Beyond the Hay Days, 1st Edition: A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Effective Horse Nutrition


This easy-to-read, common sense book was written for new and experienced horse owners of all ages. A compact book of 128 pages, it covers everything from simple hay-and-grain basics to vitamins, minerals and supplements (MSM, DMG, chondroitin sulfates) for horses in various stages of life. The information is also summarized in chart form for easy reference, and the Appendix gives formulas and conversion charts for feed ration calculations.


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This easy-to-read, common sense book was written for new and experienced horse owners of all ages. A compact book of 128 pages, it covers everything from simple hay-and-grain basics to vitamins, minerals and supplements (MSM, DMG, chondroitin sulfates) for horses in various stages of life. The information is also summarized in chart form for easy reference, and the Appendix gives formulas and conversion charts for feed ration calculations.


  • Essential nutrient requirements for maintenance horses, performance horses, stallions, broodmares, nursing foals, and weanlings & yearlings.
  • Nutrients that supply energy: carbohydrates, fat and protein.
  • Nutrients that don't supply energy: macrominerals, trace minerals & vitamins.
  • A guide to supplemental feeding, with a 2-page chart for 12 classes of horses.
  • Exotic nutrients: MSM, DMG and Chondroitin Sulfates.
  • Helpful formulas: how to calculate the total protein in a ration; how to convert percent to milligrams or grams per day, and PPM to milligrams per day.
  • Plus metric conversion factors.

Recommended by the leading horse magazines (see reviews listed below), including Horse Illustrated, Equus, Horse & Rider, Quarter Horse Journal, Western Horseman, and Horseplay.

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Editorial Reviews

Equus Magazine
You're in the feed store, peering quizzically at the label on a 50-pound sack, when a fellow shopper comes over to help. Turns out he's a rancher who spent seven years as president and CEO of a nutritional supplement company. In about 15 minutes, he's walked you through the nutrients on the label, describing what they mean for your horse's stage of life and level of activity, and suddenly the mystery of feeding seems perfectly clear. That's how you'll feel when you read Beyond the Hay Days, by Rex A. Ewing. OK, it's a corny title, but this pleasant little primer contains an impressive amount of science and a healthy dose of common sense from a man who's been raising and feeding horses successfully for years.
Horse & Rider Magazine
If you'd like to get a handle on equine nutrition, but the subject tends to make your eyes glaze over, add Beyond the Hay Days to your horse library...Ewing covers everything from simple hay-and-grain basics to MSM, DMG and chondroitin sulfates for horses in all stages of life....Ewing will answer most, if not all of your questions. And don't overlook the book's tiny Appendix, which will enable you to customize your horse's ration. Ewing's formulas and conversion charts explain how to convert confusing feed-label numbers into understandable milligrams, and how to determine a ration's protein content. Ewing delivers what he promises on the cover- a refreshingly simple guide to effective horse nutrition.
HorsePlay Magazine
Ewing is an excellent writer who consistently makes the information he conveys interesting and wellworth wading through. We learn, for instance, how to read a feed bag label-no small skill-and we get, along the way, a primer on converting to the metric system, favored by feed manufacturers....Ewing reminds us that "no two horses share the same biological makeup, or nutritional tolerances." Therefore, he doesn't dismiss that old standby, the horseman's eye....Beyond the Hay Days is a great reference as well as a delight to read.
National Sporting Library Journal
This thin, easy-to-read book uses common sense as its guiding force and knits in those complicated equations so the reader learns-and enjoys while doing so. Author Rex Ewing writes this book like a long magazine article-and I mean a good magazine article. It's lively, full of fun and gets the information to the reader in a hurry...I highly recommend this book as an inexpensive, reliable and easy-to-swallow guide for experienced and green horsemen....For those of us who hate science and complicated dissertations, this is the book of choice.
Quarter Horse Journal
This fascinating and folksy book takes a very dry subject and makes it interesting. Ewing not only goes through conventional feeding wisdoms, he also discusses supplements, like MSM, DMG and chondroitin sulfates... Ewing discusses the needs of different horses, such as why the energetic stallion consumes more energy than mares and geldings, and gives some general management tips that will be useful to anyone. Some of this information is hard to find, such as what MSM is and what it seems to do. Ewing wraps it up in 128 pages, using the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid). For those of us not seeking a doctorate in equine nutrition, this book pretty well covers what we need to know.
Rural Heritage
This book explains everything you need to know to sort through a feed label. The information is easy to apply, since it's organized according to specific application: supplements for the broodmare, requirements of a stallion, needs of growing foals, etc. The author has taken a complicated subject and made it not only understandable but also interesting, so what I thought was going to be a slog through a ton of nutritional facts turned out to be a breeze to read.... The formulas are based on weight and performance needs, making this book useful for owners of all breeds including drafts.
Western Horseman Magazine
He [Ewing] is a horseman who appreciates the art of feeding as much, if not more so, than the science of it. But he also fully appreciates the words nutritionists use with ease: macrominerals, fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, chondroitin sulfates, and more. The difference in Ewing's approach is that he translates the big words and percentages found on most feed and supplement labels into a more easily understood frame of reference.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780965809801
  • Publisher: PixyJack Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1997
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue v
Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: The Art of Nutrition 9
Chapter 1 Feeding as a Function of Design 13
Part 1 Energy-The Nutrients That Supply It and The Horse's Needs
Chapter 2 Energy-Fuel for the Equine Engine 19
Chapter 3 The Nutrients That Supply Energy
Carbohydrates 23
Fat 24
Protein-The Stuff Your Horse Is Made Of 25
Chapter 4 Putting Things Into Perspective 29
Chapter 5 The Fundamentals: Energy and Protein Requirements 33
Maintenance Horses 34
Performance Horses 37
Stallions 40
Broodmares 41
Nursing Foals 43
Weanlings & Yearlings 47
Part II Nutrients That Don't Supply Energy
Chapter 6 Enzymes: Catalysts 53
Chapter 7 Minerals: Elemental Necessities 55
Chapter 8 Macrominerals
Calcium and Phosphorus 57
Magnesium 64
Sulfur 65
Potassium 67
Salt 68
Quick Summary 69
Chapter 9 Trace Minerals 71
Organic vs. Inorganic 73
Cobalt 76
Copper 76
Iodine 77
Iron 78
Manganese 80
Zinc 81
Selenium 82
Quick Summary 84
Chart of Daily Mineral Requirements 85
Chapter 10 Vitamins 87
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A 88
Vitamin D 90
Vitamin E 92
Vitamin K 94
Water Soluble Vitamins
Thiamin (B[subscript 1]) 94
Riboflavin (B[subscript 2]) 96
Niacin 96
Pantothenic Acid 97
Pyridoxine (B[subscript 6]) 97
Folic Acid 98
Choline 99
Vitamin B[subscript 12] 99
Ascorbic Acid 100
Biotin 101
Quick Summary 103
Chapter 11 Guide to Supplemental Feeding 105
Chapter 12 Exotic Nutrients 109
MSM 110
DMG 112
Chondroitin Sulfates 113
Chapter 13 Closing Considerations--The Basics 115
Teeth and Parasites 115
Forages 116
Grains, Fats and Extra Protein 118
Appendix Helpful Formulas & Conversion Factors 121
Suggested Reading & General Bibliography 127
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