“Free from” is a popular phrase that has been borrowed from the human food world. Common “free from” options for equine owners in the horse food marketplace include products without molasses, cereal grains (i.e. maize, oats, barley), alfalfa, soya, or genetically modified soya. If your horse has been diagnosed by your vet with a known allergy to one of these ingredients, feeding products that are free from that ingredient should remove the symptoms and signs previously associated with the problem.
In the absence of a diagnosed food allergy, choosing to feed a diet that is free from a particular ingredient may be more about personal preference and/or the avoidance of what that raw material contributes to the diet. In the case of molasses, it mainly contributes sugars that can help with palatability, texture, and distribution of component pieces within a muesli. Simple sugars are readily digested by the horse in their small intestine and rapidly increase plasma glucose. Much like in people, excessive dietary sugar can also impact dental health. If your vet has advised against feeding sugary foods to your horse or pony because of an insulin related issue or due to the presence of dental caries, it might be worth considering one of our molasses free options. All are very low in sugar; however, please remember that sugar is not synonymous with starch and therefore, the four options are able to cater to a variety of nutrient needs.
The Molasses Free category from Dodson & Horrell is made up of:
- Barley Rings – A higher starch and low sugar complementary feeding stuff that incorporates traditionally conditioning ingredients in a modern format to support adult horses and ponies needing to gain weight.
- Cushcare Condition – A unique coarse crumble that is low in starch and sugar whilst still supporting weight gain and condition; this product can be fed dry or as a mash.
- Build & Glow – An outstanding source of dense concentrated calories stemming from a blend of oils balanced and vitamin E, this moderate starch and low sugar complementary feeding stuff supports weight gain and coat condition.
- KwikBeet – A quick soaking super fibre that is low in starch and sugar, this complementary feeding stuff can be used as a partial forage replacement and to support digestion.
If you have any questions about whether a “free from” diet is right for you, consider discussing your horse’s diet with your vet or nutritionist. They can help you determine if it is more important to remove a specific ingredient from the diet, or rather control the provision of that ingredient. If you have questions about inclusion levels of ingredients within the products you are using, consider reaching out to our nutritional helpline on 01270 782 223, or you can start a LiveChat on the website to speak to one of our friendly nutritionist team.