Making the Best of Box Rest

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Making the Best of Box Rest with HorseHage and Mollichaff

Box rest is a frustrating situation that most horse or pony owners will have to face at some point, and this will mean vital changes to your horse’s feeding routine as well as exercise.

Of course, providing excellent quality forage is the most important factor in a good feeding regime and this still applies whatever the reason your horse is confined for, whether injured, prone to laminitis or just recuperating, or even box-bound due to ice and snow.

When you buy any feed or forage you hope that it is manufactured from premium ingredients or cut from the finest leys. However, the only real way to ensure that all the ingredients are fully traceable and the feed is manufactured under the strictest hygiene conditions is to buy UFAS or FEMAS-certified feeds. Feed manufacturers who produce to these standards have to undergo inspections and audits, which govern the membership of the scheme. 

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In the net!

HorseHage offers a choice of two varieties of dust-free bagged forage that are suitable for horses and ponies on box rest. Both High Fibre HorseHage and Timothy HorseHage are high in fibre and low in energy and starch. Surprisingly, a typical sample of HorseHage contains a sugar level that is less than 5%, which is considerably lower than a typical hay sample which is around 10%, and if your horse or pony is a fussy feeder, Timothy HorseHage is ideal as it is particularly palatable.

There are several benefits from choosing HorseHage. It is more digestible than other forages, and so allows for more efficient utilisation of the available nutrients. It does not contain any chemical additives, mould inhibitors, flavourings, molasses or inoculants.

It is also dust-free and so is ideal when your horse or pony needs to be stabled over a period of time as a dust-free diet and stable environment is vital to help prevent respiratory problems from developing. You should also ensure that you use a dust-free bedding. 

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Top Tip: 

Use a net which has extra small mesh or try putting your forage into two haynets (one inside the other). Not only will this help extend the eating time of the forage, but will help reduce stable boredom and increase mental stimulation! This is a particularly good idea for greedy horses or ponies!

In the feed bucket!

If your horse is on box rest, his energy requirements are likely to be greatly reduced. However, his daily requirement for other vitamins and minerals still need to be met. It is therefore important that his concentrate feed meets these new nutrititional requirements without overloading him with excess energy levels. 

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In addition, your horse is likely to be more excitable, especially if he is not used to spending long periods of time in the stable. It is therefore desirable to ensure he is kept calm and quiet, particularly if he is on box rest due to injury or illness. 

Mollichaff Calmer Complete is a complete feed that ensures that all nutritional requirements are met, whilst keeping energy levels low.

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It contains a balanced blend of fibre pellets, oat straw, dried grass, herbs, soya oil, vitamins, minerals, limestone and trace elements, and it can be used as the sole bucket feed. It is low in sugar and starch providing limited controlled energy from high quality, digestible fibre and oil-based ingredients.

Mollichaff Calmer includes elevated levels of magnesium along with a carefully formulated combination of camomile, lemon balm and mint, to help relax your horse. It also contains Vitamins B1 and B12 which are known to help decrease anxiety by exerting a calming influence on the horse.

Mollichaff Calmer, when fed at the recommended levels, provides all the vitamins and minerals a horse or pony requires and should be fed alongside good quality forage. 

Mollichaff Calmer includes elevated levels of magnesium along with a carefully formulated combination of camomile, lemon balm and mint, to help relax your horse. It also contains Vitamins B1 and B12 which are known to help decrease anxiety by exerting a calming influence on the horse.

Mollichaff Calmer, when fed at the recommended levels, provides all the vitamins and minerals a horse or pony requires and should be fed alongside good quality forage. 

Top Tips: 

Divide your horse’s ration down into as many meals as possible. This will help keep him trickle feeding and not bolting it down all in one go. It will also help to keep him more mentally stimulated. Keep to regular feeding routines, feeding the same quality, consistency and amount of feed at the same times each day and don’t leave your horse for long periods of time with nothing to eat, as this can lead to serious digestive and metabolic disturbances. It also creates boredom, which has been associated with the increase of stable vices.

For further information contact the HorseHage & Mollichaff Helpline on 01803 527274 or visit www.horsehage.co.uk


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