A concentrated balanced base feed. Ideal for all horses of all disciplines. Contains the essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, nucleic acids, natural vitamins, minerals, over 100 anti-oxidants, metabolic cofactors and other micro-nutrients in a form both bioavailable and clean. One 15kg sack contains sufficient feed for a horse in light work for 30 days.
Why choose ‘Equine Pure Essentials Base Mix’?
- No fillers, binders, pelleting agents, preservatives or chemically synthesised micro-nutrients are included.
- All Ingredients have been carefully sourced to avoid fertiliser, pesticide, herbicide and other chemical treatments, preservatives, mould inhibitors, etc. wherever possible and whilst trying to keep costs low.
- All Ingredients have been carefully processed to minimise denaturation of the essential macro and micro nutrients.
- Contains No wheat, wheatfeed, oatfeed, soya, legumes, sugar beet, molasses, alfalfa, soya oil, corn oil, mixed vegetable oil or waste by-products from human oat or wheat food milling and production.
- Superior Ratio of beneficial omega-3 polyunsaturates, high quality oil, high quality protein, extremely low sugar and starch feed.
- Added prebiotics, probiotics, fruits, herbs and botanicals in generous amounts, providing functional foods to nutritionally support a healthy gut environment.
- No need to add other supplements such as probiotics, magnesium calmers, oils, etc
Composition: Stabilised and ground whole linseed, naturally stabilised rice bran, natural fractionated yeast extract, proprietary blend of herbs (fruits, herbs and botanicals), limestone flour, magnesium carbonate, Bioplex minerals, Lysine, Yea-Sacc, Bio-Mos, Natural vitamin E, chelated magnesium, chelated calcium, chelated zinc, chelated copper, chelated selenium, organic extra virgin sesame seed oil, natural vitamin A and D3.
Analysis: Oil (23.25%), Protein (22%), Starch (10%), Sugar (2.8%), Fibre (5.75%), Ash (14%) DE=15.5MJ/kg
Comparison of Base Mix with NRC guidelines for a 500kg healthy adult horse at maintenance.
The National Research Council (NRC) guidelines are the industry recognised standard for recommended daily rates of nutrients for horses. All grazing, forage and browse will contain various amounts of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, but very often due to modern farming techniques, pasture management, etc, many of these nutrients can be deficient. When formulating a balancer (to ‘balance’ against this forage), Thunderbrook take into account the levels of such nutrients in a typical UK forage.
Some nutrients are typically in short supply and are important additions to a balancer (such as copper, zinc, magnesium and selenium) whereas others are often supplied in abundance in typical forage and to over supplement could be detrimental (for example iron and manganese). Hence, it would not be sensible to formulate a balancer that meets 100% of the NRC nutrient requirements just from the balancer alone, as the nutrients provided from forage which makes up the bulk of the horse’s diet also need to be taken into account.
Base Mix meets the full daily requirement for the main vitamins and minerals, according to NRC guidelines, when fed at the recommended daily rate alongside forage. Vitamins and minerals are supplied in Base Mix through those naturally sourced from the ingredients (linseed, nutritional yeast etc) and from those added separately (labelled and declared as ‘additives’ under EU legislation). The additives have to be declared by law, but the nutrients supplied through the natural ingredients do not have to be declared on the label. This is simply because they are harder to quantify as there is natural variation from batch to batch. The table below gives more information than that what is legally required on a feed sack label. It includes to the best of our ability the nutrients provided from the ingredients as well as the separately added nutrients.
The main vitamins and minerals to balance against average UK forage are highlighted in red in the table below. These are the key vitamins and minerals (copper, zinc, magnesium and selenium) that can be in short supply in average UK forage.
