Archive for the ‘Horse’ Category

Balancing Hoof Health

Monday, October 7th, 2019

Balancing Hoof HealthBalancing hoof health with nutrition needs to be interchangeable if you want to have a healthy horse. One directly affects the other, so making sure they both are in good shape is very important. Not sure why exactly these two go together? No problem! Check out these helpful tips from Purina below to ensure the safety of your horse.

Elements of Nutrition:

  • Protein: the hoof is composed primarily of keratin, a common protein. Proteins are made of amino acids which contribute to growth. If these two are out of balance, you’ll see a decline in the structure and strength of the hoof.
  • Fat: adequate levels of fat are beneficial to the hoof. It creates a barrier against diseases and fungi’s.
  • Zinc: this is necessary for the keratinization of the hoof.
  • Calcium and phosphorous: these two are needed for the proper attachment in the hoof horn wall. The right ratio is required or uneven levels can lead to weak bones.
  • Selenium & Vitamin E: these are important antioxidants to protect the cell membranes. An imbalance can lead to serious health risks.
  • Biotin: this aids in hoof integrity, coat, mane, and tail growth.

Extending the Learning Process:

In addition, keep in mind that each horse is different. They can react in various ways to the elements provided in their feed, forage, or hay. It is crucial that your horse maintains a constant supply of nutrients in order to develop a strong core to protect them as they grow. Balancing hoof health is just the first step in this process. Also, constantly seek opportunities to learn more and ask questions. It’ll benefit you and your horse in the long run.

Want to learn more? Check out the entire article here. Keep an open dialogue with both your farrier and your vet. Stop by the store with any questions you may have!

MannaPro Monday’s

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

MannaPro Monday'sStart your week off right with our new MannaPro Monday’s! Come into the store and buy one bottle of horse fly spray, and receive a bag of treats for FREE! That’s right, you read that correctly! We have a wide variety of options to choose from. Ranging from Apple Nuggets to Senior Snax, your horse will feel spoiled with their new selection of goodies.

MannaPro fly sprays are top quality and will fight off those pesky bugs. With an easy application lid, you’ll find it much more convenient to mist off your horse. Our Pro-Force model repels for up to 14 days and has a rapid knockdown to flies. Additionally, the Opti-Force is sweat resistant which is perfect for this Florida heat. Equally, both are exceptional options to choose from to kill and retract those flies. Stop by to make a choice best fit for your needs.

Also, you can’t forget treats! Our Nutrigood Low Sugar Snax in Apple or Carrot is a favorite choice. If your four-legged friend has a sweet tooth, pick them up a peppermint or molasses mixture! MannaPro’s small hand held bags offer a great way to carry your treats or have them readily available in the barn for a reward. We have different flavors to choose from so don’t worry we have you covered!

Finally, make MannaPro Monday’s your new favorite day at Kissimmee Valley Feed! If you have any questions about our products, give us a call. To learn more, visit here. See you soon!

Managing Your Horse’s Gastric Health

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

Gastric discomfort may negatively affect a horse’s health, attitude, and performance. Check out these tips to manage your horse's gastric health.Gastric discomfort may negatively affect a horse’s health, attitude, and performance. Fortunately, recognizing signs of discomfort and providing proper management can help support your horse’s gastric health.

Did you know that the prevalence of gastric discomfort in active horses is high? Studies indicate that the prevalence of gastric ulcers in performance horses is 90% or more1

What causes gastric discomfort in horses?

As grazing animals, horses are made to steadily eat a forage-based diet throughout the course of an entire day. This constant slow-feed intake naturally regulates the acidity of the horse’s stomach contents. Additionally, the saliva a horse generates through chewing naturally buffers the acid.

Modern horse-keeping practices often limit feeding to two or three daily meals. Unless a horse is turned out to graze or barn staff frequently refills the hay supply, the horse doesn’t receive more hay until the next feeding.
Even though the horse isn’t eating, his stomach still produces acid. Without chewing, there isn’t a steady source of saliva and natural enzymes to help protect the stomach. An overabundance of acid and a lack of saliva means the stomach’s natural pH level drops too. These factors create the trifecta for gastric discomfort.

Stress can also put horses at a greater risk for gastric discomfort. Rigorous exercise, long-distance travel, a new environment, and confinement can contribute to lower gastric pH levels.

What are the signs of gastric discomfort in horses?

Gastric discomfort can present differently in individual horses. Common signs of equine gastric discomfort include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Picky eating
  • Poor body condition
  • Weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Poor coat condition
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Changes in behavior, including aggression, nervous behaviors, side biting and “girthiness”
  • Acute or recurring colic
  • Poor performance

How to manage a horse with gastric discomfort

Research has shown continuous acid production and low gastric pH can contribute to the development of gastric ulcers and Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS)1. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize your horse’s risk for developing EGUS and manage a horse with gastric discomfort.

