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Kairoshorses
Oct. 15, 2008, 01:06 PM
This past weekend at a horse trial, I was having a passing conversation with a rider who's a vet, talking about my two year old whose joints are growing exponentially (and I'm going to have him xrayed yet again this weekend). She suggested giving all my horses "free choice minerals".

I've never heard of this, and I didn't get to see her again to clarify.

So I'm picking your collective brains: What is a good free choice mineral supplement, where do I get it, etc.?

Thanks in advance!

BTW: She noted this was more than merely the mineral salt block, which we have.....

c5rose
Oct. 15, 2008, 01:13 PM
A good friend of mine bought my horses (ages 19, 18 and 5) a bag of Red-Cal (http://www.thenaturalvet.net/cgi-bin/genesis.exe/st_prod.html?p_prodid=90&p_catid=1&sid=30BJcg1@bCXiCJm-54108092140.7f), made by the Natural Horse Vet. It's expensive, but my horses seem to love it. They nibble at it every now and then - my youngster more so than the seniors. They've had access to it for nearly a month now, and I haven't noticed really any difference yet.

deltawave
Oct. 15, 2008, 01:17 PM
I use Purina's Nature's Essentials 12:12 minerals, get them at the feed store. I keep them in a tire feeder under the run-in area right next to the salt block; they can eat some if they feel like it.

El Tovar
Oct. 15, 2008, 01:19 PM
These are very good, both of them. both are balanced in CA/P. Both are safe for free-choice feeding. The benefit of Equipride is that the freechoice is in a hard-tub form so water/wind etc will not damage it. great stuff.

Waterwitch
Oct. 15, 2008, 01:27 PM
I've been happy with both of Progressive Nutrition's free choice loose mineral products.

They have several versions depending on forage type - and you can also choose between just vitamin/mineral/yeast or a product with added protein.

All of my horses get the protein added version (ForagePro (http://www.prognutrition.com/ForageProPaddockFormula.htm)) out in the field which makes life very easy since the only horses I have to bring in to "feed" are lactating moms and horses in work that need more calories.

Melyni
Oct. 15, 2008, 04:22 PM
I have no idea if free choice minerals will help with big joints or not, BUT I do offer all of my babies minerals in the form of ADMs mineral choice lick. And adequate zinc and copper seem to be important for joint health in horses, but I don't know if the standard mineral licks have enough zinc and copper in them.
Plus I prefer that the Zn and Cu be in a chelated form, which is way to expensive to put into a lick.
Yours
MW

gabz
Oct. 15, 2008, 05:39 PM
Loose minerals are a MUCH better way for the horse to get what it needs.

I tried the Moormans Quad block and my horse would not eat it.

So I stick with Purina 12:12 ... and loose stock salt.

CurlyLindsay
Oct. 15, 2008, 05:53 PM
So I stick with Purina 12:12 ... and loose stock salt.

I too feed (loose) minerals with (loose) salt separately. A few years ago during the heat of the summer one of my neighbors horses became very, very sick. After a gigantic vet bill, they concluded the horse had overdosed himself on minerals in the mineral block while trying to get the salt he needed.

equusus
Oct. 16, 2008, 08:40 AM
I too feed (loose) minerals with (loose) salt separately. A few years ago during the heat of the summer one of my neighbors horses became very, very sick. After a gigantic vet bill, they concluded the horse had overdosed himself on minerals in the mineral block while trying to get the salt he needed.

