Qualified feeding adviser

Internationally available products

For the health of your horse

23 januari 2024 Reading time 3 minutes

Research Pavo

One of Pavo's distinguishing factors is the amount of research we do during the development of new products. "We not only investigate whether the products actually do what we designed them for but also whether a horse is keen to eat it," says Rob Krabbenborg, Product Manager at Pavo. Only when a product passes both tests brilliantly, is it included in the range.

"Sometimes we have come up with a very nice product but the horses really don't want to eat it. We know that there are always a few gourmets but, during the test phase, at least 95 percent of the horses have to eat our product without any problems."

Pavo has conducted several studies in recent years. One of the ongoing studies is the Roughage QuickScan. "For more than seven years, we have been collecting data from all roughage samples that are being examined. That's about 6,000 annually. These come from different countries so we can see very well, not only what the general changes are in roughage but also whether there are certain trends per country. For example, you see that sugar levels increase and some mineral levels, such as phosphorus, and protein content decrease. This data is extremely important to us. In this way we know what horses ingest through their roughage and we can respond to this with the supplementary feed we make and the recipes we develop for this."

New Digestive Products

The most recent, and one of the largest studies Pavo has done, is the research on the new products Pavo GastricEase and Pavo GutSecure, two products to support the digestive system. More than 100 testers per product participated in the study. Krabbenborg: "We made an appeal for horses that often suffer from diarrhea, a (suspected) stomach ulcer or were often colicky. We recruited a selection of horses of different breeds, ages and from multiple countries."

Prior to the examination, the testers were sent a manual for the management of their horse. "It included things like how often the horses had to be fed, the portion size and a number of other things about the management." In total, the test ran for 3 months. During this period, the horses were given the test feed and the participants had to complete a survey several times and send photos and descriptions of their horse's condition and manure quality.

"The results were really good for both products. The horses wanted to eat well and there was a real improvement in comments: better manure quality, less colic symptoms, better coat, better condition, fewer stable defects such as sucking air and manger biting, the horses were less nervous and aggressive and also more relaxed. These are just a few of the improvements we saw. The test was successful and we were able to put both products into production", comments Krabbenborg proudly.

Nutrition and Management

In addition to this recent research, Pavo has conducted several studies over the years. For example, 110 horses participated in a test around the product Pavo InShape. This product, with accompanying program, supports horses during the weight loss process. Again, it was not only the product but there was also a whole manual about the management and movement of the horse. Just throwing the correct feed at a horse doesn't always solve the problem. For this you also have to look at where the problem comes from and whether something can be done about it from a base point.

Largest Study Ever

The largest research Pavo has ever done is the research on the Pavo Podo concept. Pavo conducted this research between 2009 and 2011 in collaboration with the Animal Health Service and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht. "In this study, we looked at the influence of the various minerals and trace elements, in the right proportions, on the bone development of the foals. The composition of Podo is based on scientific research and then tested at a number of breeding farms. This showed that by feeding Pavo Podo, the bone health of the foals improved by more than forty percent compared to foals that did not receive Pavo Podo."


In addition to the successful tests, there are also sometimes products that do not reach the finish line and are not put into production after the testing process. "We had a product a while ago that the horses really didn't want to eat, even after a few adjustments. If we have to tinker too much with the recipe and we go too far from what it was originally intended for, we sometimes decide not to continue with such a product."

"Another example is the hair analysis, a study in collaboration with the GD. We were curious whether you could find out by means of a hair analysis whether horses have a lack of certain trace elements (such as copper, zinc and selenium) and whether you could come to good feeding advice based on the results of a hair analysis. It was expected that the values in the hair on the one hand and in the blood and liver of the horses on the other hand would match, but there was no connection to this. This means that a hair analysis is not a good method for a reliable determination of the trace element status in horses. Giving feed advice based on a hair analysis, therefore, makes no sense," concludes Krabbenborg.

Pavo puts the well-being of the horse first in all its research: from palatability to efficacy. Only if the whole picture is correct will the products reach the finish line and are included in the range.


Research news

Pavo contributes to a unique research into equine digestion. It is a study by Utrecht University and Wageningen University & Research into disturbed intestinal flora in horses.