Fortified Concentrate Feed Found to Improve Horses’ Toplines

Owners who struggle to provide their horses with consistently good-quality forage might be able to improve feed digestibility and topline development by offering these horses a fortified feed, researchers find.
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Fortified Concentrate Feed Found to Improve Horses’ Toplines
In the fortified feed group Much saw increases in subcutaneous fat thickness over the 17th and 18th ribs and longissimus dorsi (back muscle) area. This illustration shows a horse both before (top) and after (bottom) the 56-day study period. | Photo: Courtesy Mattea Much

Owners who struggle to provide their horses with consistently good-quality forage might be able to improve feed digestibility and topline development by offering these horses a fortified feed.

Texas A&M University graduate student Mattea Much recently tested this theory and presented her findings at the 2019 Equine Science Society Symposium, held June 3-6 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Much fed 23 stock-type mares either a control diet, consisting of a custom pelleted concentrate (13 mares), or a treatment diet (10 mares), consisting of a pelleted feed fortified with amino acids and trace minerals (SafeChoice senior). The mares received two concentrate meals per day and free-choice Bermuda grass hay

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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