The Details of Diet Balancers
Making sure your horse maintains a balanced diet can be a problem that leaves you both scratching your head and worrying over your wallet. Diet balancers can be an effective way to eliminate these worries and get you the most bang for your buck - and get your horse the most bang for their bite.
Diet balancers defined
Diet balancers, such as ProElite® Alfalfa Advantage Diet Balancer and ProElite® Grass Advantage Diet Balancer, are both lower in calories and higher in nutrients than many traditional feeds. Because of their high density of protein, vitamins, and minerals, they can also be fed in smaller portions than typical feeds - around 1-2 pounds of diet balancer does the nutritional work of 4-7 pounds of regular feed.
It stands to reason that different diet balancers balance different diets: for example, ProElite Grass Advantage Diet Balancer is designed to be fed as an addition to diets that are made up of more than 50% grass hay. This diet balancer contains high amounts of protein, calcium, and amino acids in order to fill in the nutrient gaps left by a diet comprised primarily of grass hay.
ProElite Alfalfa Advantage Diet Balancer, on the other hand, is lower in calcium and protein than ProElite Grass Advantage, but contains the essential amino acids, vitamins, and trace minerals for to supplement an alfalfa-based diet. ProElite Omega Advantage Supplement is an excellent source of healthy fats for diets that are lacking in this key macronutrient.
Diet balancers are incredibly diverse and flexible, and be used to support a wide variety of horses’ diets.
Who benefits from a balancer?
- Easy keepers. An easy keeper is a horse that can live on relatively little food, and maintains a healthy weight without a problem. Grass hay plus a diet balancer like ProElite Grass Advantage is one of the lowest calorie, least expensive balanced diets around, and should be all your easy keeper needs.
- Hard keepers. A hard keeper is of course the opposite of an easy keeper, and struggles to attain and maintain a healthy body weight. When feeding a hard keeper with traditional feeds, you may need to feed higher amounts than directed to help them put on the pounds. The nutritional density of diet balancers allows you to use less feed and save more money.
- Broodmares and foals. Diet balancers are ideal for mares in early gestation, as they tend to need fewer calories, but a higher nutrient demand. Foals also have a high nutrient demand, but don’t usually eat a large amount of feed: 3 pounds of ProElite Grass Advantage Diet Balancer has the same vitamin and mineral content as 8-10 pounds of a typical “Broodmare and Foal” feed, which can help ensure even you most finicky foal gets the nutrients he needs.
- Training and performance horses. Every horse is different when it comes to caloric needs, and specific training programs can affect this as well. The wide variety of ProElite diet balancers available means that there is surely one suited to your horse’s peak performance needs.
- Senior horses. A diet balancer is an excellent way to meet the changing needs of an aging horse, such as increased need for protein, phosphorus, and vitamin C. These needs can be met through adding as little as ½ pound of ProElite Grass Advantage or ProElite Alfalfa Diet Balancers to your senior horse’s daily diet. This can make a noticeable impact on your horse’s health while making only a minor one on your wallet.
Common questions and concerns
Anyone making a change to their horse’s diet may be understandably worried about proper implementation and cost effectiveness of the new feed. Here are some common questions from folks considering diet balancers:
- The nutrient percentages on the label are so high. Will I be feeding too much of each nutrient?
The high percentages on the label are due to the high nutrient density of the diet balancer. Since you feed less of a diet balancer than you would a traditional feed, you are not at risk of overdoing it with any particular nutrient.
- Why do diet balancers seem so much more expensive than traditional feeds?
The seemingly higher price of diet balancers is again due to the nutritional concentration of the feed. The cost of the bag may be higher than that of a traditional feed, but since you feed less daily, the bag will last longer, and in many cases the cost per day to feed using diet balancers can be less than that of using traditional feed.
Overall, if you’re looking to tweak your horse’s diet to make sure they’re getting everything they need, diet balancers can be a great way to keep them happy and healthy as, well, a horse!