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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

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We are now expanding our policies to allow posters to share their own first-hand experiences involving overt criminal allegations, such as animal abuse or neglect, theft, etc., but only if they publicly provide their full first and last name along with the post. We still will not allow anonymous postings alleging criminal activity.

So, a user may now make a specific claim against a named individual or company, but it must be a FIRST-HAND account, and they have to IDENTIFY THEMSELVES. Users have always been legally responsible for their posts, and nothing has changed there, but we want to loosen the reins a bit and further allow the free flow of discussion and information relevant to the horse community.

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Forum rules and no-advertising policy

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What type of grain are you feeding your 4th level/psg horses?

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  • What type of grain are you feeding your 4th level/psg horses?

    Thinking about switching grains to get a extra energy as we are progressing up the levels-

    Horse background- purchased him as an 8 year old, just confirmed PSG horse. His old owner in Europe gave him plenty of oats and liked the energy boost.

    I bought him two years ago, and had him on Ultium. Small amount as he is quite an easy keeper. I switched to Pianissimo (Cavalor) as he was a little bit reactive at times...even though he has an overall very laid back demeanor.

    Now...I have worked through many of our initial training issues and I am ready to step him back up, and almost want that boost. Pianissimo is known to have a calming effect and is great for sensitive, hot horses.

    Please share your favorite high quality grains for an easy keeper, laid back gelding in moderate work (5 days a week, third level, schooling more).

    Thank you!

  • #2
    my 4th level horse gets oats, a vitamin mineral supplement and grounded flaxseed.....


    • #3
      Originally posted by Manni01 View Post
      my 4th level horse gets oats, a vitamin mineral supplement and grounded flaxseed.....
      This is also the norm around here for horses at these levels.

      The only difference with mine is that they're usually on a Muesli that is basically small pieces of dried grasses to mix their vit/min with because these guys (Iberian horses) don't need much! They're also on free choice hay and/or haylage. Some pasture. Starch and sugar (NSC) needs to be monitored with these guys.

      It's not out of the question to feed your horse a "higher octane" feed if the workload requires it. It's all individual to the horse though on what their nutritional needs are/what they can tolerate well.


      • #4
        OP - My Lusitano gets Ultium.


        • #5
          I’m feeding my I-2 horse Cavalor Endurex plus oil. It’s a recent switch as a clinician I work with regularly thought he would benefit from the Endurex giving more energy later in the ride as we build the strength for GP. I don’t know that it’s made any difference (was feeding Banks Mill Elite plus oil before) but I’ve not had a horse at this level before and decided to follow the advice I was paying for. Clinician uses it for several FEI horses in his barn.

          The oil is my own doing. I like to feed a good bit of fat to all my horses.
          Hindsight bad, foresight good.


          • #6
            I also fed oats to my upper level horse.


            • #7
              My air fern GP horse gets a ration balancer (Triple Crown 30%) and a fat supplement (Legends Omega Plus) and soaked grass hay in a slow feed net.

              This is a horse who gets visibly fatter if off work for three days, but still needs the nutritional input for upper level work.

              My vet put me in touch with an equine nutritionist who used age, weight, workload and known metabolic issues to design a feed program for me.


              • #8
                It depends so much on the individual horse. I don’t think there is one correct formula. If you are looking to add energy and your horse is an easy keeper, that is different then adding energy to a harder keeper. Either way, start with good quality hay/forage and build from there. Depending on the hay, you may need to add protein, and you’ll probably need some safe fats (such as flax and vitamin E). Then build from there. For some horses, a ration balancer may be all the need. For others, more concentrates are helpful.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Manni01 View Post
                  my 4th level horse gets oats, a vitamin mineral supplement and grounded flaxseed.....
                  This and then some alfalfa. I prefer to add the extra energy if needed with good quality hay and keep the concentrates down. They all look wonderful and have excellent energy in the barn.


