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Feed Questions

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  • gingersnapsmom
    started a topic Feed Questions

    Feed Questions

    Hi everybody! I'm looking to change my horse's grain. She is a 1200 lb Appendix mare, and she is 15.3 hands. She's currently on Purina Impact Mature Active pellets, as well as hay being fed 4 times daily. She also gets some pasture time a few times a week. However, the grain she's on currently is kind of just a maintenance grain, and she definitely needs supplements with it. We had her on Quitt from SmartPak for a while which fixed her wood chewing. She's an active horse, and gets ridden 3-5 times a week at moderate to intense activity. Her weight is fine currently, but like I said, the grain is just a maintenance grain and she could definitely get more out of it. She could definitely have more shine, better hoof quality, etc... I'm relatively new to equine nutrition, so I was wondering if anybody had any recommendations of other grains I could potentially switch her to? Oh, and she's on 4 quarts of that grain a day. I'm also willing to put her on supplements if needed. What does everyone think of ProElite? Or Triple Crown?

  • candyappy
    The first thing to do is weigh the amount you are feeding now and see if it matches up with the recommended amounts to be fed on the bag.

    Adding 1/2 to 1 cup whole flax seed ( found ( or can be ordered) at most real feed stores) daily will add shine and helps with hoof quality. A 50 pound bag costs me $ 21.00 and lasts a long time so it is economical too.

    Leave a comment:

  • Janet Conway
    I am a huge fan of high quality grass/legume pasture or hay as primary feed, with access to vitamin/mineral block. For grain, I like Nutrena Safe Choice or Purina Strategy. I've also used Purina Ultium if needing a little extra weight.

    Leave a comment:

  • JB
    Not a fan of the Impact series.

    Triple Crown as a whole is a high quality brand. Not all feeds are suitable for all horses (which can be said about any high quality brand).

    How much of the Impact does she get now, and what does "definitely needs supplements" mean?

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  • Scribbler
    I would suggest that you get Julie Getty's book Feed Your Horse Like a Horse, which has good clear information that's in line with current best practices.

    Excellent forage should be the basis of the horse's diet. In your case, the pasture is just for fun, not enough to add much to her diet. So she should be getting excellent hay at an appropriate amount. To really know where to go from there, you should get the hay tested.

    In any case, a horse on hay also needs a comprehensive vitamin.mineral supplement. How you provide this depends on how many calories of concentrated feed the horse needs. You can feed a vitamin mineral supplement a at rate of a couple of ounces topdressed on a small mash of beet pulp or hay cubes for an easy keeper (that's why I do). You can feed a ration balancer which provides the same vitamin/mineral supplement and usually some amino acids in a pound or two of pellets. Or you can use any of the fortified commercial feeds which supply the same amount of nutrients but require 4 or 5 lbs and therefore many more calories.

    I looked at the Purina Impact pdf and honestly I don't know what you mean by a "maintenance" grain at all. It is described as a low sugar decent protein feed that can work as a hay replacement for senior horses, and that is certainly fortified with the key vitamins and minerals. However, how much are you actually feeding? It looks from this chart like you might need to be feeding 10 to 15 lbs a day to get all the nutrients. Since the feed is designed as a possible forage replacement, it makes sense the nutrition is very diluted.

    If you are not interested in feeding 15 lbs a day of Impact, you can find other feeds that provide a more concentrated source of vitamins and minerals and only require 4 to 5 lbs a day. Or you can switch to a ration balancer.

    Anyhow, this is what I would suggest checking:

    1. The quality and amount of her hay. Can she get a few flakes of alfalfa hay in her diet?
    2. The amount of vitamin/minerals. if you are only feeding a few lbs of the Impact, you are not getting her a full ration of these, so switch to either a more concentrated feed or a ration balancer. Lots out there.
    3. Total protein in her diet. if you are concerned about hooves and coat, increase the protein. Adding alfalfa hay is probably the cheapest and easiest way to do this in most situations. If that is not possible, then you can use a feed or ration balancer with limiting amino acids that are necessary for the horse. You can also buy things like Trimamino that are just amino acids, but I think it makes sense to improve her overall diet first, not just toss a protein supplement on a deficient diet.
    4. Fats. Again, IMHO adding a cup of whole flax to the evening mash is the easiest way to get fats and Omega 3 into the diet, which really improves coat.

    Alot here depends if you have control of the horse's feed or horse is at a boarding barn that insists on feeding lousy hay.

    Leave a comment: