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Update: Alternative feed options to ration balancer - alfalfa?

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    Update: Alternative feed options to ration balancer - alfalfa?

    My horse has been maintaining weight well this summer on free-choice grass hay when stalled (20lbs, give or take), TC 30 ration balancer, ground flax and pasture during night turnout. However, his energy seems lacking lately. He was vetted thoroughly two weeks ago and everything came back clear. The vet mentioned that it might be a good idea to switch him to a higher energy grain since he's been in more frequent and intense work.

    What feeds are out there that are maybe a step up from a ration balancer? I picked up a bag of ProForce Fuel to try, and for the last couple of weeks he's been getting 3lbs of ProForce Fuel and 1/2lb of TC 30 as a top dress since I still had half a bag or so left over. His energy has picked back up and he seems like his usual forward, happy self in work, but I'm not a huge fan of Nutrena feeds and I'm wondering if there's a better option. It would be a huge bonus if I could just feed one grain instead of having to top dress with a ration balancer or something.

    I have access to Nutrena, Purina, Triple Crown, Tribute, etc. Suggestions would be much appreciated!
    Last edited by Amy3996; Sep. 12, 2018, 12:51 PM.

    #2
    TC Senior is a good feed. Whether you'd still have to top dress with the RB would depend on if you feed a full ration of the Senior. If that's too much as far as his weight goes and you feed less (say you also only feed 3lbs of it versus at least 6), then you'd want to top dress so he continues to get the full ration's worth of v/m. TC Senior does have more fat than the RB, so perhaps you could still maintain his weight by feeding a full ration of Senior and dropping the flax. I have not done the math as far as calories compared to ProForce Fuel. ProForce Fuel is a lot higher NSC but comparable on fat and protein to TC Senior.

    Tribute also makes good feed, though I don't know a ton about them because I can't get it in my area. But I think Kalm N EZ might be a comparable feed to what you're looking for.

    Comment


      #3
      Triple Crown Lite is a whole feed that's between a RB and a regular feed, fed at 1-2lb per 500lb.

      The next step would be (of my preferences, not in total) the Sr, or the Complete, top-dressed with the 30 if you're feeding too little of it. Tribute Kalm N EZ would be a good option too.

      But the easiest would be the TC Lite - 1 feed. You could add a fat supplement to that, or you could try just adding a fat supplement to the TC30
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment


        #4
        I would switch to Ultium.
        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

        Originally posted by LauraKY
        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by JB View Post
          Triple Crown Lite is a whole feed that's between a RB and a regular feed, fed at 1-2lb per 500lb.

          The next step would be (of my preferences, not in total) the Sr, or the Complete, top-dressed with the 30 if you're feeding too little of it. Tribute Kalm N EZ would be a good option too.

          But the easiest would be the TC Lite - 1 feed. You could add a fat supplement to that, or you could try just adding a fat supplement to the TC30
          Do not feed TC Lite if you want more energy. It will not give them more energy.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

            Do not feed TC Lite if you want more energy. It will not give them more energy.
            If what the horse needs is simply more *calories*, then yes, it might. It's a suggestion for her to take or leave, especially since she was hoping to find a single product to feed.
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JB View Post

              If what the horse needs is simply more *calories*, then yes, it might. It's a suggestion for her to take or leave, especially since she was hoping to find a single product to feed.
              Nutrition is not that simple. I switched from TC 30 to TC Lite, same amounts, and even though I'm feeding more calories, my horses reduced weight to where I want it to be, and are kicking quiet, even at competitions. The last time I spoke to TC, they said that other customers have had similar experiences.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                Nutrition is not that simple. I switched from TC 30 to TC Lite, same amounts, and even though I'm feeding more calories, my horses reduced weight to where I want it to be, and are kicking quiet, even at competitions. The last time I spoke to TC, they said that other customers have had similar experiences.
                Not sure if I'm interpreting your "same amounts" comment correctly, but TC Lite is meant to be fed at a higher rate than TC30. TC30 is 1-1.5 lbs per 1000 lbs body weight; Lite is 1-2lbs per 500lbs (or 2-4lbs per 1000). So you won't get more calories, or more energy, if you feed the same amount of Lite as 30.

