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Feeding 8 yr old OTTB ... and keeping him sane!

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  • Feeding 8 yr old OTTB ... and keeping him sane!

    My little guy is coming home from boarding school in two weeks...hurray!!! But I've got some decisions to make about what to feed. Prior to him leaving last year, I had Rasta on TC Lite and timothy-alfalfa hay. He's MUCH fitter now, still well-behaved, but I want to keep the latter going (sanity)...and keep his energy levels good for work - not sure I was doing that last year. Lellie worried for a while because Rasta never seems to gain enough weight - he stays a bit "ribby" (he's simply got well-spuing ribs) - however, his butt is round, coat is very, very shiny and has good energy. She feeds a 14% mixed feed, seems like a "sweet feed" when I smell it, but then again so does TC Complete. I'd like something with the lowest possible NSC values and still keep energy and sanity. Should I return to the TC Lite and add a fat supplement? BTW, beet pulp gives Rasta lots and lots of gas so I don't feed it to him out of worry...Also doubt he needs alfalfa so am scouring the area for decent timothy - the two pasture pets get coastal but I need to sleep at night...

    Anyway, I'm calling Maple Shade soon, and she will have good advice; thought I could ask for more here too.
    Thanks!!!!
    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

  • #2
    All my guys eat either TC Senior which is a very low NSC and high and fat and protein for good muscle building or TC 30% which is the ration balancer and I feed to the easier keepers. I also might combine the TC Senior and TC 30% for a horse who isn't getting the full 6lbs of the Senior to meet the nutrition requirements.

    Those who are really struggling to keep weight (normally those going through the whole ottb crash) get beet pulp and rice bran added and maybe even some cool calories which I really like. I just hate dealing with oil so I avoid it.

    My fatties eat a timothy hay and the rest of the Tb's eat either straight alfalfa or an alfalfa orchard mix.

    Yes, some horses can be sensitive to alfalfa but I rarely see that from Tb's in work and they need the protein to keep the weight and build the muscles. If he is sensitive to alfalfa then you could just use timothy or an orchard grass.
    http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

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    • #3
      All of my guys on the farm (the ones on rehab or retired and being retrained) get Legends Performance Pellet... it is great for keeping all brain matter in place and puts a nice weight on them. They all get grass hay, either Timothy/Clover mix or Orchard grass. I also use the Reliance Hay Stretcher on the really hard keepers that are not big hay eaters.

      Plus you will find the longer your guy is Off the Track the easier he will be to keep weight on (after a few years most of the ones here get fat )

      Good luck!!
      owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.

      Comment


      • #4
        I second TC Senior. My 7 year old, quite hot OTTB does well on it and is noticeably quieter than he was on Legends Performance textured (also a great feed and one my parents feed to everything at their boarding barn). I like something low NSC to keep the brains in place, but decent protein and high fat for a performance/riding horse. TC Senior is perfect for that.

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        • #5
          TC Senior and high quality timothy hay or a timothy/orchard grass mix and lots of it. I've not had success feeding my OTTBs alfalfa as a regular diet. Seems to really hype them up. As does sweet feed; actually any feed high in NSC.

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          • #6
            RFI, My 7 yr OTTB was on TC Low Starch with canola added, for the first 2+ years I had him...last summer, when he started going Training on a regular 2xmonth schedule, it seemed the LS wasn't quite enough. In July, I switched him over to TC Training Formula (their newest mix) and he has blossomed. He is fat and shiny and quite literally glows. He's sharp and attentive, not hot/reactive. I love the stuff and so does he. Wait till you see him when we get to Aiken you'll be blinded by the light bouncing off him!

            So glad Rasta's coming HOME!! Yay!
            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've have good luck with Ultium. I have my 4 y/o OTTB on it now. When I brought him home 3 months ago, he needed to gain some weight. We switched him to Ultium, and he is now a couple hundred pounds fatter, shiny, and stayed his calm, quiet, sane self.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by RiverBendPol View Post
                RFI, My 7 yr OTTB was on TC Low Starch with canola added, for the first 2+ years I had him...last summer, when he started going Training on a regular 2xmonth schedule, it seemed the LS wasn't quite enough. In July, I switched him over to TC Training Formula (their newest mix) and he has blossomed. He is fat and shiny and quite literally glows. He's sharp and attentive, not hot/reactive. I love the stuff and so does he. Wait till you see him when we get to Aiken you'll be blinded by the light bouncing off him!

                So glad Rasta's coming HOME!! Yay!
                I think I'm going to play around with a mix of TC Lite and either TC Senior or the Training Formula to see what happens (love the TC feeds)...I do like the fish oil added to the Training. Obviously, each horse is different, but I want to keep Rasta as level headed as possible, but also keep his energy where it needs to be - his coat looks so good right now - Lellie's groom and barn manager, Barbie Reeser, did an amazing job clipping him the weekend before Pine Top...however, he will NOT be that clean again for ages .

