Minerals Chloride, copper, iodine, iron, sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium all have an increased requirement for the last trimester. Most hays are high in iron and potassium and the majority of horses are having their requirements met in excess so adding these nutrients to the...

As long as your stallion is in good weight and is receiving a balanced diet, supplementing additional vitamins and minerals above requirement has not been conclusively proven to have any positive effect on fertility.  However, there is a nutrient that stands out as having a...

[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.