                I've had the opposite experience when I've fed Lite at the recommended ration for my horse's weight. More energy compared to feeding the same horse the recommended ration of TC30.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Add alfalfa or alfalfa cubes/pellets to his diet if hay is not available. I always prefer a minimal grain diet.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My easy keeper is doing well on the SmartVite Thrive multi-vitamin supplement with no other grain/concentrate, just grass/hay. He gained weight on both the RB's I tried when they were fed at recommended amounts. That said, he is very occasionally lightly ridden, not in full work.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by x-halt-salute View Post

                      Not sure if I'm interpreting your "same amounts" comment correctly, but TC Lite is meant to be fed at a higher rate than TC30. TC30 is 1-1.5 lbs per 1000 lbs body weight; Lite is 1-2lbs per 500lbs (or 2-4lbs per 1000). So you won't get more calories, or more energy, if you feed the same amount of Lite as 30.

                      I've had the opposite experience when I've fed Lite at the recommended ration for my horse's weight. More energy compared to feeding the same horse the recommended ration of TC30.
                      Same amount as is same volume. I believe TC Lite has more calories per pound, couldn't find it on the website. What I just learned 10 seconds ago is that TC Lite is heavier than TC 30.

                      Triple Crown 30% Balancer, Pelleted 1.25 lbs/qt
                      Triple Crown Lite, Pelleted 1.42 lbs/qt

                      I use that "tankard" scoop that looks like a tall measuring cup and has "textured" on one side and "pelleted" on the other. Apparently a pellet is not a pellet is not a pellet. So I'll call it volume since the two types of pellets do not weigh the same. I am feeding the same volume, but more of the Lite in weight.

                      I've never heard anyone use the term "same amount" to reference recommended feeding amounts. I'd never tell someone to feed my easy keeper the "same amount" of TC Lite as they would feed the TC Senior to the racehorse.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post
                        I've never heard anyone use the term "same amount" to reference recommended feeding amounts. I'd never tell someone to feed my easy keeper the "same amount" of TC Lite as they would feed the TC Senior to the racehorse.
                        But YOU'RE the one who brought the term "same amount" to this discussion, so yeah, it seems you've heard someone use it. You just did.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                          Nutrition is not that simple. I switched from TC 30 to TC Lite, same amounts, and even though I'm feeding more calories, my horses reduced weight to where I want it to be, and are kicking quiet, even at competitions. The last time I spoke to TC, they said that other customers have had similar experiences.
                          Well, as you said, "nutrition is not that simple". It doesn't matter what *your* experience is, other than that it's your experience. And no doubt some others too.

                          Most horses do very well on, say, TC Sr, but some do poorly. Some do very well on Strategy, some do very badly.

                          Nutrition ISN'T that simple.

                          I made a suggestion of TCL largely because the OP was hoping to find a single feed. This fits that bill. Will it work for her horse? I don't know, and YOU don't know. Your experience is valid. Telling someone else they will have the exact same experience isn't.

                          As for your "same amount", pound for pound TCL is fewer calories than TC 30, so losing weight doesn't surprise me.

                          In THIS case, the OP would be doing from a recommended serving of TC 30, to, presumably, a recommended serving of TCL, which is MORE calories. You fed fewer calories. Apples and oranges.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                            Same amount as is same volume.
                            Terrible way to feed. Feed by weight

                            I believe TC Lite has more calories per pound, couldn't find it on the website.
                            TCL 1150
                            TC30 1266

                            What I just learned 10 seconds ago is that TC Lite is heavier than TC 30.

