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  1. #1
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    Default How can feed "build a topline"?

    I am a little uncertain as to claims from feed manufacturers that a feed itself will "build a better topline".

    I'm a minimalist when it comes to concentrates. I like to feed more forage and less concentrates but I have boarder horses that are in the hunter divisions. They are currently on Ultium 1 scoop/2x a day and she'd like to potentially increase the amount to help "build topline". I just don't see how the feed is going to build a topline, I always felt that correct riding and conformation were the most important to a nice topline. I can see that too much forage will lead to a hay belly, but I also don't like horses bored when they are in so I feed free choice. Options?
    Beth Davidson
    Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
    http://blackdogconnemara.com
    visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com



  2. #2
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Default

    I've found that my personal horse needs a higher protein feed to really put on muscle, including topline. I saw a large, fast difference in her when I switched from an 11% protein feed to a 14% protein feed (and kept the amount being fed the same.)

    Ultium is what--maybe 11% protein? Something like that? It would not be enough for my horse to really build muscle...at least not without increasing the amount fed.



  3. #3
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    Simple - muscle takes amino acids to build.

    If the diet isn't high enough in amino acids, with lysine being at the top of the list, it does not matter how hard the horse is worked, how correctly he's worked, he will not, can not, build his topline to his genetic potential.

    But do NOT expect mere feed to build a GP Dressage level topline - doesn't work that way.

    It takes enough amino acids (ie lysine) to have muscle development appropriate for the amount of work. Even a pasture puff who is lacking sufficient lysine can "build" a topline by getting enough. That is not the same topline as a horse who's been ridden to the GP level, not close. But hopefully you get the point

    One can EASILY increase the amino acids without adding calories. Uckele makes a Tri-Amino which is wonderful.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  4. #4
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    Default

    That makes sense. Her implication was that the feed (alone) is what is needed to build topline, which I have a hard time buying into. Sounds like increasing the topline in a horse might be better by adding the essential amino acids if they are missing from the diet.
    Beth Davidson
    Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
    http://blackdogconnemara.com
    visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com



  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Simple - muscle takes amino acids to build.

    If the diet isn't high enough in amino acids, with lysine being at the top of the list, it does not matter how hard the horse is worked, how correctly he's worked, he will not, can not, build his topline to his genetic potential.

    But do NOT expect mere feed to build a GP Dressage level topline - doesn't work that way.

    It takes enough amino acids (ie lysine) to have muscle development appropriate for the amount of work. Even a pasture puff who is lacking sufficient lysine can "build" a topline by getting enough. That is not the same topline as a horse who's been ridden to the GP level, not close. But hopefully you get the point

    One can EASILY increase the amino acids without adding calories. Uckele makes a Tri-Amino which is wonderful.


    Just like people-you have to fuel the machine! Protein fuels muscle, fat fuels weight and carbs fuel endurance.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcwertb View Post
    That makes sense. Her implication was that the feed (alone) is what is needed to build topline, which I have a hard time buying into.
    That is usually because they don't understand what they are feeding. They hear "protein builds a topline", a spiel from feed companies, and think "if I just increase the amount of this 11% feed" or "if I just switch from this 10% feed to that 14% feed", all their problems will be solved. Can it work like that? Sure, if the amount of, say, lysine in the lower % feed is not high enough, and that in the higher % feed is, then sure. But that's not necessarily going to be the case. Increasing the amount of a particular feed might work if it provides enough lysine, but it might also get you a "hot" horse if it's too many calories in the process.

    So yes, feed, alone, can help.

    Sounds like increasing the topline in a horse might be better by adding the essential amino acids if they are missing from the diet.
    well, that's what it boils down to - the amino acids (assuming there are enough calories, etc). It's just a matter of how one chooses to go about that. It's REALLY cheap to add just lysine. It's a little more to add something like the Tri-Amino. It can be a lot more to just feed more of a feed.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  7. #7
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    Since these horses are already fat, I don't want to increase the amount of feed they are getting. I mean, bordering on obese.
    Beth Davidson
    Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
    http://blackdogconnemara.com
    visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com



  8. #8
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    Look into Uckele Tri Amino-it IS the mac-daddy of muscle fuel!



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcwertb View Post
    Since these horses are already fat, I don't want to increase the amount of feed they are getting. I mean, bordering on obese.
    If they're that big right now, then *I* would drop their feed altogether, and replace it with either a good ration balancer, or a vit/min supplement plus Tri-Amino (and 1-2 cups of beet pulp or alfalfa pellets as a carrier), and see how that works.