                Yep, Aiken is going to be sooo much fun this year...I can/WILL come over at least two weekends a month...going to stay really disciplined with my lessons so we can event some this spring. Can't wait to see you!!! When are you coming?

                Merry Ho HO!
                Lynda
                ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a TB mare that does extremely well on TC Complete. She also gets a flax-based hoof and coat supplement, as well as good pasture in the summer and lots of mixed orchard grass-timothy hay otherwise.

                  She was a hard keeper before the TC complete. She def. did not do well on the TC Senior that the barn tried last year--she was a little high all the time. Went back to the Complete and she was fine.
                  "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

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                  • #10
                    TC Senior and LOTS of high quality Timothy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                      TC Senior and high quality timothy hay or a timothy/orchard grass mix and lots of it. I've not had success feeding my OTTBs alfalfa as a regular diet. Seems to really hype them up. As does sweet feed; actually any feed high in NSC.
                      What she said.

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                      • #12
                        my horse is a hrd keeper and reactive to certain things. he did the best on a tc lite,(granted- 3# per feeding) and rice bran. or tc lite and 1/2 c of canola oil 2 xday. lite is tc's lowest nsc feed. he was hot on sr., though many horses do well on it, and he was *batshit crazy* on the complete. we're talking wall-eyes, rearing in hand, climbing the stall walls. i was happy to have my *real* horse back after getting him off of that!

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                        • #13
                          I think going with something like the TC Senior (which I love, by the way, and I am a dyed in the wool Pennfield fan!) is a good of going for him. It SHOULD give him the energy he needs without making him "fizzy". Should also help keep the weight up and keep that bloom on him. I also like the idea of using the senior (or whatever) in a smaller quantity but supplementing it with a ration balancer.

                          I would suggest getting a really good idea of EXACTLY what he is getting at Lellie's. Can you get a feed tag? Maybe talk to the feed rep for the company that makes it (does she feed Banks Mill? I actually love their stuff if she does!). Also find out what kind and how much hay he's getting If what he's getting is WORKING, my goal would be to try and match it as closely as possible then tweak from there to suite your needs and the environment.
                          Amanda

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My 6 yr old OTTB gets 2 lbs strategy, 4 lbs Ultium and a muti-vit twice a day, plenty of alfalfa mix, and lots of turnout. At night I give him 2 large cottage cheese containers of rice bran and 2 (same amount) of beet pulp, 2 cups of veg oil, 1/2 scoop of poly zinc, 1/2 scoop of poly copper, a probio and soak it for half an hour (warm water in winter) and top it with mama pros cookies and 2 tablespoons of salt. He LOVES it. I can't feel his ribs but he's not fat either, just very happy He can be a handful if he doesn't get regular turnout but with a little ground work and lunging before I get on he turns into an angel.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have found that the TC complete, a weight gainer -- and most important in the equation is top timothy. I'm in metro area -- have a hay guy to deliver timothy hay, and THIS (in my opinion) has been the best item on the menu for my "hard keepers" -- one who is a middle-aged TB. I also feed the TC 3x's a day, and have noticed a significant weight gain in the above mentioned "hard keepers". This is not so hard to manage, but then I'm quite happy staying at the barn late to do this, but feel that it's been well worth the effort.
                              Now, with the 3 meals, I've not really increased the amount of concentrates, but it also gives me the chance for throwing out generous armfuls of Timothy.
                              I have NOT been successful keeping weight on feeding the local hay (bermuda or fescue) ---

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                I think going with something like the TC Senior (which I love, by the way, and I am a dyed in the wool Pennfield fan!) is a good of going for him. It SHOULD give him the energy he needs without making him "fizzy". Should also help keep the weight up and keep that bloom on him. I also like the idea of using the senior (or whatever) in a smaller quantity but supplementing it with a ration balancer.

                                I would suggest getting a really good idea of EXACTLY what he is getting at Lellie's. Can you get a feed tag? Maybe talk to the feed rep for the company that makes it (does she feed Banks Mill? I actually love their stuff if she does!). Also find out what kind and how much hay he's getting If what he's getting is WORKING, my goal would be to try and match it as closely as possible then tweak from there to suite your needs and the environment.
                                You nailed the feed, YB, and I can't get it here...same for hay - Aiken has wonderful sources for hay of all varieties, but hauling it over to Covington would cost an arm and a leg. I'm more than likely just going to make the trek over to North Fulton Feed and get a truck load of good timothy every month - more if they will still deliver and stack. Merry Ho HO!!!
                                ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I know I am about to burned at the stake here.

                                  But I feed alot of OTTB anywhere from 10-20 on any given day depending on the my sale's and my zest for buying.

                                  I have feed Stategy, and Ultium and EQ Senior. I have Low Sugar Starch feeds and beet pulp and corn.

