Traditionally, many horse owners often think a mash should only be fed to older horses, or as a warming winter feed. Mash based products are incredible versatile feeds that are now becoming increasingly popular offering a wide range of nutritional benefits.
Mashes are popular due to the nutritional benefits that can be tailored to each horse’s nutritional needs. For those who want to feed a mash, they range from cereal-free and high in fibre which can result in a lower calorie feed for a lower workload, up to mashes that contain cereals can sustain horses requiring increased stamina and performance. An alternative option, If your horse is particularly excitable or prone to gastric ulcers, mashes that are developed with high fibre and oils can support horses undertaking a more strenuous workload without the inclusion of high levels of sugar or starch.
Mashes contain highly digestible, good sources of fibre such as Soya Hulls or sugar beet pulp supporting overall hindgut health, by slowing the rate of digestion. Mashes absorb a high volume of water to create their consistency. This is particularly important when encouraging water intake during summer and winter months. The moisture also eliminates irritants that may irritate the respiratory system or horses suffering from COPD.
The consistency of the mash is easy to chew and digest which is suitable to those with dental issues, like Diastemas. The texture increases palatability, ease of chewing and swallowing also benefiting horse that have previously suffered with Choke or fussy eaters.
Rowen Barbary horse feeds have four mashes. The cereal free mashes are Ready Fibre mash which is typically used as a hay replacer or to boost the fibre levels in the diet. The second is Solution Mash which is cereal and molasses free, designed for low starch and sugar but is high in oil and fibre to help with controlled weight gain and stamina. It is fully balanced with essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Ready Mash is a low energy, high fibre mash containing some cereals and Ready Mash Extra is a step up from the Ready Mash. It is a higher calorie mash that contains essential oils and milk powders for controlled weight gain and glucose powders to help with recovery, sick or convalescing horses. Both the Ready Mash and Ready Mash Extra are fully balanced with essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Eleanor Blinkhorn (Bsc) | Equine Nutritionist