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Beyond the Hay Days: Refreshingly Simple Horse Nutrition Review by Erica Beyea

Rex A. Ewing
PixyJack Press, LLC
PO Box 149
Masonville, CO 80541

Recently our family inherited two adorable ponies that mean the world to us. Never having been horse owners before, we found ourselves struggling to learn all we could to keep them healthy and thriving. After reading the book Beyond the Hay Days: Refreshingly Simple Horse Nutrition, I feel like we are much better equipped for this task.

This 153-page book takes what can be a very daunting and complex subject (properly feeding a horse), and breaks down the science of it into a very understandable and practical read for the layman or beginning horse owner. Having never had the experience of choosing horse feed before, we were left asking opinions of others and following advice, which was often contradictory and confusing. The simplicity of this book was so amazing and it cleared up so much of that confusion.

After reading Beyond the Hay Days, we could determine that our ponies would be classified as a maintenance horse and an older horse. Though all horses have basic nutritional needs, each type of horse, whether a performance horse, a broodmare, or a growing horse, all have specific needs as well. Not only does this book explain why horses need the nutrients they do, but it also scientifically explains each nutrient, its source and purpose. Even though it sounds complicated, the facts are simple enough for an interested middle schooler to understand, as we found out in our family.

Equine information is included that to some might seem redundant, but is necessary for beginners to learn. For example, in the winter when outdoor temperatures drop, a horse needs a significant increase in feed rations to maintain their body temperatures, especially since they won’t have access to foraging in colder climates. Not just scientific, this book also allows the reader to exercise their math skills by utilizing the mathematical formulas in the back of the book to determine the exact amounts of nutrients, grain, and feed that their horse will need, based on weight and habits.

This book has literally been a godsend to our family. It came to us at just the right time in our life, when we needed to learn how to properly feed and care for the newest equine members of our family. We have enjoyed the complex facts presented in a straightforward manner. The simplicity of this book has allowed even the middle school and high school students of the family to read and understand how to properly feed and care for the ponies, and has given me, as a mom, the reassurance that the feeding decisions we are making are correct.

I highly recommend this book to horse owners, to understand horse nutrition and to allow their children to have direct participation in caring for their horse. This practical book would make a great addendum to a home school math and science course for a horse loving young person, allowing them real life ‘story problems’ to decipher proper horse nutrition. It is currently being sold on the PixyJack Press website for $12.95 (softcover) and $19.95 (hardcover).

-Product review by Erica Beyea, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017