Dr. Tania Cubitt recently participated in a live Q&A event where she answered various equine nutrition questions. The topics discussed included debunking myths such as dry cubes choking horses, the dangers of toxic plants in pastures, the effectiveness of bran mashes in clearing sand from the gut, and the potential role of bermuda hay in causing colic. Additionally, Dr. Cubitt addressed the effects of different types of feeds, such as corn, alfalfa, sweet feed, and oats, on horse behavior. The event also covered the nutritional value of Standlee’s products, including alfalfa pellets and cubes. Overall, the Q&A session provided valuable insights on horse feeding myths and emphasized the importance of proper nutrition for horses’ health and well-being.

During the live event, participants were encouraged to introduce themselves and share their locations. Dr. Cubitt also shared her recent trip to New Zealand and discussed feeding myths related to horse nutrition. She emphasized the significance of providing water to horses and debunked the misconception that cold water can cause colic. The discussion included the use of different scales to weigh hay and cubes, as well as the risks of feeding cubes to horses. Other topics covered were feeding pellets and cubes, the nutritional content of hay flakes, and the benefits of adding fish to water troughs. Dr. Cubitt emphasized the importance of seeking professional advice, considering individual horse needs, and staying informed about equine nutrition through Standlee’s educational content and product releases.

Table of Contents

Background of the Q&A Event

Welcome to the comprehensive Q&A event on equine nutrition! This Facebook Live video aims to provide you with valuable information and clarify any misconceptions related to feeding horses. To kick off the event, let’s start with the opening segment of the video.

Opening segment of the Facebook Live video

In the opening segment, the hosts of the Q&A event, Dr. Cupit and a nutrition expert, greet the viewers and express their excitement to address various equine feeding topics. They emphasize the importance of understanding proper nutrition to ensure the health and well-being of our beloved horses.

Information about participants introducing themselves

Before delving into the specific discussions, the participants in the Q&A event introduce themselves. Dr. Cupit, a renowned equine veterinarian with expertise in nutrition, highlights his recent trip to New Zealand, where he gained valuable insights into unique feeding practices and encountered some interesting equine nutrition challenges.

Mention of Dr. Cupit’s recent trip to New Zealand

During his trip, Dr. Cupit had the opportunity to interact with local horse owners, veterinarians, and nutritionists. He witnessed firsthand the diverse feeding practices and learned about dietary myths prevalent in the horse community. Dr. Cupit’s experiences in New Zealand further fueled his passion for educating horse owners on proper equine nutrition.

Discussions on Equine Feeding Myths

In this section, the Q&A event addresses common myths related to equine feeding. Let’s explore and debunk these misconceptions together.

The myth of dry cubes choking horses

One prevalent myth suggests that feeding dry cubes to horses increases the risk of choking. In reality, the risk of choking is not necessarily higher with dry cubes compared to other feed types. The key to preventing choking incidents is to ensure that horses have access to clean water while consuming any type of feed.

Role of branmashes in clearing sand from gut

Another myth involves the use of branmashes to clear sand from a horse’s gut. While branmashes may serve as a laxative, they are not necessarily effective at removing sand. A more reliable approach to preventing sand-related issues is frequent monitoring and periodic deworming of horses to control sand intake.

Misconception that cold water causes colic in horses

One commonly misunderstood belief is that cold water causes colic in horses. However, the temperature of water ingested by horses rarely influences the development of colic. It is crucial to prioritize keeping horses hydrated, especially during hot weather or periods of intense physical activity.

Delving into Horse Feed Types

Let’s shift our focus towards different horse feed types and their significance in equine nutrition.

Discussion about the use of different types of scales for hay and cubes

When it comes to measuring the quantity of hay and cubes, using different scales is essential. It is advisable to have separate scales for measuring hay and cubes due to the difference in density. This ensures accurate portioning of feed, leading to more precise nutritional intake for the horses.

The nutritional value of Stanley alfalfa pellets and cubes

Stanley alfalfa pellets and cubes are popular feed options among horse owners due to their high nutritional value. These feed products are rich in protein, calcium, and various vitamins and minerals. They can be an excellent addition to a horse’s diet, providing the essential nutrients necessary for optimal health and performance.

The potential dangers of feeding toxic plants

It is crucial to be aware of the potential dangers associated with feeding horses toxic plants. Some plants, such as ragwort and yew, can be harmful or even fatal to horses. Horse owners should educate themselves on identifying, removing, and preventing access to these toxic plants to ensure the safety of their equine companions.

Addressing Specific Diet Questions

In this section, the Q&A event addresses specific questions related to equine diets.

The effect of corn/alfalfa/sweet feed/oats on horse behavior

Many horse owners wonder how different feed ingredients can affect their horses’ behavior. Corn, alfalfa, sweet feed, and oats are often associated with increased energy levels. However, it is important to remember that each horse is unique, and various factors contribute to behavior. Monitoring your horse’s response to different feed ingredients can help you determine what works best for their individual needs.

Feeding horses with cubes and associated risk of choking

Concerns about the risk of choking when feeding horses with cubes are common. While improper cube feeding techniques could potentially lead to choking, it is crucial to remember that proper hydration and monitoring are key. Ensuring horses have access to clean water while consuming cubes can help reduce the risk.

