sealed storage.

Create a Run-In Shed or Run-Out Paddock

When the weather gets frightful, seeking shelter is your horse’s first instinct. Ensuring they have easy-access to one is the best thing you can do for your horse in the winter months.

Use Leg Saver Maintenance Therapy

The other #1 way you can help your horse brave the elements is to use Leg Saver therapy on a regular basis. By keeping infection and inflammation at bay, Leg Saver allows your horse to function at his best and work his hardest when he is able to exercise in the snow, and maintain optimal conditions when he can’t. Learn more about Leg Saver wave form therapy here.

How to Deal With Your Horse’s Poor Eating Habits

Posted on: June 30th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

A horse’s poor eating habits may not have immediate life-threatening effects, but it can affect their long-term health and equal many vet bills. Good eating habits with balanced nutrition will mean a happier horse thanks to good health. It may take a while to figure out the right measures to keep your horse happy but we’ve found the following ways to deal with your horse’s poor eating habits!

The #1 Ingredient to Ban from Your Horse’s Diet: SUGAR

The negative effects of too much sugar in a horse’s diet are many and vast. Sugar can be toxic to a horse’s brain. Over time, as with humans, if you’re not feeling well, you don’t behave well, and that can lead to poor eating habits. Molasses are a byproduct of sugar, and the high levels of sulfur in them can wreak havoc on a horse’s digestive system as well. But your horse loves sweets? Try this:

Add Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Horse’s Diet For Better Eating Habits

Horse’s actually love the taste of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar! Mostly because it tastes like, well, apples! Not only healthier for their digestion, it encourages eating feed because of the added “treat” flavour; and it’s low on (processed) sugar.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar also makes a great topical spray for rashes, scrapes, and open wounds to stimulate blood flow to the area and kill bacterial infections. Suffering from Gerd or reflux yourself? One tablespoon will usually rid you of the problem in an all-natural way. Every stable should keep a gallon of this healthy sidekick on hand in the tack room at all times.

Have you found a natural way to deal with your horse’s poor eating habits? Help us to encourage other horses out of an eating funk,  share your favourite horse nutrition tips with us on Facebook

 

How To Tempt a Fussy Feeder

Posted on: May 12th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

A fussy feeder can be frustrating. Not only do you worry, it can affect their performance and overall health. Finding out the cause can be a lot of trial and error, Your first step should always be to contact your vet. Has your horse had his teeth checked lately? Is his worming up-to-date? Do they suggest a probiotic to help with digestion? If everything is all clear, we suggest trying the following horse diet tips to tempt your fussy feeder.

Trial by Fire

Try switching out their food or the way you you feed it. There might be one little ingredient or where he’s actually eating it, that just doesn’t sit well with your horse. Consider feeding small meals to avoid overloading your horse’s digestive system.

Fibre First

Your horse needs to have constant access to good quality forage to maintain a healthy digestive system. A horse weighing 500kg should have a fibre intake of no less than 5kg/11lbs of fibre a day. Is your horse avoiding his hay? Check it for mold and dust; no one likes unnecessary seasoning like that.

Mix it Up

Mixing up the flavours and textures can make a difference as well. Grate some carrots or apples over his feed bucket, dried spearmint or his favourite horse treats could be added another day. Does your horse prefer wet or dry feed? If it’s currently dry, try soaking it. Especially in winter, warm, wet food can be tempting; as it is to older horses with compromised teeth, as well.

Reduce Stress Levels

Is your horse getting plenty of exercise and turnout time? Is his schedule regular? Does he have a good stable mate? Maybe he just needs to know his friends are eating, too; place his haynet near a window or door so he can see out, and them. And keep his feeder shallow, deep buckets can be scary!

