Is it possible for horses to be on the recommended amount of hay and pellet feeds and still have nutritional deficiencies?
To answer this question, we sought out nutritional expert Dr. Lydia Gray from AQHA Corporate Partner SmartPak Equine.
Yes, it is entirely possible to provide your horse with the book-recommended levels of nutrients, and they may still not be getting the nutrition they need.
Remember, the NRC Nutrient Requirements of Horses suggests the minimum levels of calories, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals in order to prevent outright disease, not to optimize health and performance. Horses are individuals, and while the minimum level of a nutrient might be enough to allow one horse to say, grow healthy feet, this minimum level may not be enough for another horse.
Differences in metabolism, digestive efficiency -- even management and stress — can all factor in to why some horses thrive on a basic diet and others need additional support.
-- Dr. Lydia Gray, SmartPak Equine
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*AQHA and the provider of this information are not liable for the inherent risks of equine activities. We always recommend consulting a qualified veterinarian and/or an AQHA Professional Horseman.