La Sard
Dnes je: 5. 12. 2022 svátek má: Jitka

The last yellow oat seed has disappeared in to Tarona's soft and warmly foaming mouth. Not even the longing look or the knowledgeable sniffing around my pocket forced me to pull out the iron stock of bread crusts. The saddle bag is empty and it's another good three hours to the camp. My hunger isn't any smaller, but I know that it's YOU who is doing most of the work. So don't worry, when we get there, you'll have all the oats you need.

Hard feed is the proverbial icing on the horse's cake. It's the high-octane elixir of energy and nutriments that enables horses to perform at their very best.
We distinguish between organic hard feed, which is grains of cereals and seeds of oil plants and legumes, and inorganic or commercial feed, or further processed feeds of vegetal origin. Their common features are:
high concentration of nutriments
high digestibility
high content of solids
low content of fibre

In most cases hard feed, unlike fodder, has an unsuitable ratio of calcium to phosphorus (phosphorus is prevalent), they acidify the organism and are not suitable long-term main sources of nutriments and solids.

Organic hard feed
Of these feeds cereals, almost exclusively oats and barley, and corn are the most significant. Other hard feeds from this category are either supplementary or unsuitable for horses.

Generally, the most commonly used are oats. They're tasty and they contain easily digestible starch that releases quickly. Although all horsemen know oats, not all of them know that they come in three different varieties. The Common Oat can be yellow, the one that is commonly used in most stables. The Black Oat is cultivated mainly in France, except for its different colour, price and large popularity with some race-horse trainers, analyzes haven't shown any nutritional differences from the Common Oat.

It's different story for the Naked Oat. Not only is it markedly heavier, it looks more like greased grains of rice, but principally it is nutritionally completely different. It has almost 20 % (like corn) more energy, nearly half as much protein and only less than a fifth of the fibre content of the Common and Black Oat.

Let's return to the most frequently used oat, the Common Oat. It has a relatively high content of fibre, a suitable composition of amino acids and, surprisingly, the lowest content of energy from all commonly used cereals. Its disadvantage is the varied quality. The quickest assessment of quality is knowing the hectolitre weight (metric weight). A litre of good oats weighs 500 g or more. With weights under 420 g per litre the number of empty envelopes and immature grains increases, so in this case we are feeding more straw and less grain. The change in colour from bright yellow to greyish or grey black can mean not only rainy weather at the time of harvest but also the possibility of mould.
Although oats have the smallest energetic value of all used cereals, horses eating oats are often more lively and "fiery", than when they eat other feeds that contain more energy. The culprit isn't the alkaloid avenine, not even the mechanical irritation of sharp envelopes in the gut, as it used to be believed, but very fast absorption and burning off of oat starch.

Barley has 15 % more energy, however it doesn't have the tastiness and biological value of oats. The most suitable for horses are malt species of barley because of their lower levels of protein. Given its hardness it is better to feed pressed barley. On the Arabic peninsula oats don't grow well so barley became the sole horse hard feed.

Corn has the most energy (20 % more than oats), but little protein and with an inferior quality of its amino acid composition. Long-term consumption of larger amounts of whole corn significantly abrades teeth, and scrapped corn quickly becomes rancid because of its higher fat content. If thermally processed (popcorn), it can absorb large amounts of oils and therefore energetically "finance" even excessive demands for speed and strength. For this reason horse popcorn is popular and widely used especially in the racing industry in the USA.

Wheat and rye are unsuitable for horses. Gluten, so important to bakers and cooks, becomes dangerous glue in the horse's bowel and can cause not only a reduction in performance but it can also initiate colic problems.

Of oil plants and legumes mostly linseed is used for direct consumption. Apart from very valuable protein it contains also unsaturated fatty acids, linoleic and linolelic acid and mucus substances. The fatty component is very beneficial for the metabolism and regeneration, it is however susceptible to rancidifiaction so linseed oil has only low durability. The same goes for scrapped linseed. The mucus component, well known to those who boil linseed, protects the intestinal mucous membrane during diarrhoea and can help prevention against constipation colic conditions.

Other crops, including soy, are used more as components of feed mixtures than for direct consumption.

Commercial hard feed
When processing plants and their parts in the mill, baking, sugar refining, brewing and oil industries many products are created that find further use in horse nutrition.

