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

An array of sacs with colourful or mousey brown printings and drawings. English, German, French and Czech names and production companies. How to choose the best for one's darling, what will suit him best? Is the name, maker, mode of processing, resources or information on the label? What do the individual notions actually mean and which values are the best?

The selection of feeds is getting more and more varied, up to the point where it becomes confusing for many unprofesional horsemen. And because to much of anything is harmful, it is good to know what we should look for or at least what questions to ask the seller (or even better the maker).
Only one value seems to be understood by everybody. The price. Of course that can be also deceptive if we don't assess it in the same units but in different quantities. Just as supermarkets are today obliged to give the price of a product per unit of weight, it is good to know that, although most feed shops don't give this price, a twenty-kilo sac for 320 CZK is more expensive than a twenty-five-kilo sac for 395 CZK. What's more, the proportionality high price = high quality is not necessarily true. Unfortunately, from a certain lower limit the relationship low price = low quality is valid. A price of 550 CZK for 100 kg can comprise VAT, the seller's profit, price of the packaging, expenses on processing and transport but not good-quality resources with a balanced content of nutrients including the needed amount of vitamins and minerals.

Labels contain an array of information that is supposed to help the buyer to orientate himself/herself and to make a decision. In reality, only the weight in kilograms and date of expiry are clear and understandable. The date of expiry indicates until when the maker guarantees that the all the quality indexes are as he presents them, under the condition that the feed is stored in the right conditions. After this date the feed doesn't suddenly become poisonous but its quality gradually decreases. Particularly the amount of vitamins reduces and the number of fat acidity increases, in other words, the fat becomes rancid. The least stable has proven to be linseed oil, that's why some renowned makers don't include linseed in their mixtures albeit the fact that fresh linseed is dietetically beneficial for horses.

More notions need to be clarified:
SOLIDS - these are defined as the unevaporated residue of a substance that has been heated at 105 degrees Celsius constant weight is reached. The percentage of elements that don't evaporate at this given temperature can therefore be expressed. The opposite of solids is moistness. We can imagine a simple relation SOLIDS + MOISTNESS = 100 %. Just to give an idea, the limiting values are set by distilled water or ethanol with 0 % solids and oil with more than 99 % solids. Mare milk has 10.5 % solids, cow milk has 12.5 %, new pasture from about 15 % to 30 % solids, old pasture from 20 % to 35 %, haylage has 25 % to 60 % and hay has 80 % to 85 % solids. Cereals are in between the limits of 90 % to 93 % solids, feed mixtures have from 85 % to 92 % solids. It can't really be said that the harder the substance, the more solids it contains. For example, fresh bone has about 50 % solids and liquid molasses 75 %.

NB or NITROGEN BODIES - these are not only proteins, they also include non-proteins such as alkaloids, betaine, choline, urea or ammonium salts. However, for nutrition the most important are DNB (digestible N bodies), or those nitrogen bodies that the horse's body can utilise. Not even all proteins have the same nutritional value. The most nutritious are those that have the highest percentage of essential amino acids. The body cannot create essential substances so it has to receive them in food. Some vitamins and fatty acids are also essential. However, there exists variability between different species, for example what for people can be an indispensible nutriment, horses can synthesize in their bodies. Also, not everything can be labelled as essential, particularly the notion of "essential linseed oils" points more to deep ignorance and unprofessional commercialism than at good quality.

FIBRE is a complex polysaccharide composed from easily digestible pentozans and hexozans, long chains of cellulose and from lignin, which is nice but few people actually understand this. What is more important to know is that fibre can be found in varying amounts in the walls of all vegetal cells, where it actually represents the cell's fabric. The digestibility of fibre is determined by its lignification = the amount lignin contained. Generally it is true that the older and more loaded the cell, the more lignin it contains and the more difficult it is to digest. The only exception is the curious plant Zea Mays or corn. It doesn't lose any of its digestibility in higher levels of ripeness. On the contrary, dry old grass in autumn and winter offers horses no source of energy or nutrients, all it can do is reduce hunger. Nonetheless, even non-digestible fibre is very important for horses (and not only them). It supports peristalsis, secures a feeling of mechanical saturation and it helps to maintain a constant environment in the digestive tract that can then serve as a water reservoir.

ENERGY, or more precisely energy digestible for horses is one of the most important indexes of the feed's nutritional value. Horses don't "run" on protein or anything else, but on energy. There are many angles from which to assess energy and it is therefore important to clarify which is which:

- minus the energy of excrements
- minus the energy of urine and gases
- minus the production of heat

The unit of energy is one joule that replaced the formerly used units of calories. The conversion is easy, 1 cal = 4.18 J. We present energy as the digestible energy because that is relatively easy to determine and has a high predicative value. When browsing through feed tables both non-horsemen and horsemen are surprised at unexpected values. The most surprising is the energetic value of oats, which is lower than that of barley and is only a third of the energetic value of oil. How is it then possible that horses become so hot after eating oats? That is not caused by the total amount of energy but by the speed of its release, horses decompose oat starch much faster than starches from barley of corn, let alone burning fatty acids.

VITAMINS are an indispensible for the proper functioning of the whole organism. That doesn't mean that it is necessary to add them incessantly into the feed. Grazing horses, with some rare exceptions, don't need any vitamin supplements or even bursts of vitamins. In the best case you would waste money and your horse would have the most expensive urine in the stable, in the worst you could poison it, particularly when adding vitamins A and D. Only for sport horses that have a higher workload and don't go out to graze it is purposeful to supply measured doses of these supplements. The same goes for horses treated with antibiotics, sulphonamides or suffering from dietetic errors or under higher demands for reproduction. Very well known are also the preventative and healing effects of biotin (vitamin H) on the keratin layer of the hoof. However carnitine and creatine don't belong in the hands of the unexperienced.

MINERAL SUBSTANCES, unlike some vitamins, cannot be created by the body and they must be received in food, which is what happens in the vast majority of cases. Essential is not only their consumption but also the form in which they are bound. Generally, organic (chelate) bonds are more digestible than inorganic bonds. Another important information is the proportion of individual elements. Some of them act as "bullies" when in surplus and stop other minerals from participating in the metabolic processes which can lead to serious health problems. The best known "enemies" are Ca (calcium) and P (phosphorus) where the ratio should be 1.5-2:1. Other examples are Mn (manganese) with Fe (iron) and Na (sodium) with K (potassium). Based on this, all enthusiastic experiments with unilateral adding of some element after having read a newspaper article or an advertising flyer are more risky than beneficial.
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.

Věříme, že Vám pomůže v základní orientaci v potřebách Vašich koní i produktech, které na ně navazují. V případě zájmu nebo nejasností nás neváhejte kontaktovat. Vaše dotazy, náměty, požadavky a připomínky nebereme na lehkou váhu, jsou pro nás vítaným zdrojem inspirace a rozvoje, jsme za ně vděčni. Vždyť nejenom Mistři jezdí na La SARD.