This educational article is brought to you by Standlee Hay Company, the Official Forage of the USEA.
Forage is the single most important ingredient in a horse’s diet, even compared to grains and supplements. We’ll help you understand which factors are important when evaluating forage for your horse.
There are several different types of plants that can be used for horse forage. Horses can also eat multiple types of forage assuming they’ve adapted properly. Forage can roughly be divided into 2 types: legumes and grasses. Legumes commonly include alfalfa and clover. Grasses consist of plants like timothy grass, orchard grass and blue grass. The trick is matching up which forage type best meets your four-legged friend’s needs. Performance horses, broodmares and horses needing to gain weight will all benefit from the additional calories and quality protein in legume or legume mix forages. On the other hand, easy keepers (horses with slower metabolisms) and those undergoing moderate to light exercise will do well on grass-based forages.
Forage comes in a variety of different physical forms including pellets, cubes, chopped (chaff) products and bales. Like forage types, a horse can digest multiple formats of forage without upsetting their system, assuming they’ve gradually adjusted. When it comes to forage format, there’s no universally “better” or “correct” option. Instead, you should be using formats that match your horse’s specific needs and eating habits.
No matter what format of forage you’re using, proper storage is crucial to keep your horse happy and healthy. Forage that’s kept outside without a cover runs the risk of being rained on. This can cause the forage to mold or become weather damaged, no matter what type of physical form it’s in.
Why not find out if you’re giving your horse the ideal forage to meet their needs? Click here to use Standlee’s Forage Finder, a special tool developed by our nutritional specialists to help you provide the best diet to your favorite four-legged friend.
Wrapping up an exciting weekend of competition, young horses from all over the planet gathered together in Le Lion d’Angers, France for the final phase of the 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses. This year’s Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. Prize recipients Cole Horn and MBF Cooley Permission to Land (Cobra x Deeply Dippy K) finished out an educational weekend in the 7-year-old championships in 31st out of 58 pairs.
Florida-based Swedish rider Jennie Jarnstrom-Dennis galloped around clear and fastest of the day on Saturday to take the lead in the inaugural CCI4*-S, sponsored by B&D Builders, at The Event at TerraNova. Jarnstrom-Dennis and her Hanoverian mare Flower Girl (Futurist x Lucy) were fourth after dressage on 30.8. Not a single horse-and-rider combination made the optimum time; she added 10.8 time penalties to lead on 41.6.
Fresh off a top 15 finish in the CCI3*-L at the Maryland 5 Star, Cosby Green is back in Lexington attending class at the University of Kentucky (UK). The 21-year-old is an undergraduate student, a team member and the social chair of the UK eventing team, has two upper-level event horses, Copper Beach and Highly Suspicious, and a young horse, McCreary, who she rode on the winning team of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships.
Course designer Pierre Michelet's cross-country courses for the 2021 FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Mondial du Lion were extravagant as always and put young horses to the ultimate test in the 6- and 7-year-old Championships. The 2021 Holekamp/Turner Grant and The Dutta Corp. Prize recipients Cole Horn and MBF Cooley Permission to Land (Cobra x Deeply Dippy K) move forward after the final phase sitting in 30th overnight on a score of 55.8.