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A Balanced Feed Program For A Full-figured Mare

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  • A Balanced Feed Program For A Full-figured Mare

    After reading through a lot of threads lately I feel like I am feeding my mare next to nothing yet she is maintaining her weight very easily. While her weight is stable I do worry that she isn't receiving the right balance of vitamins/minerals etc.


    Current diet twice a day:
    1/4 lb Purina L/S
    1/2 lb Beat pulp shreads
    .75 oz Ultra-Elite Pro-Form (am) & 1 oz apple-a-day (pm)


    (1) Does a multi-vitamin cancel out the need for a ration balancer?

    (2) I can't find the recommended amount of L/S on Purina's website? Is feeding .25 lbs worse than not feeding it at all?

    I would appreciate any and all input and advice, I want to give her a complete diet while maintaining her weight
    Last edited by GraceLikeRain; Dec. 8, 2010, 01:01 PM.

  • #2
    www.feedxl.com It's a GREAT program. I use it for balancing diets on all my horses. Of course it works better if you have hay analysis done, but still the "averages" they have on file for each type of hay is pretty darned accurate.

    Personally I don't like the Ultra Elite Pro Form. When I plug in the recommended daily amount to feedxl, it returns almost nil on the graphs. So in other words, you're just doing lip service by feeding it but aren't getting vitamins and minerals into the horse in any measurable quantity.

    I love Equi-VM by Ueckele and SmartVite from Smartpak. Behind that would be Accel. I haven't found any general vitamin/mineral supplements that provide more bang for the buck than those do. Equi-VM does not supply any calcium, which is ok for me because I feed a lot of alfalfa.

    I don't feed ration balancers so I'll leave that up to others to address. Usually though if you're feeding the recommended amount of a ration balancer, you don't need an additional vit/min supplement, BUT make sure to get a complete report from the company because oftn they only list major vitamins/minerals and not the minor ones. I also care about things like folic acid and iodine, and those aren't listed on general labels, but are necessary requirements for the horse.

    I do feed L/S but less than 1 lb. a day in the soaked beet pulp. I don't feed it as a real source of nutrition, but more of a treat to make the fatties feel they're getting something while everybody else eats.

    Seriously, feedxl is a GREAT tool and absolutely worth the money.

    Comment


    • #3
      wow, absolutely ditto A2. I used FeedXL when I wasn't sure, that program helped me switch to EquiVM which cut my vit/min cost almost in half, and I know their basically getting everything they need despite such meager rations.
      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for the recommendation, I will look into FeedXL.

        Anyone have an opinion on a vit/min supplement versus a ration balancer? Is one better than another for an easy keeper?

        Comment


        • #5
          My favorite way of feeding a horse that needs little to no concentrates is to feed a quality pelleted vit/min sup. Or a ration balancer if you prefer. I had a BIG draft cross with me for awhile that needed SERIOUS Weight Watchers. He basically got 1.5lbs of Pennfield Cool N Lite a day, 15lbs of quality hay in his stall at night (in a Nibble Net), plus whatever he could get outside during the day (mostly dry field supplemented with hay- NOT free choice), and I balanced it all out with one of the SmartVites (I think the SmartVite Performance). His weight came off at an appropriate rate, he was shiny as hell, and full of energy considering how little he really got but how hard he worked (training level event horse who had to do A LOT of fitness!).

          I prefer pelleted sups or an RB vs a powder because most chow hounds think its pretty yummy and you don't need to give them any real grain to speak of.
          Amanda

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
            Anyone have an opinion on a vit/min supplement versus a ration balancer? Is one better than another for an easy keeper?
            I switched from an RB to a vit/min in the last year because my horses were just too pudgy, but I didn't want to cut my beetpulp, oil or hay. After I figured they have waaaaaay enough protein from their hay alone, I decided we could do without the RB.

            it did help, they slowly dropped a 1/2 on the bcs scale.

            I don't have a strong opinion as every horse is different, but if the protein needs are being met elsewhere, I just don't see the need for the extra calories that come along with a RB.

