As a horse owner, managing your horses diet is a key area of focus. Most horses can digest sugar very efficiently as it is a natural part of the equine diet. But when molasses is added to feeds, supplements and licks, the added refined sugars in the diet can have adverse affects on some animals. Many advocates of holistic horsemanship methods recommend that all extra sources of sugar (such as molasses) are removed from the horse’s diet.
Horses will always consume large amounts of carbohydrates, as grass is a natural source. Grass can contain up to 2 – 3% of soluble and structural sugars during the summer. As grass is the horse’s staple food, the actual amount of sugar eaten during the course of the day can be quite considerable.
Many horse owners, see better results when they keep added sugars to a minimum. This means selecting ‘molasses – free’ or ‘low-molasses’ feeds and chaffs for their horses. However, without realising, the supplements and licks they have chosen may add up to considerable amounts of sugar.
Molasses contains mainly sucrose and is a pure refined source of sugar, in comparison to the sugars found in grass. Most licks on the market are based on molasses, with some containing as much as 66%. This means that despite the product being formulated to provide a vitamin and mineral supplementation, the carrier used for these essential nutrients is a lick, two thirds of which is pure molasses.
Often because of their palatability, intakes can be high and a regular check should be maintained at all times otherwise a greedy horse could consume a considerable amount of sugar.
The alternative is to select a low lick such as the HerbiLIX range. Using unique manufacturing methods developed over 30 years, we have developed a way of producing hard licks with less than 8% sugar that remained just as tasty as the molasses-based products. These licks contain mainly salts and minerals, and use a very small amount of molasses with a blend of herbs to create a palatable, sweet aroma and delicious taste. Despite the sweet smell, the overall taste is salty, thus helping to limit the horse’s intake. What’s more, as these licks contain so little molasses they are non-sticky, do not soften in hot weather and are safe for laminitics.
There are three versions of HerbiLIX available.
HerbiLIX Original – 8Kg– essential vitamins and minerals with added herbs
HerbiLIX Airways – 8Kg– the low sugar lick for respiratory support
HerbiLIX Flystop – 8Kg & 20g– The low sugar lick to reduce fly nuisance (contains Think Fly)