Are all Cavalor supplements safe for horses at any age?
Cavalor supplements are safe as long as label instructions are followed. Cavalor labels specify when a supplement can be fed safely to foals. In general, we do not recommend feeding supplements to horses with less than six months of age unless specified on the the label.
Are blood analyses a good parameter for classifying overall health?
There are quite a few things that can be observed from blood analyses that pertain to the health of your horse, but not everything. Blood tests are not a trusted form of verifying mineral and vitamin levels in the body as fat soluble vitamins do not show in the blood. Vitamin E for example, is stored in body fat. A complete clinical check-up by a veterinarian will give you a better idea of overall health. Blood analyses are more suitable for checking immunity status and muscle, liver and kidney function as well as the presence of worms.
Proteins are needed to produce body fiber, skin, hair, muscle cells, connective tissue and hooves. Proteins are a vital part of the brains, blood, enzymes and hormones and are needed for mares to produce milk. Sufficient levels of protein in the body are essential for growth, reproduction, lactation, resistance to disease and for recovery and replacement of all body tissues, such as muscle cells. An oversupply of protein in feed rations exists when the protein level exceeds 150 % of the horse’s daily requirement. Too much protein in rations will be converted into either energy or body fat by the horse, but the conversion process is not a particularly economical one. Carbohydrates (grains) supply three times more energy; fats supply six times more energy. In addition, a huge amount of heat is released when energy is released from proteins, which in turn causes the horse to sweat profusely.
Other effects of protein oversupply in daily rations include:
overburdening of the liver, as a result of break-down products of protein metabolism;
high urine ammonia levels, which is bad for the horse's respiration;
undue stress, as a result of changes in blood nitrogen levels, causing a number of hormone contents (chiefly thyroid) to change, which in turn may cause azoturia (tying-up);
skin problems such as summer scabies; and
swollen legs as a result of an overly strained liver.
All of the foregoing shows why we do not use undue amounts of protein in Cavalor® feed concentrate. The proteins we do use, however, are the best quality available.
Can you switch from one Cavalor feed at to another at any time?
The Cavalor feed range has been designed for mixing and matching. Cavalor feeds can be switched from one day to another with no side effects.
Note that in general, changing rations (non-Cavalor feeds) is a gradual process done in a 5-10 day period.
Do different kinds of energy need different kinds of energy sources to function properly?
There are two different types of energy sources: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic and anaerobic refer to the presence and absence of oxygen. Aerobic energy refers to the use of oxygen. Most of our cells prefer to get their energy by using oxygen to fuel metabolism. During aerobic exercise, with adequate fuel and oxygen, muscle cells can contract repeatedly without fatigue (e.g., Endurance, Driving, Dressage, Eventing, long distance racing).
For aerobic activity, suitable rations should be high in vegetable fats, such as soy oil, corn oil and linseed oil.
Anaerobic energy refers to not using oxygen. Muscle cells must rely on other reactions that do not require oxygen to fuel muscle contraction (e.g., high intensity exercises such as: Show Jumping and short distance racing).
For anaerobic activity, suitable rations should contain higher levels of starch such as oats, wheat, etc.
It is important to pay close attention to avoid an overdose on sugars and starches, as it can cause muscle problems.
Bottom line, feed as needed based on the level of activity of your horse.
To avoid muscle fatigue, we recommend supplementing your horse’s diet with Cavalor Muscle Liq, or Cavalor Muscle Fit.
Bran is good for the intestines of the horse. This explains why it has been mixed into Cavalor horse feeds in the form of wheat bran pellets. As such, there is no real need to add extra bran, although you may chose to do so in a limited amount to prevent rations from becoming improperly balanced.
Do I need to decrease the amount of supplements in my horse’s diet after a competition season or during a break?
It is recommended to decrease supplementation during periods of rest. It is also recommend to feed less if there is no activity. It is important to feed as needed!
During resting periods, we strongly recommend cleansing with Cavalor Hepato Liq as it will allow the horse to better absorb nutrients.
