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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2006
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    Default Speaking of feed amounts, how much do you feed your hard keeper?

    The other post about the thin horse reminded me I wanted to ask how much other people fed their hard keepers? I have an air fern and a hard keeper. The trainer is aghasted at the amount of feed I give her. Of course if she gets less she loses weight! And it is a very good complete senior feed (senior in this case means easy to digest I think because it says formulated for all life stages...) I don't actually know the weight anymore but I feed 3 of those about 5 lb. blue plastic coffee containers (with the handle) twice a day. I am guessing it weighs probably 3-4 pounds which by their website I just visited says is in the range (10-12 lbs) but she gets that TWICE a day. And hay which she may or may not eat. She has her teeth done regularly (Mon. in fact!, wormed, all systems normal) She just doesn't like hay that much. She gets Uguard every day. She eats alone.

    I am used to TB types and that is a lot to eat at once although she certainly downs it! With no harmful effects. And it doesn't seem that much to me. My old appy ate almost as much and he was 2" shorter! Anyway my co owner and trainer are from different worlds (grade horses and stock horses, short ones in fact!) so I guess I can see their alarm but to my eye if that is what she needs to stay in normal weight and she's in good health that's what she should get.

    It is also a low sugar/starch feed (about 15%) because she got laminitis last summer and the next feed % was like double!

    Anyway I guess I'm a little annoyed because I have 30 years experience taking care of my own and other people's horses, I have an animal science degree and I spent a LONG time researching feeds before deciding on which one to get and drive twice as far to get it! And when "I" am in charge she looks GREAT! Sigh...

    SO about how much in pounds (ball park) do you guys with TBs or any hard keeper horse feed to keep your horse in working weight?
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



  2. #2
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    Feb. 10, 2006
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    Default

    I should say the vet thought it was fine when I showed her how much and said some of hers (also TBs and distantly related) eat more!
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2007
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    2,223

    Default

    My older, hard keeper gets the following THREE times a day. I am lucky to be able to feed him lunch daily:

    Combo TC Senior & Genesis Organic (oat/pea feed) 3 lbs. total
    1 lb. Legends Omega Plus (25% fat rice bran/flax pellet)
    5 squirts (about 5 ozs) Cocosoya Oil
    Free choice alfalfa in his stall, but he doesn't eat a whole lot due to teeth.

    Turned out on great grass/pasture 12 hours, stalled 12 hrs.

    He also gets 2-3 lbs. of soaked alfalfa cubes mixed with his "lunch" daily.

    So all in all, he is getting 9 lbs. of the grain in his diet. He is finally gaining on the above, but I believe, largely due to the fact that we treated ulcers we found after having him scoped. He is just blooming now.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
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    1,395

    Default

    Daily....

    4 hrs grazing very good pasture
    very good grass hay pretty much the rest of the time
    5 lbs custom blend sweet feed
    4 lbs alfalfa pellets
    3 lbs beet pulp
    2 cups oil
    and a little extra wet molasses to sweeten the beet pulp so it all goes down

    He is not even being worked yet. Just some very light ground training. But he does play hard with his buddies.

    Not a TB but a 16 plus hand 3yr old arabian.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
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    12,990

    Default

    My HARDEST keeper (he has IBS and has been very, very hard to keep weight on until this spring) gets 3lbs of Pennfield's ration balance (All Phase), and currently also gets 3lbs of Pennfield Ultra Max. However, I am about to start switching him to Enduro Event (the special needs horse that needed the Ultra Max is now out of the barn, so I can safely feed beet pulp based feeds!). He also get about 1.5lbs of rice bran. All of that is split over 3 meals. When in, he gets free choice alfalfa-probably 15-20lbs right now, since he is out all night, in during the day (this has been the biggest improvement to his appetite and weight gain...it is because of the alfalfa that I know longer struggle to pour 12lbs of grain down his gullet daily). He is in moderate work (ridden 5 or 6 days a week, pretty hard work every ride).

    My other hard keeper really isn't THAT hard...he DOES work very hard and has a metabolism that is in overdrive. Up until this week he was getting 9lbs of Ultra Max (he'll also switch to Enduro Event), plus a lb of rice bran, all spread over 3 meals. He gets free choice hay when in- a mix of a high quality timothy and alfalfa (about a 50/50 mix...he prefers the alfalfa). Unfortunately, he is on stall rest for 2-3 months, so I cut all the grain out and put him on 1.5lbs of the ration balancer. He still gets all the hay.

    I weigh all my feeds, and will double check them every couple of months, so I KNOW exactly how much they get. These two are my only "hard" keepers...everyone else is on very small amounts of feed, most of them on a ration balancer.



  6. #6

    Default

    the hardest keeper I ever had got 12 lbs of oats,2 lb of purina athlete and about all the alfalfa he could hold in four feedings a day, plus grass hay over night and some pasture to wander over in the free time.

