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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2012
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    Default Can you help balance my horse's ration?

    Sorry in advance. Before I met COTH, i had NO IDEA that there were so many things to think about when figuring this out.

    My 9 year 14 hand pony mare is an easy keeper with nice feet.

    Im moving to a new barn soon and have the opportunity to decide what I want her to get fed. At my previous barn, I had "input" but it was the manager's final decision and....honestly, input really wasnt welcome.

    She is not IR and she has no signs of cushings or ulcers. She is in moderate dressage and light jumping work spring-fall and light work in the winter.

    She is currently on MSM (for uveitis) and corta-flex for joint support. When I move, I plan to start her smartpak EZ keeper grass vitamin. She will be getting plenty of grass hay and will be out 12 hours on pasture, supplemented with hay in the winter. She will most likely wear her muzzle all summer at new place; the fields are big!

    Now, for the big questions: should I add in a lb of protein supplement (TC 30% or something similar) or should I just keep it simple and use a handful of whatever the barn uses just to chase her supplements down? Also, how about those omegas? Im considering adding in smartshine or something similar to that.

    Have I fallen victim for Smartpak's marketing ploy?



  2. #2
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Grass = plenty of Omega 3, even if she's muzzled.

    TC30 - at her size, no way 1lb. 1/2lb is about all I'd do, especially given she will probably need muzzling. I'd try *either* the 1/2lb TC30 (or whatever other RB) OR the v/m supplement with a handful of beet pulp or alf pellets or whatever is easy.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


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  3. #3
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    Aug. 7, 2012
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    Default

    thanks for the omega 3 info! Great to know.

    The only reason I suggested 1 lb is because she is on 3 lbs right now of a high protein/high fiber grain and she hasnt gained too much weight but she wasnt getting enough forage or really any at all (long story-reason Im leaving)

    1/2 lb sounds better and cheaper!



  4. #4
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Ok - you might just have to play it by ear when she gets all that grass and see how it goes. 1lb of a RB is fewer calories, obviously, than 3lb of a grain, but by more than just the lb difference, since the grain likely has several 100 more cal/lb than the RB does.

    If you need something in between, there's TC Lite.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
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    Default

    I would use the TC 30 over the multi-vite unless she gets fat on air. You didn't really mention exactly how much of an easy keeper she is.

    I think 1/2 lb is a bit low of an estimate for a rb going into winter. I would have her at 3/4 or even 1 lb. My 15 hh QH and 14.2 Morgan are both on 1 lb and do well. In the summer however, putting her down to 1/2 lb would be a good idea, or even taking her off of the rb and putting her on a multi-vite.
    Even though rb's are for "easy keepers" they are overall calorie dense, and not for complete air ferns. It's really up to you to judge what your horse needs. I will say that I like how my horses look on the TC 30 over the multi-vite.

    Grass will provide lots of omega 3's in the summer, when it is lush and growing, but dormant grass in the winter and hay won't do the same. I have my horse on whole flax seeds for omega 3's, which I keep them on year round, as well as MSM. Whole flax is inexpensive, I feed 1/2 cup to my easy keepers and 1 cup to my "hard keepers".

    I used Corta-Flx at one point and wasn't overly impressed. If you really want to do something good for her joints, look into Pentosan! I have my QH on it and he is moving VERY well right now...maybe a little too well.



  6. #6
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    Aug. 7, 2012
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    Default

    Are you soaking or grinding your flax? I have used soaked flax before and loved it when i was taking care of my own horse but never in a boarding situation.



  7. #7
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    Nov. 13, 2010
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    No, I don't soak or grind, I just feed it whole. Everyone from a 25 yr old TB mare to a 7 year old Morgan pony get whole flax, it really makes them "bloom".



  8. #8
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    Aug. 7, 2012
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    Default

    good to know. Seems half say to soak and the other half say sont worry about it.



  9. #9
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    Default

    I think the general opinion on COTH is that feeding it whole is fine. But I know there have been a few threads on it, it might be best to search it and read for yourself. I just know that I personally have never had a problem.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAcres View Post
    I think 1/2 lb is a bit low of an estimate for a rb going into winter.
    But you feed RBs for nutrition, not for calories. If "going into winter" means "might need more food", then a RB might not be the right choice.

    At 14h and being an easy keeper, I just don't know that I'd go with a full pound. 14h and a harder keeper, sure, no problem.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    But you feed RBs for nutrition, not for calories. If "going into winter" means "might need more food", then a RB might not be the right choice.

    At 14h and being an easy keeper, I just don't know that I'd go with a full pound. 14h and a harder keeper, sure, no problem.
    Not exactly where I was going JB, although you are completely correct. Going into winter means less nutrition from grass. Less nutrition from grass would make me want to increase the pony's RB.
    I think it really depends on how much of an easy keeper the pony is. I know you mentioned she was on 3 lb. of grain and wasn't gaining a ton of weight, so you might find that 1 lb. isn't too much. It really just depends on the pony/her workload, forage, etc. You will be changing a lot of things about her diet in the coming weeks, there is no way to predict what amount of RB will be best for her. Who knows, with free choice hay and access to pasture, you may find an RB provides too many calories!



  12. #12
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    ...
    If you need something in between, there's TC Lite.
    In the case of an easy keeper, TC Lite may actually provide more calories than the TC 30.

    TC Lite is fed at a rate of about 2 lbs per day, and provides 1150 calories per pound. That is 2300 calories per day if fed at 2 lbs daily.

    TC 30 is fed at a rate of 1 lb per day, and provides 1266 calories per pound. So, 1266 calories daily.

    You would be feeding double the calories if you fed TC Lite at the recommended daily rate.

