From oats to barley and bran to sugar beet, discover why feeding some straights may benefit your horse. Our experts tell you what you need to know.
Despite the fear factor often paired with oats, they’re in fact higher in fibre and lower in energy and starch than any other cereal grain.
Sugar beet is the dried remainder of the root crop once the sugar’s been extracted. It’s available in shred or pellet form – both of which require soaking in plenty of water for 24 hours prior to feeding.
Broad bran is a by-product of milled wheat. It’s high in fibre and can be used as a laxative when administered with some rapeseed or soya oil and lots of water to aid digestion.
Traditionally, broad bran is used to make a bran mash, fed after strenuous exercise, and horses generally like the flavour – it often tempts the fussiest of eaters.
Broad bran can form a useful part of the horse’s diet and contains good levels of fibre and protein. It is, however, high in phosphorus so must therefore, form part of a balanced diet.
Barley is higher in energy content than oats and is often used to feed horses lacking topline and condition.
Barley grains are hard and so need to be rolled, crushed or cooked for the horse to eat easily.
Plenty of natural fibre is essential to provide bulk through your horse’s gut, and buffer any excess acid produced in the stomach, helping to minimise the risk of gastric ulcers.
Natural Chaff contains high-quality oat straw and dust-free dried grass, with some dried mint to aid digestion and maximise the absorption of nutrients in the total diet. It provides slow-release energy – great for over-excitable horses.
Our Countrywide range of Straights is all fully NOPS approved. Sara Blackshaw, our Equestrian Product Manager said: “We are delighted to be rolling out our own range of feeding straights at our stores and online, giving customers more options when selecting food for their horses. We identified the need for NOPS accredited straights, as competition riders particularly need to know what their horses are being fed.”
To complement the range we’ve also added a completely natural Chaff made up of premium oat straw, dried grass with added mint in 15kg bags. This addition to the range is ideal for feeding with straights, balancers or compound feeds to slow chew time, which will reduce the risk of gastric ulcers and add essential fibre to a horse’s daily diet.
We would recommend that customers seek advice from a nutritionist and our own Equestrian Specialists on their horse’s dietary requirements. Equestrian Specialists are available in our stores to offer advice and will happily recommend feed, supplements and equipment to meet horses’ needs.
The new Countrywide Equine Straights range is now available in our stores across the UK and online, with home delivery or free click-and-collect from stores.
The range features Premium Rolled Barley (in 20kg and a handy 10kg size), Premium Bruised Oats (also in 20kg and a 10kg size), Broad Bran (in 18kg and 8kg), Sugar Beet Pellets (10kg) and Natural Chaff with added mint (12.5kg).