Mashes are becoming increasingly popular due to the wide range of nutritional benefits that can be tailored to each horse’s nutritional needs. Rowen Barbary’s Soft ‘n’ Soaked range, is a great examples of products suited to a variety of horses each containing a high fibre level to maintain gut health efficient digestion. There are two cereal-free mashes and two mashes including cereal.
History of Mash:
Traditionally, Bran mash was available and has been used for decades. With the common thought that mash was fed to senior horses, hardworking horses, prevention of colic or on a cold winters morning. Bran mash contains wheat or rice bran which is made into the desired consistency by adding boiling water and allowed to steep for 15 minutes. Some people like to add treats such as carrots or apples to the mash to increase its palatability.
Bran mash has been researched and suggested it leads to a dietary imbalance or upset. This is due to the incorrect ration of phosphorus and calcium. Bran mash was fed irregularly which lead to loose stool due to the sudden change in diet affecting the good bacteria and hindgut.
Uses of Mash:
For those who want to feed a mash, Rowen Barbary has researched a variety of formulations which lead to a range of mashes to suits your horse’s needs. Ready Fibre mash and Solution mash are both cereal-free but ready fibre mash is a lower calorie feed for a lower workload, whereas the Solution mash 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.
Rowen Barbary’s Cereal-free Mashes:
The main ingredient the mashes are focused around is the Soya hulls which are a good source of fibre to replicate the natural diet. All mashes are fully balanced and essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements. However, each of the four mashes produced includes a range of ingredients tailored to horses in a variety of disciplines, workloads and ages.
Ready Fibre Mash
Ready fibre mash is ideal as a hay replacer for those stable for long periods or more senior horses with difficulty eating long-stem fibres. It is the equivalent of good quality hay containing (30%) fibre. This mash is suitable for good doers, horses prone to Cushing’s and Laminitis due to the low levels of starch (5%) and sugars (2.5%) as well as the feed solely being cereal-free. Ready fibre mash also can support horses on a high cereal diet that require more fibre to support overall gut health. It only requires 5 minutes of soaking and is an excellent way of increasing your horse’s water intake.
For horse’s susceptible to Laminitis and Cushing’s requiring a higher calorie diet to support a higher workload and improve overall condition, would look to feed Solution mash. It contains high fibre (26%) but with a higher percentage of oils (15%) and key antioxidants to encourage the improvement of condition whilst maintaining crucial fibre levels to support the digestive tract. The high oil percentage helps to improve coat condition and is a great source of calories without the use of cereals. Other ingredients are included such as Yeasacc 1026 to encourage mineral digestion and increase optimum fibre. Ingredients such as Garlic, spearmint and fenugreek are also added to improve palatability and support gut function and overall health.