I use ADM Grostrong loose minerals and I also ALWAYS keep salt available seperately. The ADM salesperson told me that there was salt in the mineral so I didn't need the extra salt blocks, but I don't want them to overeat the minerals when they just want some salt. I think he just wanted me to use more of his minerals! LOL!

april

ChocoMare
Oct. 16, 2008, 11:05 AM
Here's info on the EquiLix by Equipride that El Tovar mentioned: http://www.equipride.biz/product.aspx?id=2

My mares LOFF the Lix and give it Two Hooves Up. :yes:

pricestory
Oct. 17, 2008, 08:06 AM
I have used either the Southern States or Purina product for years, depending on which store I'm at when I run out. My mini donks only get hay and that way I can assure they get some minerals they need. The horses like it too. I find when a new horse comes in, they will eat a LOT, I'm assuming to make up whatever deficiet they have had previously. Then they just eat it occasionally as would be expected.

pintopiaffe
Oct. 17, 2008, 09:43 AM
Boy, the Equilix sure looks like something that might work here. I can't seem to see how long they expect one to last?

Anyone able to say how long one lasts with, say 4 horses?

I use free choice hay all winter... Am dithering over vits/mins right at this moment. Want the BEST choice, not the cheapest nor the most expensive. ;)

As far as the Forage Pro--do you have run-ins that you keep it inside of? How do you put it out?

ChocoMare
Oct. 17, 2008, 09:46 AM
Pinto: Send a PM off to LMH. She has more horses than I do so could tell you better how long a large EquiLix would last.

I started with a small tub to see how Tank would do with it. Ummm, inhaled would be the right word :D -- I just got her a giant one and should see that one lasting a while. Tis much loved. :winkgrin:

Cashela
Oct. 17, 2008, 10:06 AM
If I got Equipride, could I stop feeding Accel and Omega Horsehine? What about Lysine, I do not see that listed. I'm trying to cut down on the money that I spend :)

ChocoMare
Oct. 17, 2008, 10:14 AM
With the EquiPride and EquiLix, I ceased feeding ground flax (big savings).

You're right...no lysine. (gotta ask the EquiPride folks about that). I make it up with 2 scoops of Super BioZin....plus this way they get the extra biotin my drafties need.

Cashela
Oct. 17, 2008, 11:53 AM
How much is the recommended feeding per day for the Equipride?

Waterwitch
Oct. 17, 2008, 03:19 PM
Boy, the Equilix sure looks like something that might work here. I can't seem to see how long they expect one to last?

Anyone able to say how long one lasts with, say 4 horses?

I use free choice hay all winter... Am dithering over vits/mins right at this moment. Want the BEST choice, not the cheapest nor the most expensive. ;)

As far as the Forage Pro--do you have run-ins that you keep it inside of? How do you put it out?

I put the Forage Pro in a covered feeder that looks similar to this (http://www.morganlivestockequipment.com/Product%20Pages/Feeders.html) one (scroll down to "3 block bull feeder") - I just fill the basins with the loose mineral and the horses flip up the top with their nose to access it. The only thing I don't like about it is that everyone is getting a little rub mark on the side of their face that they use to flip the lid. Using Forage Pro as a base with forage, I just feed any horse I have in to ride before I turn them back out and so they get their extra calories that way - and a big bonus is no feeding time craziness in the pasture.

Regarding Equi-lix - I really liked the idea of the yeast/flax base of this product and so when a dealer popped up near me this summer I did an eight week feeding trial and cost comparison vs the Forage Pro. I don't have the numbers anymore, but the Equi-lix ended up being nearly twice as expensive on a daily consumption basis compared to the Forage Pro AND if I'd kept feeding it exclusively, I still would have needed to supplement copper and a few other things for the youngsters and pregnant broodies. That said, I think the base product (yeast/flax) is a great idea, it sure was convenient, and the horses liked it - I just can't afford it when I've got a more cost effective (and equally high quality) option.

QHofCourse
Nov. 17, 2011, 02:26 PM
This topic came up during a very recent visit with my equine dentist. He noticed that 2 of my horses had quite a bit of tarter and said it had something to do with them "eating" dirt. They always have access to a free choice salt block and hay or grass, they receive whole oats and corn and on occasion Super 14. He suggested feeding free range minerals by ABC (Advanced Biometric Chemicals). I haven't ordered any yet, as I am still in the research phase. I have decided that I am definitely going to offer the minerals individually opposed to a mineral block. Just need to figure out where I am going to order them from inexpensively (relatively speaking of course).

