Equilize Horse Nutrition offers highly professional and independent consultation services to feed and supplement manufacturers and educational institutions. Dr Nerida Richards is Equilize Horse Nutrition's Principal Consultant and is considered by many to be Australia's leader in the field of horse nutrition.
Our services include:
- Product Development
- Research Services
- Pasture Sampling and Analysis
- Market Research
- Growth Tracking
- Writing of Technical Information for Feed Companies and Educational Institutions
- Diet Formulation and Balancing
- Staff Training Services
Through interacting with the many and varied members of the Australian Horse Industry, Dr Richards has a sound understanding of the wants and needs of Australia's horse owners, trainers and breeders. Nerida combines this on-the-ground experience with her strong scientific abilities and a solid understanding of raw materials and micro-ingredients to provide Australian and International Feed and Supplement manufacturers unrivalled support when it comes to the development of new products or the reformulation of existing products.
With increasing consumer awareness and tightening regulations product research is becoming increasingly important. With Nerida's scientific training and experience in setting up properly controlled scientific studies, Equilize Horse Nutrition can offer research services including:
- Product safety testing
- Product efficacy testing
- Biological effects of products (for example blood lactate, glycaemic/insulin response)
- Growth studies
- Reproductive studies
- Digestibility studies
With good contacts in the racing and breeding sectors and access to privately owned horses for research purposes Equilize Horse Nutrition is able to conduct research in a timely and cost effective manner. Equilize Horse Nutrition will also soon have its own purpose built research facility.
Pasture Sampling and Analysis
Pasture plays an important role in the nutrition of horses in Australia. However, Australian pastures are commonly deficient in critical nutrients such as copper, zinc, selenium, phosphorous and calcium that are vital for the sound growth and development of young horses and for the optimal reproductive efficiency and athletic performance of mature horses. We are also seeing more and more mineral imbalances in pasture from the overuse of various fertilisers. The use of pasture analyses will allow you to best utilise the pasture resources available to you whilst using feeds and feed supplements to economically complement or balance your pastures.
Knowing what your customers want and would be happy to pay for is a critical first step in developing successful products that will meet a need in the market place. With excellent contacts in the racing, breeding, equestrian and pleasure horse industries Equilize Horse Nutrition is able to conduct market research on your behalf to assist in guiding your business and product development choices in the future.
Growth tracking involves the monthly weighing (and measurement of wither height) of your weanlings and yearlings and the plotting of this weight (and height) on a 'growth curve'. Growth tracking allows you to make informed decisions about your growing horses' nutrition program and to make an accurate assessment of their growth progress.
Rapid and/or irregular growth rates have been linked to the incidence of developmental orthopaedic diseases in horses, including osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). Therefore the use of growth tracking and accurate diet formulation, to ensure a steady growth rate and sound nutrition, will help to reduce the on-farm incidence of developmental diseases.
Nerida's extensive on-ground experience and scientific training allows Equilize Horse Nutrition to offer this service to members of the Australian and International Horse Industries. Examples of written material produced by Equilize Horse Nutrition to date include:
- Fact sheets covering various nutrition related topics such as the equine gastrointestinal tract and its functions, condition scoring horses, the benefits of feeding specific types of feeds and nutrients and the role of nutrition in nutrition related diseases such as osteochondritis dissecans and laminitis;
- Commercial product descriptions, technical information and feeding instructions;
- Review papers for scientific journals; and
- Course or lecture notes for educational institutions.
Diet Formulation and Balancing
Your horse's health and performance, no matter what discipline or activity, relies heavily on sound nutrition. Every horse requires a balanced diet that provides them with all of their energy, protein, vitamin and mineral requirements in the balanced quantities and correct ratios. Providing your horses with a precisely balanced diet will help to ensure that the growth of young animals, the reproductive efficiency of breeding animals, the athleticism of performance horses and the health and well-being of all horses is optimised.
Equilize Horse Nutrition assists horse owners, trainers and breeders to develop scientifically balanced diets for all classes of horses through the use of the FeedXL Software.
Staff Training Services
Whether you are a feed and supplement manufacturer or racing/breeding establishment, the success of your business depend to an extent on the nutrition knowledge and skills of your staff. Equilize Horse Nutrition can develop and present nutrition training workshops to your staff to give them the knowledge they need to do their job well. Nerida is a skilled presenter and educator and has been invited to speak at various conferences and horse establishments in Kentucky (USA), New Zealand and Australia. General nutrition based educational seminars and seminars tailored to your business' specific needs can be provided.