1. Recognize factors or events known to cause gastric discomfort in horses.

Some factors include:

  • Environment stressors
  • Lack of turnout
  • Injury
  • Fasting
  • High starch diets
  • Inadequate forage
  • Prolonged use of NSAIDs
  • Travel
  • Elevated exercise, training, showing or racing

2. Recognize the signs of gastric discomfort in horses.

Common signs are listed above, but individual horses present discomfort in different ways. Become familiar with your horse’s normal behavior to help determine if behavior changes are a sign of discomfort.

3. When to seek help from your veterinarian.

Work with your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment if you recognize risk factors or symptoms. Gastroscopy is the only way to confirm the presence of gastric ulcers, and prescription acid suppression therapy may be required to heal ulcerations. If treatment is necessary, work with your veterinarian to determine the best medication for your horse.

4. Manage gastric discomfort.

Develop a management program to minimize the factors contributing to gastric discomfort. Provide ample turnout and continuous access to fresh water. Anticipate stressful events, such as traveling or showing, and use Purina® Outlast® Gastric Supplement to support and maintain gastric health and proper pH during those times.

5. Horse nutrition.

Choosing the right feed products and implementing good feeding management practices are vital in managing your horse’s gastric health.

  • Never allow more than six hours of fasting and provide frequent access to good quality hay and/or pasture.
  • Incorporate alfalfa into your horse’s diet.
  • Feed higher fat and fiber concentrates and avoids high starch and sugar feeds. The Purina horse feed lineup includes many appropriate options
  • Support optimal gastric pH by feeding Purina® Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement along with concentrate meals. In addition, feed Outlast®1 supplement as a snack before you ride, trailer or show to maximize gastric support during these activities.
  • For horses needing more calories, Purina® Ultium® Gastric Care and Race Ready® GT horse feeds both contain a full serving of Outlast® supplement and are designed to support gastric health and caloric needs of performance and racehorses. Strategy® GX  and Strategy® Healthy Edge® and Impact® Professional Performance horse feeds now also all contain Purina® Outlast® Gastric Support Supplement.

By recognizing the signs associated with gastric discomfort and adjusting management and dietary practices, you can help support your horse’s gastric health. Learn more about Outlast® supplement and your horse’s gastric health at

 Source: Kelly Vineyard, M.S., Ph.D., Senior Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions

Basics of Electrolytes for Horses

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Basics of Electrolytes for HorsesLet’s face it, the summer heat takes its toll…know the basics of electrolytes for horses to protect them! Based on the article, horses use their sweat to regulate their body temperature. Equine sweat is more concentrated with salt (sodium and chloride) than other body fluids. In result, horses lose a tremendous amount of electrolytes during these harsh, hot summer months. So what exactly are electrolytes? They help the body regulate water levels to maintain a balance between dilution and dehydration. There are five major electrolytes. These include sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Understanding how each one affects your horse is vital.

  1. Sodium and Chloride: These two play a factor in maintaining blood volume. They are the first to be released when a horse sweats. Imagine Sodium and Chloride as partners. Sodium leaves the body in sweat first, then water follows.
  2. Potassium: This is one of the most important electrolytes to your horse. It is required for muscle contraction and relaxation. Some horses require more or less than others in their diet but it is still present in a healthy horse.
  3. Calcium: This is essential for muscle function. Without this electrolyte, your horse’s body will break down and become weak.
  4. Magnesium: This is a vital component of body fluids.

Maintaining a balance between these can be tricky. Giving a dehydrated horse concentrated electrolytes can actually worsen conditions. But don’t worry, we have a solution! For starters, all horses should have free-choice access to loose salt or a salt block. Good-quality forage should provide adequate potassium. Together, these feedstuffs should provide sufficient electrolytes for the average horse. For any additional information, see the whole article here.

Presented by Kentucky Equine Research


Spring and Summer Horse Health Tips

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Spring and Summer Horse Health Tips

Spring and Summer Horse Health Tips

Our experts have gotten together to provide some information and tips on how to keep your horse healthy and comfortable in the ever-changing seasons. When spring and summer arrive, so do hot temperatures! You can’t forget the new plants, allergies, insects, and pests.

Here are a few compiled some tidbits to help you avoid some complications:

  • In the spring and early summer, make the transition from hay to pasture feeding slowly. While spring sprouts are lower in sugar and starch, horses crave fresh and will overeat which is especially dangerous to overweight horses, or those that have experienced insulin-resistant laminitis.
  • It is very important to maintain regular vaccinations, deworming, and dental exams. Check with your veterinarian about seasonal vaccinations. Keep a detailed calendar of when your horse needs to be wormed. Also checking with your vet or equine dentist to establish a regular float schedule is very important to your horse’s health.
  • Always make sure there is fresh, clean, ample supply of water. Different things will affect the amount of water your horse needs including outside temperature, workload, feed, size, and health.

We hope you have learned some useful tips about spring and summer horse health. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our store!



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