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Equine Senior not the answer for horse with sensitive gut. Need thoughts.

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  • Equine Senior not the answer for horse with sensitive gut. Need thoughts.

    I have a horse that boards with me who has recently been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The vet at Michigan State recommended Equine Senior (which he was already on before all of his gut issues developed.) Recently a friend of mine was telling me that her mare has the same issue and that she has a feed mixed locally because the mare couldn't tolerate the more commercial feeds, esp. Senior. The mixed feed contains straight oats, Beet Pulp WITHOUT the molasses, Vitamin E, and CocoSoya oil. She gave me a bag to try and he seems to be doing well on it. That with a change to blander hay and starting him on Succeed and a rice bran will hopefully keep him thriving.
    I am learning that a lot of senior feeds are not all that they're cracked up to be - the preservatives especially - can be harsh on the gut. Interestingly (at least to me) I also have IBD and from the start the thought of Equine Senior - with all it's molasses especially - makes my own stomach hurt so I can only imagine what it was doing to him.

    My question is this: I have 4 or 5 other horses in the barn that are currently being fed Equine Senior - and I have to point out that stuff isn't cheap I was wondering about switching those horses to this mix as well.
    Any thoughts or opinions?

  • #2
    What is the ca/phos ratio on that particular mix? are/would they be getting hay as well as the new feed?


    • #3
      I have a connemara pony that was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease about a year and a half ago. I feed her Purina Adult and an orchard grass/alfa alfa mix. She also gets 60 mg of prednisone and a tube of Succeed daily.

      We struggled long and hard finding a feed that she would eat. We do know that ANY change in feed, additives, supplements, etc will send her off her feed with just a sniff...

      She has done well on this with only a few "episodes" in which we have had to bump up her prednisone and then taper her back down to her regular dose.


      • Original Poster

        The horse in question (with IBD) is on a mostly grass hay - we now know not to feed him anything too rich or green. Whatever hay he gets is a blander grassier hay.

        The beet pulp in the feed that I am now feeding him is not a lot and the feed itself is a straight oat mixed with CocoSoya and Vitamin E. I'm not sure of the ratios but it's a dry feed with no molasses.

        I'm thinking that this new feed may actually be a healthier alternative to the Senior feed, which in my opinion is too sugary. I'm also finding that the preservatives in a lot of the commercial feeds can cause gastric upset in certain horses (from others that I have talked to.) All of the horses here have access to free-choice hay via roundbales and I'm very picky about my hay, as my two hay suppliers know

        Any thoughts would be appreciated.
        Humblepie - it's nice to hear about someone who is "living" with this so to speak. Thanks for the input!


        • #5
          What about Thrive? It's supposed to be easy to digest, and I don't think it has any added preservatives or sugars.
          I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


          • #6
            I switched my old mare to Triple Crown Senior and it had a fabulous impact on her. She really bloomed and I have had no problem with keeping her weight up and her in top condition, shiny and soft coat, great hooves, lots of energy.

            But it has molasses also so don;t know if that's your answer.

            I wonder if the best move is smaller feedings more often of anything?


            • #7
              After reading my Triple Crown ingredients from your thread, I think you might be onto something with your formula. Please keep us updated.


              • #8
                I rescued my coming 25 Arab nearly 18 years ago as a starving horse poster child.

                He has always had a finicky system and would get the runny bums on spring or fall grass and during height of high heat & humidity. Had mild bouts with ulcers too.

                I switched him to the diet my IR horse is on and all that disappeared, including the need for ulcer meds.

                At the moment, he gets 1/2 measuring cup of equine pelleted rice bran and 8 ounces of the soy-free vit/min supplement EquiPride daily. It's all he needs to keep him at good weight.

                The Equi-Pride also has a pre-probiotic in it so I was able to quit adding that too.

                He has four molars missing, so I make a warm mash of everything twice daily, 365 days/yr for him. Not too mushy for him because he doesn't like too much mush

                EquiPride is pricey, but the bag says not to feed more than 10 ounces daily to a 1,000# horse. I feed it to four horses so a 50# bag lasts around 20 days and I have been able to either reduce other things or completely do away with them.

                The referenced Arab 13.3H, weighs ~840# and only gets 8 ounces of EquiPride daily.

                He is also on grass hay.

                The EquiPride and some bland rice bran might help the horse in question


                • #9
                  I think since it oat based, and not beet pulp based it should be fine. Especially for the old IBD horse. ( Im in the camp of whatever it takes to make her life good, at that age anyway)

                  But for your other guys, If you have any growing youngsters (2 and under) or broodies, then I would run that by a nutritionist.

                  kind regards


                  • Original Poster

                    It's only been a week but the IBD horse is doing very well (knock on wood) with the new oat feed and rice bran combo. He will be started on the Succeed tomorrow.
                    I'm slowly beginning the process of switching 5 other horses to the oat feed - they are all over 10 years old. The only one that has been on Equine Senior is my pregnant broodie and I don't want to mess with anything with her when she's 7 months along.
                    I am slowly jumping on a no preservative bandwagon. It also seems to help me with my IBD. I think it may be healthier for both species