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  • Writer's pictureVerna Lum

All about equine nutrition...

Updated: Jun 14

Optimal nutrition is critical in order for all horses to fuel their bodies with the energy and nutrients to sustain intense training sessions, growth and reproduction, tissue repair, immunity, good digestive and neurological health.

VL Equine Optimal Performance provides a comprehensive service that will balance forage (grass and hay) with grain to ensure that essential nutrients and energy requirements are met during various life stages for our equine best friends.


For an estimate adult body weight to be 400 kg, by the time these young horses reach 1 year of age, they will require 15Mcal/day, 677 gm/day protein, of which 29gm should be Lysine, 30gm/day of Calcium and 16.7gm/day of Phosphorous for optimal growth and bone development. How complete is your hay and feed program? source NRC

From the beginning...

Growth abnormalities such as epiphysitis and developmental orthopedic disease (DOD), can result if calcium and phosphorus minerals are not balanced, and if total intake of protein, carbohydrate and fat are too high.



Horse are grazing animals and 80% or 2-2.5% per 100lbs of their body weight should come from forage. Therefore, for an 1100 lb horse this would be 22 - 28 lbs of hay per day, with the balance coming from concentrates. Unfortunately, depending upon when and how hay was harvested and cured, digestibility, Vit A, and E content could vary with losses as high as 60-80% during curing.


Vitamins A and E are major antioxidants, protecting cell membranes for oxidative damage and important for tissue repair for working horses and fertility in mares.


Young growing horses, horses in intense training and lactating broodmares have the highest demand for energy and protein, vitamins and minerals.


Here are Nutritional Requirements, 6th edition from NRC that provides a quick snapshot of what your horse may need.



VL Equine Optimal Performance offers a comprensive solution to take the guess work out of what your hay and grain are providing. We will send off your hay to be tested and with these results, combined with what concentrates you are feeding will ensure your horse will have a balanced diet.


For more information or to schedule a private consulting session please contact us.


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