When adding fat to the diet for weight gain it is important[custom_frame_right][/custom_frame_right] to insure that the diet remains well balanced. Therefore the most nutritionally complete way to add a fat source to your horse’s diet is to use a higher fat fortified commercial feed fed...

Carbohydrates Carbohydrates come in many forms some of [custom_frame_right]Hay photo[/custom_frame_right]which are structural and found in plant cell walls and others which are non-structural and found inside the cells.  Structural carbohydrates help give the plant strength as it grows and are more complex in nature.  As a result they cannot be digested by enzymes in the horse’s small intestine, and instead require microbial fermentation in the hindgut.
[caption id="attachment_1476" align="alignright" width="300"]Feed sack showing julian date of 21915 or the 219th day of 2015. Feed sack showing julian date of 21915 or the 219th day of 2015.[/caption] The tragic death of several horses in the California Central Valley due to ionophore contaminated feed serves as a reminder to all of us that feed quality is of the utmost importance. There are a number of steps you can take that will help to ensure that you are feeding your horse quality sack feed, and that will also help to protect your horse in case of a feed recall.
Deciphering the analysis results [custom_frame_right]Hay analysis[/custom_frame_right] So you've had your hay tested and have the results back. Now what? What does it all mean? There are a number of ways to judge the quality of your hay, but some of the easiest results to look at to assess quality are the relative feed value (RFV), digestible energy content (DE), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) content, water soluble carbohydrates (WSC), starch and crude protein (CP). 
[caption id="attachment_1479" align="alignright" width="300"]Example of a hand cranked hay probe used for taking samples. Example of a hand cranked hay probe used for taking samples.[/caption] Regardless of the horse, forage should be the foundation of their ration.  Even those with the best pastures will find that at some point in the year they will likely need to substitute another form of forage and the most common form of pasture replacement is hay. With forage as the foundation, all other components of the diet should build on the forage adding what may be lacking and improving the overall balance of certain nutrients. While forages can be assessed visually, the only way to accurately know the nutrient content of your forage is to have it tested by a lab. This is easier and cheaper to do than many people realize and is worth considering if you buy large quantities of forage at a time. In fact if the hay is analyzed before purchase and you know how to decipher the analysis you can determine whether that hay is an appropriate investment. Here I’m going to share with you how to take a good sample for analysis and in future blogs, I will cover what some of the analysis results mean so that you can decide whether a certain batch of hay is right for your horse’s needs. 

It's the season for love, but are you guilty of loving your horse too much? ‘Tis the season of Cupid and love and who doesn’t love their horse? In fact some of you have told me that you love your horse more than your significant...

Those of us in Northern California are battening down for what may be the largest storm in 6 years. With predicted rain in the valley of 2 to 4 inches with more than that in the Foothills and Coastal areas concerns of flooding, landslides, power...

Feed before fast work? Well yes actually! I grew up hearing that you should not feed before work and especially not fast work but when it comes to equine gastric ulcer prevention this is all wrong! Unlike us, horses constantly secrete stomach acid which sits...

Dear Friend, I am truly grateful for all the wonderful people I get to work with here at Summit, and am thankful that the majority of our business comes to us by referral, one of the biggest compliments that we can receive. I want to share...