Until I met the love of my life, Erik, (no, not my husband, yes, my horse) I didn't realise how difficult it would be to place a horse on the right diet. I don't suppose it helps that my previous horses have always been 'good doers' and rarely required anything more than hay and a few nuts as a token gesture! So, when Spillers contacted me to write a review regarding one of their feed balancers I jumped at the chance of some good nutritional advice from one of their experts. After a chat and Erik’s life history, they decided The ‘Original Multi Balancer’ was the perfect match.
Here's how we got on:
Erik is a 17.2hh Dutch Warmblood, who I compete at affiliated dressage. Given his size and 'flighty' nature, I have always struggled keeping weight on him. Approximately 12 months ago, we had a tumble, that caused him to damage his pelvis quite severely. So now, I also have to consider his muscle tone and core strength.
I started Erik on the balancer approximately one month ago. One thing I can say, for a fussy horse he loves it! Mixed with some chop and a touch of water and he is a happy chappy! As of yet, I haven't had to resort to adding sugar beet or treacle, which is ideal, as these tend to heat him up a bit! The balancer is non-heating, being low in starch and sugar, so thankfully I have a calmer ride.
The original balancer is ideal to provide the nutrients needed by horses everyday, plus it has the added benefit of digestive, immune and muscle support. Since being on the balancer, Erik looks and seems well in himself. His coat is glossy; he is alert and 'fresh' and I have noticed that his faeces are always formed and normal in colour. Quite often, especially in winter, he can struggle with his bowels. I think it stems from the inconsistency of haylage. I was having to wash his tail on a regular basis, as he was so dirty, and mucking out was a nightmare! I was using twice as much bedding! This past month, I have had no issues, which in turn must mean Erik is more comfortable in himself!
Another bonus is the muscle support the diet gives. It is rich in amino acids to help support muscle development and top-line. This is ideal for Erik, as due to the instability in his pelvis, we have been working on core strength and muscle development and I believe this feed has really aided this. He certainly feels like he has come back from his accident to being fighting fit and I'm relieved to see he has no muscle wastage on his quarters!
Finally my farrier is much happier with Erik's hooves! I was always being told that his feet were a mess and very brittle. I've tried biotin as an added supplement to his food, but being fussy he was never very keen on this. Thankfully, the balancer has this added in as an extra! So, Erik’s happier, I’m happier and his farrier is happier than he usually is!
Overall, I think the Multi Balancer is perfect for your general day to day feeding. I'm impressed that Erik eats it so willingly and his digestive health is so much better! Locally, a 20kg bag retails at £33.99. Erik is approx 650kg in weight meaning he needs 650g per day added to his bucket. Thankfully, I have a handy SKUP feed scoop (read our SKUP Product Review HERE) so measuring this was easy. The SKUP has a handy guide, pin pointing the 1 litre mark so I found it very easy to estimate 650 grams without the need for weigh scales! The one bag lasts Erik 30 days, working out around £1.13 per day, which I would say is average for a decent balancer.
If you would like some expert nutritional advice from the fantastic team at Spillers you can phone their handy Careline on: 01908 226626 OR why not visit their website which is bursting with info at: