Kathy Benson (left) and Sue Jolivette (right), visitors at the recent Wisconsin Horse Council’s District 5 tack sale, stopped at the Nutrena Animal Feeds booth to visit with Tayler Etzel, Nutrena representative. Etzel was on hand to discuss horse nutrition needs with horse owners attending the event held Nov. 2 in Sparta.

The combination of good nutrition and exercise to develop a horse’s core is as important for it as it is for the rider.

According to Tayler Etzel, Cargill Animal Nutrition retail account representative, the nutritional aspect for improving a horse’s back structure has become an emphasis for Cargill’s nutritional researchers.

“A horse’s topline is its core,” Etzel said. “Topline health is a big focus right now.”

Etzel talked with visitors of the Wisconsin Horse Council District 5’s tack sale about their horses’ nutritional needs. The event, held Nov. 2 in Sparta, drew together area horse equipment sellers and buyers.

An agriculture business and animal science graduate of Iowa State University, Etzel said Nutrena has been consulting with customers regarding their horses’ nutrition needs and have been changing to meet those needs.

“Nutrena has done some rebranding, basically, of what’s important to our customers,” Etzel said. “Some horses are prone to different issues.”

Among the issues Cargill researchers have focused on is helping horse owners improve or develop their horses’ top lines.

A division of Cargill, Nutrena makes livestock feeds and pet food. Nutrena’s equine specialists work with researchers at accredited universities to help them develop feeds for better horse health.

Concerning a horse’s top line, quality amino acids are vital for improving and building strong muscles. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and getting a horse to consume the right blend of the 10 essential amino acids is key.

“The majority of amino acids are not synthesized within a horse’s body, much like that of a human,” Etzel said. “In order to have the means necessary to have strong muscles and overall improved health, horses should consume these amino acids through a Nutrena product like Empower Topline Balance, which has guaranteed amino acid levels of lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan.”

Etzel also discussed the products Nutrena has to supplement pastured horses’ diets as well as the nutritional needs of older horses.

Two of the visitors to the tack sale were senior horse owners Sue Jolivette of La Crosse and Kathy Benson of Stoddard. The two credit better nutrition and veterinary care for the longevity of their equine companions.

District 5 has held the sale around the district over the past few years, and organizers believe the Sparta location had the greatest number of vendors. The group is planning to hold another tack sale March 30, 2019, at Club 16 in Sparta.