The most frequently used is bran, particularly wheat bran. Unlike wheat itself they have a significantly lower energetic value, however they don't contain gluten. They also have more fibre, protein and minerals. They are a good bearer, that means that blend easily with a variety of bodies (vitamins, minerals, medicine), they absorb liquids well (fats, specifically effective bodies) and most horses eat them willingly. When used in larger amounts, it is necessary to balance the unfavourable ratio Ca : P, most simply with feed calcite.

Resembling closely wheat bran are wheat sprouts. Unlike bran they don't create small scales (envelopes of the grain), but small rolls (embryonic sprouts). They contain many valuable proteins, as much energy as corn, but their main charm is the high content of biologically active vitamin E which helps improve the oestrous cycle and also works as an antioxidant that helps speed up regeneration after work.

Malt flower is richer in protein (particularly in the amino acid lysine) and in energy than wheat bran and it has a better ratio of calcium to phosphorus. It is more expensive and less accessible.

Yeast, especially the brewery type, is a source of very good protein, vitamins of group B and various biologically active substances, their main quality however is the support and stabilization of the intestinal micro flora.

Oils pulps and extracted scraps, or residues of oil extraction from oil plants by pressing or extraction, are used almost exclusively as components of mixes. They are all without exception very rich in protein. The most common is soy which, as soy extracted scrap, can hold up to 50 % of nitrogen bodies out of which the absolute majority is digestible - 45 %.

Another frequently used product of the sugar refining industry is molasses. This dark and tar-like thick liquid contains surprisingly little water (less than 25 %), it holds just as much energy as oats and has many minerals (namely potassium) and betaine. It is often used as glue in granules, for covering other tastes and also as an improvement to taste, although not all horses eat it willingly without getting used to it first. Don't confuse molasses and molasses feed (usually bran with a complement of 5 % of molasses) because dried molasses is as common as dried beer or wine.

Bread is a common supplement in most stables, however it serves more as a treat than as a source of nutrition. It is interesting that white and variously flavoured expensive bread is significantly less popular with horses than ordinary bread. Its nutritional value is somewhat lower than the value of ingredients, mainly because of the Mailard reaction (a compound of lysine and sugar, indigestible for horses). The main danger lies within the possibility of moulding.

Oils are the most concentrated source of energy. A kilogram of soy oil contains three times the amount of digestible energy of a kilogram of oats. Although horses don't have a gallbladder, they are capable, after getting used to it, of consuming unbelievable amounts of fat in their feed - over 20 %! - with no problem. Mostly vegetal oils are used, namely soy, sunflower, corn and colza oil. When feeding the standard dose of 0.25 litres per day there aren't any significant differences between different sorts. Rancid oils, just as contaminated oils or oils devaluated by former use are more dangerous than just unsuitable.

Hard feed in winter
Hard feeds contain much more energy than fodder so logically they should be consumed more in winter, detrimentally to volume. However the opposite is true. Most heat in the horses' bodies is created by muscle activity and fermentation processes in the small and large intestine. Whilst most nutriments from hard feeds are absorbed in the small intestine, nutriments from fodder are processed and released by the intestine micro flora (innumerable viruses, bacteria, fungi, yeasts and protozoa) that produces heat transported by blood vessels to peripheral parts of the body.
Ing. Miroslav Drásal


January 2013
Realization team La Sard wishes its satisfied current and future customers Happy New Year 2013

říjen / Octomber 2012
Spouštíme anglickou verzi našich webových stránek. Přejdete na ni kliknutím na britskou vlajku v pravémm horním rohu. / We launch the English version of our website. Go to it by clicking on the British flag in the upper right corner.

May 2012
18. května se naše jezdkyně, Martina Drásalová, zúčastnila významného závodu SAIC v Jihoafrické republice. Článek o její účasti (a dalších 8 českých jezdkyň) si můžete přečíst zde. Zkrácená verze vyšla také na webu »

January 2012
Představujeme Vám aktualizovaný leták krmiv a výživových doplňků La Sard.

Octomber 2011
Na stránce JO La Sard jsou doplněny podrobné informace k našim koním.

February 2011
Zahajujeme prodej plodu Ostropestřce mariánského, léčivé byliny ze středomoří. Po dokončení poloprovozních krmných testů uvedeme na trh krmný doplněk La Sard SyliVit Force.

November 2010
V měsíci listopadu bylo, po úspěšném prověření v krmných testech, uvedeno nové bezovsové, nízkoenergetické krmivo La Sard FUN s velmi atraktivní zaváděcí cenou.

January 2010
31.1.2010 spouštíme novou webovou prezentaci krmiv La SARD.

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