Feeding The Warmblood
What exactly are the nutritional needs of large breed horses, like Warmbloods, Clydesdales and Percherons?
Because they are larger, heavily muscled animals, most with a relatively slow but efficient metabolism, these horses require specific nutrients and energy to sustain their workload. They are also slower to mature, and working a growing horse should be taken into account when feeding the younger Warmblood or Draft horse.
Larger horses are more prone to metabolic ailments such as Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy and Azoturia, both resulting in stiff muscles and a reluctance to move, as well as Laminitis, Cushing’s and Shivers. Fortunately, these can all be managed through proper diet and exercise. Obesity is another concern among these larger breeds, as not only will the extra weight affect their energy levels, but this too can lead to Laminitis.
Large breed horses benefit from a diet that has controlled levels of non-structural carbohydrates and that contain added fat and optimum selenium and Vitamin E levels. Spurwing Warmblood has specifically been formulated while taking into consideration all of these requirements, and has a lower concentration of molasses, suiting any horse that is sugar intolerant. The higher Calcium to Phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio keep their bigger, denser bones healthy. Spurwing Warmblood provides the necessary energy for these horses to perform as needed, as well as containing all the amino acids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements for a correctly balanced diet.
Yet another problem large breed horses are known to experience is that of poor quality hoof growth.Spurwing Warmblood contains the correct balance of biotin, zinc, methionine and iodine, all a necessity for healthy hooves.
To prevent obesity, it is recommended to feed according to your horse’s ideal body weight and avoid over-feeding. Simply feeding per scoop isn’t accurate and it is important to weigh the portions to the calculated amount and mark your scoop, thus feeding by weight and not by volume. Avoid over-supplementing as this is throwing money away at best and at worst it can cause vitamin and mineral imbalances. Some vitamins and minerals are toxic when consumed in large quantities.
Of course, it goes without saying that adequate clean water and ad lib hay should be available at all times as well as dental work and parasite control should be kept up to date.