Some minerals are not added to Base Mix (such as iron and manganese) as they are rarely ever found to be lacking in the horse’s forage and excess supplementation is considered potentially harmful. For example, the 400mg of iron per day according to NRC guidelines in the table below will be obtained from eating just one or two kilos of average hay. The levels of iron and manganese in Base Mix are from the natural ingredients only (linseed, nutritional yeast, etc). Other minerals such as selenium are toxic when fed at higher levels. As selenium levels can be low in forage, but rarely ever completely lacking, we include selenium at slightly under the NRC level to compensate, and ensure we avoid toxicity problems.
Some balancers contain copper and zinc at many times the NRC recommended daily rates. Base Mix is formulated to meet the NRC requirements, but not at multiple concentrations higher. This is for two reasons. Firstly because the NRC guidelines are the most researched data available. Claims that higher levels of copper and zinc are required are not backed up with robust scientific research and peer reviewed papers. Secondly because the European Legislation on feed additives has maximum limits set for minerals such as copper and zinc, to avoid toxicity. Adding copper and zinc in Base Mix at multiple concentrations higher to the NRC guidelines could result in toxicity if the horse’s forage is already high in copper and zinc (and occasionally this can be the case).
Calcium, phosphorus and potassium are always found in forage and a horse’s diet is rarely short of these minerals, so again they are included at levels to balance average UK forage, and each other. Similarly, sulphur is found in grass (average 0.2%). A 500kg horse eating 10kg dry weight of grass will consume 20g of sulphur which is higher than the NRC guideline figure, and hence we do not include additional sulphur in Base Mix.
Sodium and chloride are the constituents of basic ‘salt’. We do not include salt in Base Mix as this would compromise the shelf life of the product (and it is also a cheap ingredient that can easily be added separately). Cobalt is not included as there are legislative requirements regarding the addition of cobalt to animal feeds. The level of cobalt quoted in the table for Base Mix is that found from the natural ingredients. We add Vitamin B12 instead (which is a vitamin made from cobalt).
If you have any questions about our nutritional analysis, please feel free to call our nutritional helpline to discuss further.
Thunderbrook Base Mix**
Vitamins & Minerals
15,000 IU (min)
3,000 IU (min)
500 IU (min)
Thiamin (Vit B1)
Riboflavin (Vit B2)
Nutrients provided in Base Mix in addition to the NRC list of requirements
Vit B3 (nicotinic acid)
Vit B5 (pantothenic acid)
Vit B6 ( pyridoxine )
Vit B7 (biotin)
Vit B9 (folic acid)
Yeasacc (S cerevisiae 1026)
500 million CFU
Over 100 antioxidants
*National Research Council recommended daily amounts for a healthy adult 500kg horse at maintenance.
** Thunderbrook Base Mix when fed at the recommended daily rate of 100g per 100kg bodyweight per day. These figures include the nutrients sourced naturally from the ingredients (ie include the natural vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids etc found in nutritional yeast etc) in addition to those added separately to the feed (classed as ‘additives’ under labelling legislation). The figures given therefore represent the total or actual amount found in the feed (or the minimum levels if only the added amounts are given in the table and the natural source levels are in addition to this).
We do not use magnesium oxide or magnesium sulphate in our feeds or supplements as they both can cause gut irritation – especially for those horses with compromised digestive systems such as inflammation and ulcers. Base Mix contains two types of chelated magnesium and magnesium carbonate
Feeding instructions: See feeding guide below for amounts. Add a handful or two of our Healthy Herbal Chaff or Muesli to provide texture and aid chewing. Dampen before feeding. Maximum daily rate is best split between multiple feeds per day. For best results avoid feeding with processed chaffs, mixes, pellets or other feeds containing straw, wheatfeed, oatfeed, soya, soya hulls (as these are the main ingredients with potentially high pesticide and mycotoxin residues), and those containing molasses, preservatives, etc. Instead, feed with ad lib hay, and unprocessed straights such as dried grass, freshly milled stoneground Organic Bran, Organic Mature Oats for germinating, etc. Provide plenty of fresh water and access to a natural mineral salt lick as Base Mix does not contain added salt (average horse at maintenance requires approx. 20g per day). Base Mix fed at 100g per 100kg bodyweight per day provides the full daily ration of the main vitamins, minerals and trace elements, prebiotics, probiotics, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Always introduce a new feed slowly. Add just one pinch of Base Mix to your horse’s first feed and work up gradually over 4 or 5 days to the full amount (see below).
