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5 Things We Recommend for Every Horse Caretaker


While we do offer various nutrition consulting services, booking consultations is not our primary goal at Honos Nutrition - instead, we aim to foster a supportive learning environment, based in evidence/science-based practices, which is why we are so committed to sharing accessible & applicable content! With this in mind, here are 5 recommendations that we believe can be useful to all equine caretakers!


1. Invest in a Scale: Weighing your horse's ration can help you feed more accurately (and even more economically!). A hanging (or fishing) scale is the easiest way to weigh your horse's feed, as these often have high load capacities, and are useful for weighing heavy amounts of feed (such as hay nets). Fishing scales can be very affordable, and as they are drop- and water-resistant, are great options for barn use!


2. Consider Forage Testing: Due to the number of factors that can impact a hay's nutrient profile, hay testing can help you optimize your horse's diet. The same type of hay can have varying protein, energy, and sugar content, affecting suitability for different horses. Depending on the mineral content, different levels of mineral supplementation may be required to meet mineral requirements and correct imbalances.


3. Stay Curious: Expand your knowledge base by seeking out learning opportunities - while this might seem daunting, this does not have to mean taking an online course or buying a 500-page textbook to read! Select a vehicle for advancing your education that suits your lifestyle and available time - this may range from reading high-quality articles or books to following trustworthy equine science pages on social media (remember to note credentials and use of scientific references) - even if you just learn one new thing a week, it is still helping you expand your knowledge, while fostering curiosity and wonder about equine science!


4. Monitor & Track Body Condition Scores: Evaluating your horse's body condition every 2-4 weeks can help you proactively manage your horse’s nutrition and health. Using a standardized and scientific BCS system, such as the Henneke scale, is important for consistency and thus accurate estimations of body condition. Keeping a record of these body condition scores is also important to track changes – especially for those managing multiple horses!


5. Reduce the focus on 'bonus' supplements: While supplements can be incredibly useful for balancing the diet in some cases, it's important to remember that 'bonus' supplements (ie hoof or coat supplements) are not always necessary (or effective)! An unbalanced or lacking diet can contribute to the common issues that may drive supplement use, so addressing the base diet first is key!


We at Honos Nutrition can help or at least point you in the right direction with any of these recommendations, so if you have any questions or would like to learn more, feel free to get in touch through our social media channels (@honosnutritionco) or by email (honosnutrico@gmail.com).

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