    1lb of most ration balancers gets you 10gm lysine. That's more lysine than in several pounds of most fortified "feeds".
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    If they're that big right now, then *I* would drop their feed altogether, and replace it with either a good ration balancer, or a vit/min supplement plus Tri-Amino (and 1-2 cups of beet pulp or alfalfa pellets as a carrier), and see how that works.

    1lb of most ration balancers gets you 10gm lysine. That's more lysine than in several pounds of most fortified "feeds".



  11. #11
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    So do you guys know how many grams of Lysine, Methinonine and Threonine are recommended?

    Tweaking my guy's feed right now, adding Tri-Amino....
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  12. #12
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    Give me the stats on your horse and I can check the NRC book. Age, weight, amount of work
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  13. #13
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    Oct. 19, 2005
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    it depends on why the horse has no topline. Yes it can be from incorrect riding (upside down) but it can also be from issues like Cushings, IR or not enough feed or something else interferring with digestion, such as ulcers or parasites. EPSM might be a culprit to in some cases as well as EPM or Lyme disease.

    It is not necessarily that forage creates a haybelly. I think that's a myth. It will appear that way however in horses with Cushings because they have an altered protein metabolism that causes muscle wasting, but that affects all muscles, not just the topline .

    As with many things, ideally the root causes should be identified first and then treated as needed.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    It is not necessarily that forage creates a haybelly. I think that's a myth.
    "Not necessarily" is true. Myth is not. Hay that is too high in indigestible lignin can cause the hay belly look.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  15. #15
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    JB, thanks for the info in response to my PM.

    BTR, in my guy's case, he is an older TB bouncing back from starvation so I suspect that is where his issues stem from.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  16. #16
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    Mar. 23, 2009
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    Default

    Does the lysine need the other ingredients in the tri-amino to really work? I see the Tri-Amino is like $28 w/ shipping for a 2lb bucket, but SmartPak has pure lysine for $25 for a 4lb bucket. Just curious about how much more of a difference the tri-amino would make.

    I know my guy needs lysine added to his diet since I put him on more of a forage based diet, just didn't realize the grass was so lacking in it.



  17. #17
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Default

    I started my guy on Tri Amino this week. I had the same problem. Good proper work, lots of protein, no topline. So, we will see, but I have heard GREAT things about this product. I almost expect to see the hulk come strolling out of the barn at his next show!



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    "Not necessarily" is true. Myth is not. Hay that is too high in indigestible lignin can cause the hay belly look.
    What is indigestible lignin? I mean, what's the source of that? Some quality of the grasses in the hay, or how it's put up, or what?

    Not that I have a problem with that (got enough other problems).



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikiP View Post
    Does the lysine need the other ingredients in the tri-amino to really work? I see the Tri-Amino is like $28 w/ shipping for a 2lb bucket, but SmartPak has pure lysine for $25 for a 4lb bucket. Just curious about how much more of a difference the tri-amino would make.
    It depends on what's in the diet. Lysine is the first limiting amino acid, meaning if there's not enough of that, it doesn't matter HOW much of the others there are, they're limited in use by the amount of lysine. I believe methionine is 2nd in line. Threonine, the 3rd aa in the Tri-Amino, I don't believe is 3rd in line, but I do think it's one of the top aa's that tend to be lacking, at least by a little. Since the T-A only has 2gm, it's probably not as critical as the other 2.

    I know my guy needs lysine added to his diet since I put him on more of a forage based diet, just didn't realize the grass was so lacking in it.
    Adding just the lysine (yes, lots cheaper!) is certainly a valid way to start. No harm there. You can always try a tub of T-A later to see if there's a difference. If you can round up enough people to order 6, you get a price break, and if you can get a $150 order, you get free shipping on lots of things (including the T-A).
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarkspurCO View Post
    What is indigestible lignin? I mean, what's the source of that? Some quality of the grasses in the hay, or how it's put up, or what?

    Not that I have a problem with that (got enough other problems).
    It's when the grass is too mature, so hay cut too late.

    This might help
    http://www.agry.purdue.edu/Ext/forag...ons/ID-190.htm
    As plants progress through seedhead and flower bud emergence, pollination, and seed formation, the concentration of structural carbohydrates and lignin increases and crude protein decreases. The structural carbohydrates, cellulose, and hemicellulose are partially digested by the bacteria in the horse's lower gut, but lignin, another component of plant fiber, is not digested at all. As lignin increases one percent, the digestibility of the forage dry matter decreases three to four percent.

    Forage digestibility is indirectly measured by determining the level of acid detergent fiber (ADF) in the hay. As the plant matures, ADF (cellulose and lignin) increases, and digestibility decreases. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF), a measure of cell wall content, increases as the plant matures and is an indirect measure of how readily a forage is consumed.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



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