Ponies with less access to pasture ‘eat more’
Pony insurance customers hoping to reduce the amount their ponies eat by limiting their time out to pasture might have to alter their strategy in light of recent research.
A study conducted by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University in collaboration with the Waltham Equine Studies Group found ponies with restricted access to pasture eat more when they are released to feed.
The reason suggested by the report is that the animals get used to their routine and compensate by consuming greater quantities in the limited time they are given.
Clare Barfoot, registered nutritionist and research and development manager at horse feed firm Spillers, commented: “The implication is that reducing ponies’ time out on normally managed pastures with the view to limiting the intake of rapidly fermentable carbohydrates may not be as effective as first thought.”
Those with equine insurance might want to keep their animals healthy by following the advice of Equine Therapy, which said forage feed is important when trying to keep the digestive systems of horses functioning properly.