    I got this info from TC when I was looking for a ration balancer and wasn't sure if TC Lite would be the better option. The cost/lb was cheaper for the TC 30 (therefore cheaper per day because you feed only 1 lb vs 2 lbs) and my horses don't need the extra calories.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  13. #13
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    Nov. 18, 2011
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    I think you need to look at her roughage (aka hay) intake at your new barn and then build a grain diet around that (if you even need to at all!).

    My pony (granted she is 10.3) gets soaked hay and then a 1/2 cup (measuring one that we use for baking) of grain 2x a day and that is a. to get her morning MSM in her and b. to shut her up.

    Personally I would go with a vit/min supplement (I use Purina Equalizer) and then the hay. And then go from there once she's settled in to her new home, routine, hay etc. Don't underestimate what horses get out of good quality hay (and the correct amount too!).



  14. #14
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Going into winter means less nutrition from grass. Less nutrition from grass would make me want to increase the pony's RB.
    Of course, but you would be feeding hay in place of grass, right?

    Without knowing what's in your hay or at least what TYPE of hay, and how much, the horse gets, it's impossible to help you "balance a ration".

    My horses get 75% grass and 25% hay in summer (sometimes 100% grass) and virtually no grass and all hay in the winter--their grain/supplement requirement is not based on time of year or whether their forage is grass or hay, but rather how much work they're doing, their weight, and is based on hay analysis, done yearly.

    It is worth (IMO) making sure that vitamins A, D and E are accounted for during the winter months when they're getting no or minimal green grass, as these nutrients are not as available in hay and the lack of sunshine can lead to vitamin D levels falling. The same for omega-3s if one is concerned about giving them in a certain amount, although I'm not sure there is an "RDA" for these.
    Click here before you buy.



  15. #15
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    Nov. 13, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Of course, but you would be feeding hay in place of grass, right?

    Without knowing what's in your hay or at least what TYPE of hay, and how much, the horse gets, it's impossible to help you "balance a ration".

    My horses get 75% grass and 25% hay in summer (sometimes 100% grass) and virtually no grass and all hay in the winter--their grain/supplement requirement is not based on time of year or whether their forage is grass or hay, but rather how much work they're doing, their weight, and is based on hay analysis, done yearly.

    It is worth (IMO) making sure that vitamins A, D and E are accounted for during the winter months when they're getting no or minimal green grass, as these nutrients are not as available in hay and the lack of sunshine can lead to vitamin D levels falling. The same for omega-3s if one is concerned about giving them in a certain amount, although I'm not sure there is an "RDA" for these.
    This is true. But depending on hay quality the horse may or may not be getting similar vit/min content from hay. As a general rule, vit/mins degrade in hay, whereas they do not in grass. Of course if possible the hay should be tested to see what needs to be fed, vit/min wise, but this is not always easy to do, especially in a boarding situation. Adding an extra 1/4-1/2 lb of a ration balancer isn't going to OD the horse on anything, and if hay can't be tested it seems like a logical thing to do IMO.
    I personally don't increase or decrease feed based on season, but I will based on quality of forage.

    I do completely agree though that a ration shouldn't be adjusted simply because grass isn't available anymore.



  16. #16
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    1/4 or 1/2 lb. of a ration balancer might very well be the way to go, but I personally would rather just use an appropriate vitamin/mineral supplement if that was what was lacking, since most of my horses are very easy keepers and for a couple of them the only concentrate they GET, even in work, is 1/2 pound a day! I'm a fan of ration balancers and base most of my horses' diets on hay and Purina's Enrich 32, but another 1/2 pound for a horse who doesn't need the calories is a suboptimal way of getting more vitamins on board. If vitamins are what is lacking, I feed a vitamin.
    Click here before you buy.


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  17. #17
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    In the case of an easy keeper, TC Lite may actually provide more calories than the TC 30.
    Which is why I said "if you need more than just a RB, TCL might be the way to go"

    TC Lite is fed at a rate of about 2 lbs per day,
    1lb/500lb for ponies, 1-2lb/500lb for horses, so the total rate depends on the size of the horse.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  18. #18
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    Aug. 7, 2012
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    Default

    Thanks everyone! She will be getting grass hay.

    I was thinking also that TC lite would be more calories per 1/2 lb than the TC 30 or even the SS Solution 14/6, which is what she is on now but at 3 quarts (another long story-you may have read earlier posts) because my current barn is using it to replace hay so Ill probably go the route of:
    1/2 lb TC 30 or SS 14/6
    vitamin/mineral supplement
    MSM
    Corta-flex
    tablespoon flaxseed

    And see how it goes. I do want to keep the corta-flex because I do think it helps her stifle.

    Thanks everyone for your input! Im learning so much!



  19. #19
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    Nov. 13, 2010
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    ActNatural, you shouldn't need a vit/min supplement AND an RB, it is a waste of money to feed both. Pick one or the other. If you go with the multi vite, you can use a cup of dry bp (which you would then soak) or a cup of alfalfa pellets to "carry" the supplement and her other supplements. An RB is essentially a multi-vite with protein built in. Even at 1/2 lb your pony should still be getting an adequate amount of vit/mins.

    Also, IMO it is pretty pointless to just feed a tablespoon of flax. At minimum I feed 1/2 cup to my easy keepers. Even stabilized/fortified ground flax products like Omega Horseshine and Smart Omega 3's have you feeding more than a tablespoon.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 7, 2012
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    Ill have to check with the boarding barn to see if they will do soaked BP. I wish feed stores sold smaller bags of BP or TC lite to single horse owners with easy keepers! Ill try to find someone to split it with me.



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