Hey there! Thanks for taking a few minutes to learn about Woody’s Ration Balancer. I’m Dr. Devin Catalano, the Director of Nutrition for Woody’s, a family-owned feed company located in North Dakota. Our feeds have been trusted by horse owners across all disciplines for over 40 years, and we take pride in using the country’s highest quality ingredients directly from our local farmers.

Many horses today maintain their weight on hay or pasture alone, and you might be wondering if there’s a need to feed anything else. As a horse owner, it’s important to ensure that your horse is getting all the nutrients they need, and that’s where ration balancers come in. Our Woody’s Ration Balancer is a low-calorie concentrated source of nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s grain-free and specially formulated to balance the nutrition of a forage-only diet. Plus, it’s perfect for easy keepers and horses that need to cut back on calories. So, for a relatively low cost per day, you can ensure that your horse is getting the nutrients they need, regardless of the forage variability throughout the year. Give it a try and let us know how it works for your horse!

Table of Contents

Understanding the Principle of a Forage Only Diet

The concept of a forage only diet

A forage only diet refers to feeding horses solely with hay or pasture, without the addition of concentrated feeds or grains. It is based on the natural grazing behavior of horses and aims to mimic their natural diet in the wild, which primarily consists of grazing on grasses and other plant materials. Many horse owners choose a forage only diet for their horses as it is believed to provide numerous benefits for their health and well-being.

Benefits of a forage only diet to horses

Feeding horses a forage only diet has several advantages. Firstly, it promotes good digestive health by allowing the horse’s gastrointestinal system to function as it would in the wild. The high fiber content in forage supports the natural movement of food through the digestive tract, preventing issues such as colic and gastric ulcers. Additionally, a forage only diet encourages horses to spend more time eating, which helps prevent boredom and stereotypic behaviors like cribbing or weaving.

Another benefit of a forage only diet is its positive impact on hoof health. The act of grazing requires horses to move and exercise, which promotes blood circulation to their hooves, aiding in the growth and strength of the hoof wall. Additionally, the chewing action involved in eating forage helps to naturally wear down the horse’s teeth, reducing the likelihood of dental problems.

Potential deficiencies in a forage only diet

While a forage only diet provides many essential nutrients, it can still be deficient in certain areas. Forage, such as hay, may lack adequate levels of certain trace minerals that are vital for the horse’s overall health. Additionally, vitamins, such as Vitamin E, may also be present in insufficient amounts in forage. These deficiencies can occur due to the soil composition, processing methods, or storage conditions of the forage.

To address these deficiencies, many horse owners turn to feed supplements or ration balancers to provide their horses with the necessary nutrients to support their health and well-being. One popular option is Woody’s Ration Balancer, which is specially formulated to balance the nutrient content in a forage only diet.

Introduction to Woody’s Ration Balancer

History and reputation of Woody’s Ration Balancer

Woody’s Ration Balancer has a long-standing reputation for providing high-quality nutrition to horses. As a family-owned feed company located in North Dakota, Woody’s sources its ingredients directly from local farmers, ensuring the highest quality ingredients for their products. With a 40-year history in feeding performance horses, Woody’s has become one of the top horse feed producers in the country, with countless successes in major stakes races and rodeo events, including the Kentucky Derby and the National Finals Rodeo (NFR).

Main goals of Woody’s Ration Balancer

The main goal of Woody’s Ration Balancer is to provide a concentrated source of nutrients that can supplement a forage only diet. By balancing the nutrient content in the horse’s ration, Woody’s Ration Balancer aims to address any deficiencies that may be present in forage alone. It is designed to support the overall health and well-being of horses, promoting good digestive function, strong hooves, and optimal body condition.

Unique features of Woody’s Ration Balancer

Woody’s Ration Balancer offers several unique features that set it apart from other feed products on the market. Firstly, it is grain-free, making it suitable for horses with metabolic concerns such as insulin resistance. It is also low in non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), which further enhances its suitability for horses with metabolic issues.

