Is Your Horse Sweet Enough?


Horses evolved as foragers, spending their days roaming the land and grazing on low nutritional value grasses and other vegetation. Nowadays as a result of domestication, horses graze on improved pasture in more confined areas that tends to contain much more sugar than the moors or forests that the native ponies would have grazed.

Cereals were also introduced to the horse’s diet, which are much higher in starch and lower in fibre.

Research has shown that too much sugar and starch increase the risk of digestive problems such as gastric ulcers and laminitis.

How Much Sugar Does An Average Horse Consume?

It is difficult to know how much sugar a horse consumes, but under certain conditions, grass can provide up to 40% sugars on a dry matter basis. In practice, this means that for every 1 kilo of grass the horse consumes, they’re eating around 80g of sugar. An average 14.2hh horse can consume between 1.6kg – 3.2kg of sugar per day depending on the level in the pasture.

In a typical section of hay  weighing 2 kilos, you may find between 250g and 450g of sugar. Lower sugar levels may be found in haylage, if it has been properly fermented.

Many horses and ponies graze happily on pasture, but if you have a horse or pony with laminitis, EMS or is overweight, low sugar and starch diets are essential.

How To Reduce Sugar And Starch In Your Horse’s Diet?

At Dengie, we’re devoted to low sugar and starch diets, and have a no added sugar feed to suit any horse or pony because they are #sweetenough.

Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free is the ideal feed for leisure horses and ponies who require a molasses free, no added sugar and low starch diet. Hi-Fi Molasses Free is the lowest combined sugar, starch and energy feed within the Dengie range.

Dengie Alfa-A Molasses Free is the perfect fibre feed for fuelling work or promoting condition when a low sugar diet is required. It is on average 10 times lower in starch than a typical medium energy mix or cube and has a similar energy level.

Dengie Healthy Hooves Molasses Free is a low calorie,  nutritionally balanced fibre feed containing essential nutrients, including biotin for healthy hooves. With no added sugar and low starch, it’s all you need to feed your horse or pony to ensure they’re receiving a balanced diet with no need for extra mix, cubes or supplements.

For more information about our molasses free fibre feeds, contact our friendly feedline today on 01621 841188.