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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,505

    Default Just a plug in case anyone's thinking of going the no commercial feed route!

    My horses have been getting soaked beet pulp,alfalfa pellets and rolled oats- with a handful of flax (lately it's been rice bran/flax supplement) for going on a year now. They get a dollop of Vita mix vitamins and have loose minerals and a white salt block. Their hay is run of the mill orchard grass with a touch of timothy- nothing spectacular- but decent hay. I vary from doling out flakes to having a round bale in their pen-depending on my schedule. I haven't done much more than make sure they have four legs and no blood lately- was away for two weeks at the beach, busy, busy. Went out last night and knocked the dirt off my horse. He looked like he was soaked in wet oil (he's black). He has never been this shiny, I was amazed. And chubby. He IS a pretty easy keeper but I need to cut down on even the little bit of this mix he gets to slow his belly down. The liver chestnut Morgan is blooming in dapples. This has realllly worked for them and it's cheaper for sure! Just wanted to post it in case anyone's borderline on their feed and thinking of switching it up.
    Kerri



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    It's also dapple season.
    Click here before you buy.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

    Default

    My mare has been commercial grain feed free for 3.5 years now. Due to her having attitude reactions to soy.

    She eats pasture, hay, tim pellets, tim/alf pellets, and Equipride.

    Yes she is always a shiny horse. She has some winter fur coming in now, and is so so black right now. This year she really didn't bleach out hardly at all. Not sure why.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,505

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    It's also dapple season.
    True that. But I've owned them both for years and they've never bloomed like this. Might not work for others but sure works for the two of them.
    Kerri



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2011
    Posts
    348

    Default

    I have also done similar in the past when I was able to feed my own horse every day, except I used barley because of the lower G index. I would soak my BP (w/o molasses) and a quarter cup flax seed together. Ground flax spoils faster. Add in rice bran if I needed the extra calories but otherwise, not. Worked well. I don’t trust other people to make BP correctly so I had to switch to commercial feed.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    17,087

    Default

    Dittoh on rmh_rider:

    Pasture and/or hay, Equipride and plain soaked beet pulp.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2007
    Posts
    250

    Default

    I have been processed feed-free for about 3 years also with all of mine. Soaked T/A cubes are the carrier for the supps.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 1, 2004
    Location
    north of Atlanta GA
    Posts
    3,760

    Default

    I have been commercial feed free for many years. I feed a small amount of flax with 2 oz of a vitamin supplement. My t'bred gets a bit of beet pulp and alfalfa pellets. No need for all that grain.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2001
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    I'd like to know more about this commercial free feeding-------where can I get more info? Sounds good for the horse. How is it price-wise?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,497

    Default

    Talk to me about hard keepers on a grain-free (or commercial feed free) diet.

    I have a 4yo TB mare who is a HARD keeper....which I suspect right now is due partly to a growth spurt (suddenly I can't see over her!) and partly due to ulcers. (which are being treated with great success.)

    Her current diet:

    1lb alfalfa pellets
    5lb Poulin Fibremax (www.poulin.com very high quality high fat grain)
    3 cups Rice Bran Powder
    1 cup Aloe Vera Juice

    Twice a day. She is on lush pasture, and gets free choice quality hay whenever not on said pasture. She hoovers up her meal, grazes peacefully all day, and merrily chomps away on the hay, so it's not that she's just not eating. She was ribby up until I started the omezaprole a week ago, now her ribs are getting covered up. The Fibremax is $20 a bag so it works out to about $120 a month in just the grain....I'd love to start looking at cutting her back a bit once she is up to a weight that I feel comfortable with.

    But I won't bother if she's going to need to get 20lbs of soaked beet pulp every day, then I'll just stick with the grain.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    10,364

    Default

    I've been feeding oats (switched about 3yrs ago from 50% steam-rolled/50% steam-crimped to whole) for about 6 years now.
    Hay is a so-so orchard grass with some timothy.

    I supplement with biotin, Red Cell and MSM.
    Horses have soft, shiny coats my vet always comments on, and are a veritable sea o' dapples in the Summer.

    My cost now is $10/50# whole oats, which lasts 2 weeks for 1 horse, 1 pony.
    Supplements run around $40-50/month.

