Karen Briggs

Hay Quality (Book Excerpt)

Much of the assessment of the quality of your hay can be done the old-fashioned way: Break open a bale and scratch n' sniff! Good quality hay should be green rather than yellow or brown. (Keep in mind that some hays, particularly some varieties of clover, can cure to quite a dark color, and that this is not necessarily an indicator of mold growth.) It...

Understanding Forages (Book Excerpt)

Hay, the most common type of forage fed to horses, averages 28% to 38% crude fiber and has a DE level of about 1.95 to 2.5 Mcal per kg. (Cereal grains, by contrast, contain between 2% and 12% crude fiber and have a much higher DE, averaging 3.3% to 3.7% Mcal/kg.) Hay is high in calcium and low in phosphorus--and happily, grains are generally high in phosp...

Feeding Racehorses

On several occasions in the past year or two, we’ve discussed in this series the intricacies of feeding young horses for optimum growth. We’ve also walked you through the pertinent points of fueling the high-performance equine athlete, for maximum output with minimum fatigue. But there’s one category of performance horse which combines both of these conce...

Feeding the High-Octane Horse

The tightly packed field of Thoroughbred racehorses, straining every muscle for a few more inches of gained ground on the final turn...the Arabian endurance horse, with 89 miles of hard, mountainous terrain behind him and 11 more to go before he can rest...the Olympic three-day event horse, summoning up all his courage, agility, and speed to answer the qu...

When the Bone Breaks

They shoot horses, don't they? We all know about the rather depressing traditional "cure" for a horse with a broken leg. But there's good news--they "shoot" them a lot less often these days. The reason is that remarkable advances in equine fracture repair now mean that many horses which in years past could not have been saved, are not only recovering f...

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