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BLOG: Amy Strapp discusses different feeds for different horses

Amy Strapp November Blog - Part 1

Yalambi's Fendi looking great after a change of feeds.


By Amy Strapp

Busting some of the feeding myths wide open and getting down to what is really good for our horses gut and what’s not!



Our young mare Yalambi’s Fendi was just brought into work for the first time earlier this year after having her second foal. Due to the fact she had been out breeding and not under saddle, she of course didn’t yet have any muscle or top line. She was extremely well looked after where she was, on great pasture and hard feed from another country - but still wasn’t looking as well as we would have liked.

I was hesitant to feed her too much as she is still so young and boisterous, so with your recommendation we changed her to Hygain TruCare plus Hygain TruGain as a supplement and the results have been huge! Plus she has stayed fantastic in the brain…can you explain for me why we have seen such great results from this particular feed?

“I think it is partially a management issue: that is, feeding the right amount of feed for the work load. TruCare is a fully extruded feed - it has a nice balance of protein, fat and fibre for the energy, so rather then using carbohydrates we prefer to use soluble fibre so the horse more readily digests it. Horses metabolize soluble fibre and fat differently to carbohydrates, so they don’t give them that insulin spike that they get with high starch feeds. These are more cool conditioning type feeds; the extrusion process helps with the digestibility so they are able to get more benefits from the feed.”


Amy Strapp November Blog - Part 2

Yalambi's Fendi: Before


Amy Strapp November Blog - Part 1

Yalambi's Fendi: After


Amy Strapp November Blog - Part 2

Yalambi's Fendi: After

Why did we decide to go with something like TruCare over ShowTorque or Ice for this job?

“Basically, the energy sources are different. We are able to get more soluble fibres and fat into our extruded feeds. Different to ShowTorque for instance; ShowTorque is using legumes as the energy source and sure some fat, but not the amount of fibre that’s in TruCare…so a little bit different, and ShowTorque is a concentrated feed and therefore formulated to be fed at lower levels than TruCare.

There is a transition in the industry now where people are going more and more for the high fibre feeds, where traditionally that fibre wouldn’t have been considered as much over high carbohydrate diets. We are changing the style of feeding as we learn more about the horses.”

Ok so this takes us back to managing our horses and understanding the best feed for the job. I thought maybe to help those reading we could suggest out of the feeds that you offer at Hygain what sort of feed would suit different horses in different jobs, it’s generalizing but it could give helpful guidelines to people reading?

“Certainly, the equestrian market in Australia is just so fractured that it’s hard to see a consistency in how people of each discipline want to feed. Here it can change quite dramatically from stable to stable.”

Dressage stables in Australia?

"Dressage and hack clients we find are getting great results with a feed like ShowTorque. It keeps the horses in great condition, helps with muscle repair and builds top line - while still staying cool in the mind."

And eventers?

"While some eventers will go for ShowTorque or Ice - so again we see variation - we have noticed a strong pull toward our racing feed range, for example, feeding one of our feeds called ‘Release’. It meets their high-energy requirements, plus it is designed for horses that can tie up and it’s a highly fortified feed, high fat."

What about showjumpers?

"Showjumpers are really the most fragmented; from them we can see Ice, ShowTorque, Grand Prix and TruCare - pretty much anything from horse to horse and stable to stable…"


"Well we have discussed that TruCare and TruBreed are the highest fibre feeds we offer. TruBreed has a good balance of the necessary proteins, energy and essential minerals for growth. Minerals are the most important thing during this early stage of development because it’s about laying down the foundations of a good skeleton. If you don’t have a good skeleton you don’t have a good horse basically, the muscle comes second and the skeleton comes first."

How about horses prone to colic?

"Colic can be brought on for a number reason. For instance, is it a high starch diet with not enough fibre or sudden change in diet or stress related?

High fibre feeds are best; mostly horses just need plenty of hay and then introduce a concentrate like Balanced, it’s a small feed that doesn’t have a whole lot of energy in it but is meeting their requirements as far as mineral and vitamins go. Ultimately, this means you can just feed that with hay and add a small amount of grain such as micronized barley should you require a little more energy in the diet."

Laminitis or weight issues?

"Then you have Ice and Zero; these are designed for horses more prone to laminitis, or getting a bit ‘hot’ in the head. Zero has less than 1% starch in it, and it’s extremely high in fibre."

I have had a few clients who feed Ice but then also bring an extra, more tasty looking feed with molasses mixed through to encourage the horses to eat the Ice more eagerly, why is this?

"Palatability; the horses are sometimes not as eager to eat Ice as it has no sugar! It’s good for them and unfortunately by adding sugary additives you take away that benefit!"

Essentially we are putting sugar on their Weet Bix??

"Exactly! This feed has no sugar but they will get used to the taste and ultimately it’s better for them."

This information applies to all feeds…

While my Mum and I have always fed Hygain feeds, I understand others make a different choice. However, I wanted to share this information from Greg’s perspective with everyone because whether you feed Hygain or another brand, being armed with the knowledge of what you are putting into your horses, how it effects them and why, is such important information to be armed with if you want to really look after your horses well!

Greg’s obviously extensive knowledge and ability to break down everything I have seen thus far on my journey and explain the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ was just so clear and concise - clearly answers from someone who has passionately studied his trade for many years.

I wanted to share this information with you all so you can make more informed choices for your horses wellbeing moving forward from here!

Till next time,

Amy Strapp


Amy Strapp November Blog - part 2

Yalambi's Isaiah.


Photos: © Amy Strapp




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