Feeding Children’s Ponies: Fitness not Fatness

Feeding Children’s Ponies: Fitness not Fatness

When feeding a child’s pony, there are many factors that need to be considered in order to maintain the fine balance between fitness and fatness whilst keeping them sane and safe to ride by the youngest of jockeys. Typically, we tend to see Native breeds such as the Shetland, Welsh Section A’s and B’s and Connemara cross breeds dominating the local riding club show rings throughout the summer season, however, due to the ‘good doing’ nature of these hardy, reliable ponies, it is important to carefully consider their diet and ensure that they are being fed to satisfy both our and their needs. Firstly, it is highly important to match the level of work that the pony is in to their diet in order to discourage excess weight gain and reduce the risk of developing conditions such as Laminitis and obesity, which ponies are quite prone to as the spring grass comes through and when their diet is not effectively managed. Fibre is so important in the diet of any horse or pony and should make up the bulk of their feeding regime but on some occasions, when grazing is too rich, it may be beneficial for your pony to experience a period of restricted grazing and receive fibre through an alternative source, such as a low calorie chaff which you can easily control the feeding of. This may worry some pony owners as they may feel that due to restricting the level of grass taken in, their pony may not be receiving the vitamins and minerals that they need to remain in good health. This can be easily...
Changing Diets for Changing Workloads

Changing Diets for Changing Workloads

The new competition season is upon us, and no doubt there are several dates already pencilled in the calendar for competitions and outings in the months ahead for you and your four legged friend to enjoy. However, in order to make the most of the season ahead and ensure your horse or pony stays happy, sound and healthy, it is very important in the run up to this exciting period to nutritionally prepare them for the changes that will occur in their workload and routine. What do we have to consider? Matching your horse or pony’s diet to their workload is primarily based upon supplying the correct level of calories and nutrients they need on a daily basis to maintain the level of condition that you desire, whilst fuelling their increased exercise regime and keeping their diet balanced at all times. Sounds tricky? Not when you know how to utilise the correct dietary components and feed them effectively! The first principal that must be taken into consideration is the fact that horses have a limited appetite and can only physically consume the equivalent of 2-2.5% of their bodyweight per day in feed. Due to this factor, when increasing workload, it is important to ensure the diet is more energy and nutrient dense in order to provide ‘more per mouthful’ to meet increased nutritional demands. For this reason, it is typical that when we are asking more of our horses and ponies, to include a greater proportion of concentrated feed alongside less of a more nutritious form of forage to increase the Digestible Energy available in the diet without increasing...
Which Balancer For My Horse?

Which Balancer For My Horse?

The Blue Chip Super Concentrated Balancers: Which Balancer Is For Your Horse? The Blue Chip Super Concentrated Balancers are 100% natural, whole cereal and molasses-free, and their highly nutrient dense formulas have been specifically developed to maintain optimum health in horses and ponies by combining carefully selected levels of vitamins and minerals with a probiotic digestive supplement and Nucleotides to aid nutrient absorption, promoting health and well-being from the inside out. Each balancer has been enhanced with specific ingredients to suit all horses and ponies, with the Calming Balancer featuring magnesium and L-tryptophan to reduce stress and anxiety, Senior Balancer containing Chaste Tree Berry extract for correct pituitary function in veterans, ULSA-Cool incorporates a slow-release acid buffering agent to improve digestive comfort and Daily Health contains specifically tailored levels of key minerals and vitamins to ensure optimum health on a daily basis. Stressed? Anxious? Worried? The Blue Chip Super Concentrated Calming Balancer is the choice for you! It combines all the high quality ingredients of the Blue Chip Feed Balancers with magnesium, L-tryptophan and chamomile which have proven calming effects on horses and ponies. The primary reason for combining a calmer and a feed balancer is that stress and digestion have a symbiotic relationship; stress can cause digestive issues, and digestive issues can cause stress. The probiotics in the balancer restore the natural balance of the gut flora and help to maintain the natural well-being of the digestive system, allowing optimum utilisation of the carefully formulated combination of vitamins, minerals and nutrients present in all the Blue Chip Balancers Chloe Hardy got in touch to tell us about her...
Choosing the Right Feed Balancer for Your Horse!

