A well balanced diet should be made up of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water
Are complex organic compounds.
- Made Up Of - Proteins are made up of 22 Amino Acids, Ten are essential and the rest are non essential. Non essential Amino acids can be made by the horse in the body whilst essential Amino Acids need to be provided by the diet. The amino acids which must be supplied to the horse are arginine, histadine, leucine,phenylalanine, methionine, isoleucine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
- Uses - Protein is found in muscle, skin, hair and bone. It forms enzymes which go on to cause chemical reactions. It is used to make hemoglobin which goes on to transport oxygen around the horses body.
- Feeding Excess - Any excess fed will get converted into either carbohydrates and used as a source of energy or broken down into urea.
- Foods Found In - Soy oil and Linseed oil will provide a good source of protein, Linseed oil also contains selenium which helps horses prone to tying up.
Made Up Of - Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
- Uses - Fats are required to enable the fat soluble vitamins to be digested and utilized by the horse the fat soluble vitamins are A,D,E and K. As a source of fatty acids fats have several different areas that they target. Fat is required for healthy skin, hair and to protect the horses vital organs, fats also provide insulation to the horse and a source of energy.
- Feeding Excess - This simply gets stored all over the horses body and around the organs. Any extra can also be used as energy by the horse.
- Foods found in - Soy oil.
- Made Up Of - Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates can be further broken down into monosaccharides, disaccharide's and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides are the simple sugars such as glucose and the polysaccharides are starch, cellulose and glycogen.
- Uses - Source of energy aiding in the immune and fertilization systems as well as blood clotting and overall development.
- Feeding Excess - Too much carbohydrate in the diet will get converted into fat.
- Foods Found In - Sugar beet, plants.
- Types - Calcium, Chlorine, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Sulfur, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Fluorine, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Selenium and Zinc.
- Found In - Soy, beans, salt, plants.
As a guide a horse requires approximately 5 liters of water per 100 kilograms of bodyweight per day for maintenance, this amount can increase during times of strenuous activity or in hot or humid conditions.
- Made up of - two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
- Uses - Helps to control the horses body temperature when lost through sweating and breathing. Water gives shape to the bodies cells as well as acting as a substance through which other substances can be dissolved, for example water soluble vitamins, sugars and salts. Water is the basis of milk and it aids the digestive processes.
- Where found - It can be found naturally as moisture on the grass. if stream fresh water is available then ensure that it is easily accessible and that the bottom of the stream bed is a pebble one to prevent sand colic. Troughs should be available to the horse at grass at all times and these troughs should be cleaned out at least once a year. Stabled horses will require buckets of fresh water daily, these buckets should be thoroughly cleaned out daily as horses are sensitive to smell and taste.
- Not Drinking and Over Drinking - The best thing is to know each horse as an individual and get to know their drinking patterns so that their water intake can be monitored. This is especially important for competition horses and in hot and humid weather so that dehydration can be prevented. Always ensure that your horse has a constant supply of fresh water that way they can drink as and when they need to, you'll find they know best.
- Not Drinking - This is a sign that your horse may be unwell as horses often lose their appetite as well as their thirst when under stress, this can be for any number of reasons such as heat stress or colic.
- Over Drinking - This can also be a sign that your horse is unwell for example horses with Cushing's disease will drink and urinate excessively.
- Test For Dehydration - This is a simple pinch test, it is best done on the neck, where approximately one inch of skin is pinched and held held for three seconds and then released, once released it should immediately spring back to its natural position. If once released it remains in the pinch position then your horse is dehydrated - consult your vet immediately.
- Types - Fat soluble vitamins are A, D , E and K and water soluble vitamins B and C.
- Vitamin A - Essential for growth and development and helps to prevent night blindness.
Found In - Carrots, cod liver oil.
- Vitamin D - Maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous for healthy strong bones and healthy immune system.
Found In - Cod liver oil.
- Vitamin E - Healthy skin, body tissues and red blood cells.
Found In - Cereals
- Vitamin K - Essential for blood clotting.
Found In - Oats
- Vitamin B - Breaks down carbohydrate, protein and fat. Essential for the development of red blood cells and maintenance of muscles, skin and bone.
Found In - Peas, beans and cereals
- Vitamin C - Required for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. For wound healing and healthy teeth and bones and cartilage.
Found In - Cod liver oil.