Another standout feature of Woody’s Ration Balancer is its inclusion of chelated minerals. Chelated minerals are minerals that have been chemically bound to amino acids, increasing their bioavailability and absorption in the horse’s body. This ensures that the minerals are more effectively utilized by the horse, maximizing their benefits.

Additionally, Woody’s Ration Balancer contains yeast culture, which helps support the horse’s digestive system. Yeast culture aids in the breakdown and fermentation of fiber, promoting a healthy gut environment and optimal nutrient absorption.

Importance of Nutrient Balance in Horse Diet

Understanding horse nutrient requirements

Horses have specific nutrient requirements that must be met to support their overall health and performance. These requirements include macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat, as well as micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. Meeting these requirements is crucial for the proper functioning of various physiological processes in the horse’s body.

the nutrient requirements of horses can vary depending on factors such as age, breed, activity level, and reproductive status. It is essential for horse owners to understand these requirements and ensure that their horses receive a balanced diet that meets all their nutritional needs.

Common deficiencies in horse diets

Despite the provision of forage, many horse diets can still be deficient in certain nutrients. common deficiencies include inadequate levels of trace minerals, such as zinc, copper, and selenium, which are vital for various metabolic functions in the horse’s body. Insufficient amounts of vitamins, particularly Vitamin E and the B-vitamins, may also be present in horse diets.

It is important to address these deficiencies to prevent potential health issues and maximize the horse’s overall well-being. Woody’s Ration Balancer offers a solution by providing a concentrated source of nutrients designed to balance a forage-only diet and address these common deficiencies.

Effect of imbalanced nutrients on horse health

Imbalances or deficiencies in nutrients can have a significant impact on the horse’s health. For example, a deficiency in trace minerals can lead to reduced immune function, poor hoof quality, and impaired reproductive health. Insufficient levels of vitamins can result in decreased antioxidant activity, compromising the horse’s ability to combat oxidative stress and maintain a healthy immune system.

Imbalanced nutrients can also affect the horse’s energy metabolism, growth, and muscle development. It is crucial to ensure that the horse’s diet is properly balanced to support optimal health, performance, and overall well-being.

Role of Trace Minerals in Horse Nutrition

Understanding the function of trace minerals

Trace minerals play a critical role in various physiological processes in horses. Zinc, for example, is essential for proper immune function, wound healing, and reproductive health. Copper is involved in the formation of connective tissues and plays a role in coat color and pigmentation. Selenium is a crucial antioxidant and is necessary for optimal muscle function and immune response.

These trace minerals are required in small amounts but are vital for the horse’s overall health. Ensuring that the horse’s diet contains adequate levels of trace minerals is necessary to support these essential functions.

Common deficiencies in trace minerals in forage

Forage, such as hay or pasture, often lacks sufficient levels of trace minerals to meet the horse’s requirements. This can be attributed to the soil composition in which the forage is grown. Certain regions may have naturally low levels of trace minerals in the soil, resulting in forage with inadequate mineral content.

Common deficiencies include low levels of zinc, copper, and selenium. These deficiencies can have detrimental effects on the horse’s health and performance, making it important to address them through appropriate supplementation.

Optimal ratios of trace minerals in horse diet

The ratios of different trace minerals in the horse’s diet are crucial for their proper absorption and utilization in the body. The ideal ratios of trace minerals, such as zinc to copper and zinc to selenium, ensure optimal bioavailability and prevent potential interactions or imbalances between minerals.

Woody’s Ration Balancer is formulated with chelated minerals in the ideal ratios for horses, maximizing their absorption and utilization. This ensures that horses receive the right balance of trace minerals to support their overall health and well-being.

Role of Vitamins in Horse Nutrition

Importance of vitamins in horse health

Vitamins are essential nutrients that play a vital role in various physiological processes in horses. They are involved in energy metabolism, immune function, bone development, and overall health and well-being. Horses require both fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and water-soluble vitamins (B-vitamins and Vitamin C) for optimal health and performance.

In a forage only diet, vitamins can be a potential area of deficiency due to the drying process of pasture into hay. Woody’s Ration Balancer addresses these vitamin deficiencies by providing a concentrated source of vitamins that complements the nutrient content of forage.

