However... when this program works for a horse, it REALLY works. In the OP's case, she is feeding pounds and pounds of TC when she could be cutting back significantly the amount of concentrates her horses get in one feeding and increasing their nutrition.
Gale, I'm truly happy that you've had good luck so far but consider this....
when it doesn't work and has the opposite effect, the results can be truly devastating. Ie....IR, laminitis, crazy neurotic behavior, hormone level issues, obesity, poor hoof condition, udder development, and what other so far undocumented but likely effects like thyroid trouble (well documented by soy in people and other animals), reproductive problems, etc... (too many to list like increased risk of cancer, etc...)
Again, Equilibrium had TB's with issues on the same RB I used. It might be fewer TB's as compared to easy keeping breeds but again, why risk it?
ALL of my horses returned to normal after having the RB removed from their diet and remain looking fantastic in weight, bloom and overall health.
I think any feed program has the potential to cause problems with some horses. Some horses are allergic to alfalfa, some horses can't have too much fat or need more fat, some horses need really low levels of NSCs, etc.
I agree that ration balancers have probably helped a whole lot more horses than they have hurt even with the potential soy problem. If there is a suspected issue with anything, then by all means stay away but to make a blanket statement on anything is really risky.
All very good points and discussion which I appreciate.
Postingtrot- I am in Delaware so it get's cold and the TC complete gets hard very quickly. It is based in beet pulp and tends to be moist. I just built my barn and it's a MD barn with ridge vents so it is warmer than outside but not that warm and the way it is built there are no roofs on any of the stalls. We had planned on adding a top on the tack room and heating that mainly for the cats Our grain is dumped from the bags into big trash cans.
The tricky part about the Tb's especially young tb's in work is they can change shape so quickly. I keep a blog on the horses I am bring along for CANTER so you can see they do pretty well on the feeding program but I am always striving to see if there is anything better I could be doing.
This is Dixie- evented during the summer/fall and is now fox hunting. He's a 16.1 h 5yr and right now I think he looks okay but he has lost some neck muscle. Part of that could be he is now doing long rides out fox hunting but not as much dressage work. I think that last photo was from Sept. http://dixierumble.wordpress.com/200.../looking-back/
No I get what you are all trying to say. Some horses do seem to do well or OK on it although again I wonder how many have problems that are blamed on something else. The problem is that the long term effects of soy isoflavones in feed have not been well studied in horses...we really don't KNOW...it's all speculation...and the symptoms like obesity and IR are way too easy to blame on something else.
Truly though there is a percentage that does not do well on that type of feed like mine and others owned by COTH members and what troubles me is that the feed like RB's and low carb feeds are touted by the feed companies as "perfect" for easy keepers and no warnings are given....it's reminds me of the low carb diet fad in people also. The following to these products is almost cultlike. I sincerely doubt that any of it has been as well tested as people want to believe also. I asked multiple times for copies of studies from a certain company that claims to have loads of research done and I was ignored.
My only warning to the OP is that if a feed or a program sounds to good to be true, it probably is. I agree that there is no perfect answer for each and every horse's dietary needs and if someone tells you there is...don't walk but run away. That is the story I was told and I know better now.
ETA: I realize that no one here is saying the RB's are perfect for all horses but that is a line you will get from a company rep and no one will warn you about food sensitivities or other possible issues nor acknowledge that there are any problems possible other than true allergies. Do some research on soy in people and you will find plenty of warnings out there now that are well substantiated by real research.
Last edited by Ridge Runner; Dec. 5, 2008 at 04:57 PM.
Simplify? Barley. My horse has always been a tough keeper but low and behold he is doing great now that he's on barley (and Purina Amplify as a top dressing). I've been using HFHF for years and years but this has made a real difference.