Healthy adult horses at maintenance on poor forage (restricted grazing, grazing muzzle, high fibre hay, soaked hay, straw, etc), or poor doers = 100g per 100kg bodyweight per day.
Healthy adult horses at maintenance on good forage (fresh spring and summer grass, good quality hay, etc) or good doers = 50g per 100kg bodyweight per day.
Youngstock, Brood Mares, Competition Horses in heavy work or Convalescing Horses (eg those requiring weight gain) = 100g to 150g per 100kg bodyweight per day.
With a maximum feeding rate of 150g per 100kg bodyweight per day.
Precautionary guidance for horses with special dietary requirements
Some horses with compromised digestive systems may require vitamins and minerals supplied at higher than the daily recommended rate, due to the inefficiencies caused by malabsorption or dysbiosis. For horses showing lethargy, poor hoof quality or lack of intensity of coat colour, even when fed Base Mix at the full recommended rate, we suggest also feeding ‘Gut-Restore’ together with ‘Liquid Gold’.
Note for Metabolically challenged horses
Base Mix is 10% starch and 2.8% sugar, but is only fed in small quantities per meal.
A feed of 250g of Base Mix at the 10% starch contains just 25g of starch in that meal. In contrast, a ‘low starch’ feed at just 5% starch, but with a recommended feeding rate of 1KG, will contain 50g of starch in that meal.
Hence, remember to multiply the feeding rate alongside the percentage composition, in order to calculate the actual amount of starch in the feed bowl, as this is what affects the insulin levels of metabolically challenged horses.
For a more detailed explanation, visit our blog page
What do you feed your horse? Pony cubes? veteran mix? stud mix? show jumper mix? convalescent mix? cool mix? high fibre nuts? high fibre chaff? molasses free chaff? low cal mix? etc etc. But what is the difference? Have you ever looked at the ingredients label to see what you are ACTUALLY feeding your horse? How are those ingredients farmed, harvested, processed, chemically treated, etc? Ever wondered what those ingredients on a label of commercial horse feed really are? Here are some of the most used ingredients in processed horse feed, and the truth about what they really are. Marketing uses words like ‘pure’, and ‘natural’ but in reality, most feeds are far from being what your horses digestive system and gut bacteria actually evolved to ‘eat’ for hundreds of thousands of years. THAT’S OUR DEFINITION OF NATURAL! In the last 10 to 15 years, feed ingredients have significantly changed. Here’s why.
Dessication of combinable crops:
The last available official figures for the UK show that over 90% of farmers dessicated over 40% of their combinable cereal crops, and over 80% of oil seed crops in 2006/2007. What does this mean? Dessication is the drying out (or killing) of the crop using weedkillers such as Roundup or diquat, 10 to 14 days before harvest, to make the crop cheaper and easier to harvest. The weedkiller stays on the crop – the outer part of the grain and the straw contain the highest residues. Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) is allowed, under European legislation, to be at levels up to 5 million times higher in animal feed than what is allowed in our drinking water. These figures are not based on any safety tests in animals – just limits based on the amounts of weedkiller used.