Gloria
Nov. 17, 2011, 02:29 PM
All my horses have access to free choice "loose" mineral. Ours is from Progessive.

TheOtherHorse
Nov. 17, 2011, 07:59 PM
I keep loose mineral (EquiMin from Southern States usually) as well as a plain salt block available in all the stalls and the run in shed.

QHofCourse
Jan. 26, 2012, 03:44 PM
This topic came up during a very recent visit with my equine dentist. He noticed that 2 of my horses had quite a bit of tarter and said it had something to do with them "eating" dirt. They always have access to a free choice salt block and hay or grass, they receive whole oats and corn and on occasion Super 14. He suggested feeding free range minerals by ABC (Advanced Biometric Chemicals). I haven't ordered any yet, as I am still in the research phase. I have decided that I am definitely going to offer the minerals individually opposed to a mineral block. Just need to figure out where I am going to order them from inexpensively (relatively speaking of course).

UPDATE 1/26/12: I recently attended an expo as an intern for a clinician. Occupying the booth behind us was the Natural Vet, Dr. Dan. We agreed on many things and I received some wonderful information from him. I told him that I was feeding hay, whole oats and corn. He advised to stop feeding the corn (something my farrier has been telling me for years) and suggested that I feed Just Add Oats and Red-Cal (a product mentioned in this thread). I liked this idea because I can still feed my horses based on their individual needs without overfeeding my easy keepers just so that can get the vitamins they require daily. I found his products expensive. So I have been on a mission to compare other products to his. So far Accel Lifetime comes pretty close costing only $16.50 for a 30 day supply. A close 2nd is Mega-Cell costing $15.00/30 days - compare to $27.25 for a 30 day supply of the just add oats (not including the recommended Red-Cal). I am also considering Free Balance 12:12 @ just $4.50/30 day supply. All products are suggested to those who feed hay/pasture diets.

sterling2000
Jan. 30, 2012, 01:06 PM
I also use RedCal free choice for all my horses, and love it. They eat a lot at first, but taper off once they "load up" and nibble at it when needed. It has replaced the salt block because it really is not a mineral supplement, but a natural salt that also has naturally occurring minerals in it. Since using it, the horses have been drinking more, and I haven't had any problems as a result of dehydration or electrolyte imbalance (so far). I use a different mineral supplement top-dressed on the feed at the recommended amount, because there are no free choice minerals available in my area. However, The Natural Vet also makes a free choice mineral I might use if I had a large number of horses on pasture.

dangerbunny
Jan. 30, 2012, 02:48 PM
I tried the ADM Grostrong loose minerals and none of my horses had any interest in it free choice, I then added the appropriate amount to their morning beet pulp and two of the three will grudgingly eat it but the third will stand there and be hungry rather then touch the stuff, very disappointing.

nls
Jan. 30, 2012, 07:23 PM
Free choice works just fine with 90% of horses. I think you are safer making sure your hay and feed meets all their requirements and are balanced. I had a friend who boarded a mare for me while she was at the end of her pregnancy, right before delivery since she was to foal at a nearby hospital. Her husband is a vet. She gave the mare free choice minerals and was amazed at how "deficient" the mare was. That mare ended up with a huge goiter and her foal was born with an enlarged thyroid that will be enlarged until the end of time. It pretty much spoils his throat latch area. Some horses are just pigs and will eat too much of whatever is in front of them. They do not "know" what they need any more than we do.

Montanas_Girl
Jan. 30, 2012, 08:44 PM
I would concentrate on making sure you are feeding a diet (hay & grain/supplements if necessary) that provides all of your horse's nutrient requirements. You can then offer plain salt free-choice to the horse.

It has been fairly well-documented that horses do NOT self-regulate mineral consumption, so free choice minerals are not something I would ever recommend or rely on to address nutritional deficiencies.