Stabilised rice bran has become a popular dietary additive for many different types of horses. Despite the popularity of rice bran and its benefits to horses, many horse owners are confused regarding the what, when and why of stabilised rice bran.

Rice bran is the outer brown layer of the rice kernel. The rice bran used in horse feeds is removed during the milling process that generates white rice for human consumption. Because bran is such a small portion of the rice kernel, it is estimated that nearly 450 kg (1,000 lb) of rice must be milled to produce a single 23-kg (50-lb) bag of rice bran.

Rice bran is a rich source of fat for horses, several B vitamins, and phosphorus. Fat content of raw rice bran is approximately 20-25%. Unfortunately, raw rice bran has a very short shelf life due to its high fat content and a potent enzyme known as lipase, which immediately begins to break down the fat once the bran is separated from the rice kernel.

The Stabilisation Difference

To prevent rice bran from becoming rancid, it must undergo a stabilisation process immediately after separation from the rice grain. Stabilisation subjects the rice bran to heat and pressure, which inactivates lipase without destroying the nutritional value of the rice bran. Stabilisation adds considerably to the shelf-life of the bran. In addition, stabilisation involves the use of calcium, thus bring the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of rice bran into a normal range for horses.

Stabilised rice bran, a useful ingredient in horse feeds, should not be confused with several other rice milling byproducts that are less desirable ingredients in horse feed. Raw or unstabilised rice bran should not be fed to horses due to palatability problems, digestive upset, and health problems that may result from rancid fat or spoilage. Rice hulls are highly ligneous and considered to be a low-quality roughage mostly devoid of nutrients, which do not add to the nutrition of a feed. Rice mill feed is around 60% rice hulls and also not an ideal feed ingredient for horses.

Stabilised rice bran is a safe, palatable means of adding calories to the diets of many types of horses. Because many of these calories originate from fat, adding stabilised rice bran to the diet avoids potential digestive upset that may occur with feeding large volumes of starch-laden feed.

If stabilised rice bran is used to replace a portion of the grain in the diet, it is vital to remember that rice bran is not fortified with vitamins and minerals. Therefore, the horse will continue to require proper vitamin and mineral supplementation in addition to the stabilised rice bran.

Brook Dobbin
By feeding Equi-Jewel, not only do we feel that our horses stay in peak condition as well as have shiny coats, it also enables us to feed less grain whilst still maintaining high energy levels.
Brook Dobbin, Champion Showjumper

Benefits of Stabilised Rice Bran for Horses

Performance horses benefit from stabilised rice bran in two ways. First, rice bran serves as a calorie-rich feedstuff that helps the athletic horse meet its energy requirements. Second, for performance horses that have trouble maintaining their weight, stabilised rice bran functions as an additional energy source that does not require feeding more grain in the diet. The additional calories provided by stabilised rice bran can increase the energy density (increase the number of calories per pound) of the diet or reduce the amount of grain that must be fed to maintain condition.

Stabilised rice bran is also a popular additive to the diets of show horses and horses being prepared for public auctions. Both groups of horses are scrutinized for coat and body condition. With its elevated fat content, stabilised rice bran is a rich source of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are necessary for healthy skin and quality coat condition. In fact, one of the first benefits noted from feeding rice bran is a positive change in coat condition.

Weanlings, yearlings, and other young horses may also benefit from the addition of dietary fat. Minimizing large fluctuations in insulin post-feeding may decrease the incidence of developmental orthopedic problems. As with adult horses, if stabilised rice bran is fed to young, growing horses, it is essential to maintain proper levels of essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in the diet. The addition of stabilised rice bran to the diets of weanlings and yearlings will not replace the fundamental need for sound vitamin and mineral nutrition.

Where to Buy Stabilised Rice Bran for Horses

EQUI-JEWEL®, developed by KER, is the original, research proven stabilised rice bran conditioning supplement and the only conditioning supplement that offers the combination of high fat with minimal levels of oxidisation, low starch and an effective amount of digestible fibre.

EQUI-JEWEL is specifically designed to nutritionally support the equine athlete by providing a highly palatable form of additional calories and protein to assist in building muscle, topline and maintaining condition.

Learn More About Equi-Jewel

KER consults with horse feed manufacturers on six continents. Some of these partners produce their own branded stabilised rice bran supplements, under the guidance of KER. Learn more about KER partner feeds.

Select your location to the right to find a KER-affiliated stabilised rice bran for horses near you.

In Australia, KER EQUI-JEWEL is available nationwide via a network of quality stockists. Learn more about EQUI-JEWEL and contact KER to find a stockist near you.
1800 772 198

EQUI-JEWEL is available from:
Brogaarden ApS
Tlf. 39 65 18 80

EQUI-JEWEL is available from:
HKJC Beas River Country Club
Sheng Shui
New Territories, HK

EQUI-JEWEL is available from:
Hokkaido Ascot Corporation
432 -1 Toei Urakawa–Cho

EQUI-JEWEL is available from:
Jeil Feeds Daejeon

C&C Horsenet
448-1 Dangjung – Dong
Gunpo City
Gyeonggi – Do

EQUI-JEWEL is available from:
0800 800 380

EQUI-JEWEL is available from:
91 612 65 02

EQUI-JEWEL is available from:
Saracen Horse Feeds via Pia Prahl
040 – 48 07 58

EQUI-JEWEL is available from:
Hamlool Trading Est.
+971 4339 1117

Dubai Racing/Zabeel Feedmill
+971 4337 9375

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Kentucky Equine Research (KER) makes an array of specialty nutrition products for horse owners. Each product has been carefully formulated to enhance the health and well-being of horses.

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