Kentucky Performance Products: Feeding Horses – Energy Sources Matter

For horses with increased calorie needs, the form in which they receive their calories can make a huge difference.

Photo courtesy of Kentucky Performance Products.

Dietary energy dictates body condition in healthy horses. Too little energy and the horse loses weight; too much energy and the horse gains weight. Typical diets of pasture, hay and concentrate often do not supply sufficient dietary energy to horses that have increased calorie needs. Such horses include hardworking performance horses, lactating mares and aged horses.

The fat in rice bran contains more calories per mouthful than pasture, hay or concentrates. Horses consume more dietary energy when fat-rich heat-stabilized rice bran is included in the diet without a proportionate increase in food intake.

Horsemen are also turning to heat-stabilized rice bran because of its minimal starch content. Diets containing conventional concentrates are typically rich in starch, which causes problems in some horses. In particular, high-starch diets are believed to cause growth problems in young horses and muscle problems in performance horses. Horses with laminitis, Cushing’s disease and insulin resistance are often prescribed low-starch diets. By replacing a portion of the grain allotment with heat-stabilized rice bran, horsemen limit starch intake and avoid these risks.

Overview of the benefits of heat-stabilized rice bran as a feed ingredient for horses:

  • Adds calories to the diet without increasing the volume of feed consumed
  • Reduces size of grain meals in colic-prone horses and finicky eaters
  • Benefits horses with low-starch requirements by providing energy from fat
  • Decreases lactic acid accumulation and boosts stamina
  • Lowers heart rate during exercise
  • Keeps horses calm and focused on work

About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC: 

Fight back against damaging inflammation.

Horses evolved to exist on a grass-based diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in omega-6 fatty acids. Modern diets tend to include ingredients that are high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 fatty acids, throwing the critical 6 to 3 ratio out of whack and leading to health problems related to runaway inflammation. Supplementing with the high-quality omega-3 fatty acids in ContributeTM brings that ratio back into balance and supports reduced levels of damaging inflammation.

Contribute offers you an affordable way to include both beneficial plant (alpha-linolenic acid) and marine sources (EPA and DHA) of omega-3 fatty acids into the diet. The horse that matters to you matters to us®.

Not sure which horse supplement best meets your horse’s needs? We are here to help. Contact Kentucky Performance Products, LLC at 859-873-2974 or visit our website at