Effects of hay and pasture on vitamin levels

The vitamin content in hay and pasture can vary, especially after the drying process. Vitamins, particularly Vitamin E, are highly susceptible to degradation when exposed to sunlight and air during the haymaking process. As a result, the levels of certain vitamins, including Vitamin E, can be significantly reduced in hay compared to fresh pasture.

Horses rely on these vitamins for various physiological processes, such as antioxidant protection and immune function. Therefore, it is important to ensure that their diet includes adequate levels of vitamins to maintain health and prevent deficiencies.

Addressing vitamin deficiencies through diet supplementation

Supplementing the horse’s diet with a high-quality ration balancer like Woody’s can help address potential vitamin deficiencies. Woody’s Ration Balancer is formulated to provide optimal levels of vitamins to support the horse’s overall health and well-being.

By including a ration balancer in the horse’s diet, horse owners can be assured that their horse is receiving the essential vitamins needed to thrive, even when their diet primarily consists of forage.

Special Features of Woody’s Ration Balancer

Grain-free and low-NSC composition of Woody’s Ration Balancer

Woody’s Ration Balancer is grain-free, making it a suitable choice for horses with metabolic concerns, such as insulin resistance or obesity. Grains, such as corn or oats, contain higher levels of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), which can potentially exacerbate metabolic issues. By formulating Woody’s Ration Balancer without grain, it provides a low-NSC option for horses with these specific dietary requirements.

Role of Chelated Minerals in Woody’s Ration Balancer

Chelated minerals in Woody’s Ration Balancer offer several advantages over traditional mineral forms. Chelation involves binding minerals to amino acids, enhancing their bioavailability and absorption in the horse’s body. This means that the minerals in Woody’s Ration Balancer can be more effectively utilized by the horse, maximizing their benefits.

Chelated minerals in Woody’s Ration Balancer are formulated in the ideal ratios, ensuring optimal bioavailability and minimizing potential mineral imbalances. This helps support the horse’s overall health and well-being.

Function of yeast culture in Woody’s Ration Balancer

Yeast culture is included in Woody’s Ration Balancer to support the horse’s digestive system. Yeast culture aids in the breakdown and fermentation of fiber in the gut, promoting a healthy gut environment and optimal nutrient absorption. This can benefit horses, especially those with sensitive digestive systems or prone to digestive disturbances.

The inclusion of yeast culture in Woody’s Ration Balancer underscores its commitment to supporting the horse’s overall digestive health, promoting efficient digestion and nutrient utilization.

Frequency and Amount of Woody’s Ration Balancer for Different Horses

Ideal use of Woody’s Ration Balancer for easy keepers

Woody’s Ration Balancer is an ideal choice for easy keepers, horses that have a tendency to maintain weight easily. For these horses, a small amount (about a pound) of Woody’s Ration Balancer per day can provide the necessary nutrients without adding excess calories to their diet. This helps ensure that their nutrient requirements are met without contributing to weight gain or obesity.

Benefits of Woody’s Ration Balancer for workhorses during off-season

During the off-season or periods of decreased work, horses may be turned out to pasture for extended periods. Woody’s Ration Balancer is an excellent choice for these workhorses as it provides a concentrated source of nutrients to support their overall health and well-being during this time. It helps bridge the nutritional gap that may occur when the horse is relying primarily on forage for their diet.

Supplementing Woody’s Ration Balancer for horses on unfortified feed

Some horse owners may choose to feed their horses unfortified feeds, such as plain oats or basic sweet feed. While these feeds provide energy, they may lack essential nutrients. By supplementing the horse’s diet with Woody’s Ration Balancer, horse owners can ensure that their horse receives a balanced diet, including all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

No matter the specific feeding situation, Woody’s Ration Balancer serves as a valuable tool to ensure that horses receive the nutrients they need to thrive, regardless of the type of feed they consume.