    He was ridden 2 hours a day with lots of canter work

    he is a 16.3 grandson of the Hannoverian stallion Eisenbarth and 18 this year.
    and living out and not doing a damned a thing but playing with a section c gelding and eating hay and being fine :>

    Tamara
    Last edited by Tamara in TN; Sep. 16, 2011 at 11:11 PM.
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2009
    Location
    Indiana
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    870

    Default

    My Thoroughbred can be a hard keeper. He now receives no grain, but instead a ration balancer (Progressive ProAdvantage Grass Formula). He gets the recommended amount for his weight and workload (about 1 1/2lb. daily, so about 3/4lb. in the morning and in the evening). In addition he gets about 3lb. of alfalfa pellets daily (so, 1 1/2lb. in the morning and at night). He's out on grass (which has been fairly scarce due to the awful weather this summer) either during the day or night depending on season, and he receives ample hay (grass / alfalfa mix). He held his weight through last winter on this regimen but I'll add beet pulp or a fat supplement if needed since his workload will be greater this winter vs. last.
    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2008
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    1,682

    Default

    My hard keeper gets a boatload of food, too. He gets 4lb. of 12% protein 7% fat grain, 2 lb. Amplify, and 3 quarts extra wet beet pulp twice daily. In the mornings he gets 4 oz. flax, 4 oz. Cool Calories, and 1 oz. SmartHoof. He has access to timothy/alfalfa round bales pretty much 24/7. He's worked for 30-60 minutes 3-4x a week, depending on how much time I get to ride. It was a bit of trial and error finding what will keep weight on without making him crazy, but he's maintained his weight (and brain ) on this mixture for close to 2 years.



  9. #9
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    Feb. 10, 2006
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    Default

    Thanks! I feel a bit better now! I should add that I don't have much grass, I try to limit her access to it so she doesn't kill it all off but it's a sand lot and without regular rain it doesn't support much grass. I'm sure if we had real grass I could cut way back on the grain! When I was a child I never thought I would grow up to covet GRASS (dead or alive!) and tractors!!!
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    Default

    26 yo TB.

    20lbs. orchard/alfalfa in two feedings, but essentially free choice.

    1lb. dry beet pulp, soaked, twice a day.

    Mixed into BP:

    1lb. rolled oats
    4 cups rice bran
    daily vitamin mix
    Smartflex Senior
    one carrotf

    Grass, when it grows (April to July, September to November).

    He's maintaining his weight nicely. I think he'd eat til he popped, though, as he has the BEST appetite.

    Due to his tooth loss, we've upped his BP. I think I'll need to add soaked alfalfa pellets soon, too. Though his owner (not me) hates alfalfa (oy!).
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2007
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    934

    Default

    Feed per day - split into 3 feedings

    5 large flakes grass hay
    6# LMF Gold (similar to Ultium except with Oats & BOSS)
    6# Alfalfa pellets
    2# Rice Bran
    1 cup flax

    Although since adding SmartDigest Ultra and Ultium (instead of LMF), I've been able to cut down a lot!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2009
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    MD
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    Default

    Oh Dear you will be appalled and unhappy w/ me...my hardest keeper is a 16.3 broodmare a big girl who can and will turn into a skelaton PDQ in or out of foal nursing or not.
    She gets 24 quarts of Broodmare Purina 300 in 3 feedings ideally 9Qt's , 6Qts, 9Qt's and 3/4 of a 70LB bale of Alfalfa in 2 feedings Platinum performance 1X feeding. Plus pasture.
    Yes she has her teeth done 2X year and is on a 30 day worm rotation year round.
    When weaned from her foal she will still get 18Qts daily and access to round bale plus 4 flakes of Alfalfa w/ her feed.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2008
    Posts
    609

    Default

    My lactating/nursing broodmare gets 24lbs/day Purina Equine Senior,about 4 feed tubs/day full of Dengi-Alfa Supreme(i'm imagining about 20lbs),grass while outside-which hasn't been great this year due to weather,and free choice timothy/orchard/alfalfa mix hay...along w/ Platinum Performance,Tractguard,Sucralfate,daily dewormer,and SmartGut,and SOURCE....she's recovering from Right Dorsal Colitis and Right Dorsal Impaction Colics as well as a Nephrosplenic Entrapment since foaling this past May....she's finally starting to pick up weight now that she's able to eat hay again...as well as the platinum performance,and all the digest aids and Source
    Last edited by Concetta; Sep. 20, 2011 at 09:30 AM.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    OP, are you saying you are feeding 10 - 12 lbs each at two feedings? 20 to 24 lbs per day? Have you talked to a feed rep? At least with TC Senior, you're not supposed to feed more than 5 lbs at a feed.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2011
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    83

