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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    121

    Default Senior feed for the not-senior horse?

    Hello gurus,

    I know I'm not the only one to do this, but I bought a horse that needed another 100 lbs or so. I've been feeding her LMF Senior (only about 4lbs split into two feedings so far) along with quality orchard/alfalfa mix hay, a probiotic and ground flax.

    She's actually in quite good condition now. She had a pretty light workload while she was putting weight back on, but now I'm hoping to escalate the training a bit and trying to figure out where I should be adding calories to keep up with the workload.

    SO, back to the post title:

    I know that senior feed is developed for horses that have trouble eating forage foods which as a healthy 5 year old, she doesn't. 4 lbs of senior feed won't make too much of a difference, but the feed does seem to have a very high fiber content. Is there a downside to having so much fiber in a horse's system? Should I try to phase in a performance-geared feed now that she's in good condition? Is winter a bad time?

    Any thoughts would be very helpful. Thanks in advance!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    734

    Default

    It's fine. Fiber is good for horses (hay/grass come to mind? )

    If you're worried you can switch to a hi-fat instead. However, since you're looking to "up" her training, she may need some extra caloric intake. You could switch to a ration balancer or a low-energy performance feed. I'd most likely go the ration balancer route, providing that the horse doesn't have trouble keeping weight on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Location
    mid-atlantic
    Posts
    2,445

    Default

    I feed Triple Crown senior to my 2 year old, because it's just a darn good feed! I do supplement with a high-protein, high-mineral "top dresser" for this growing boy, but the high fat / low sugar profile of the TC Sr. works well for him.

    I also know of a training/sales/dressage barn that feeds a senior feed to all of their performance horses, most of whom are 4 - 6 year old imports.

    Senior feeds tend to have a good range of amino acids to support older horses, and high digestibility benefits everyone. I don't see a problem with it.

    AFA the high fiber aspect, I don't seek out high fiber horse feeds, as I believe they get enough fiber from their roughage (which should be the primary component of their diet anyway) - but I don't see how it would be detrimental, unless your horse is having digestive upset or other symptoms -?
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2007
    Posts
    134

    Default

    I feed my 8 year old TC senior. Not sure why your worried about too much fiber for a horse. My retired guys are on an all hay diet with some vit/minerals.

    Not sure about your hay situation where you are but with the drought situation here in Texas a lot of barns are limiting hay and in my experience some boarding barns don't feed enough hay anyway. This makes the high fiber, fortified feeds especially appealing to me.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
    Posts
    2,896

    Default

    It is fine, if your horse is healthy and doing well on it, I would not be concerned.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2004
    Posts
    2,684

    Default

    My 12-year old OTTB mare has been on Blue Seal Senior feed since I bought her off the track at age 4. She does great on it .
    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    4,182

    Default

    Nothin' wrong with feeding a senior feed to a younger horse as long as it is meeting their needs. They can't read the label, after all!

    That said, LMF makes a different senior formulation called Primetime that is for horses who ARE eating hay; the Senior is formulated based on the idea that the horse is eating only that and no forage, and is meant to be fed at something like 15+ lbs/day. If you are feeding 4 lbs, even with hay (which obviously will meet some of the gap), you probably aren't getting the appropriate levels of vitamins/minerals. The Primetime is more concentrated (in terms of the nutrient percentages), and is in the 5-10 lb range.
    Proud member of the EDRF



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,881

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Darden19 View Post
    but the feed does seem to have a very high fiber content.
    That's because it's also a complete feed, meaning it COULD be the sole source of food for a horse if necessary, providing enough fiber to technically be healthy. All complete feeds like this are fortified feeds (added vitamins, minerals, etc) but not all fortified feeds are complete feeds, meaning their fiber content is lower, too low really to meet the horse's needs if fed as the sole ration.

    Is there a downside to having so much fiber in a horse's system?
    What do you think hay and grass contain?

    Agree with the others
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2011
    Posts
    784

    Default

    "senior" on a feed bag is a marketing term, usually meant to denote that one is a complete feed so that it could be used as the sole diet like JB said.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2005
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    1,660

    Default

    My 7 year old OTTB has been getting TC Senior for months now, and doing great. I've had no worries about him getting a "senior" feed. Actually, when I talked to a TC rep. a few weeks ago at the local feed store, she said she spoke with a ton of owners who use the feed for their OTTB's.
    <3 Vinnie <3
    1992-2010
    Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

    Default

    I feed Blue Seal Senior to all my horses, aged 7, 24 and 28, they all look great. The 7 year old only gets about a pound and a half per day, as she is an air fern, and I do add a vitamin/mineral supplement by Blue Seal to make up for the fact that she is not eating the recommended amount of feed.

    My vet agrees that a senior feed is good for any age horse.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2001
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
    Posts
    1,180

    Default feed

    I have had good results with Strategy. Have you checked out Cavalor Feeds?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2009
    Posts
    500

    Default

    I've fed Triple Crown Senior to all three of my geldings (7, 9 and 15 yrs - the 7 yr old shows, the other two are basically lawn ornaments) for about a year now and have been very happy with how they all look on it. I started them on it when the 7 yr old decided he didn't want to eat Ultium any more. They all get a ration balancer, the 7 yr old gets just a couple of pounds a day and maintains his weight with no problem, and the other two just get a handful to shut them up. All three of them had shiny coats this summer and looked great. In talking with people I've found a lot of people who feed the TC Senior to all ages of horses and are happy with it.
    It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
    Location
    The Land of Buggies and Black Bumpers
    Posts
    964

    Default

    I'm an equine specialist and not a day goes by that I don't make a recommendation for a senior feed for a non-senior horse. It's great for horses who need weight gain, or lower NSC (huge Triple Crown Senior fan!) or horses who need feed that is not as heavy with grains and still high fat.

    I have had a few people who are insulted about recommending senior feed for their non-senior horse so I make sure to preface my recommendation with my reasons why, and try really hard not to offend anyone!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2007
    Posts
    945

    Default

    Excuse me while I go on a mini-tangent, but I've NEVER understood why the NSC of LMF Senior is so high - like up there with Strategy & quite a bit over the ever-hated SafeChoice.

    Looking at ingredients, maybe this is because Oats are the second ingredient. Really? For a feed that a horse not on hay should get 15 or pounds of? That just seems to be asking for trouble, no? Never understood it. But I'm sure there's horses that do just fine on it.



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