            I feed a powered vit/min though because I feed beetpulp anyhow.
            Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey buck, question for you. Would you say that your Equi-VM scoop holds about 1 Tablespoon to equal 1 ounce? I ask because they shipped my supplement without a scoop. I weighed out 1 ounce on my little kitchen scale, but that's not "exact" so I called Uekele to ask about a scoop. They said 1 ounce is about a Tablespoon. I'm just curious if you would agree with that?

              Comment


              • #8
                Vickey-how are Uckele, SmartVite and Accel all on the 'comparable list'

                The mineral amounts are not comparable (not when you add in Accel to the list).

                Accel has iron way higher proportionally than Smartvite (just using iron as an example).

                Not saying anything is wrong with any of those products-but plugging each into the program will not yield similar results.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LMH View Post
                  Vickey-how are Uckele, SmartVite and Accel all on the 'comparable list'

                  The mineral amounts are not comparable (not when you add in Accel to the list).
                  I don't believe I said they were comparable - just that I like each of those 3 - Accel being 3rd on the list if the other 2 (which I like better) were not available.

                  Accel has iron way higher proportionally than Smartvite (just using iron as an example).
                  Again, I did not compare these 3 against each other. Indeed they yield different results, but they have much higher values of most everything than many other vitamin/mineral supplements do. If a person is going to spend $$$ on a vitamin/mineral supplement, they should pick one that actually adds a measurable amount of vitamins/minerals to the diet. Many of the ones on the market add such tiny amounts that it's not worth the money in my opinion.

                  Not saying anything is wrong with any of those products-but plugging each into the program will not yield similar results.
                  And I didn't say that it would, or should. I said that I like those 3.

                  And in any case, there are multiple formulations of SmartVite (EZKepper, Maintenance, Performance, Mare, Foal, then choose either Grass or Alfalfa on top of that.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you for explaining.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                      Hey buck, question for you. Would you say that your Equi-VM scoop holds about 1 Tablespoon to equal 1 ounce? I ask because they shipped my supplement without a scoop. I weighed out 1 ounce on my little kitchen scale, but that's not "exact" so I called Uekele to ask about a scoop. They said 1 ounce is about a Tablespoon. I'm just curious if you would agree with that?
                      hhmmmmm, they didn't send me a scoop, either.

                      I measure an ounce of the equi-vm by volume, not by weight, I have a one ounce scoop I use.... which volume wise is roughly two rounded tablespoons, or one super heaping roughly.

                      I have a small ounce/gram scale for little bits and pieces at home, I really should figure out how much it actually should be.
                      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        So hypothetically I could feed just beat pulp and a min/vit supplement such as the smartvite maintenance grass pellets along with ample hay/grass? This mare got 1/5 lb grain this summer so I know she does not need a calorie dense diet but I also want to give her body the building blocks it needs to be healthy and functional.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I see no reason why not, hypothetically.

                          I feed my horses, in addition to their grass hay, only beetpulp, some alfalfa cubes (only two handfulls of cubes for flavor, they don't love the powered min/vit), their min/vit and some suppys/oil. My boys are in lovely health with great coats, toplines and rock hard feet with tight white lines.
                          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just attended a seminar by my favorite feed brand, Pennfield. My air fern is on grass hay and All Phase, which is their vitamin/mineral supplement. The nutritionist said that's the baseline for every horse... if you need more than that for weight or energy, you don't feed All Phase, you instead substitute one of their other formulas, all of which already contain All-Phase for their vit/min.

                            Ergo, for non-airferns, Pennfield is doing the recipe work for you - pick one that has the combination of calorie sources you want - beet pulp, corn, oats, barley, whatever is your preference and is suitable for your horse.

                            However, again, for air ferns... it's hay and All Phase, and you need nothing else. My guy's coat sports big glossy gold dapples on this diet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              LinPro is another good vit/min supplement to check out:

                              http://www.foxdenequine.com/linpro.htm

                              The Foxden folks are very helpful.

                              Comment

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