Less training means less feeding. It is definitely important to feed as you need and take activity into account. Horses may require more energy and vitamins during the winter due to cold weather and shortage of daylight.
Do I need to feed my mare in foal something extra?
Switch to the Probreed mare mix during the last three months of pregnancy. Prior to that, the normal ration adequately meets the mare's requirements. Probreed contains all the vitamins and minerals needed for the foal to properly develop. Probreed is a complete feed, which does not to be topped with any supplements.
By feeding a properly balanced feed with a high fat content and the necessary vitamins (E, B1, B12) and minerals such as selenium (Se) and magnesium (Mg). Forage also plays an important part in this. Moreover, the horse’s feed must provide the proper protein/energy balance. Equally important is providing the correct proportion electrolytes (balance among sodium, potassium, magnesium and chlorine).
How many pounds of grain should I feed my horse/pony?
This is not something that can be established just off the cuff, as it depends on a variety of factors. Consideration must be given to the type of performance the animal is expected to do, its overall condition, whether or not the animal is in foal, the breed of horse, etc. In order to determine a proper ration, one must also consider the quality and amount of forage the animal is being fed. Only then is it possible to determine the number of pounds of grain and/or any supplements that are required. (For this, please feel free to consult our FRASC ration calculator software. Please note, however, that every horse is different. The calculations serve as a guideline only. You know your horse best and should evaluate his condition on a regular basis.
Twice a day is not really enough. Because of the small content size of the stomach, horses need to eat small portions several times a day. This means that feeding three times a day is not a luxury; it is essential to your horse’s health. Not only does this serve to prevent digestive upsets, but it also counters boredom. Boredom can result in such vices as wind sucking, cribbing and weaving.
How much water should my horse drink on a daily basis?
A horse should drink between 30-50 liters (i.e. about 8-12 gallons) of water per day on average. The water should be clean and free of contaminants. If you use “ground water” it is recommended to have it tested for contaminants twice a year.
I don’t see amino acids listed on the label. Do Cavalor feeds contain amino acids?
Cavalor feeds contain amino acids – Protein is converted into amino acids in the body. If amino acids are listed on a feed label, it generally means that synthetic amino acids have been added to the formula. Adding synthetic amino acids can have a negative impact on the activity of natural amino acids.
I have a horse with insulin resistance/obesity issues. Cavalor FiberForce was recommended but I am nervous to feed it because of the alfalfa in it.
It is a common thought that alfalfa should never be fed to overweight/obese horses or those with metabolic problems because it is “too rich”. Oftentimes, we find that pasture grass is higher in NSC than alfalfa. Cavalor FiberForce is mainly alfalfa STEMS which are high in fiber, contain some protein, and not rich in sugars or starch. Rest assured that the NSC content in Cavalor FiberForce is appropriate and safe for horses struggling with obesity and/or insulin resistance.
I have heard that wheat middling can create "dough balls" in the stomach of horses. What is your opinion on the use of wheat middling?
Pellets containing more than 50% of wheat middling can create this problem. Cavalor only uses wheat middling as a carrier in some pellets or some wheat middling pellets in mixtures as a fiber and protein source. However, Cavalor does not use more than 20-25%, which is very safe. US low starch feeds often contain more than 50% of beet pulp, which is swelling more than 3 times than wheat middling.
I want to feed my young horses extra calcium. That is why I add chalk feed.
This is an often-made mistake. Feeding just calcium (Ca) means that you will have side effects such as a poor absorption of phosphorus (P) and magnesium (Mg). The result can be horses that end up with crooked legs as they get older. So it is very important to make sure that what you give in all cases is a well balanced supplement or feed.
Is it possible for my horse to develop a gastric ulcer?
Certainly. Gastric ulcers are quite common in horses in training or competition horses. Usually the ulcerations are found in the upper section of the stomach and are caused by the stomach being exposed to gastric acid for too long. Because sport horses are principally given feed concentrates and not enough forage, acidity levels (pH) drop and the production of saliva plummets. Saliva is a natural protective coating that lines the stomach while also serving to neutralize excess gastric acid.
