Horse & Pony Care

Common questions about horse nutrition and how our feeds & supplements can help.

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In this section we've tried to answer the most common questions our customers ask us about the GWF Nutrition product range and how we work. 


If you can't find the information you are looking for here, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly team and we'll be happy to help. 


Is X-Lam Aid suitable for horses with Cushings/EMS?

Yes, X-Lam Aid contains less than 13g of sugar & starch combined (3gm sugar) per measure. It is also 100% wheat free.


When should I feed my horse a feed balancer?

A feed balancer like Equilibra 500 offers a very concentrated way of providing your horse with the nutrition they need. Ideally this should form part of your horse's daily diet all year round. The smaller feeding rate of balancers means that less compound horse feed is needed and allows for more forage. Forage is, and will always be, the most important part of a horse’s diet.


Why don’t you offer a different balancer for Senior or Performance horses?

Our balancer, Equilibra 500, is formulated to help balance the digestive system of any horse or pony to support the animal’s overall health, rather than just balancing the diet. This concept is based on supporting the gut lining and improving digestive processes whether the horse is young, senior, a happy hacker or a performance horse, and so there is really no nutritional need for multiple versions of the same feed. 


Do you do a feed for horses with ulcers?

Because of the wheat-free, hemp-based formulation of Equilibra 500, it is a perfect feed to use with horses who are prone to ulcers. The combination of components from oat oil, pectin fibre and natural vitamin E supports the natural mucosal layer that protects the lining of the gut. Wheat starch increases lactic acid production which weakens it, and where possible you should try to avoid wheat based feeds, including wheat meal and wheat feed.


Additionally, our laminitis management supplement X-Lam Aid is also suitable for use with horses currently showing signs of ulcers. Within the X-Lam Aid formulation is a natural buffering material which helps reduce the acidity of the gastric pH. The level of this buffer in X-Lam Aid is up to 15 times more than that found in some of the dedicated ulcer feeds currently available.


Regardless of what you choose to feed, it is imperative that the horse be allowed access to a suitable forage source 24 hours a day as saliva is the best buffering materials for acid.


You might also find our Knowledge Base articles Ulceration of the horses GI tract and Feeding wheat by-products to horses useful.

What should I feed my horse or pony with laminitis?

Forage. Even a laminitic still requires enough forage every day to ensure other digestive issues are not caused as well. The horse’s forage intake must be an absolute minimum of 1% of the horse’s bodyweight. Alongside the forage there are essential vitamins, minerals & trace elements that are vital to your horse’s diet and a product like our OneCup for Horses will ensure these are fed each day. With an extremely small feeding rate, this product provides less than 19gms of sugar & starch combined per day. With that said, research has shown that the state of a horse’s digestive system can greatly affect the horse’s susceptibility to illnesses such as laminitis, and as such you may find our balancer Equilibra 500 is even more suitable for long term support. 


Whatever you choose to feed alongside forage, our feed supplement X-Lam Aid is designed for horses susceptible to or recovering from the effects of laminitis. Find out more about dealing with laminitis on our blog. 

Why is there sugar in your products when it’s bad for horses?

It is a fact that all feed materials contain sugar in one form or another, and some sugar in the diet is essential for normal functions within the horse’s body. For example, glucose is one of the very few sugars able to cross the blood brain barrier. Because of this, glucose is vital for normal brain function. In fact, humans need around 120g of glucose per day just for the brain!


There are also many different types of sugars. We also get asked about the sugar beet pulp and sugar cane molasses found in our products. These are the correct names of the products beet pulp and cane molasses. The sugar beet pulp and the sugar cane molasses used in horse feeds are the by-product of the sugar industry. Both these ingredients have had most of their sugar content extracted in order to produce the sugar you may stir into your tea or coffee. What we use in our feeds is the beneficial fibre source of the sugar beet plant, and the palatability improving natural substance of the sugar cane plant. 


The table below highlights how little sugar is provided from the inclusion of sugar beet pulp and sugar cane molasses:

Beet Pulp & Cane Molasses in Equilibra for a 500kg Horse


As a horse owner, look into how much sugar & starch is being fed per meal, not just per day. The table below will help highlight just how low the actual feeding amounts of sugar and starch are in GWF Nutrition feeds and supplements. 


Sugar and Starch content table for GWF Nutrition equine feeds.


The key with forage is that the horse should be grazing for as close to 24 hours as possible. For more detailed information about forage feeding visit our blog


Do your products contain wheat? 


No, almost all of our products are 100% wheat free, as we know it tends to aggravate the digestive system for many animals.  OneCup, our vitamin and mineral supplement for horses, is the only exception to this. 


What should I feed my performance horse for energy without making them “fizzy” or put on weight?

Our recommendation would be Tiger Oats. These are formulated with Scandinavian black oats rather than the traditional blonde oats. Scandinavian black oats have a lower starch content than that of traditional oats, whilst still providing a high energy source of 14 MJ/Kg. The lower starch levels, high oil and fibre content, and a ‘nutri-pellet’ to balance calcium/phosphorus ratios and provide important electrolytes for peak performance, make Tiger Oats perfect for all working and competition horses and ponies.


How do I know if my horse needs a joint supplement?

If you start to notice signs of stiffness in your horse, or they seem more reluctant to get going after a rest it may be time to look into a joint care supplement to support their mobility. If they are becoming less active you may also notice some muscle loss and a muscle support supplement with amino acids may be beneficial. If you notice a change in your horse’s behaviour or you are worried about their health have them thoroughly checked by your vet. 

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GWF Nutrition Limited © 2019 - E&OE.

Complies with the Universal Feed Assurance Scheme - Compound Feed Code of Practice.  Registration no.: 81.  Registered in England no. 01042610  Establishment no. GB330E368.  GWF Nutrition, GWF, Equilibra, The Aid Range, Oatinol and Age-ility are Registered Trade Marks ® of GWF Nutrition Limited.