Wheatfeed is not ground up whole wheat or wheat bran. This is the major milling waste by-product of flour production, and the main bulking agent in horse feeds. Wheatfeed consists principally of fragments of the outer skins and particles of the grain, course middlings and fine middlings, the outer husk and hull. It is processed (usually pelleted) to bind the fine particles together, using chemicals such as lignosulphonate. In addition to seed treatment and ammonium nitrate fertilisers, wheat grown in the UK receives on average 3 treatments of fungicides, 3 herbicides, 2 growth regulators and 1 insecticide. The grain may then be dusted, sprayed or gassed with pesticides in farm grain stores, followed by another possible dust, gas or spray of pesticides in commercial grain storage. The fabric of the stores may also be sprayed with pesticides. Wheatfeed is primarily the outer parts of the wheat grain that have been in direct contact with these various treatments, and contain dust, dirt, mould spores and mycotoxins concentrated during the milling process, plus weedkiller from dessication treatments. The legislation governing safe levels of mycotoxins in human food is not applicable for animal feeds – only recommended levels are made and not enforced. Wheatfeed is high fibre but very poor in essential nutrients. Why feed Wheatfeed when good quality and cheaper high fibre is in your haynet? Do we really know what all these chemical residues are doing to the good bacteria in your horse’s gut?
Oatfeed is not ground up whole oats. Oatfeed is a waste by-product from the milling industry. It is composed of 4:1 oat hulls (the very outer part of the grain) and the dust mainly consisting of oat hairs lying between the grain and the hull. Oat hull has only a little better digestibility than that of oat straw. It has to be processed to bind the hulls and the dust together into pellets, ie pelleted using binding agents such as lignosulphonate or molasses or starches. In addition to seed treatment (to prevent bird, slug damage, etc) and ammonium nitrate fertilisers, oats grown in the UK receive on average 2 treatments of herbicide, 2 treatments of fungicide, 1 growth regulator and 1 insecticide spray. The grain may then be dusted with a pesticide in farm grain stores, followed by another possible spraying of pesticide in the commercial grain store. The fabric of stores is also sprayed with pesticides. Oatfeed is primarily the outer hull of the oat grain which has been in direct contact with these various treatments, and contains dust, dirt and mould spores. During the milling of oats to produce ‘porridge oats’ for human consumption, the naturally occurring mycotoxins present in the outer parts of the oat grain are concentrated into the waste by-product, which in the past was composted and returned to the ground as fertiliser. Nowadays, this waste by-product is termed Oatfeed and can contain mycotoxins at levels up to 500 times greater than our ‘porridge oats’. The legislation governing safe levels of mycotoxins in human food is not applicable for animal feeds. Oatfeed is high fibre but again very poor in essential nutrients. Why feed oatfeed when good quality and cheaper high fibre is in your haynet?
Nutritionally Improved Straw.
Sounds good but what exactly is this? Straw treated with sodium hydroxide to break down the structural fibre (lignins) and increase its digestibility. Sodium hydroxide is otherwise known as caustic soda. It is principally used in the paper making industry, manufacturing of soaps, detergents and as a drain cleaner. It is the most common ingredient in oven cleaners. Straw treated with sodium hydroxide is very often then pelleted using lignosulphonate or other binding agents. Pesticide usage on the crop (from which the straw is harvested) as above depending on if it is wheat, oat or barley straw. Straw may have high levels of weedkiller residue if it has been sourced from a dessicated crop. Do we really know what chemical reactions are taking place on the straw with all the pesticides, weedkillers, chemical treatments to make these processed straw pellets, and what effect do these chemicals have on the gut bacteria? We don’t know as no research has been done as yet.
“Our girls look fab on Base Mix, we have been using it for over a year, as we are feeding it at half the RDA, a bag lasts for ages!!”
Kirsty Bennett – March 2013
“My horse is metabolic and she has been on it for 18months, she looks great on Base Mix”
Clare Lloyd – March 2013
“I rode my boy out alone today and although a little nervous he was brilliant. Really calm and listening to me! Also I ordered my feed yesterday morning and it arrived this morning. Now trying to talk my local feed merchant into becoming a stockist for them.
The best bit about it is that everyone else can see the difference in my boy! So Happy. Thank You Debbie”
Bernie Buckle – November 2013