                            Triple Crown 30% Balancer, Pelleted 1.25 lbs/qt
                            Triple Crown Lite, Pelleted 1.42 lbs/qt

                            I use that "tankard" scoop that looks like a tall measuring cup and has "textured" on one side and "pelleted" on the other. Apparently a pellet is not a pellet is not a pellet. So I'll call it volume since the two types of pellets do not weigh the same. I am feeding the same volume, but more of the Lite in weight.
                            I have no idea the volume of that scoop, and as clearly seen here, without that information, "scoop" is useless.

                            TC30 is 10% higher in calories than TCL.
                            TCL is 13% heavier.

                            Any increase/decrease in calories is insignificant when you're swapping by volume. But you've lost a lot of nutrients in a volume swap, so blaming TCL on the issues you had, as you fed it, isn't fair.

                            I've never heard anyone use the term "same amount" to reference recommended feeding amounts.
                            Except YOU just used it!

                            I'd never tell someone to feed my easy keeper the "same amount" of TC Lite as they would feed the TC Senior to the racehorse.
                            I'd hope not, and it makes no sense that you would swap TC30 for TCL on a "same amount" of volume basis, as just like TC Sr, TC L is not fed at the same pounds per 100lb as TC30 is.
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                              Same amount as is same volume. I believe TC Lite has more calories per pound, couldn't find it on the website. What I just learned 10 seconds ago is that TC Lite is heavier than TC 30.

                              Triple Crown 30% Balancer, Pelleted 1.25 lbs/qt
                              Triple Crown Lite, Pelleted 1.42 lbs/qt

                              I use that "tankard" scoop that looks like a tall measuring cup and has "textured" on one side and "pelleted" on the other. Apparently a pellet is not a pellet is not a pellet. So I'll call it volume since the two types of pellets do not weigh the same. I am feeding the same volume, but more of the Lite in weight.

                              I've never heard anyone use the term "same amount" to reference recommended feeding amounts. I'd never tell someone to feed my easy keeper the "same amount" of TC Lite as they would feed the TC Senior to the racehorse.
                              The fact that you had to specify that you meant same ration by volume speaks to why I qualified my response by saying I wasn't positive I was interpreting your "same amount" language correctly. You seem to be suggesting that this is all very simple and anyone who questions your anecdote or its generalizability is a simpleton, but the logic of your expectations re: feed and energy really isn't so obvious.

                              Lite is 1150 kcal/lb
                              TC30 is 1266 kcal/lb

                              Which means that even accounting for your feeding by volume and trusting that the densities you cite are consistent (FWIW my own experiences with TC products and weighing feeds have not reproduced their density measures, but let's ignore that) you wouldn't expect a significant increase in calories from the Lite, especially if fed at the sort of volume that is recommended for TC30 (abt. 50kcal/quart). Most people think nothing of feeding a horse 50kcal in treats and would never expect it to add energy. Add to that the lower vit/min density and I just can't see how you'd expect feeding a volume of TCLite that equals a TC30 ration to provide an energy boost.

                              I think TCLite is a pretty good recommendation for what OP is interested in, provided the feeding recommendations are followed.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by x-halt-salute View Post

                                The fact that you had to specify that you meant same ration by volume speaks to why I qualified my response by saying I wasn't positive I was interpreting your "same amount" language correctly. You seem to be suggesting that this is all very simple and anyone who questions your anecdote or its generalizability is a simpleton, but the logic of your expectations re: feed and energy really isn't so obvious.

                                Lite is 1150 kcal/lb
                                TC30 is 1266 kcal/lb

                                Which means that even accounting for your feeding by volume and trusting that the densities you cite are consistent (FWIW my own experiences with TC products and weighing feeds have not reproduced their density measures, but let's ignore that) you wouldn't expect a significant increase in calories from the Lite, especially if fed at the sort of volume that is recommended for TC30 (abt. 50kcal/quart). Most people think nothing of feeding a horse 50kcal in treats and would never expect it to add energy. Add to that the lower vit/min density and I just can't see how you'd expect feeding a volume of TCLite that equals a TC30 ration to provide an energy boost.

