News & Guides

15th November 2022 by Rowen Barbary

Horses for courses

Horses for courses

Choosing the right conditioning feed for your horses personality type over the winter months is crucial.

With such a wide array of conditioning feeds on the market, finding the correct diet for your horse can sometimes be overwhelming. It is important to remember that fibre should make up the basis of any horses diet, fed in the form of grass, quality hay, haylage or fibre replacers.   By providing your horse with ad-lib fibre this will help maintain a healthy hindgut and body temperature in cold weather, as heat is produced through the digestion of feed.

It is also important to bear in mind how much time your horses will be spending in the stable this winter, and whether their work will be reduced as the nights get darker. For horses that do require weight gain a feed with a high level of digestible energy (DE) should be chosen.  The higher this is, the more calories are provided per scoop (per kg).

However, as all horses are individuals you can’t go by digestible energy levels alone, for instance some horses may have intolerances to certain ingredients or may be quite highly strung. To help we have made some helpful tips to help you choose the right conditioning feed your horse this winter based upon personality type.

The Fizzy Horse

If you have a horse prone to nervous or excitable behaviour it is important to keep the levels of starch in the diet to a minimum, so look for feeds containing less that 12% starch such as Solution Mash.  Diets containing high levels of starch that are digested relatively quickly by the horse produce fast release energy which is the type of energy that can cause some horses to become over excitable.  Choose a feed that is high in fibre and if additional energy is required for stamina consider adding oils into the diet.

The Fussy Eater

There are many reasons why a horse may be a fussy eater, whether this is due to the flavour and texture of the feeds or if they just have a small appetite.  If possible divide the overall concentrate into as many small meals a day as possible in order to avoid overloading the stomach which can cause digestive upsets and affect appetite.  Choose a feed that is nutrient or energy dense, high oil supplements like Muscle Builder are also an extremely useful way of boosting calorie intake without significantly adding to the overall volume fed.


If you feel your veteran may benefit from a senior specific feed then there are many specialist feeds on the market including Senior Support which are designed to supply elevated nutrients levels to help allivate the symptons that bring on the aging procees.  These often contain joint support such as Glucosamine which is especially useful for those prone to stiffness, along with digestive enhancers to help support gut health.  If your veteran suffers from dental issues a soft textured mash such as ReadyMash Extra may be advisable, as they are often easier to chew and digest,  regardless of how many teeth they have!

The Lazy Horse

For horses requiring a high level of energy to combat lazy temperaments, or for those performing short sharp burst of work high cereal feeds such as Pro Ultra can be added into the diet to provide that much needed oomph.  Cereals provide good sources of starch which is rapidly broken down in the horses digestive system to release a rush of fuel into the bloodstream.  However, be careful to adjust the quantity fed depending upon work.

The Sensitive Horse

If you have a horse that is sensitive and suffers from a feed intolerance you first need to establish what component of the feed is responsible, which often means placing a horse on an elimination diet.  The simplest way to do this is to go back to basics by feeding your horse a high quality fibre based product like ReadyFibre Mash and then slowly building your horses feed back up.  Choose a feed that is cereal free with a very low starch and sugar content, ideally with a combined level of less than 10%.

About Rowen Barbary

All manufacturing at Rowen Barbary is carried out in a state of the art mill located in the heart of the Shropshire countryside. We use only the highest quality ingredients sourced, where possible, from local farms before they are blended by our dedicated team in our UFAS audited mill.

Rowen Barbary also conforms to BETA NOPS guidelines with raw materials & finished feeds regularly laboratory tested to ensure that every bag of feed continues to meet not only ours, but also your high standards.