Is silage maize/silage grass a good feed for my horse?
There is no harm in adding a small amount of silage maize to the rations that are served, but we would advise against adding too much, as this gives the animal too much energy and not enough essential amino acids. For silage grass, it is the quality that matters most. Best are coarse stalks and twigs that have been harvested at the right time (i.e., not prematurely) and not overfertilized. This provides a quality of silage grass that does not contain excessive amounts of protein and makes for a good quality horse feed. If you have silage grass available that is very high in protein, you will need to adjust the ration by using a feed that is low in protein, such as Pianissimo.
Is there a link between the type of feed a horse is on and OCD (osteochondritis dissecans)?
A variety of factors are involved in this: movement, feed and genetics. Feed does not really come into the equation until the horse turns 1. From then on, the developing horse will need to grow at a steady pace, without an oversupply of proteins or starch. Cavalor feeds provide extra oil as a source of energy, along with plenty of crude fiber in addition to the roughage or forage you feed. With regard to minerals, proper emphasis is placed on copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn). You should also try to prevent viral infections, as these may affect the joints and bones.
Is there a specially formulated feed for horses that are prone to colic?
Yes, horses that are prone to colic are best fed on feeds that contain a high level of fiber such as hay, straw, Strucomix, etc. The important thing is to feed your horse several times a day. By feeding small amounts on a regular basis, the digestive system (especially the hind gut and the large intestine) is kept properly filled, thereby reducing the chance of colic. The crude fiber contained in the forage keeps the digestive system active, which is best for the horse.
My horse eats all his straw while stabled. Why is this and how do I address it?
On average, adult horses eat anywhere between 10 and 11 kg of dry substance a day. If the horse is not getting enough, it will go out and try to supplement whatever it is not getting. If there is no hay around, the horse will resort to eating straw. At the worst, the horse may even take to eating wood shavings or other stable litter. Often, this kind of behavior is also prompted by boredom, which occurs when horses have too much spare time and finish eating too quickly. Feeding extra hay is the best solution, preferably as much and as often as desired. Too much straw may cause digestive problems, as the equine digestive system has trouble digesting the lignin inside the straw.
My horse has grown so old that most of its molars have dropped out. Could Senior assist in maintaining condition and if so, how much feed is required?
The Senior mix contains ingredients that are not too hard to chew. This offers horses with impaired chewing ability the opportunity to stay at proper weight with a reasonable number of kilos of feed. This amount is normally a maximum of 1 kg for every 100 kg of live body weight. The inclusion of puffed grains and easily digestible pellets, which are carriers of easily absorbable proteins, greatly assists in keeping feed consumption within certain limits while maintaining proper condition.
My horse is prone to colic. What can I do to remedy this?
Feeding the horse Mash & Mix may help prevent colic. Because of its specific composition, this feed infuses the intestines with sufficient moisture. This helps avoid congestion and blockages. Combined with hay or good-quality silage grass, this will significantly help prevent the problem from arising. As a top-dress to the forage ration, you can also feed carrots or fodder beet (known in the U.S. as beet pulp).
My horse is suffering from muscle acidification. I have been advised to feed a pure grain mix. Is this right?
The principal cause underlying any muscle problems is the oversupply of grains (especially oats and wheat) and a lack of crude fiber. For obvious reasons, you will need to adjust the ration and definitely avoid feeding a pure grain mix.
Should I supplement biotin to improve hoof quality?
Biotin is an essential nutrient for hoof growth and quality. However, other nutrients like methionine, copper, sulfur, calcium and vitamin A are also important nutrients for maintaining hoof growth and quality. Cavalor hoof supplements provides abroad spectrum of nutritional tools for maintaining hoof growth and quality.
What about the widely held belief that in springtime there is so much grass that it is not necessary to feed horses any extra feed concentrate? Is there any truth to this?