Things to Avoid

It might be enticing to add sugar to your horse’s diet to encourage feeding, but excessive sugar is bad for anyone’s diet, especially a horse. Other foods to avoid: molasses, pellets, alfalfa cubes. Molasses contain large amounts of sugar and sulphur which can harm a horse’s mental state and liver health while pellets and alfalfa cubes contain high levels of mold through manufacturing. Check out our blog on why you should avoid sugar in a horse’s diet here! 

If your horse isn’t getting his essential nutrients, he won’t be living up to his potential. Have you picked up any helpful tricks and horse diet tips to handle your fussy feeder? Share with us!

 

Why You Should Avoid Sugar in a Horse’s Diet

Posted on: May 8th, 2017 by Liddleworks Indie Media No Comments

Many people give their horses treats in the form of candy (mints) or other sugars.  This is very harmful for performance horses (race horses, dressage, grand prix jumpers, barrel racers and all other performance horses).  Sugar including Molasses can be harmful to horses (and humans) on many levels.  If you need to add something to the food to make it more palatable to the horse try adding ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. Below are some of the main reasons why you should avoid sugar in a horse’s diet:

– Sugar damages the digestion system of horses (and humans).

– Sugar (Molasses) kills brain cells.  Use ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR.  Horses love the taste.

– Sugar in the diet delivers a glucose spike directly to the brain & blood sugar levels become unmanageable.  Long term sugar intake reduces brain function.

– Sugar interferes with the delicately-balanced hormonal and reproductive systems in both mares and stallions.  These hormonal interferences reduce the quality of the offspring or the ability to reproduce.

Long Term Effects

Long-term sugar consumption causes major health and performance issues for horses.  Remove all sugar from your horse’s diet and the results will be notable (increased stamina and performance, improved temperament, higher resistance to disease, faster recovery from injury).  In our experience, eliminating all sugar from a horse’s diet has dramatically improved the above-noted compromises to a horse’s health, stamina and reproductive capacities.  

We have tested 6 major manufactured feeds including pellets with the company that tested the athletes of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  There was too much mould in all of the feeds tested.  There was no consistency in the amount of mould in any of them.  Some were so loaded with mould it would have really compromised the digestion of any horse.  

Remember: Sugar has never been in the horse’s natural diet—ever. Their digestion system simply cannot handle it without causing a complexity of health problems.  Did you know that horses do not have a gallbladder?  This would certainly impair their ability to successfully assimilate sugar.  

The harmful effects of sugar on human beings is well documented in medical and scientific studies.  While there are very few studies for horses on this topic, logic should certainly caution us on the potential compromises of sugar to your horse’s health.  

Have you got any top nutritional tips to keep your horse in tip top shape? If so, let us know in the comments below or contact us on our Facebook page!

Sugar and Horses

Posted on: February 5th, 2014 by legsaver 13 Comments

Many people give their horses treats in the form of candy (mints) or other sugars. This is very harmful for performance horses [race horses, dressage, grand prix jumpers, barrel racers and all other performance horses]. Sugar is very harmful to horses (and humans) on many levels.

1. It damages the digestion system of horses (and humans).

2. Kills brain cells.

3. Spikes the animal’s blood sugar—blood sugar levels become unmanageable.

4. Interferes with the delicately-balanced hormonal and reproductive systems in both mares and stallions. These hormonal interferences reduce the quality of the offspring.

Its long-term consumption causes major health and performance issues for horses. Remove all sugar from your horse’s diet and the results will be notable [increased stamina and performance, improved temperament, higher resistance to disease, faster recovery from injury].

In our experience, eliminating this from a horse’s diet has dramatically improved the above-noted compromises to a horse’s health, stamina and reproductive capacities.

Remember: Sugar has never been in the horse’s natural diet—ever. Their digestion system simply cannot handle it without causing a complexity of health problems. Did you know that horses do not have a gallbladder? This would certainly impair their ability to successfully assimilate sugar.

The harmful effects on human beings are well documented in medical and scientific studies. While there are very few studies for horses on this topic, logic should certainly caution us on the potential compromises of sugar to your horse’s health.