Feed - Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need a balanced ration?

Recommended feeding rates are a generalized feeding plan. Your horse has specific metabolic requirements and the hay you use will have unique nutrient characteristics, which may be different from what was intended on the recommended feeding rate of certain products. When you receive a ration formulated by our Registered Nutritionist, your horse will have a feed plan that is nutritionally balanced for their specific requirements. Eliminate the guess work in feeding your horses. For more information Nutrition Services - FAQ.


Why should my horse's hay get tested?

Considering that a majority of your horse's ration is hay then it stands to reason that a significant portion of the nutrients delivered to your horse is coming from their hay.  Knowing that information means you can plan for what supplements are in fact necessary to meet your horse's requirements. Although the physical attributes are helpful in guiding you to purchase or not purchase the hay, the chemical analysis is equally as important.  Testing your hay is quick and easy task to do. If you are uncertain of what the results mean or what tests to run, contact our office and we will be happy to help you.


When should I test my hay?

We suggest that hay should be tested if there is no record of the hay being tested. If the hay has significantly changed from what was received prior then testing the hay is required. However if the barn is rotating hay that is different every couple of weeks then it would not be cost effective to test the hay with each load. We recommend testing the hay if it will stay consistent for at least 3 months. 


Will ARK feed products cause my horse to colic?

All the ingredients in Strategy and Synergy are considered safe to feed.  Colic is a multifactorial medical condition. 


Are ARK feed products FEI and Racing compliant?

Yes all ARK feed products comply to FEI and Racing guidelines. There is no prohibited ingredients in any of our feed products.


What makes Synergy unique compared to the competition?

Synergy was formulated our registered Equine Nutritionist. Amanda developed this product with the intention of using only the highest quality ingredients. DSM manufactures Synergy for Amanda and their facilities are drug free and they are one of the world's leading manufacturers of human-grade vitamins.  Synergy's proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals has been designed to achieve the nutrient requirements for all horses in all levels of work and growth.  Chelates have been used to improve efficiency and to prevent toxicity issues.  Nutrient levels in Synergy are greater than the majority of the competition on the market place.  There are no fillers, no artificial flavours in Synergy to ensure only minerals and vitamins are delivered to the horses, this is particularly important for metabolically challenged horses or horses with nutritional challenges. Synergy is FEI and racing compliant. 


Why is there no salt in Synergy?

Salt depreciates vitamins. Synergy has a very concentrated source of vitamins and salt will compromise integrity of the product. We want a high quality product for our customers.  Salt can easily be added to the ration prior to feeding or it can be delivered free choice.


What makes Strategy unique compared to the competition?

Strategy contains all the essential fatty acids and amino acids required by horses of all ages, work, and development. Our registered Equine Nutritionist researched each ingredient to ensure the combination of ingredients at specific feeding rates would achieve those specific requirements for horses. This feed is a ration balancer which means it can be easily combined with any complete feed and hay source. The fat sources selected target the intramuscular development and promote muscle development.  This product also contains added lecithin, which has known anti-ulcer properties. There is no fillers and no added sugar to ensure no conflict with horses that have metabolic challenges. 


Is there anything specific for breeding mares?

Prior to breeding, during pregnancy and post pregnancy all require specific nutrient requirements. Let us help you optimize your feed to achieve the most from your breeding season. Our Nutritionist has developed a reproductive product called Optimum which is a high concentration of Beta Carotene.  Several studies have shown Beta Carotene to improve both the mare's cycles and stallion's fertility.  We also work closely with our customers to optimize minerals and fatty acids to ensure a successful breeding season.


Why do you recommend Soyhull Pellets?

Soyhull pellets are a source of soluble fiber. It functions as a forage extender with limited sugar and starch it is a good fiber source for horses with metabolic challenges. The transit time is slower when soyhull pellets are fed this is ideal for diluting the total sugar in a ration and improving the efficiency of fermentation by hindgut microbes. 


What about the estrogenic effects of soy products?

The estrogenic effect is closely related to the soybean oil. Currently there is no significant research to suggest that the soybean meal or the soyhulls cause any estrogenic effects to the horse.  Primarily the meal and hulls are used by the hindgut microbes and there have been no negative effects to the hindgut microbes using these feed sources.


Why do you recommend Alfalfa Pellets?

Alfalfa pellets provides an effective source of protein and added fiber to the ration. The calcium and magnesium levels provide a buffering capacity in the horse. The potassium levels are effective in maintaining the electrolyte balance in horses and in particular for horses in a high performance job.


When should grain, sweet feed and/or complete feed be used?

Grain, sweet feed and/or complete feeds have a place in a horse's ration when their transit time in their digestive tract is fast and with horses that have higher metabolic requirements depending on the type of job they are doing. Selecting the correct balance of sugar and starch is key for selecting whether you use grain or sweet feed or a complete feed. Our practice can help you choose the best sugar and starch source to optimize utilization in your horse.  


How much water does my horse actually need to drink each day?

The average daily water intake for a 500 kg horse ranges from 25 to 82 liters (Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 6th Revised Edition, The National Academies Press, 2007). The large variability is due to differences in work load as well as the ambient temperature.


What causes horses to gain weight when on pasture?

Sugar is the main component that causes the weight gain. Pasture can varying the amount of sugar.  In particular the shorter the grass the greater the potential for higher sugar levels.  Sugar levels are greater during the day and tend to be higher when the sun is out. Photosynthesis is responsible for sugar production in the plant.  Managing when and for how long your horses are on pasture will help limit the potential for issues with weight gain and reduce the risk of metabolic disorders. 


Do I need to add water to the ration?

Adding water is not always necessary, however it does reduce dust and helps mix together ingredients that are loose.  Feeds that swell require water to be added such as beet pulp pellets.