balancers

Lexi 123

New Member
Sep 9, 2019
24
8
3
19
I was reading a ad for a horse feed balancer on Facebook and it said every horse should be getting a balancer even overweight horses . How exactly true is this I have never feed my horse a balancer just because they are very expensive were I live €35 a bag for a balancer.
 
Last edited:

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
8,440
5,561
113
I’m not sure what a balancer is, mine gets a tiny handful of fast fibre with vitamins and minerals and some micronised linseed. Other than limited grass and soaked hay that’s it.
Not saying some horses shouldn’t have a balanced but it’s as much about getting folk to part with their cash as anything else I reckon. Of course I could be completely wrong.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trewsers

Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
1,265
1,236
113
64
Hogans not had a balancer, that i know of - hes now getting a little molli, hi fibre nuts, and healthy hooves chaff, plus a little soaked hay. Is a balancer a supplement?
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
7,018
2,527
113
A balancer is a pelleted vitamin and mineral supplement, often low calorie, so useful for overweight horses because it means even on a diet they get the vits and mins they need without having to give a feed to add a powdered supplement to.
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
3,902
1,706
113
...la la land
Yes my understanding is that it contains all the vitamins and minerals a horse needs. I did feed it for a while but I stopped. I think the only way to truly know if your horse needs it is to have routine blood taken.
Animals are just like humans. They need a recommended daily amount each day. They idea is the balance provides this. We are all different in the amount we need though animals like people can have deficiencies.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
21,098
11,154
113
38
Suffolk, UK
Bloods won't necessarily tell you if there is a dietary deficiency of many vits/minerals, when stored in the body the blood levels stay pretty constant and a dietary deficiency can very slowly deplete the bodies stores until eventually there is none left, then it shows in bloods but it's pretty dire straits by then. Most advice currently suggests the best way is to analyze the whole diet and make it as balanced as possible based on RDA's.
Most pelleted balancers include quality protein (in addition to vits and minerals), something which can be deficient in restricted diets. Those not on a good mixed grass diet probably need supplementation of all 3, but if you choose a vit/min powder and add another source of protein is personal choice. Those keeping well on mixed grasses probably don't need any extras. A balancer shouldn't be fed alongside a 'complete' feed as you could end up over supplementing in some areas. Some things that are essential, like selenium, can easily be overdone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: carthorse

stigofthedump

Member
Feb 5, 2009
91
28
18
I was reading a ad for a horse feed balancer on Facebook and it said every horse should be getting a balancer even overweight horses . How exactly true is this I have never feed my horse a balancer just because they are very expensive were I live €35 a bag for a balancer.
Hi. I totally agree. They are really expensive. My 2 ponies were weighed on a Spillers Weighbridge a couple of years ago. They were both a little overweight. The Spillers Rep advised me to give them the low calorie balancer. One of my ponies had recently been diagnosed with EMS & cushing's so his total starch & sugar intake must be lower than 10%. Imagine my surprise when i found out that the low calorie balancer is around 14% starch & sugar!
 
  • Like
Reactions: OwnedbyChanter

diplomaticandtactful

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
10,974
596
113
Hi. I totally agree. They are really expensive. My 2 ponies were weighed on a Spillers Weighbridge a couple of years ago. They were both a little overweight. The Spillers Rep advised me to give them the low calorie balancer. One of my ponies had recently been diagnosed with EMS & cushing's so his total starch & sugar intake must be lower than 10%. Imagine my surprise when i found out that the low calorie balancer is around 14% starch & sugar!
Dodson and Horrel L Balancer for Lamintics and Topspec Lite are fine for them, i.e. ems and cushings as they are both very low in starch and sugar
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
7,018
2,527
113
Hi. I totally agree. They are really expensive. My 2 ponies were weighed on a Spillers Weighbridge a couple of years ago. They were both a little overweight. The Spillers Rep advised me to give them the low calorie balancer. One of my ponies had recently been diagnosed with EMS & cushing's so his total starch & sugar intake must be lower than 10%. Imagine my surprise when i found out that the low calorie balancer is around 14% starch & sugar!
To be fair you only feed a relatively small amount of balancer, typically 100g per 100kg bodyweight, and so the amount of sugar and starch they get would be low even though the % is slightly higher than the ideal. Ultimately it's the amount consumed, not the % of one small element of the diet, that's important.
 

stigofthedump

Member
Feb 5, 2009
91
28
18
Dodson and Horrel L Balancer for Lamintics and Topspec Lite are fine for them, i.e. ems and cushings as they are both very low in starch and sugar
Hi. Have a look at this link. https://www.dodsonandhorrell.com/product/go-lite-balancer. Confirms that starch & sugar totals 12.5%. I can't understand how this balancer can be suitable for cushing's/EMS ponies when the general advice is that Cushing's/EMS/laminitic equines should ideally have their starch/sugar intake restricted to no more than 10%. For example see http://www.thelaminitissite.org/diet.html
 

stigofthedump

Member
Feb 5, 2009
91
28
18
To be fair you only feed a relatively small amount of balancer, typically 100g per 100kg bodyweight, and so the amount of sugar and starch they get would be low even though the % is slightly higher than the ideal. Ultimately it's the amount consumed, not the % of one small element of the diet, that's important.
Hi. Thanks for your reply. I understand what you are saying but it's a daily struggle (for me) to keep pony's intake below 10% so I avoid feeding anything with a known content of more than 10% . His diet is 99% hay (from my own field) which has been analysed. I did discuss the hay analysis with an adviser who emphasised that the analysis is just a guide & the starch/sugar content of hay (or grass) can vary even between samples from different parts of the field in the same year. So there is no guarantee that an analysis which shows the starch /sugar content of a sample as below 10% will be same for every bale of hay. Even soaking hay does not get rid of ALL the starch/sugar. As you point out it is the amount consumed that's important so the 150g balancer that is recommended (he weighs approx. 150kgs) would be additional to his strict hay-based diet. That is another reason why I don't feed my pony a balancer.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
7,018
2,527
113
It's your choice, feeding one isn't compulsory. Having managed PPID and EMS I feel that correct nutrition is important and would always feed a balancer (or vit and min supplement) but that's just my opinion. I'm careful about what I feed, but I judge it by the horse in front of me rather than calculating percentages. You do what works for you, no need to justify it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stigofthedump