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Low fructan

Most horses graze in cow pastures and are fed hay or silage from those pastures. Horses find this grass very palatable, but it is actually far too high in energy (fructan) and contains too little effective fibre for them. This may make a horse sick, often leading to complaints such as laminitis or tying up. It’s for good reason that there is horse grass for horses and cow grass for cows. Your horse needs Horse Master; healty grass for horses.

Fructan in grass
Grass contains fructan (sugar). It is important to feed high productive cows, but for horses it is the main causes of laminitis. It is only partly digested in the small intestine, resulting in high sugar levels in the hind gut that disturb the bacterial balance in the intestines. This leads to the formation of toxic substances that may cause laminitis.

Sunligt and temperature
The fructan content of pasture grass is strongly dependent on the amount of sunlight and the temperature. Sugar is produced under the influence of intense sunlight. If the nights are then fairly cool, the sugar content will remain high. This is the case in spring and autumn in particular, and therefore there is always a risk of laminitis in these periods. The grass varieties contained in Horse Master® were specifically selected for their low fructan content.

Grass with low fructan content
Barenbrug has done a lot of research into the fructan (sugar) contents of different grasses. Some grass species are known for their low fructan contents, but even within a species, some varieties contain more fructan than others. We have selected the grasses which have a low fructan for Horse Master; a grass seed mixture develop for horses. The varieties in Horse Master® contain an impressive 50% less fructan than varieties of grass intended for cattle and sheep.

Barenbrug analyses the fructan contents of more than 70 grass varieties a year. The following graph shows you the great differences in the fructan contents of different varieties. The varieties in Horse Master® contain on average less than half of the fructan that is to be found in cattle grass varieties. This is one of the reasons that Horse Master is healty for your horse.

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Reduce fructan with good grassland management
Good grassland management can reduce the amounts of fructan stored by the grass plants. In the first place, it is important to ensure sufficient nutrients and moisture to enable the grass to grow properly. Secondly, the grass may not be grazed too short.

Fructain contents of hay and grass silage
As hay is mostly made at high temperatures, its fructan content will usually be low. Grass silage is often produced in early spring, and can be mown in cold weather because it does not have to dry completely. The fructan content of the grass may be very high, especially in the case of sunny weather combined with cold nights. Grass silage is therefore less suitable for horses that are susceptible to laminitis.

A firm green pasture for your horse
A beautiful green pasture with firm sod and enough grass to graze your horse daily is precisely what every horse keeper wishes for. Unfortunately, many horses graze on bare pastures or pastures with grass intended for cows. This can lead to various health problems. That is why Barenbrug has developed Horse Master®.

Horse master Aniek

Horse Master® is a balanced grass seed mixture. A Horse Master® pasture has a firm sod, fast regrowth, and the crop is rich in structure but low in fructan. Click here for more information about Horse Master®.





Where to buy

Would you like the best grass for your Horse or Pony? Click here for more information.

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