Concocting a diet tailored for an individual horse relies on many factors and can be a complex endeavor. It helps to consult outside resources to guide this process not only to steer you to specific nutrients, but also to ensure that the horse is offered the correct amounts in the correct proportions.
Where can you go for professional advice?
- Contact your equine veterinarian to discuss body condition score of your horse and for recommendations of what to feed. One challenge in fine-tuning feeding programs is to accurately understand your horse’s weight and body condition needs to know if caloric intake should be increased or reduced.
- Contact a professor of nutrition at a university—these individuals can be a wealth of information and guidance.
- Contact a county extension agent. If that person isn't a horse expert, he/she probably knows someone who is.
- Contact an equine nutritionist who is familiar with specific details about dietary components and might have information about new nutritional products. As a consultant, an equine nutritionist is not usually as biased toward one feed manufacturer over another in comparison to advice that might be given by a feed company’s representative.
- Work with a feed company's staff nutritionist. While they might be biased toward their company's feeds, they are qualified to help you better feed your horses.
- Testing of forage quality is also important to determine which nutrients might be lacking or in excess. Your veterinarian or equine nutritionist can refer you to the appropriate facility to process forage samples.