Feeding Straights for Horses

  • Find out how straights, such as oats, barley, bran and sugar beet, can benefit your horse’s health.
  • From palatability to providing minerals, straights can make your horse happy and healthy.
  • With Countrywide’s range of NOPS approved Straights, your horse is guaranteed to feel happy while you’re safe in the knowledge of what they’re being fed.
  • In addition to this guide, Countrywide has Horse Specialists on hand in all stores so you can find the perfect straights for your horse.

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.

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.
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.

Oats

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.

  • They provide high levels of quick-release energy that’s easily digested for horses in hard work.
  • Lightly bruising oats retains their goodness and makes them easier to chew and digest. They’re also palatable, making them great for fussy eaters.
  • Oats are low in calcium, zinc and copper, so shouldn’t be fed in quantity to youngstock or brood mares as they could limit good bone formation.

Sugar Beet

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.

  • Nutritionally, it’s a cross between forage and concentrate feed and provides an excellent source of highly digestible fibre.
  • Sugar beet also contains some trace minerals, sugar and is high in calcium and low in phosphorus.
  • It’s high in slow-release energy, but low in protein and B vitamins.

Bran

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

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.


Natural Chaff

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).

To find out more speak to one of our equestrian specialists in store or shop the range online.