No. This is a misconception. There may well be a lot of grass available at that time of year, but this young grass has a very specific composition: it provides very little in the way of crude fiber, little energy, a very high level of protein and a lack of minerals such as copper and magnesium. The result is often apparent in young horses that have distended, over-filled joints. This is why it is paramount to adjust feeding during this time of year using a feed that balances these deficiencies while containing only a moderate level of protein.
Specific symptoms pointing to liver problems arise only when a high percentage of the liver is already damaged. In earlier stages of liver damage there may be non-specific signs such as: low appetite, weight loss, poor coat condition, diarrhea, stomach pain, restlessness or tiredness. Jaundice and photosensitivity of non-pigmented skin may also be related to liver disease. Horse owners should contact a veterinarian when a liver problem is suspected.
What are the most important nutrients for my growing foal?
Besides energy and vitamins, foals need various nutritional building blocks to support their growth such as, minerals and proteins (i.e. amino acids like lysine). The intake level of these nutrients is important, but the ratio in which they are fed is crucial. Cavalor ProGrow is specially designed to provide the needed nutritional support for foals, young horses and brood mares.
Cavalor ProGrow contains eight different vitamins including vitamins A, B3, C, D3 and E. Together, these vitamins boost immunity, stimulate calcium and phosphate absorption for bone formation and help prevent muscular dystrophy among other benefits.
What are the negative side effects associated with high starch feeds?
High starch feeds cause a negative impact on digestion and blood glucose levels. If the ration is high in starch, the small intestine will be unable to digest the full intake, causing the leftovers to go into the large intestine. Starch in the large intestine interferes with acidity levels, causing improper function of microorganism and digestive problems.
Feeds high in starch can cause blood glucose levels to peak, causing an increase in lactic acid production which can result in muscle damage.
What can I supplement to a foal with swollen joints as a result of growing pains?
Cavalor Arti Base can be safely used as a supplement for foals and young horses who appear to have swollen legs. Cavalor ProGrow may be used when there are indications that the overall growth of a healthy horse should be supported with additional nutrients.
Summer eczema is the result of an allergic reaction to the saliva of a mosquito. This mosquito is primarily active around sunrise and sunset during the warmer months. Cavalor Sw-Itch keeps this pest at a distance, and you can keep the itch under control.
First, take a look at your current ration. Make sure you are feeding a ration low in sugars and starches; try to avoid oats and wheat. The ration should be low in protein (preferably less than 11%) and high in fiber (at least 11%).
It is important to provide roughage throughout the day, as it will allow your horse to stay busy and calmer.
For more information on Cavalor calming solutions, checkout the “Nervousness & Behavior” category under the product section of this website.
The principle is identical: various ingredients mixed according to different formulas. The production of chunks involves the mixture being milled before being pressed into the desired shape. The difference is reflected in the way the ingredients look; the visual aspect is totally irrelevant for chunks, but it is important when it comes to mixes and muesli. For example, whether or not a barley flake is nicely flat and rounded or whether it has been crushed into small pieces, its nutritional value is the same.
What is the difference between white and black oats?
Black oats are grown in warmer climate areas, which serves to ensure a more consistent quality. The bushel weight of this type of oat is often considerably higher. Also, the husk of the black oat is slightly thinner, something that nutritionists assume to be an advantage during digestion. Strictly nutritionally speaking, however, there is little difference between the two types (aside from the fact that white oats may contain slightly more sugars). Still, most horse lovers tend to favor the black variety.
What should I feed my horse to promote a calmer temperament?
The first thing to do is to cut back on the oats and the wheat. Protein levels too must be re-evaluated. Other than that, feed the horse hay freely with extra crude fiber, as well as softened beet pulp and flax chaff. Some herbs will also produce good results. A range of supplements can also be considered. For example, extra vitamin B1 has a relaxing effect in high doses. Magnesium acetate reduces stress, and tryptophan - an amino acid - also has a stress-inhibiting effect in certain concentrations. These products and specific compositions are all available as part of the Pianissimo feed and the Cavalor Calm feed supplement.
