Behaviour Issues in Horses
The behaviour of your horse is often an indicative factor of their overall wellbeing. Horse behaviour is impacted by what you feed them, which is why it is extremely important that you know exactly what is in the horse feed you provide your horse with. Any horse owner will know all too well that there can be complications when it comes to feeding an energetic horse, while there are also issues attached to feeding a slow or lazy acting horse. So, how do we feed our horses to ensure there is a positive balance?
Fizzy or Spooky vs Slow or Lazy Horses: How Feed Impacts Their Behaviour
Whether your horse has the inclination to be over energetic, or they lean to towards more lethargic tendencies, it’s important that you understand how different horse food can impact the overall behaviour, and in turn, their wellbeing. The amount of energy you give your horse can have affect on their behaviour, so how can we make sure we are choosing the right horse feed? This all comes down to type of food, and the energy provided through the horse food itself.
Feeding Fizzy and Spooky Horses
When it comes to fizzy and spooky horses, you must consider the amount of work that they are doing. Some studies have indicated that many horse owners will over-estimate how hard their horse works, which leads them to feed them too much. This is something you should avoid when it comes to fizzy and spooky horses.
As sugar and starch-based horse feed provides your horse with quick release energy, it is advisable to keep feed high in these substances to a minimum. Fibre and oil however are slow-release food groups, which has been shown within studies to lower resting heart rates of horses while rendering horses less reactive to stimuli.
Feeding Slow and Lazy Horses
If your horse presents as slow or lazy, it can be because they aren’t fit enough for the work they are doing or it can just be their nature! A fitness enhancement plan can help improve your horses’ energy levels enabling you to showcase your horse’s true capabilities. Feeding slow or lazy horses the wrong food however, can cause them to become overweight, which can contribute to their lethargy. When feeding horses of this demeanour, it is also important to feed them a balanced diet as a deficiency can impact on energy metabolism. A good tactic is to use low calorie balancers or supplements as these don’t supply significant levels of energy.
Summary: It’s All About Balance
Traditional cereal based feeds including carbohydrate-rich grains are thought to contribute to fizzy and spooky horse’s over energetic tendencies. If you choose a horse feed that can provide more energy from fat and less from carbohydrates, this could help to produce a calmer horse. Additionally, if your horse has tendencies of laziness or seems slow on a daily basis, then a balanced diet may well be the ultimate answer in raising their levels of energy and improving their overall wellbeing.
You should be aware that you cannot expect a change of diet to override the entire behavioural nature of your horse. Sometimes their basic temperament, the rider’s level of skill and an array of other natural and environmental factors will play a big part in whether they are more or less energetic.