    I also use a feed-through wormer - Pyrantel Tartrate - and I've heard that does good things for haircoats too.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Posts
    1,101

    Default

    What really gets me is that I've known a few horses now that primarily got Purina Senior as their sole to a very large percentage of total diet, were as old as the hills, never ever groomed, or bathed, crippled, lived in dirty stalls, and had the bestest, glossiest, dappled all over coats that you could ever imagine.

    Also noticed my horses' coats all look much better if I don't have them stalled next to stallions

    Btw, have had some do better off commercial feeds and others not...



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    13,838

    Default

    To add a little depth to this, what kind of work load do your horses have? I see this type of discussion all the time, and I often have to wonder if I could afford to feed my hard working, not the easiest keeper in good weight on something like this. What about when he starts galloping for three days? I have no intention to switch (he is THRIVING on his Fibergized and looks like a million bucks), but I am always curious what the work load is for these horses who do so well. I have no doubt that some horses thrive on it, but just wonder if a hard working horse thrives, too.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2001
    Location
    Cullowhere?, NC
    Posts
    8,694

    Default

    Two older QH geldings, mild to moderate work, on soaked BP and alf pellets--about a pound of BP and 1.5 lbs alf pellets per feeding, two feedings per day. The harder keeper gets about a pound of rice bran added. Both get Accel, Omega Horseshine, MSM, glucosamine, Remission. Decent quality mixed grass hay. They're doing quite well on it.

    I was giving the harder keeper a bit of Nutrena Sr; he was slinging his feed out of his bucket. I stopped the Nutrena, he's holding his weight pretty well, and now he's stopped the slinging, as well.

    I have a friend who just switched to this strategy. Her two are upper level dressage horses and work pretty hard. So far, so good. She has excellent pastures and both horses tend to be plump.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2006
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    1,926

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    Talk to me about hard keepers on a grain-free (or commercial feed free) diet.

    I have a 4yo TB mare who is a HARD keeper....which I suspect right now is due partly to a growth spurt (suddenly I can't see over her!) and partly due to ulcers. (which are being treated with great success.)

    Her current diet:

    1lb alfalfa pellets
    5lb Poulin Fibremax (www.poulin.com very high quality high fat grain)
    3 cups Rice Bran Powder
    1 cup Aloe Vera Juice

    Twice a day. She is on lush pasture, and gets free choice quality hay whenever not on said pasture. She hoovers up her meal, grazes peacefully all day, and merrily chomps away on the hay, so it's not that she's just not eating. She was ribby up until I started the omezaprole a week ago, now her ribs are getting covered up. The Fibremax is $20 a bag so it works out to about $120 a month in just the grain....I'd love to start looking at cutting her back a bit once she is up to a weight that I feel comfortable with.

    But I won't bother if she's going to need to get 20lbs of soaked beet pulp every day, then I'll just stick with the grain.
    I may have one that works for you:.

    6 year old small 14.1hh 3/4 Arab 1/4 saddlebred mare..
    HARD keeper - crazy I know -for that breeding and size.

    I've had her since she was 3, and she was always ok ..but ribby and dull looking, even on a good day.

    I went through everything on this damn horse.

    hi fat commerical feeds, hi protein feeds, more supplements that I can even remember.. beetpulp/flax/oil/soy/scoped for ulcers - nada.. aloe vera just in case.. on and on, money pouring into that sieve of a mare... blah blah blah. plus I had her living 24/7 in her own grassed pasture, anything I could do to get her bulked up a bit, I tried.

    Nothing seems to pull her out of the doing ok barely thing

    a year ago my hay supplier was listening to me whine. he said.
    Take a round bale.
    mm ok.

    I did. and she ate.. and ate... and .. ate some more. I thought she was going to bust a gut at some point.

    A year later my hard keeper looks glorious. People can't believe she's the same horse when they see her at a competition. All she eats now... grass/timothy roundbale, and a teeny bit of beet pulp for her vitamins/minerals/ration balancer - which I give the bare minimum of, cuz she just looks so damn good now.
    Quote Originally Posted by ExJumper View Post
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Posts
    4,131

    Default

    I've been commercial feed free for nearly 2 years. I had been feeding a ration balancer for a few years prior, but since finding a source of hay that is sufficiently high in protein, the RB was just overkill and making the horses unnecessarily porky. I don't know if my enigmatic little Morgan has soy issues or not, but he has since been more even keeled.

