Ing. Darina Havlíčková
Feed in the form of mash has been a specialised feed for sports and working horses for many years now. This method of feed probably originated at the beginning of the last century when feeding military and work horses. Classic cooked mushy feed subsequently became a stable recipe, which contains wheat bran, barley meal, sometimes corn, flaxseed and salt. It was cooked in practically every sports stable and was given the slang name of “mash”. Everyone who has worked in a racing stable is familiar with so-called “mash”. Slow-cooked barley and corn and the mucous from the flaxseed perfumed the feed rooms and remind the older ones among us of winter evenings with the horses.
Feeding mashes and moistened feed is becoming popular once again. Mash is included in the portfolio of most major feed manufacturers. Long hours of cooking and sticky cookers have been replaced by instant forms of mash, which are simply soaked in hot or cold water. The ENERGYS Team was unable to resist this trend and developed the completely new grain-free, reconditioning and recovery Energys® MASH in muesli form, in cooperation with our foreign partner and in collaboration with the feed production facility in Heřmanuv Městec.
The older ones among us naturally link mash to the winter period, when the horses in our latitudes lose their natural opportunity to graze and the temperatures sometimes fall deep below freezing. This was also the end of the outdoor racing season, during which horses mostly ate concentrated dry feeds, and was a period of rest. Both training and feed rations became lighter. And mash is ideal for this.
However, the conditions for its use for breeding and sports horses are changing. In the modern world, the sports season lasts practically all year-round, riding complexes and schools offer the opportunity to train and compete with horses in winter and the differences between the summer and winter sports seasons are minimal (apart from race and trotting horses).
Mash has ceased to be a seasonal feed, and is now extensively fed to horses all year-round.
It year-round use is suitable for sports horses, particularly during multi-day events, when it is fed because it is very easily digestible and in a form that is very acceptable to horses with high workloads. Mash also provides natural fluids lost during sweating during races, it calms the stomach and its attractive form encourages horses, who are nervous in the shared race stables and eat poorly, to eat their feed ration.
This means that our Energys® MASH mainly contains the following for spots horses (chiefly for recovery purposes):
Energys® MASH is made more tasty for nervous and picky horses by the addition of apple fibre, carrot flakes and wheat bran.
Another category of horses, which you can feed Energys® MASH to all year-round is older and sick horses. Age or various illnesses are not as closely bound to the season.
Energys® MASH is very suitable for older horses who have problems with their teeth, various metabolic syndromes or for horses with stomach ulcers. MASH provides a tasty, healthy and medically satisfactory feed, without grains, during these diagnoses. Flaxseed oil ensures recovery and supports the immune system in these equine patients or seniors. It also ensures the smooth passage of chyme through the digestive tract of horses who suffer from constipation colic or stomach cramps and reduced consumption of dry feed. It is also suitable for horses who have undergone veterinary surgery of the digestive system.
It is excellent for horses who cannot be fed grains either due to allergies (summer rashes) or have a metabolic syndrome (IR, Cushings, etc.). Horses with stomach ulcers usually do not like eating dry, hard or pelleted feeds, because their sensitive stomachs are irritated by this form of feed. These horses often leave food, or procrastinate.... do not eat the entire ration. They usually eat feed in the form of a mash without any problems and this form is also the only way to keep them comfortable and provide them with the required nutrients in their feed ration.
A well-made mash should be mushy (not soupy), so that the nutrients are properly utilised in the small and large intestine and so that the feed does not pass through the horse’s stomach too quickly. To make our Energys® MASH water should be added at a ratio or approx.1:5 to the MASH: 1.
You can add tepid water and leave the mash to soak for at least 30 minutes, ideally 1 hour. The structure is then perfect for a horse’s digestion and is a fully-fledged substitute for the feed ration.