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Sainfoin for horses

FAQs about Sainfoin for horses

05 July 2024

We've worked hard to ensure that sainfoin is available for horses since before the launch of Sainfoin Pellets in 2016. So, what is sainfoin, how can it benefit horses? 

Read answers to our most frequently asked questions or watch our video as Simple System Director of Nutrition, Jane van Lennep, tells us more.

Q. What is sainfoin? A. Sainfoin is a forage legume that has been grown by farmers for hundreds of years. The name comes from the French 'saint foin' meaning 'healthy hay' and it is a premium alternative to grass or lucerne / alfalfa.

Q. How does sainfoin differ from other forages? A. Perhaps the most unique property of sainfoin is its condensed tannins. These valuable tannins can aid the digestion of protein. Sainfoin is also very deep rooting and it therefore takes up more nutrients from the soil than some other forages.

Q. My horse is allergic to lucerne / alfalfa, is sainfoin a suitable alternative? A. Sainfoin is our most recommended feed for those prone to allergies ad intolerances. Whilst we cannot have a 'one size fits all' approach with horses, sainfoin can be a great option for itchy or sensitive types.

Q. I'd like to add variety to my horse's diet - is sainfoin a good choice? A. Adding an alternative forage to the diet provides enrichment and supports gut microbes. Sainfoin is an excellent choice. Lucerne is another great option, as are our NEW Meadow Forage Pellets which contain 5 forages species (including sainfoin) in one bag! Unsure which to choose? Contact the Feed Line.

Q. Is sainfoin a good choice for growing horses? A. When harvested at the optimum stage of growth, as with our Sainfoin Pellets, sainfoin is very nutritious. It is a good source of natural vitamins, minerals and protein. It also contains condensed tannins which can aid the absorption of protein - ideal for youngsters, but also for older horses and those in work.

Q. My horse has metabolic issues can I feed sainfoin? A. For those prone to weight gain or metabolic issues Sainfoin Fibre Pellets are a good choice. They are low in calories and exceptionally high in fibre. Be sure not to mistake Sainfoin Fibre Pellets (which come in a white bag) for the higher nutrition Sainfoin Pellets (which come in a pink bag).

If you'd like to learn more about the suitability of our sainfoin feeds for your horse, contact our equine nutrition team on 01728 604 008 or complete our advice request form here.


Featured Products

A comprehensive forage balancer with calming support, specifically developed to help settle reactive, tense or spooky horses.


A nutritious blend of easily digested forages, grown together, to increase variety in the diet.


Sainfoin compressed into 1kg blocks, rich in natural minerals & trace elements. Feed whole & dry to mimic grazing.


A premium forage alternative to lucerne & grass. High in fibre, low in calories and rich in natural minerals & trace elements.


Premium forage alternative to lucerne and grass, rich in natural minerals and trace elements.


A comprehensive forage balancer with natural joint care. Designed to support older or harder working horses, aiding comfort, flexibility and range of motion.


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