    Handful of whole oats, whole flax, alfalfa pellets, msm, biotin, salt, min/vit sup, cocosoya to keep it all together and that is it for both my horses. In addition to 8-12lbs daily of good hay that is (there is still much grazing). My 32yr old is doing fantastic on this.

    My 32yr old has not worked in several years. My Morgan is in med/light work driving 3-5x a week 2-5 miles per drive, though work has been sporadic at best this summer due to life, and that pesky thing called work
    “I am sorry negativity, I have no time for you. I have far too many positive things to do.”



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,497

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rainechyldes View Post

    I did. and she ate.. and ate... and .. ate some more. I thought she was going to bust a gut at some point.

    A year later my hard keeper looks glorious. People can't believe she's the same horse when they see her at a competition. All she eats now... grass/timothy roundbale, and a teeny bit of beet pulp for her vitamins/minerals/ration balancer - which I give the bare minimum of, cuz she just looks so damn good now.
    She perpetually has food in her mouth, I'm not sure I'd recognize her not eating. She probably goes through about 50lbs of hay a day, plus the pasture, plus her grain ration.

    Like I said, I have seen serious improvement after just a week on the ulcer meds, so I suspect she will be less of a hard keeper once that treatment is done and she's at a good weight. (So that we can just maintain that weight, instead of fighting an uphill battle.)

    I've been researching obsessively and I think I'm going to start slowly swapping out her grain for an equal amount of beet pulp, and see where that gets us!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,937

    Default

    I do use commercial feed...but so little of it. Each horse gets 3 cups daily. Basically a handful and a half, I have really small hands. BS Strider.

    Otherwise they have 20-25 lbs of timothy/orchard mix and at night 2 quarts of timothy only cubes soaked. And a red mineral block is out for them.

    My two chestnuts gleam. Petey shines almost metallic (medium chestnut, more on the orangey side) and even Sonny shines very visibly and he's a redder chestnut but rabicano and very 'roaned.'

    People always ask me how much oil they get or if I use a topical shine on them. Nope. But I think a huge amount of their shine comes from the combination of having a rolling pit filled with washed round river sand amd having the big scratching brush in their paddocks. They rarely get dusty, dirty, muddy or even flaky because they prefer to roll only in the deep soft sand pit. And they wriggle like otters in there. Scrubs even the dandruff off their skin and is like a multiple time daily currying. And sand just shakes right back off.

    Honestly...best damned $110 I ever spent. (for purchase, delivery and dumping of the sand, it took 45 minutes with the tractor to scrape out a 15x15' 'sandbox' that's about 15" deep, filled with 6 yards IIRC)
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2006
    Posts
    2,269

    Default

    I think why non commercial feed diets tend to work well for those using them is that people who feed them often revamp the whole diet as well. Turnout, grass and quality hay all play a huge role in the health of the horse. Usually if you have that down it doesn't always matter what you give them for a meal. It also usually works best for easy to medium keepers, hard keepers that have been treated for ulcers, have turn out, quality hay free choice are just not going to get all the calories they may need. Top quality feeds can have 1800+ cals/pound while most non commercial feed stuff only has about 1000 cals/pound and it comes a point that adding this and that no longer makes it cheaper. Just something to think about. Both ways can work well for either side!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2007
    Posts
    250

    Default

    You can feed a non-processed diet to a hard working horse. Diet should always center around forage first, then add calories as needed. All you can do is *try* it and see how it goes. You can add as TOP DRESSES....rice bran and even commercial mix - but as a top dress first. If you find you have to keep increasing the commercial mix in order to hold weight, then your horse may not do well on a non-processed diet.

    I kept my hard keeper OTTB on a non-processed diet for several years. As he aged, he did require more calories, so I added rice bran (Ultra Bloom). Towards the end of his life, I also added just 2 cups per meal of the best quality Senior I could find. (Seminole Wellness Senior) and that kept the last 50 lbs. on him that he needed to stay around 1100 lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    To add a little depth to this, what kind of work load do your horses have? I see this type of discussion all the time, and I often have to wonder if I could afford to feed my hard working, not the easiest keeper in good weight on something like this. What about when he starts galloping for three days? I have no intention to switch (he is THRIVING on his Fibergized and looks like a million bucks), but I am always curious what the work load is for these horses who do so well. I have no doubt that some horses thrive on it, but just wonder if a hard working horse thrives, too.



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