                                  Last year I went back to basics, I bought locally grown Oats from the mill and their home milled 12% sweet feed. Nothing fancy, I suppliment with Platinum Performance and any Weight suppliment on sale. Horses needing joint supplimetns get an individual product. Everyone gets MSM's and 1/4 cup Canola Oil.
                                  I still have Stategy and Ultium and Low S/S feeds for the horse with a individual requirement.
                                  We feed pretty close to all straight Alfalfa (locally grown) and keep good quality Grass hay round bales in front of the turn-outs over the winter.
                                  Everyone has plenty of energy and no one has a blwon mind.
                                  My hardest keeper gets a full bale of 2nd cutting Alfalfa in hay bag in his stall. He eats twice as much feed as anyone else and did get a fecal. He is more forward to ride but not a nut case, horse seems to just have a higher metabolism.

                                  Going back to basics and tweeking the individual has saved me $$, seems to be saner horses and no bodies looking thrifty.
                                  One of the glitches with an OTTB is to let them down...gird your loins for the fall apart...and then bring them back to bloom and not sacrifice sanity. Its a total up hill battle while the de-tox, de-stress and loss the track artifical topline and muscle mass so we can rebuild on the frame muscles where we want them.
                                  I am sure after his "Boarding School" experiance he will adjust and so will you and find a good working solution you can locally obtain.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by judybigredpony View Post
                                    I know I am about to burned at the stake here.

                                    But I feed alot of OTTB anywhere from 10-20 on any given day depending on the my sale's and my zest for buying.

                                    I have feed Stategy, and Ultium and EQ Senior. I have Low Sugar Starch feeds and beet pulp and corn.

                                    Last year I went back to basics, I bought locally grown Oats from the mill and their home milled 12% sweet feed. Nothing fancy, I suppliment with Platinum Performance and any Weight suppliment on sale. Horses needing joint supplimetns get an individual product. Everyone gets MSM's and 1/4 cup Canola Oil.
                                    I still have Stategy and Ultium and Low S/S feeds for the horse with a individual requirement.
                                    We feed pretty close to all straight Alfalfa (locally grown) and keep good quality Grass hay round bales in front of the turn-outs over the winter.
                                    Everyone has plenty of energy and no one has a blwon mind.
                                    My hardest keeper gets a full bale of 2nd cutting Alfalfa in hay bag in his stall. He eats twice as much feed as anyone else and did get a fecal. He is more forward to ride but not a nut case, horse seems to just have a higher metabolism.

                                    Going back to basics and tweeking the individual has saved me $$, seems to be saner horses and no bodies looking thrifty.
                                    One of the glitches with an OTTB is to let them down...gird your loins for the fall apart...and then bring them back to bloom and not sacrifice sanity. Its a total up hill battle while the de-tox, de-stress and loss the track artifical topline and muscle mass so we can rebuild on the frame muscles where we want them.
                                    I am sure after his "Boarding School" experiance he will adjust and so will you and find a good working solution you can locally obtain.
                                    I actually tend to agree with you. I don't think that "sweet feed" is the antichrist that a lot of people tend to think it is. You can't feed it to everyone (but there's nothing that works for everyone), but for most horses who are worked a proper amount and aren't fed absurd amounts tend to be fine on it. My "middle of the road" feed is a 12% sweet feed. It's mostly oats and barley, Pennfield's vit/min pellet, and a little *gasp!* molasses to taste. I feed it to a lot of our horses. I'm thinking switching our two hardest working horses off of it (they've been on it for their "vacation" instead of the high octane stuff they get for the competition season) because I think they burn the calories a little differently in lighter work.
                                    Amanda

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I feed Blue Seal SBP 14-10 to my hard keeper OTTB. He gets 3 LBs AM, 3 Lbs PM. At lunch he gets 1 pound of beet pulp. He gets good high quality hay frequently (AM, out in paddock, lunch, dinner, and a night check). I work at the barn so he is able to get essentially free choice hay.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My biggest problem with sweet feed is that the horses with "Ulcer" tendencies have gut reactions in the negotive.
                                        The sugar just lights up the tummy's.
                                        The locally milled sweet feed is very dry unlike the "national" brands that sit on shelves in 3 ply bags.
                                        Plus its so much fresher, maybe not as fancy, but I can add all the fancy I want and still save $$.
                                        I try to read and keep a copy of ingrediants of the top suppliments in my truck so when I stop anywhere no matter where and there is a sale, I stock up.
                                        Plus I hoard any and all free samples.
                                        I have a nice stock pile .
                                        Grain is what horses eat, their digestive tracts are designed to use it. We all tend to over think a simple process.
                                        Even the best "Iron" horses of days gone by were feed a staple of oats. From top race horses to 3 -day 3-phase eventers. Hard working drafts to hot house arabians.
                                        We over think our process to much and often play into fads and advertising hype.
                                        With the suppliments available today, our de-worm process and better hay growers alot of the fancy feed ingrediants end up in the manure pile and the manufacturers bank accounts. IMHO.............
                                        Last edited by judybigredpony; Dec. 6, 2010, 01:00 PM. Reason: spell

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