What type of feed should I feed first in the morning: grain or forage?
This is a matter of some debate. Both types of feed have their merits and drawbacks. If you are going to give your horse both types of feed, it is normally best to feed the hay first, and then allow some time before providing the grain. Horses and ponies have small stomachs, so allowing time between feedings promotes optimal digestion. An excessive supply of feed results in very poor digestive efficiency, with nutrients unable to be properly absorbed.
When my horse has lost weight (due to illness, for example), how can I get him back to his ideal weight as quickly as possible?
When a horse has lost too much weight but has been given a clean bill of health by the vet, it can be restored to its former weight on a diet of Probreed and Top-Action and unlimited amounts of forage in just a few weeks' time. As soon as the horse is back to its normal weight, simply revert to its original ration.
When should I be concerned about dehydration caused by diarrhea?
Even in cases of mild diarrhea, make sure your horse has free access to water. When mild diarrhea persists for more than three days, consult your veterinarian. In cases of severe diarrhea, always consult your veterinarian.
Supplements can be a great addition to medical treatments. Medications are mostly injected, and can cause short peaks of active ingredients in the blood. Supplements are taken orally and have a lower concentration, but stay in the system for longer periods of time. Depending on the severity of the condition, supplements alone may solve the issue.
Supplements should only be used to enhance a diet (i.e., nutrients and vitamins) or to help horses through weaknesses and injuries.
Use supplements wisely and on a need-basis only. Overusing supplements may be harmful to your horse’s health.
Why do some horse feeds have a higher fat content?
• A higher fat content has a glycogen-saving effect on aerobic action.
• Fats contain 2.5 times more energy than carbohydrates and proteins.
• Horses sweat considerably less, which means less depletion of electrolytes.
• It is a safe source of energy, without causing lactic acid and/or liver problems.
Crude fiber supplies the energy needed in the long term. It takes 20 hours after the horse has been fed a good portion of hay before the meal has been fully converted into fuel. Crude fiber also serves as an indispensable stimulator for the intestines. Starch and sugars supply a fast, immediate burst of energy that the horse can draw on with an immediate effect. The energy derived from crude fiber, on the other hand, is only gradually made available. Millions of bacteria inside the large intestine convert the crude fiber into volatile fatty acids such as acetic acid, butyric acid and propionic acid. These volatile fatty acids inside the bloodstream serve as the primary source of energy for the organs, muscles and nerves.
Why should I buy premixed feed if I can just as easily mix it myself?
Composing a reliable diet involves a huge number of factors that need to be duly considered. This in itself requires considerable expertise. Every proportion has to be just right in order to avoid ending up with deficiencies or excesses, the effects of which usually do not become apparent until after a protracted time span. Two other elements in the equation are those of consistent quality and guarantees in premixed feed.
Why would I also use an oral joint supplement if I’m already injecting my horse regularly with glycosaminoglycans?
Injections have a very high concentration of active ingredients, but the effects last for a short period of time. An oral product provides a lower concentration of active ingredients going into the bloodstream for a much longer period. Oral glycosaminoglycans help reduce the frequency of joint injections and therefore reduce the risks associated with injections.
Will my horse get more excitable with this kind of energy ?
No. This product has repeateadly proven to be very effective for dressage horses. It provides the energy without temper increases. In general, the high energy density of fat may, under certain circumstances, be beneficial as less bulky feed is required to the horse with its energy. It has also been indirectly observed that some horses may experience some behaviour changes (less excitable). If behavioral changes are observed, an increased fat content may be considered to help reduce the risk of the horse becoming too hot (e.g. thoroughbred horses).
Will my horse put on more weight due to the addition of fat to its daily ration?
When Cavalor ATP+ is used according to directions, the amount of energy administred of the total ration will remain similar. However, the energy is now supplied in a more condensed form. Further, the type of energy provided by Cavalor ATP+ may be beneficial for horses that perform long-duration-low-intensity exercises (endurance). It may also favor the horse's thermoregulation. The rice bran in the formula may contribute to weight gain.