The benefits of adding fish to water troughs

Some horse owners have found success in adding fish, such as goldfish or minnows, to their horses’ water troughs. The presence of fish in the troughs can help keep the water moving, preventing stagnation and encouraging horses to drink more. However, it is important to consider the maintenance and suitability of this practice based on individual circumstances.

Comprehensive Equine Nutrition Information

Equine nutrition is a complex subject, and to make informed decisions, one must have a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Let’s explore some crucial aspects of equine nutrition in this section.

Dangers of withholding water from horses

Withholding water from horses is a harmful practice that can lead to severe health consequences. Horses rely on adequate hydration for proper digestion, temperature regulation, and overall well-being. Always ensure horses have access to clean water, especially during hot weather or strenuous activities.

Feeding flake of hay

Flakes of hay are a common way to portion hay for horses. However, it is important to understand the weight and nutritional value of a flake. The size and density of flakes can vary, leading to inconsistent nutritional intake. Consistently measuring hay by weight rather than relying solely on flake portions can help ensure horses receive the appropriate amount of forage.

The potential effects of chia seed pudding, whey-based protein feeds, and clover on horses

Chia seed pudding, whey-based protein feeds, and clover are often discussed in relation to their potential effects on horses. While chia seeds can offer certain nutritional benefits and whey-based protein feeds can be a source of high-quality protein, it is important to thoroughly research their usage and consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist before incorporating them into a horse’s diet. Additionally, some clover varieties can cause health issues in horses, so it is crucial to be aware of the specific type and its potential impact.

Debunking Misconceptions about Equine Feeding Practices

Misconceptions surrounding equine feeding practices are common. Let’s address a few of them in this section.

The myth of grain causing high spirit in horses

Contrary to the belief that grain causes a high spirit in horses, it is more accurate to attribute changes in behavior to the overall diet, including the amount and type of forage. A properly balanced diet, tailored to individual horse needs, can help maintain a calm and healthy temperament.

Appropriateness of alfalfa for older horses

Alfalfa is often questioned as a suitable feed for older horses due to concerns about its calcium content. While excess calcium intake can lead to imbalances, alfalfa can still be a valuable component of an older horse’s diet when appropriately balanced with other forages and supplements. Consultation with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist can help determine the appropriate inclusion of alfalfa in an older horse’s diet.

Unbalancing the calcium to phosphorus ratio due to incorrect feeding

An imbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratio in a horse’s diet can have detrimental effects on their health. incorrect feeding practices, such as excessive grain intake without proper supplementation, can lead to an imbalance. It is essential to ensure proper supplementation and balance in a horse’s diet with guidance from a knowledgeable professional.

Discussion about Pre-Exercise Equine Diet

The pre-exercise diet is crucial for a horse’s performance and well-being. Let’s discuss some considerations related to feeding horses before exercise.

Potential effects of feeding corn-based feeds and soaked forage products before exercise

Feeding corn-based feeds and soaked forage products before exercise can have varying effects on horses. Corn-based feeds are high-energy options and can provide readily available fuel for intense physical activity. Soaked forage products can offer hydration and easily digestible nutrients. However, individual horse needs and exercise intensity should be taken into account when determining the appropriate pre-exercise diet.

Choosing Hay for Horses

The selection of hay plays a vital role in meeting a horse’s nutritional needs. Let’s delve into the factors to consider when choosing hay for horses.

The importance of choosing hay based on specific needs of horses

Different horses have different nutritional requirements. Whether a horse requires high-quality hay, low-sugar hay, or hay suitable for specific health conditions, it is crucial to select hay that meets those specific needs. Conducting hay tests and consulting with an equine nutritionist can help horse owners make informed decisions.

The significance of hay tests for understanding nutritional value

Hay tests are valuable tools for understanding the nutritional value of hay. By analyzing hay samples, horse owners can determine nutrient levels, such as protein, sugar, and mineral content. This information enables precise dietary adjustments and ensures horses receive the necessary nutrients to support their overall health.

Special Dietary Discussions for Older Thoroughbreds

Older Thoroughbreds may have specific dietary requirements that differ from younger horses. Let’s explore some special considerations for feeding older Thoroughbreds.

Inclusion of alfalfa in older Thoroughbreds’ diet

As older horses may struggle to maintain body condition and muscle mass, incorporating alfalfa into their diet can have numerous benefits. Alfalfa provides easily digestible protein and essential nutrients, aiding in overall health, weight maintenance, and muscle support. However, as with any dietary changes, it is vital to consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to ensure appropriate inclusion and balance.

Possible effects of different types of proteins on Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbreds have special dietary needs due to their athletic demands. Different types of proteins, such as soybean meal or whey-based protein feeds, can have varying effects on Thoroughbreds. Consulting with an equine nutritionist can help determine the most appropriate protein sources for optimizing performance and maintaining overall health in these horses.


Throughout this Q&A event on equine nutrition, we have addressed various aspects of horse feeding. From debunking myths to discussing specific dietary questions and considerations, we’ve aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of equine nutrition. By expanding our knowledge and continuously learning, we can ensure the best possible care for our equine companions. Remember, always consult with professionals such as veterinarians or equine nutritionists to tailor a feeding program that suits your horse’s individual needs. Happy feeding and may your horses thrive with optimal nutrition!