The Scoop on Stabilized Rice Bran for Horses

Posted by Carolyn Adams, Fri, Sep 30, 2011

Most of us have come across Stabilized Rice Bran, either at the feed store, online, or in chatting with other horse owners, but have questioned how or why we would incorporate it into our horse’s feeding program. We get many questions from horse owners regarding the benefits of Stabilized Rice Bran or how they can feed it. So, to answer your questions, I interviewed Dr. Rob McCoy, Manna Pro’s Animal Nutritionist, to get the real scoop on SRB:

Carolyn: Why would a horse owner want to supplement with Stabilized Rice Bran?

Dr. McCoy: The key nutritional feature of Stabilized Rice Bran is its fat content. Fat is a good source of calories and it’s easy on the digestive tract, making it an ideal way to add fat to a horse’s diet and avoid grain and starch overload. Any horse owner that wants to add fat or calories to their horse’s diet could consider feeding Stabilized Rice Bran.

Carolyn: I’ve heard Stabilized Rice Bran can benefit many types of horses. What are the advantages for each type of horse?

Dr. McCoy: Stabilized Rice Bran is an excellent supplement for most any horse and helps meet the individual’s nutritional needs, depending on life stage and activity level. For senior horses it’s easy to digest, which is important for an older horse and provides additional calories to help build their body condition. Some senior horses can struggle with maintaining their weight, and Stabilized Rice Bran can help them maintain good body condition. For growing horses, it is safe to feed to a young horse and provides calories needed for growth and development. Performance horses also benefit from Stabilized Rice Bran, as it provides the additional calories needed for their high caloric expenditure and will help maintain the body condition of these athletes. For underweight horses, it’s a very safe and effective way to add additional calories to their diet without having to feed large amounts of grain. Stabilized Rice Bran is also a great adult horse weight gain supplement, as it can help maintain their weight and healthy coat.

Carolyn: It sounds as if Stabilized Rice Bran is ideal for all types of horses. Are there any horses that should not be fed SRB?

Dr. McCoy: Because of its caloric content, feeding an overweight horse Stabilized Rice Bran will only add to the problem. Thus, SRB isn’t appropriate for overweight horses.

Carolyn: We keep referring to rice bran as being “stabilized,” but are their other types of non-stabilized rice brans out there? And why is feeding one that is stabilized important?

Dr. McCoy: Raw rice bran that has not been put through a stabilization process can be found at feed stores throughout the country. It’s important to choose a brand that has been stabilized, which means that the rice bran has undergone specialized processing to prevent deterioration of the fat. The fat in raw rice bran is subject to oxidation and becomes rancid and unpalatable, which can lead to the horse rejecting their feed and potential weight loss.

Carolyn: Will Stabilized Rice Bran make horses “hot,” or hyperactive?

Dr. McCoy: Hyperactivity in horses is commonly associated with the intake of too much starch and sugar. Stabilized Rice Bran contains lower levels of starch and sugar compared to typical grain-based feeds, so it would not be expected to cause hyperactivity.

Carolyn: When feeding Stabilized Rice Bran, does the amount of grain the horse is getting need to be reduced?

Dr. McCoy: It depends on what is being replaced, but a pound-for-pound switch will be fine in some applications. However, Stabilized Rice Bran is most commonly fed to horses that need additional body conditioning. In this case, it’s simply added to their diet.

Carolyn: Can Stabilized Rice Bran replace another supplement that I’m feeding?

Dr. McCoy: Stabilized Rice Bran can be used in place of liquid oils and “weight builder–type” supplements.

Manna Pro is the leader in Stabilized Rice Bran with our Max-E Glo® and Natural Glo® brands. Visit our website to learn more about SRB and where you can find it in your area. A big thanks to Dr. McCoy for providing us with this great information!

About Dr. Rob McCoy

Rob McCoy was born and raised in south central Kansas. He attended Kansas State University, earning his BS degree in Agriculture (Animal Science and Industry) in 1990 and his MS degree in 1992. Following his graduation from K-State, Rob continued his graduate work at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, earning his PhD in 1996. Rob joined Manna Pro in 1997 as an Animal Nutritionist. He is currently the Vice President of Nutrition and Quality Assurance for the company. He is a member of the American Society of Animal Science, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, Equine Science Society and Nutrition Council of the American Feed Industry Association. Happy Horsekeeping, Carolyn