Equine Nutrition

We know you invest your time and resources into your horses that is why ARK Nutrition is committed to providing the nutritional foundation your horse requires to perform and achieve healthy life.

Nutrition Assessment

At ARK Nutrition, our Nutrition Assessment for your horse would be like you having your physical check up at your doctor’s office, however at our nutrition practice we are establishing a nutrition profile for your horse. Our Nutritionist will ask about your horse’s medical history along with their current health that may affect the nutrition plan. During the appointment, physical measurements of your horse will be taken, followed by a preference test and then a hindgut fermentation analysis.

Upon completion of the physical measurements, all feeds being fed to your horse will be weighed on a scale to determine how much your horse is being fed and as well as determining the nutritional profile of your horse’s program at the nutrition assessment. Our Nutritionist will review the hay and pasture quality in addition to and the chemical analysis for hay and/or pasture, if those results have not been done, then we can sample and send the sample for testing. Hay flakes are weighed to estimate your horse’s daily intake of hay. Below is a detailed list of measurements that you will find on your horse’s report and the process of

Physical Measurements: In our nutrition practice, we utilize these physical measurements to monitor the progress of your horse. Here is a list of what we are evaluating and monitoring: Weight, Height, Body condition, Hoof condition (hindgut episodes, scale formation), Knee and Hock Structure, Hair coat condition, Teeth condition, Hydration, Capillary refill/colour, Muscle Deposition (topline score, muscle composition along chest, rump, shoulder, and topline), Fat Deposition, Hindgut tension, and Barrel distension.

Hindgut Fermentation Analysis: While on the farm, we utilize both manure pH and manure screening, allowing our Nutritionist to navigate any nutritional issue on site. Manure goes through a screening process; the end products are evaluated by our Nutritionist and the analysis of which determines how well feed is being processed by the hindgut microbiome.

Preference Analysis: We use a scientific method called Preference Testing to determine whether a horse has a preference to textured feeds or to specific ingredients. Our Nutritionist will test ingredients such as proteins, fats, fibers and starches to determine your horse’s preference.

Fitness Monitor Analysis

Another service that complements the Nutrition Assessment is the Fitness Monitor Analysis. We use this platform with our equine athletes to fine tune the Nutrition Plan to excel their performance to the next level.  During a Fitness Monitor Analysis, our Nutritionist will use either the Saddle device for majority of the disciplines or Fitness band used for Harness racing. Using the Saddle device, it is positioned under the saddle and along the girth or alternatively we can use a Fitness band which goes around the barrel of the horse.

Once the fitness monitor is connected, the device reports to the program which monitors the speed, heart rate, and altitude. The Fitness Monitor report outlines how your horse performed during that training session and graphically charts the aerobic and anaerobic zones, these are both key factors for muscle mass and performance. Take the guess work out of feeding your horse, reach your full performance expectations with the Fitness Monitor Analysis, know exactly how fit your horse is for their sport and feed exactly what your horse needs to reach your performance goals.  

Nutrition Plan

Our Nutritionist will use a formulation program and enter in the information from the nutrition assessment, in addition to the chemical analysis from the hay, and any additional information such as information from hindgut fermentation analysis. Each ration is specifically balanced to meet your horse’s nutritional requirements.Your horse’s feed sheet will have list of ingredients with both the weighted amount for accurate measurements and a conversion into cups and scoops making it easy to feed.  

Also included on the feed sheet is a detailed nutrient profile documenting the chemistry of your horse’s ration, which establishes how much protein, fat, fiber, starch, sugar, minerals and vitamins the ration will provide your horse on a daily basis, taking the guess work out of feeding your horse and ensuring your horse is getting a well-balanced ration. Whether your horse is a pleasure horse or an equine athlete knowing what they are eating is a vital part of keeping them healthy and performing at their best.