Preparing for the Hunt Season

Preparing for the Hunt Season

If a big Hunt Season is planned, it is important to start horses in good order, providing some reserves to take into account the busy and hopefully full season.

The suitable feeds or combinations of feeds will vary depending on the individual horse, its temperament, type, workload and metabolic rate. Requirements may even vary for each horse from the start of the season to those best suited at the later part of the season.

Initially, many horses may be feeling quite excited at the prospect of returning to work and getting ‘out and about’ or they may be horses that are always inclined to be a bit more enthusiastic! In both instances, starting these horses on a lower starch feed and avoiding high grain rations will assist. Dunstan Maxim Low-GI is a low-starch, high-fibre full feed that contains a full profile of vitamins and minerals as well as a live yeast, to aid digestion. Unlike traditional ‘coolfeeds’ Dunstan Maxim Low-GI is more calorie-dense, so ideal for maintaining condition on active hunters. Another couple of great ‘cool calorie’ sources are Dunstan Trifecta Oil - very calorie-dense and ideal for horses that are struggling with higher supplementary feed intakes but still require further weight gain. To further contribute both ‘cool calories’ and fibre, Dunstan Betabeet is a valuable addition, particularly when forage may be limited or horses have restricted access to pasture. As a ‘super fibre’, Dunstan Betabeet is more calorie-dense than traditional fibre sources, so again great for weight gain but also acts as a pre-biotic, benefiting hindgut health as a quality fibre.

Owners with warmbloods and crossbreds may find that the traditional ‘full feeds’ aren’t suitable as even when undertaking moderate to heavy workloads some of these horses still seem to maintain condition on the ‘smell of an oily rag’! Semi-concentrate feeds were designed with these horses in mind. A semi-concentrate feed means the horse can have a reduced feed intake but as the feeds are more highly fortified, the horse will still be provided with a full nutrient profile.

Again, for those not requiring ‘energy’ from their feed at the start of the season, Dunstan Resolve® is a low starch, high fibre, semi-concentrate. A premium performance mix, it contains elevated levels of Natural Vitamin E as well as the new age antioxidant Melofeed®, to assist in maintaining joint and muscular health.

For many horses once the season is well underway, they may need some more ‘energy’ as well as increased calorie intake to maintain desirable condition. This is often a suitable time to move to a more traditional cereal grain- based feed.

Dunstan Eezymix, a fully extruded cereal grain nugget, is an ideal way to feed grain. As it is fully extruded, it is highly digestible, reducing the potential consequence of undigested starch in the hindgut. This has benefits for both digestive health and behaviour. As it includes rice, Dunstan Eezymix it is an excellent conditioning feed and with two oilseeds, promotes great skin and coat condition.

If you have one of those ‘good doers’ and would like a bit more ‘energy’ later in the season, Dunstan Athlete is a lightly molassed muesli mix , containing extruded cereal grains. As a semi-concentrate it is more highly fortified than a ‘full feed’, providing a full profile of key nutrients at a reduced intake.

After Hard work and Hunt Recovery
The latest addition to the Dunstan range, is proving exceptionally popular during the competition season to help horses bounce back after strenuous work. This diet includes a combination of traditional ingredients accompanied by the ‘super fibres’ Soya Hulls and beet as well a quality a protein source. With no added micro minerals, it will not impact on the mineral balance of your current ration. However, with the addition of Vitamin E , it’s ideal for hardworking horses that require increased antioxidant support. The inclusion of the new age antioxidant, Melofeed®, further assists muscular health and recovery. With water added to soak to as recommended, it makes a delicious mash that horses find irresistible. A high water inclusion after soaking assists with rehydration and therefore recovery. Dunstan Recovery Mash® is the ideal supplement when horses return to the truck after a hard day out hunting!

Dunstan has an extensive range of specialised full feeds, semi-concentrates and supplements. If you would like assistance in establishing the best feed, or combination of products to suit your horse’s particular requirements, please contact Dunstan on 0800 438 678.



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