When the weather turns cold, I like to give a weekly bran mash.
*Why would you want to use a bran mash?
It's a nice way to add a little bulk to your horses stool, it aids digestion, and helps with the hydration of your horse. It can help remove any impactions(constipation), reducing the chances of your horse having a bout with colic.
Traditionally a bran mash is given on a Sunday evening. There are many recipes out there, but I keep mine plain.
I use wheat bran, which you can find in your local feed store.
You want to start with a clean bucket.
You pour the bran into the bucket, and then add boiling water. Don't soak it, just enough to get it wet with no dry flakes.
You can mix the bran with a wooden spoon. The flakes should be somewhat fluffy.
Cheap Tip: If you don't have a spare at home, you can pick up a wooden spoon from the dollar store to keep at the barn.
Next, take a towel and cover the bucket to let the bran steam until the mixture is luke warm.
I replace one quarter to one third of my horses grain with the bran. (Start with one quarter.) I mix the bran mash in with the rest of his feed.
If there is leftover mash, dispose of it. Don't risk your horse getting any type of bacteria that can grow in the mash. Don't forget to thoroughly clean your bucket and spoon for next week!
As always, check the appearance of your horses manure for any potential problems.
A bran mash is a nice treat on a cold night that has healthful benefits.
*Please check with your veterinarian before you make any changes to your feeding program.