Retailers inundated with queries and concerns about feeding horses in the current crisis can refer worried customers to a new information-sharing initiative. 

Coronavirus has decimated opportunities to compete, threatened incomes and, in some cases, made it hard for owners to maintain regular management routines. Added to which the spring grass is arriving with a vengeance… 

After TopSpec’s multiple award winning helpline began answering lots of calls as the crisis has unfolded, the company’s nutrition director Nicola Tyler set up a service to suggest workable solutions to owners’ feeding dilemmas. 

Crucially, owners are invited to ask about any brands or types of feed; Nicola’s ‘crisis advice’ being about sharing knowledge and free advice and not to promote TopSpec. 

“Naturally the preservation of human life is uppermost in people’s minds as the nation prepares for the worst with the current COVID-19 outbreak,” she says. 

“Nevertheless owners want to do their best when it comes to feeding their horses in the current crisis. So I set up this regular Facebook posting to try and help by answering questions on any aspect of feeding.” 

You and your customers are invited to submit any questions to Nicola. A recent example includes a query from a farmer’s wife who wanted to know if she could feed raw barley to her horse. 

Nicola says: “This is not something we would normally recommend but as her horse had no starch-related issues such as laminitis, PPID, EMS/ID, ‘tying-up,’ diarrhoea, elderly, sharp behaviour; a little may be used with caution. 

“So for her 16.2hh middleweight gelding, we suggested she can gradually introduce up to 200g raw barley per feed to the molassed shredded beet pulp she can also access together with limestone flour (obtained cheaply from agricultural stores).”

Retailers and their customers can access Nicola’s crisis advice service in various ways, all of which are free.

  • By replying to the post on the TopSpec Facebook page
  • For a private reply, telephone 01845 565030 (the TopSpec helpline)
  • For a private, emailed reply: (not as detailed as a phone call)

Photo by Louise Pilgaard on Unsplash