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Hard Feeds

Wild horses at home in wild horse country

Wild Horse Photography - J T Humphrey

Why Not Processed Feeds?

Advantages of Pre-Mixed Feeds
Convenient, palatable, fattening…

When you vary the amount you are feeding, remember that you are varying the amount of vitamins and minerals.

Usually molassed so high in sugars & potassium, too digestible, contain (usually inorganic) vitamins & minerals so therefore you need to feed the recommended amounts per day to ensure your horse is getting enough selenium, copper, zinc, etc.

If you do feed the full amount, on top of green grass, this can mean too much energy for the amount of exercise the horse is doing and this will lead to various metabolic problems.

If you don’t feed the full amount then it means your horse is getting inadequate minerals especially selenium and it becomes tricky to know how much to top up with from some other source.

Hence the other simpler option of feeding plain feeds and add our high spec Premium/Supreme Vitamins & Minerals

My horse does well on what I am currently feeding him.
​If I change will he keep weight on?

You will be pleasantly surprised how little horses need to retain good body weight once their nutritional requirements are correctly met.

The Calm Healthy Horses Plan offers an economical and healthy way of feeding your horses without affecting a healthy body weight.

Feeding Vits & Mins...

The TWO different aspects to feeding Vitamins & Minerals...



In addition to providing coarse, fibrous material to feed the flora of the digestive tract, your horse depends on you to provide all his daily essential nutrients. This is because instead of travelling over vast areas for food and water, we confine them behind fences and all they need to do is drop their head!

For feral horses, forage is much sparser and not so readily available as that in the ‘picture’ in most horse owners minds! Their ‘more natural’ environment looks nothing like your green paddock/field and certainly doesn’t look like a lush meadow.

It is relatively easy to supply what the horse needs in a mineral supplement that you can mix into a simple feed along with their salt.

To be effective and therefore good value for money it needs to be knowledgeably formulated and include co-factors in the form of vitamins, amino acids and trace minerals. Co-factors are ‘helper nutrients’ that facilitate biochemical reactions and are as important as the minerals themselves. For example if Vitamin D is lacking, calcium cannot be absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the blood stream.

This is the reason Supreme (Australia) and Premium MVA (NZ & UK) are very comprehensive (broad spectrum). They take care of your horse’s overall health, his hair coat, hoof quality, immune system and longevity.

The second purpose requires different formulas:


Various metabolic pathways become disturbed when horses consume unsuitable forage & feed (mainly short, green grass & clovers).

These are all too evident when the horse develops EMS, Insulin Dysregulation, laminitis, HS, tight muscles, Sacro-iliac issues and problems with co-ordination and movement, respiratory, reproductive and digestive problems.

Since many of these issues are actually the result of EXCESSES (of potassium, nitrates & sugars) from short or lush green pasture, the best course of action is to severely limit their consumption and feed more hay instead.

Adding MORE GREEN plants (eg Lucerne, fresh herbs) isn’t advisable because they are even higher in the nutrients already disturbing the horse’s metabolism.

For horses battling issues, any potential benefits are over-whelmed by the potassium and nitrate content.

GrazeEzy, AlleviateC/SOS and Gold are formulated based on our understanding of how grass physiology interacts with horse physiology. This is an immense subject which is under-estimated and we are regularly presented with cases that have been completely and sometimes repeatedly misdiagnosed, resulting in unnecessary expense and stress for both horse and owner.

If your horse has diet related issues, what you feed in the way of hard feed can either reduce the problem, or add to it.

So for the horse’s metabolism to have a ‘rest’ and ‘reset’ his self-regulating mechanisms, we keep hard feeds as simple and basic as possible.

Over the years we have realised, the potassium, crude protein and soluble sugar content are the nutrients we need to be mindful of, because when they are present in excess, they place undue and cumulative stress on the horse’s metabolism.

Green feed like lucerne/alfalfa, fresh herbs, willow or poplar leaves and other items such as molasses, protein meals, kelp and other seaweed, tend to add to the problems rather than help them.

You can choose from the following feeds, we’ve spilt this into countries as the feeds differ considerably….

  • Oaten or Timothy chaff

  • Meadow chaff – this is a broad term, which basically means, ‘whatever was in the paddock at the time’. This means you can not guarantee that it does not contain clover – for this reason, we don’t recommend it for head flickers or laminitis.

  • Oats – Oats are only a no-no for horses with insulin dysregulation – who are recovering from, or in danger of laminitis or EMS. For other horses, any oats in oaten chaff are totally fine and you can add whole oats for energy if desired.

  • Barley – As above – but only feed crushed or boiled – not extruded because the word ‘extruded’ means ground and cooked which makes it very readily digestible – this translates to instant excess energy in horses who we are usually trying to calm down.

  • Linseed Meal – (crushed linseed) can be added for taste as they love it.

  • Sunflower Meal - Fed with crushed linseed (to balance out the omegas) this is an excellent source of protein

  • Boiled linseed – great for fattening and coat bloom. Cook it in a slow cooker with barley – great winter feed!

  • Copra – again, great for taste and also for weight gain. The issue with Copra is that it has a very poor calcium to phosphorus ratio meaning that if you feed copra either make sure you feed a small amount with plenty of beet and/or add XtraCal.

  • Beet – Some horses do well on beet – and it is a great feed in summer and/or for those in hard work as it is fed as a wet feed which is great for hydration purposes. Be aware that there are some horses who can’t tolerate beet so if this is the first time you have fed it start with small amounts and monitor the horse.

  • Rice Bran Pellets – again, as above, some horses do well with these added whereas some can’t tolerate them at all. A handful for taste is usually not a problem.

  • Pollard – this is a FATTENING feed whereas when horses have lost weight, they have lost muscle – and it is protein that they need instead. It also has a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio (See copra)

  • Bran – similar to pollard

*All of the above feeds (except chaff) have a low calcium to phosphorus ration. Premium NZ Horse Minerals and MVA take care of this, but if you are feeding large quantities, make sure you also add XtraCal.

**The above feeds are excellent choices for all horses, problematic or not.

To the feeds add...

  • Salt – plain Ag Salt (fine) is good fed at a rate of 10gms per 100kg (This works out at 2 heaped Tbsp split into 2 feeds per day for a medium sized hack)

  • Premium NZ Horse Minerals or Premium MVA as an everyday supplement for Vitamin Mineral and - with MVA - amino acid .

  • AlleviateC for nerve & muscle function in performance horses

  • XtraCal if extra calcium is needed

  • GrazeEzy when on any green grass

  • SOS if any issues arise

  • AlleviateGold for serious issues

  • ShapeUp to build Muscle

  • ToxAll to help with mycotoxins –  in times of high humidity found in Spring and Autumn

All of these products can be found here

Download the CalmHealthyHorses product Information Sheet here


‘Sacro-iliac’ issues are frequently misdiagnosed as physical problems when they are more often than not due to a disturbance to bio-chemistry. This horse came to us tight, explosive and disuniting see day 1 (above) and again on Day 40...

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