    Default

    17H+ OTTB
    Feed below is given twice daily.
    3.5 lbs SS Performance Pellets (11% fat, 10% protein - I think)
    3.5 lbs SS Complete (13% fat, 10% protein)
    Smart Pak Daily Omegas Plus
    Smart Pak Cool Calories 100 (99% fat)
    One 5 gal bucket alfalfa cubes (he eats about 1/2-3/4 of it a day)
    Gets two flakes of hay - usually won't eat it, which is why I supply the alf cubes.
    5-6 hours grazing during day if weather permits
    15 hours at night if weather permits

    He's by no means skinny. He looks great actually. But still needs a wee bit more across his topline. We'll get there!



  16. #16
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    Feb. 10, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    OP, are you saying you are feeding 10 - 12 lbs each at two feedings? 20 to 24 lbs per day? Have you talked to a feed rep? At least with TC Senior, you're not supposed to feed more than 5 lbs at a feed.
    Yes she gets about 10 lbs. am and pm. I would like to give her lunch but most of the time I'm not able to. Sent an email to rep, no response yet. It is a complete feed though versus grain or sweet feed.
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



  17. #17
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    Default

    I looked it up and it did say you could feed it at 2% of the bodyweight which would be a bit more than 20 lbs. (didn't see that before!)

    http://www.seminolewellnessfeed.com/...sSeniorMix.pdf
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



  18. #18
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    Jan. 22, 2006
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    Default

    It is often said that more than 5 pounds per feeding doesn't get digested properly, but obviously if your horse drops weight with less then she is getting something from it. That does seem like a lot, but sometimes you have to do what works. I would be curious if maybe you could find a more calorie dense feed. But personally I don't consider a horse that gets 5/6 pounds of grain a day a hard keeper as that is often the recommended amount for most feeds. I find that some horses are easy keepers no matter what and some are hard no matter what, and of course then you have the ones right in the middle. My horse is neither a hard or an easy keep. If he has access to good grass hes pretty easy, but without it he needs more grain even with access to good hay 24/7. He eats about 5 pounds of TC complete (per day) and I would consider that average, where he is that is what most horses get that are average as well.



  19. #19
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    Sep. 11, 2010
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    The Sunny South
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    Default

    Ok, I've never had a "hard keeper" that I know of, but I'm starting to wonder if my current horse counts as a hard keeper... he eats AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT, or at least I think so, and it leaves me in shock whenever I think about it.

    Specs: 6yo 18.1 TB gelding, barely broke a year ago, currently ridden 5x/week, seems to have stopped growing, might add less than an inch if any height at all. Still needs to fill out. Previous owner kept his weight on the light side while he was really growing, and while I've had him he's either been 'just right' or a bit on the light side - I'm very careful as he's just soooo big and still so immature.

    He is fed 3x/ day:
    Breakfast: 4.5qts low starch feed and 6qts beet pulp with 1sc Platinum Performance and 1sc Cool Calories
    Lunch: 3qts low starch feed and 6qts beet pulp
    Dinner: 4.5qts low starch feed and 6qts beet pulp with 1sc Platinum Performance and 1sc Cool Calories
    Hay amounts change, as the drought in the SE has really affected our hay availability and quality. He at least gets 2-4 flakes of hay at each feeding, and when we can get them the horses have 1k bales or rounds in the pastures.

    Honestly, I wish he had a bit more of a fat shield over his ribs but he is technically in good weight. He certainly in good condition, but I do look forward to when he will fill out, and he really needs to continue building more muscle. Having a big horse, especially a huge and young TB, is very different than the horses of my past - even my last TB ate substantially less.
    My boy, "Mr. Nice Guy"

    Ask me about Final Furlong, Inc. - promoting "Responsible retirement for thoroughbred racehorses through the racing industry".



  20. #20
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    Sep. 11, 2010
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    The Sunny South
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by judybigredpony View Post
    Oh Dear you will be appalled and unhappy w/ me...my hardest keeper is a 16.3 broodmare a big girl who can and will turn into a skelaton PDQ in or out of foal nursing or not.
    She gets 24 quarts of Broodmare Purina 300 in 3 feedings ideally 9Qt's , 6Qts, 9Qt's and 3/4 of a 70LB bale of Alfalfa in 2 feedings Platinum performance 1X feeding. Plus pasture.
    Yes she has her teeth done 2X year and is on a 30 day worm rotation year round.
    When weaned from her foal she will still get 18Qts daily and access to round bale plus 4 flakes of Alfalfa w/ her feed.

    You win! (or lose??)
    My boy, "Mr. Nice Guy"

    Ask me about Final Furlong, Inc. - promoting "Responsible retirement for thoroughbred racehorses through the racing industry".



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