Consistency of Woody’s Ration Balancer

Promises of consistency in every bag of Woody’s Ration Balancer

One of the key factors that sets Woody’s Ration Balancer apart is its promise of consistency. Every bag of Woody’s Ration Balancer is crafted in small batches in their one and only drug-free mill. This allows for meticulous attention to detail and a focus on maintaining strict quality control measures. The consistency in every bag ensures that horse owners can rely on the product to deliver the same high-quality nutrition that Woody’s is known for.

Benefit of crafting in small batches

Crafting Woody’s Ration Balancer in small batches allows for greater quality control and attention to detail. It ensures that each bag of ration balancer meets the company’s high standards for nutrient content and ingredient quality. This attention to detail translates to a product that consistently delivers the optimal combination of nutrients necessary to supplement a forage diet.

Use of fixed formulas in creating Woody’s Ration Balancer

Woody’s Ration Balancer utilizes fixed formulas, meaning that the ingredient composition remains the same across batches. This ensures that horse owners can trust that the bag they purchase today will be identical in its nutrient content and formulation to the one they purchase in the future. The use of fixed formulas adds to the consistency and reliability of Woody’s Ration Balancer as a trusted source of balanced nutrition for horses.

Cost Effectiveness of Woody’s Ration Balancer

Cost per day comparison with other horse feeds

When considering the cost effectiveness of Woody’s Ration Balancer, it is important to evaluate the cost per day compared to other horse feeds. While the initial cost of ration balancer may be higher than some other feeds on the market, the concentrated nature of the product means that a smaller quantity is needed to meet the horse’s nutrient requirements. This can result in a lower cost per day, making Woody’s Ration Balancer a cost-effective option for horse owners.

Long-term benefits of ensuring balanced nutrients for horses

Investing in a ration balancer like Woody’s can have long-term benefits for the horse’s health and well-being. By ensuring that the horse receives a balanced diet, including all the necessary nutrients, horse owners can help prevent deficiencies and promote optimal health. The long-term benefits include improved immune function, better hoof condition, and overall enhanced performance. By providing the horse with the nutrients it needs, Woody’s Ration Balancer contributes to the long-term health and longevity of the horse.

Dealing with forage variability throughout the year

Forage, such as hay or pasture, can vary in nutrient composition throughout the year. Factors such as soil composition, weather conditions, and processing methods can all impact the nutrient content of forage. Woody’s Ration Balancer offers a solution to address this variability by providing consistent and balanced nutrition. Regardless of the quality or nutrient content of the forage, Woody’s Ration Balancer helps fill any gaps and ensures that the horse receives the necessary nutrients to thrive.

Conclusion

Overall benefits of using Woody’s Ration Balancer for horses

Woody’s Ration Balancer offers numerous benefits for horses fed a forage only diet. By providing a concentrated source of nutrients, Woody’s helps address potential deficiencies in trace minerals and vitamins that may be present in forage alone. The specific formulation of Woody’s Ration Balancer, including its grain-free and low-NSC composition, chelated minerals, and yeast culture, supports proper digestion, overall health, and optimal performance.

Addressing horse nutrition deficiencies through balanced ration

Ensuring that horses receive a balanced diet is essential for their health and well-being. By addressing potential nutrient deficiencies through the use of ration balancers like Woody’s, horse owners can provide their horses with optimal nutrition, regardless of the type of feed or forage available.

Assurance of quality and consistency with Woody’s Ration Balancer

Woody’s Ration Balancer stands out for its commitment to quality and consistency. Crafted in small batches with fixed formulas, every bag of Woody’s Ration Balancer is guaranteed to provide the same high-quality nutrition. The use of high-quality ingredients and meticulous quality control measures ensures that horse owners can trust Woody’s to deliver consistently balanced nutrition for their horses.

In conclusion, Woody’s Ration Balancer offers a comprehensive solution for balancing the nutrition of a forage-only diet for horses. With its long-standing reputation, unique features, and commitment to quality and consistency, Woody’s is a trusted source of balanced nutrition for horses in every discipline. By supplementing a forage-only diet with Woody’s Ration Balancer, horse owners can provide their horses with the essential nutrients they need to thrive and ensure their overall health and well-being.