A Balancer: What is it and How do You Feed it?

The Idea Behind Balancers

Smaller quantity, flexible feeding

Balancers make it possible to be a lot more flexible with the nutrition of your horse. The granules contain more concentrated nutrients than regular feeds. Therefore, you only have to give a small amount. Horses that are being fed the prescribed amount of their balancer every day, will also be able to absorb more nutrients from their roughage. This means that they - in general - need less additional feed, which is a good thing for their health.

Quality and Cost Effectivity Combined

When feeding a balancer to a healthy horse, adding extra supplements also becomes obsolete. With the sole exception of salt or electrolytes for horses that have been sweating heavily, all necessary vitamins and minerals are already contained in the balancer. Depending on the condition and activities of your horse, you can combine the balancer with roughage, oats and any other food products of your choice. For example, if your horse needs extra calories, the addition of high-quality fiber sources such as soaked beet pulp can be a good solution. Whatever you choose, you are always sure that you have provided your horse with all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Because of this, balancers are a cost-effective way to provide your horse with a well-balanced and non-heating feed.

How much Balancer do you feed?

All vitamins and minerals combined in 100 grams per 100 kg body weight.

Most balancers* require a dose of 100 g balancer per 100 kg ideal body weight. A Shetlander who’s ideal weight is 250 kilograms, therefore needs 250 grams of his balancer. This corresponds with approximately a quarter of a traditional 1 kg feed scoop. A sport horse weighing 625 kg will require 625 grams of his balancer (3/4 traditional feed scoop).

Some examples

Ideal body weight  

Height at the withers 
(approximate)

Type

Recommended daily amount

250 kg

100 - 120 cm

A-pony - Small B-pony 
Shetland - Dartmoor

250 g

375 kg

127 - 147 cm

C-pony  - D-pony
Connemara - New Forest

375 g

500 kg

152 – 162 cm

Small horse (cob) - English thoroughbred 
Welsh Cob - Arabian horse

500 g

625 kg

168 – 178 cm

Regular sport horse

625 g

*Always follow the guidelines provided on the feed bag. 

Switching feeds?

Take the following 2 remarks in account:

- Always switch to a new feed gradually. Introduce the new feed over at least four days, starting with replacing about a quarter of the final amount to be fed. Then replace an extra quarter of the original feed with the new feed every day. For sensitive horses or in case of significant changes in the ration, it is advisable to implement the changes over a period of 7 to 10 days. Are you transitioning from a lockdown period to competition? Read this article with more information.

- Does your horse sweat a lot? Then add extra salt to the ration. All horses benefit from a salt lick being available. But horses that sweat a lot should also be fed extra electrolytes or even table salt, especially if they are difficult eaters.

Do you have any questions? Looking for personalised feed advise for your horse? Contact us through e-mail at vigynkace@looytcvoiet.bbe

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