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Quality feed vs lesser feed + supplements

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  • Quality feed vs lesser feed + supplements

    I'm trying to decide whether or not there would be a benefit from switching from my horse's current feeding plan to a different approach.

    I'm at a casual pleasure barn that feeds Equestrian's Choice (12%) and decent hay. The horses are generally in good weight and condition.

    However, the EC feed is very low in fat and fiber and my TB does need to gain weight. I am supplementing him with a variety of things not found in the feed, including fat, omegas (flax), biotin & methionine and probios. I'm doing so by feeding Cool Calories, Omega Horseshine and SmartPak's SmartCombo.

    I started researching feeds and have found that Sentinel LS contains everything I'm supplementing, is much higher in fat and fiber, and has (for what it's worth) a longer list of nutrients according to the guaranteed analyses for both feeds.

    My question: Is there any real benefit in switching to the Sentinel feed, or if I'd have pretty much the same result continuing on as I am supplementing the gaps in Equestrian's Choice.
    Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

    Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs

  • #2
    IMO it's always better to get what nutrients you can from food rather than supplements. I'd switch.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


    • #3
      Agreed. I ALWAYS opt for quality feed first, then, if something is still needed, I will supplement. The thing is, by feeding a high quality feed, you will probably not need to feed very much, but still get everything you need in your horse. You will save money...and it is SO much simpler.


      • #4
        Make the switch.

        It's not just a matter of what the current feed is lacking, it's about what it may be actively taking away by making the horse process what are undoubtedly high sugars.
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          Agree with the others. What is better for you, grilled chicken and veggies or Chicken McNuggets and a multivitamin?


          • #6
            Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
            Agree with the others. What is better for you, grilled chicken and veggies or Chicken McNuggets and a multivitamin?
            Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
            Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
            "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


            • #7
              I sell feed for a living and do price comparisons for my customers. I work with a lot of Amish, who love to feed supplements and the cheapest sweet feeds they can find. I have had TONS of success switching them to higher quality feeds- usually Triple Crown- by doing the cost comparisons for them. They usually save a significant amount of money by feeding the quality feeds without the supplements, plus they use less feed which is healthier for the horse.

              Once they see the results from feeding the better quality feed with no supplements, they usually stick with it and give up their supplements. That being said, I also put a huge emphasis on feeding the best quality forage you can afford and then selecting a quality feed or ration balancer to compliment the hay. Supplements should be the last thing in the equation, if truly even needed!
              "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


              • #8
                IMO You and your horse are much better off with a high quality feed. A good feed has quality ingredients and so optimal nutrition from every point of view.

                We only add vitamin E to our feeds and extra fat for an EPSM diagnosed horse.

                If you supplement you may be over-supplementing or not giving enough of. Its hard for one person to keep track of it all.

                Good luck!
                The other female in my husband's life has four legs


                • #9
                  Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                  Agree with the others. What is better for you, grilled chicken and veggies or Chicken McNuggets and a multivitamin?
                  very good way of explaining!


                  • #10
                    Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a feed that was 20% fiber. I'd definitely feed that over the EC crap. They don't even give you the ingredients. But there is a lot of hooey on that Sentinel page and if you can get something else it'd probably be good too. My TB who has the metabolism of a hummingbird is doing wonderfully on an Agway feed (or Southern States), Legends Performance pellet, so YMMV. I went through Pennfield's Fibregized, Triple Crown Senior and Complete to find the right feed for him, plus adding in Max-E-Glo. With the Performance pellet I could stop the rice bran supplement and lessen how much he gets overall.

                    I'll echo others and say it's much better to have a good feed than supplement a crappy one.


                    • Original Poster

                      You've collectively confirmed my hunch. And I think I'll save about $50 a month which is nothing to sneeze at. Thanks!
                      Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                      Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs