Compare Keep Pace® With Other Horse FeedsDoes Your Feed Contain High Levels (more than 20%) of Digestible Fiber?
These fibers ferment in the cecum of the horse and allow him to utilize his feed the same way nature intended him to digest his natural diet of grass and hay.
Beware of cheap filler fibers such as peanut hulls that contain little nutritional benefit and undigestible fibers that simply inflate the fiber percentage on the feedbag.
Good sources of fermentable digestible fiber include beet pulp, soybean hulls, alfalfa meal and wheat middlings. These foodstuffs readily provide sufficient energy for the horse while reducing problems associated with grain diets such as tying up, laminitis, gastric ulcers, "hotness" or spookiness and lack of concentration. Insulin resistant and Cushinoid horses will also benefit from eliminating grains in the diet.
Is Your Horse Feed Raw or Extruded?
The extrusion process briefly heats the ingredients to extremely high temperatures with the likelihood of destroying valuable nutrients and enzymes. Oils in the feed that are subjected to high heat during extrusion produce trans fats that are inflammatory in nature and damaging to the body.
Keep Pace, a non-extruded feed, is formulated with raw ingredients that are briefly steamed during the pellet making process to minimize loss of nutritional value.
Does Your Feed Have The Proper Balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 Fats?
For the horse the recommended ratio is 4:1 which is similar to that found in his natural grass diet. The curing of hay results in a significant loss of fat which is a good reason to have plenty of good quality fat sources in your feed.
Too many Omega-6 fats in the diet may be the result of added vegetable oils, corn oil or too much rice bran. A diet too high in Omega-6 fats can cause inflammation and results in the muscles recovering more slowly after exercise.
Read the label and you will notice that Keep Pace contains much more flax seed than rice bran. While rice bran does contain some Omega-3 fats, it also has Omega-6 fats as well. By using more flax seed we preserve the healthy ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats.
Does Your Feed Contain the Proper Amount of Fat?
Grass, the natural diet of the horse, contains between 5-6% fat. Flax seed contains many of the same types of fats found in grass and has a 4:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats just like grass! Flax also contains lignans which are indigestible fibers that help keep the digestive tract swept clean and healthy.
Don't be misled by other feeds that bump the fat percentage up to 8 or 10% by adding cheap vegetable oils which are high in Omega-6s and potentially inflammatory to the body.
Does Your Feed Contain Problematic Grains?
Oats, corn and barley are hard for the horse to digest and high in starch. The horse's saliva does not contain much amylase which is an enzyme necessary to break down starch.
Whole grains are also difficult to chew thoroughly and often pass through the horse and out again in the manure. Check your manure piles. This is most noticeable in older horses and those who have poor dentition.
Some feed companies will crack or flake corn and steam and roll oats in an attempt to make them more easily available to the digestive system. Pellets can also be made up of pulverized grains - read the label.
Why process grains when the horse was not designed to eat them in the first place?
Grains place stress on the gut and whatever doesn't get digested in the small intestine goes on to wreak havoc in the hindgut by altering the pH and the balance of the healthy gut bacteria. Blood glucose and insulin levels are also adversely affected.
Problems associated with this include gastric ulcers, spooking or being "hot", tying up, colic, lack of concentration and laminitis. If your horse is insulin resistant or cushinoid the effect can be exacerbated.
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