                  • #10
                    When my horse moved up to 4th level, I added Omega Horseshine for the flax/omega 3 and a small scoop of cool calories (fat) to his nutrena senior. I think it really helped him put on the last bit of muscle and topline he needed. He was never a hot horse, but he felt good with that combination.


                    • #11
                      All of my riding horses (one GP, one lower level) get Ultium. My retired horse is on Equine Senior Active (he hates the regular Senior), but when he was showing PSG, he got Ultium too.


                      • #12
                        Two eat oats. One eats Ultium.


                        • #13
                          We feed ours a mix of alfalfa and grass hay. A small amount of cavalor endurex, flax oil, and for the laid back ones we add rolled oats. Most of the calories are coming from the hay and we have found a mix of grass and alfalfa is most effective. We feed our hay in a porta-grazer and they are munching pretty much all day.


                          • #14
                            Easy keeper Lusitano, tends to laziness, showing 4th: small amount (1/2 of a small scoop, just enough to satisfy him and hold his cosequin) of Seminole Wellness Herb Mix, Seminole equalizer to provide the missing nutrients, 5-7 T/A cubes soaked, occasionally some Purina SuperSport if we have had a hard clinic (it's a protein supplement). Pasture almost 24/7.


                            • #15
                              I agree with MysticOakRanch completely. You have to feed the horse in front of you.

                              Just to give an alternate perspective, I have never known an FEI-level horse (I have known very many) to eat just oats. (My experience) Commercial feeds are fortified with vitamins and minerals which are in line with seriously working horses. Oats don't have that.

                              You have to pick a feed that has a fat content to vit/mineral ratio that meets your horse's caloric needs. A PSG easy keeper is not eating the same as a PSG hard keeper. Both are working very hard but have different requirements.

                              Alfalfa hay has increased protein and nutrient content for horses in hard work.

                              A quality diet will bring out the energy in your horse. Sometimes, people think the energy of a healthy horse = a hot horse. I suggest you feed to the quality of the diet, and call your feed company's nutritionists or hire one to get quality input. I would feed Pianissimo only if it had the right nutrient levels for your horse at that level of work, not for any calming effect.
                              Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                              • Original Poster

                                Thank you all for the wonderful responses. I definitely agree about feeding each horse to their individual needs as well as providing proper nutrition to get the best out of each horse. My horse had fantastic quality Timothy hay and he is given Platinum Performance as a supplement....I think I may end up switching back to Ultium as I was able to feed a small amount but still receive the energy boost.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Has*** no past tense in regards to his hay ; )


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by aband12 View Post
                                    Thank you all for the wonderful responses. I definitely agree about feeding each horse to their individual needs as well as providing proper nutrition to get the best out of each horse. My horse had fantastic quality Timothy hay and he is given Platinum Performance as a supplement....I think I may end up switching back to Ultium as I was able to feed a small amount but still receive the energy boost.
                                    timothy is a great hay but tends to be very low in protein. So without knowing anything else about your horse and his diet, I would point out that a hard working horse needs enough protein to support his muscle development. I often feed a Timothy mix and add a high protein ration balancer to the easy keeper horse. You probably want an overall protein level closer to 12%. Timothy is usually around 8%.


                                    • #19
                                      All my horses get Tribute Essential K, which is a ration balancer. My easy keeper, Welsh CobX, when he was in full work for 3rd-PSG got Essential K, Kalm Ultra for energy, and 12 hours of grass turnout. And he only had to wear a muzzle sometimes. When he retired, he only got the Essential K and has to wear a muzzle ALL THE TIME because he's a blimp when not in work. The Kalm Ultra was added when he really needed the extra oomph of energy for the higher level work.

                                      My current young horse, (somewhere between training and 2nd as 6yo) is now on Essential K and K Finish which is a fat supplement that seems to help with the energy when she needs it, without making her too hot.
                                      Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.


                                      • #20
                                        None, literally not a single kernel of grain.

                                        He gets 50-50 Alfalfa/Orchard and a handful of timothy or orchard pellets with his supplements. Show that boy a kernel of grain and it's like he's on crack and the aliens have landed!