Promoting condition without excitable behaviour

Bailey came to owner Vicky as a very scrawny four-year-old, he was underweight and had no muscle. Bailey was also quite highly strung with a lot of natural energy, so Vicky didn’t want to give him anything heating but needed to build muscle and condition.

Bailey before

“For as long as I can remember, all of my various horses have been fed on Dengie Alfa-A Original. It has worked well for a wide range of horses and ponies over the years, so I’ve never seen a reason to need to change” says Vicky. “We joked when Bailey first arrived that he looked like he needed a good hot dinner! I slowly introduced the Alfa-A Original into his diet alongside a Stud Balancer”.

Alfa-A Original is based on pure alfalfa so provided Bailey with the quality protein that he needed to help build the muscle and topline, without promoting any of the silly and excitable behaviour due to it being so low in starch.

Bailey After

“I have now had Bailey for two years and his condition has come on in leaps and bounds in that time. He is still on the Alfa-A Original, but we have swapped the Stud Balancer for a Performance Balancer” explains Vicky. “The Alfa-A Original gives him plenty of slow-release energy for his increased workload as well as the calories and quality protein he needs to maintain his condition”.

Bailey had a slight set back in October last year, sustaining a nasty wound to his shoulder from a collision with gate latch which resulted in three months of box rest. During the box rest period, Vicky increased the amount of fibre in his ration to keep him occupied by adding a lunchtime meal of Hi-Fi Lite alongside his Alfa-A Original and balancer. Bailey made a full recovery and is now jumping round British Novice tracks with the hope to progress further up the levels.

“I have had regular feeding and management advice from Dengie Feed Advisor Katie Evans for Bailey and my other horses for a couple of years now” says Vicky. “I was worried that Bailey may drop weight and muscle from being on box rest, but his Dengie diet really helped to maintain his condition while keeping him level headed. It was great to hear that Bailey is at an ideal weight and condition score when Katie came out to weigh him in May”.

Bailey is a great example of how a fibre diet can help build muscle and fuel horses in work without having to resort to using cereal based feeds. This has benefits for the health of the digestive system as well as behaviour.

For more information contact the Dengie Feedline on 01621 841 188 or fill out our feed advice form.

Bailey and Vicky Showjumping