Choosing the Right Feed Balancer for Your Horse!

Choosing the right feed balancer for your horse can be a minefield due to the choice and availability of these popular products that provide your horse or pony with a complete vitamin and mineral package, alongside quality sources of protein and other specific supplements that make selecting the right one so hard. So how can Blue Chip help? Firstly, all Blue Chip balancers are formulated using the best ingredients that promote optimum health and well-being in your horse or pony including specifically balanced vitamins, minerals and nutrients, a top quality probiotic to ensure digestive efficiency, Nucleotides for cell replication and repair, and dedicated hoof and respiratory supplements to keep your horse or pony in top condition all year round. Which Balancer Should I Choose? Blue Chip Original – The best-selling balancer that maintains topline and condition by promoting correct muscle development via the inclusion of a high quality source of protein alongside specifically tailored levels of Zinc and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that ensure scurf free skin and a glossy, gleaming coat. Blue Chip Pro – The perfect choice when aiming to provide your horse with the higher level of nutrition they need when increasing their workload or stepping up a level of competition. Containing the blood-building supplement RedjuvenateTM, Blue Chip Pro helps your horse or pony to facilitate efficient transport of oxygen around the body following the promotion of red blood cell turnover, leading to improved stamina and recovery rates The New Super Concentrated Balancer Range has been developed to be highly nutrient dense and contain all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed to thrive on...
New Year, New Feed Balancer!

New Year, New Feed Balancer!

As the New Year comes around, we are all thinking about setting goals and targets for the season ahead; whether it be to step up a competition level in our chosen discipline, or simply to keep our horses happy, healthy and in optimum condition. In order to fulfil these resolutions, it may be the perfect time to reconsider the feeding regime we have for our horses and ponies and introduce a Blue Chip Balancer into their diet to provide them with a complete nutritional package to keep them thriving and at the top of their game all year round. Blue Chip Original is the best-selling balancer in the Blue Chip range and has been specifically formulated to provide all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your horse or pony needs on a daily basis to gain condition and maintain a steady weight all year round. It incorporates a high quality yeast probiotic into its formula to promote a healthy bacterial gut balance and improve digestive efficiency, which when combined with Nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and RNA, forms a double action digestive supplement which can increase fibre digestibility by up to 100%, perfect for helping your horse or pony gain as much nutrition as possible out of the diet you provide. If you are looking to increase your horses’ workload this coming year, Blue Chip Original provides a high quality source of protein to aid correct muscle formation and the development of a strong topline, as well as Omega 3 and 6 oils from soya and linseed oils which have anti-inflammatory properties and help to keep the skin strong...
Spotlight on Showing: Tips on Keeping Winter Show Condition

Spotlight on Showing: Tips on Keeping Winter Show Condition

With Olympia well underway and now that we are well and truly in the throes of winter, where dark nights, cold weather and changing turnout conditions pose all kinds of challenges to us as horse owners, a common problem we encounter is maintaining our horse or pony’s weight and condition as we progress through the winter show season. In order to effectively manage this as winter draws on, there are several easy changes you can make to the diet of your horse or pony to ensure that they are receiving adequate nutrition to help them thrive throughout the cold snap. Include More Fibre Fibre is the most ‘warming’ dietary component, due to its digestion in the gut producing heat, which your horse or pony can utilise in vital metabolic processes to keep himself warm, rather than wasting the energy provided in the feed that you give him to build condition. To add fibre to the diet, using a chaff is an effective way of including fibre in a bucket feed, whereas ensuring ad-lib hay or haylage is available allows a natural, trickle-feeding action to occur, keeping the gut motile and healthy as fibre is passing through on a regular basis. All Blue Chip balancers contain a high quality probiotic, which doubles the digestibility of fibre in the hind gut, allowing increased levels of nutrition to be gained from the ration that you include in your horse’s diet, helping to provide those extra calories needed for winter warmth. Feed a Balancer Feeding a balancer is a perfect way of ensuring that your horse or pony is receiving all the vitamins,...