Beyond the Hay Days, by Rex Ewing
[amazon-product]0965809803[/amazon-product]Review by Margo Perschbacher
Horse Nutrition – December 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine
Beyond the Hay Days – A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Effective Horse Nutrition
by Rex A. Ewing
Published in 1997 by PixyJack Press, LLC
WHETHER YOU OWN a few lovable children’s horses, or run, own, or manage a large stable or breeding facility, Rex A. Ewing’s Beyond the Hay Days is a horse owner’s must. This comprehensive, easy, and enjoyable to read guide to feeding and maintaining your equine friend, or financial investment, is packed full of facts and formulas relating to the care and feeding of horses.
Ewing effectively divides this information into categories which describe the nutritional needs of the various classes of horse flesh, from maintenance, through stallion, performance, broodmare, etc…. All the necessary requirements for keeping your specific horse looking good and performing well are covered.
Beyond the Hay Days, while relevant for the average horse owner, is technical and well-suited as an easy to use reference guide for the professional breeder, stable owner, and trainer. Ewing’s lifetime of experience in the horse breeding and nutritional supplement business is apparent in his well researched approach to the day to day business of feeding horses. To keep the handy little guide from being too overwhelming, Ewing includes many personal stories, which he tells in a very down to earth manner.
This book scientifically analyzes everything from the energy and protein requirements, based on weight of the animal, stage of development, and expected performance of the fully grown and developed horse to the enzymes, macrominerals, trace minerals, and vitamins which are essential in maintaining a healthy horse. All of these necessities are explored, complete with handy charts which make quick referencing easy.
For instance, Chapter 8, “The Macrominerals,” gives a summary of the seven minerals horses need in large quantities. For each mineral or combination of minerals, Ewing provides the facts, in no-nonsense English, as to what can go wrong, or right, with your horse depending on how the minerals are balanced or imbalanced as the horse consumes its daily feed.
However, a feeling of guilt coursed through me as I thought of our two happy mares and their now almost grown offspring. We really have been lucky in our daily feeding program, which was developed in a rather hit or miss fashion. I worry about mineral blocks, balanced grain, and vitamin supplements, and whether or not the hay we bought will be nutritionally adequate during the long cold winter months that loom in front of us here in Central Colorado.
Luckily, we know people who, like Ewing, have vast amounts of horse sense cultivated over years of experience. These generous people have helped through many a horsy dilemma keeping our equine friends relatively healthy.
But now we also have a book. Beyond the Hay Days will take its place on our book shelf, dedicated to the equine members of our family, for the days when our knowledgeable friends are busy or we need to cross-reference information as we prepare our animals’ food.
– Margo Perschbacher
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