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Check out our useful video on how to take a forage sample here.
Forage Analysis for horses
We offer complete, fast and efficient analysis testing for horses of all types of horse forage, equine soil and equine drinking water. Our reports are horse focused and easy to understand. We offer an expert and comprehensive support service and equine analysis testing for all horse owners.
We are interested in the levels of nutrients your horse is eating from the forage he/she eats. Our analysis testing for horses will tell you what your horse needs to be healthy.
We use a UKAS accredited laboratory for our full mineral analysis. This laboratory uses wet chemistry to screen samples and participates fully in a range of proficiency schemes.
Hay testing reports are particularly suitable for laminitis prone horses
We test both haylage and hay. We send samples for nutritional analysis to the United States of America because at this time no lab in the UK is carrying out appropriate analysis of sugar and starch for determining forage suitability for horses, particularly those with a metabolic state (good doer) which might mean that they are laminitis prone.
Our unique horse testing reports aim to help you interpret the ratios and levels of nutrients in your forage. The information is presented in text, numbers and graphs to help you see and understand the excess and deficiencies quickly.
Our horse nutritional analysis is the only hay and haylage test obtainable in the UK and Europe which includes both starch and ESC sugar. These figures have proved vital in maintaining the health of laminitis prone horses.
We can interpret the results of all grass, hay, or haylage tests for horses and calculate a bespoke feeding plan unique to your individual horse’s requirements. You will always need a full mineral analysis for this service but not always a nutritional analysis. The addition of a nutritional analysis however allows us to determine the quality and level of protein in your horse’s diet, an important factor in maintaining your horse’s health.
We also test water should it be appropriate. Those clients whose horses drink from boreholes, or natural sources may need to check the suitability of that water for livestock. Some water may be very high in certain minerals which can affect the maintenance of health over time. We assist you with the procedure for sampling and carrying out your analysis.
Clients who wish to improve their pasture and paddocks may wish to carry out an equine paddock soil analysis to determine mineral status and pH. Equine paddock soil tests will tell you what your soil needs to be healthy.
Our soil analysis is based on Albrecht principles. These tests will allow you to determine the ratio of nutrients in the soil microbiome and what you need to add to the soil to correct mineral imbalances that will affect grass growth, health and mineral uptake. It is well worth the expense and time to rehabilitate your soils, especially if your pH is too acidic or alkaline. If the soils are too acidic the plants will not be able to take up many of the nutrients that are in the soil. Treating soils however is a long term project, treatments can take a long time before you will notice any benefits. Liming, for example, can take as long as a couple of years before the soil pH increases and nutrient uptake improves.
Individual mineral testing gives your horse a bespoke approach
We sell separate minerals so that balancing your horse’s feed is easy and economical. We also sell ready mixed, forage focussed, balancers which often match the many forage samples our customers carry out. Where the balancers don’t quite match we can advise you further on how to add just a few separates to optimise and truly balance your supplementation for maintenance of the healthy state of your horse. We provide you with instructions for scoop amounts of individual minerals and also batch mix instructions so you can mix your own forage focussed supplement. Our plan can accommodate your hard feed or supplement preferences or we can formulate a completely new diet for you, choosing the best feeds on the market which suit both your purse and your horse needs but matched carefully to the profile of your forage.
Our plans will help ensure that the mineral ratios are at their optimum, to lessen the chance that too much of one mineral is blocking the absorption of another. For example, a high iron intake in comparison to copper and zinc has been shown to depress the absorption of copper and zinc.
Correct levels of copper and zinc, for example, help maintain healthy tendons and ligaments, good coat colour and strong hoof integrity.
Forage Focused™ balancers are a great option for your horse
Where you cannot use forage analysis, use our Forage Focused™ Horse Feed Balancers to give your horse the next best option. These balancers have been formulated with close reference to the hundreds of forage analyses we carry out each year. They focus on a ratio, low iron approach to supplementing horses.
At Forageplus we are able to test your grass for its full mineral profile. This allows you to find out if there are any mineral imbalances within the grass or any antagonists. We do not offer a nutritional analysis for grass and we have an interesting article explaining this in detail here.
Take a look at our grass analysis for horses here.
We offer some different options for testing your horse’s hay, from our NIR hay analysis to Wet Chemistry hay analysis. We can also test for nitrates toxicity. Take a look at our full range of hay tests for horses here.
In the same ways in which we test hay, you can also test your haylage. Take a look at our range of haylage for horses tests here.
Use analysis testing for horses to optimise horse nutrition and health
Dr E. Kellon, VMD, a leader in the field of applications of nutraceuticals for horses in America says,
Healthy young to middle-aged horses will tolerate a wide range of mineral imbalances with no obvious outward signs. However to maintain optimum health, vibrant coat colour, robust tendons, ligaments and joints, a strong immune system, healthy muscles, healthy nerves, a well functioning metabolic system, good fertility and bone, excellent nutrition is a vital component. To enhance genetics and combat outside influences, to ensure an advanced healthy state, checking the level of minerals in forage is worth investigating since it is well within our control.