How diet affects equine performance?
Recent research supports the move from traditional (Jansson and Harris 2013) high concentrate diets to forage rich diets in performance horses. (Harris et al. 2016; Connysson et al. 2010 and Connysson 2018) However, forage has a greater effect on dust in housing than bedding (Whittaker et al. 2009). The move, therefore, may potentially create more dust in the equine performance environment than when on more concentrate-based diets (Hessel, Garlipp and Van den Weghe 2009).
Most performance horses are fed on hay or haylage all year round mostly due to indoor housing for most of the year. The quality and variety of hay grass type affect dust generated Seguin et al. (2010). Vandenput et al. (1997), reported that poor quality hay created a tenfold amount of dust more than good quality hay. Most sources agree haylage produces less dust than hay. (Seguin et al. 2010; Finch et al. 2010 and Clements and Pirie 2007). However, the choice of performance horse owners to feed hay or haylage is not generally influenced by potential respiratory ill-effects but by availability, storage options, feeding preference, and cost.