When it comes to my two ponies in the summer they only get a maintenance diet basically as a reward for doing nothing! They are only lightly ridden and are out at grass 24/7 but in order to keep them fit and healthy they do need looking after in the feeding department especially as their summer diet really just consists of dried grass formed into pelletts!
They usually have an all round vitamin and mineral supplement which is added once a day to their feed. However, last year whilst having a look around my usual feed stockists that there was an offer on Dodson & Horrell's Equi-Bites were on offer. I had normally refused to pay full price because feeding a powdered supplement was cheaper but these were heavily marked down so I bought a tub to see how the ponies liked them.
Dodson & Horrell are a nationwide feed producer and they produce feeds for both horses and dogs as well as bird feed and a wide range of feeds for sheep, cattle, goats etc. They have been around a lot of years and I have been using their feeds for at least 12 years as they always have something suitable for any of my horses.
Equi-Bites come in a largish white plastic tub with a snap on lid and an easy to carry handle. The front label is red in colour and has the Dodson & Horrell logo on together with the product name and on the back is the ingredients list together with daily feeding instructions etc.
Dodson & Horrell's Equi-bites are simply a healthy treat for horses and ponies. They are fully supplements with vitamins and minerals ideal for those that are at grass permenantly (companions, retired etc) or in light work. By using Equi-Bites the horse or pony gets their essential daily vitamins and minerals that they probably won't get out in a paddock. Equi-Bites are to be used instead of using a traditional supplement where you add it to the feed and thus making it easier for you.
The Equi-Bites contain QLC natural anti-oxidents which is found in all Dodson & Horrell products. The treats are made up of a patented blend of natural, plant derived anti-oxidents which has been specially formulated to support the horse's own anti-oxidant system and therefore helping to promote long term health, performance and condition.
The Equi-Bites are oval in shape and have a similar texture to a crunchy biscuit but they are quite hard and won't break up so easily in your hand. They don't really have a specific aroma to them but they do have a scent of a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement (those of you who has horses you will know what I mean!) but with a slightly herby note. What I would have liked was if they were a bit more fragrant to entice horses, may be adding garlic or mint which is palatable to even the fussiest of horses.
Now I didn't feed my two ponies the recommended daily amount as they still do get a supple of vitamins and minerals from their bucket feed but I did feed the Equi-Bites from my hand and they were a bit cautious to start off with but as soon as they realised they were food they didn't have a problem eating them. The one pony did have a few issues as he didn't know how to bite into it and I think he may have found them a bit hard.
As I mentioned above they really don't have a specific aroma to them and the ponies seemed to get a bit bored of them and much preferred a different treat than these. I don't know whether they could taste that it was basically a supplement in a biscuit shape but they didn't seemed impressed after a few days. I'm guessing this was due to them not being very palatable.
Even though it is easy to feed them by hand as they still had a bucket feed I found it much easier to either put the Equi-Bites into their feeds or even just use my usual general purpose supplement as sometimes I didn't have much time to go into my ponies' paddock and feed them the Equi-Bites specifically and putting them in their buckets saved time. I think these are great if the horse or pony is not getting a bucket feed and you can simply give them by hand but for my two I can't say I was too impressed with them. I certainly wouldn't buy them again at either reduced or full price as a general purpose supplement is far cheaper for my needs anyway. May be worth giving a go should your horse or pony not have a bucket feed but just not for me.
~ Price & Availability ~
Dodson & Horrell Equi-Bites are available to purchase at all Dodson & Horrell stockists both in store and online. Expect to pay around £7.50 - £9.00 for a 3kg tub.