                                I think TCLite is a pretty good recommendation for what OP is interested in, provided the feeding recommendations are followed.
                                Here is the scoop I use:
                                https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/su...SABEgLZGvD_BwE

                                When I bought it, I was using TC 30 and the weight marking was accurate as I put it on a postal scale. When I filled it up to the 1 lb mark it weighed 1 lb. It didn't occur to me that another pellet would be weigh more at the same volume. So my intention was to feed by weight, and I used a scoop that had weight markings, but not knowing that TC Lite was heavier than TC 30, I was feeding the same volume but different weights. Sorry it's so confusing.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by JB View Post
                                  Terrible way to feed. Feed by weight


                                  TCL 1150
                                  TC30 1266


                                  I have no idea the volume of that scoop, and as clearly seen here, without that information, "scoop" is useless.

                                  TC30 is 10% higher in calories than TCL.
                                  TCL is 13% heavier.

                                  Any increase/decrease in calories is insignificant when you're swapping by volume. But you've lost a lot of nutrients in a volume swap, so blaming TCL on the issues you had, as you fed it, isn't fair.


                                  Except YOU just used it!



                                  I'd hope not, and it makes no sense that you would swap TC30 for TCL on a "same amount" of volume basis, as just like TC Sr, TC L is not fed at the same pounds per 100lb as TC30 is.
                                  I thought I was feeding by weight using this scoop, which has weight markings on it:
                                  https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/su...SABEgLZGvD_BwE

                                  And I did weigh the TC30 pellets when I first started using the scoop, and they did weigh 1 lb when filled to the 1 lb mark. It just did not occur to me that another pellet would weigh significantly more or less. When I switched to TC Lite I was looking for a bit of weight loss, and therefore fed at the low end of the recommended amount, per recommendation from the TC people.

                                  I don't have any issues with TC Lite, it's really nice to have a horse that needs no prep at shows and wins conformation classes and performance classes. But I still would not recommend it to someone that is looking for more energy. I'd recommend they talk to the TC people who are most familiar with their products.

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks for all of the recommendations, everyone!

                                    Palm Beach - I use the SureScoop too, and love it. But I should probably double-check any new feed on the kitchen scale to see if it runs as true to weight as the TC30 does.

                                    I think I might try the Ultium - I think 4lbs per day is probably about right to give him more energy without adding too much weight, and I wouldn't need to top dress it. A few people in my barn use it and swear by it, so we'll see if it works for him. I think the full ration of TC Senior or TC Complete would be too much for him, and I'd like to avoid top-dressing with a RB if at all possible.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Amy3996 View Post
                                      Thanks for all of the recommendations, everyone!

                                      Palm Beach - I use the SureScoop too, and love it. But I should probably double-check any new feed on the kitchen scale to see if it runs as true to weight as the TC30 does.

                                      I think I might try the Ultium - I think 4lbs per day is probably about right to give him more energy without adding too much weight, and I wouldn't need to top dress it. A few people in my barn use it and swear by it, so we'll see if it works for him. I think the full ration of TC Senior or TC Complete would be too much for him, and I'd like to avoid top-dressing with a RB if at all possible.
                                      I used Ultium when it first came out and my horse did well on it. I just have easy keepers now, so no need for it.

                                      Comment

                                        Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        So the barn where I board just put up the year's supply of hay. In addition to the normal grass hay, they also purchased several hundred bales of a really nice 2nd cutting alfalfa mix (75-80% alfalfa, 20-25% timothy). They started giving each of the horses who are in active work 2 flakes per day (5ish lbs - haven't had a chance to weigh yet), in addition to the six flakes of orchard grass that are normally included in the board.

                                        So now my question is this: could I drop the ProForce Fuel and go back to just the TC 30% as long as he's getting the alfalfa? The energy pendulum has swung to the complete opposite end of the spectrum since he's been getting both the alfalfa and the Fuel, and he's been a bit of a fire-breathing dragon lately (very hot). My preference is to err on the side of more hay, less grain whenever possible.

                                        Thoughts?

                                        Comment

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