Avoid the “Eww..Yuck” factor!

Often times palatability complaints are due more to the sudden onset of a new supplement and have less to do with taste or texture.

Horses don’t like change. For Example: You wouldn’t immediately throw a saddle on a green horse.  Instead you start by letting them sniff the saddle pad… place the saddle pad on their back… apply pressure to new areas with your own hands… lightly place the saddle on their back, but do not tighten the girth…  walk the horse around…  attach the girth loosely… tighten the girth slowly after several minute intervals… all while soothing the horse and feeding treats…

Now why do we think we can just go and throw a whole slew of supplements into their feed and expect them not to notice!

Feeding Pellets To Horse

Most palatability testing is done by feeding the supplement directly to a horse.

  • The best way to start a new supplement is to start it slowly.  Not only will the horse be more willing to try a little mixed into their feed, they are less likely to even recognize a change!
  • Try splitting up the dose between morning and afternoon feeding.  If you feed only once a day, start with a dose below the recommendation and work into the full dose over a period of 7-10 days to fully introduce the recommended dose.
equi-omegaInBucket2wScoop

Dose size varies so it is wise to divide the recommended feeding between morning and afternoon

  • Use a sugar-free flavoring or sugar-free applesauce to top dress the supplement and help bind it to the feed.  These flavorings work wonders and don’t exhibit a glycocemic response so they are safer to use than straight up molasses.
  • Experiment with your horse as some may prefer pellets over powders or vise versa
  • Give your horse time. Even if at first they refuse, allow them time to sniff it out and develop a broader palate!

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some horses that lick their bucket clean regardless of what is put in it.   If this is your horse, then your only concern should be them eating too much too quickly!

About Dr. Kellon

Graduate of University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School. Owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions, www.drkellon.com, industry and private nutritional consultations, online nutritional courses. Staff Veterinary Expert at Uckele Health and Nutrition.
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