Backstory: My retired oldster developed a choking problem with Strategy, which he has eaten most of his life. This has continued to be a problem regardless of what type of fortified feed I feed him. I think he's just bolting this type of food because it's so sweet and yummy.
Question: I've switched him over to alfalfa chops and rice bran plus SmartPaks Smartvite senior for grass hay instead of grain. He's also out 24/7 (when it's not 9 degrees at night) with free choice hay, or he has free choice hay in his stall.
I've plugged all of this into FeedXL and it seems to be okay nutrition wise, and he's not choking anymore. I'm just wondering if there are other options besides alfalfa chop/cubes/pellets/whatever and rice bran if you don't want to feed a fortified feed.
P.S. FeedXL is awesome, would highly recommend for anyone.
Just wanted to add, vet has seen horse for choking issue and can't find anything wrong. His teeth are fine, overall health is fine. Since he't not choking anymore, I'm not super interested in going after a big workup for the problem. Obviously if he starts again I'll look more throughly into it
Well if you would like to switch back to a straight feed there are a few things you can do to prevent choke.
1) feed your horse in a large pan instead of a bucket
2) add several large rocks or break a salt lick up and put it in the pan
3) soak feed thoroughly
4) feed your horse on the ground (in the pan)
5) split meals up into frequent small meals throughout the day
I had a boarder that choked twice, we did the first 4 things and he didn't have a problem after that.
If you don't want to switch back to a regular feed, you can look for timothy or grass hay cubes/pellets/chaff. You can also use soaked beet pulp shreds. Basically anything you can soak will work for a horse prone to choke.
I have no idea why you would want to add things like oats or barley. You run the risk of choke with those as much as with a regular feed. There are certainly instances where adding something like oats could be beneficial, but I see no reason in this case as your horse isn't allergic to most feeds, which would be a main reason to switching to a diet with whole grains and individual ingredients.
If your horse's weight is good and his ration meets his vit/min needs, then don't change it. You can't fix what ain't broke.