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Its been asked a thousand times - what would you feed my horse?

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  • Its been asked a thousand times - what would you feed my horse?

    My gelding is a 6 year old 17.3 hand Thoroughbred, in late September he was weighed at the vet and came in at 1380.

    22 lbs of hay a day, which is a combination of oat and a meadow grass (a flake of each at each feeding). He gets 4 lbs of Healthy Edge. Very limited fresh grass intake, maybe 1-2 hours a week total, must of the time he's turned out on a dry lot.

    Moderate dressage work but tapering down to light for the winter since we have no indoor. Stalled with a run but at the end of the year moving to a new barn that has a paddock and a shelter, dry lot.

    Only health issue is that he is a roarer. He's barefoot with solid feet, clean bill of health from UC Davis in September (also has teeth done twice a year).

    He's always done well on Healthy Edge and has been on the same feed combination for the last year. He's in very good condition, to the point of becoming a kite on the end of the lead. And just in general very hyper when he's normally quite lazy.

    I'm in Northern California, I have access to TDI, LMF, Nutrena, Purina, Triple Crown. He absolutely won't touch pellets, has to be a textured feed.

    Suggestions? Is he getting too much fat or protein from the Healthy Edge?

  • #2
    Get rid of the Healthy Edge. The NSC is over 30%, which is just way, way too high. Purina/Nutrena products tend to be junk, anyway.

    I'd say cut out the grain entirely and see if he will do well on (much) more hay alone. If he needs some extra calories, put him on some sort of quality grain, like Triple Crown Senior. (Which, despite the name, is an excellent grain for any age.)

    Comment


    • #3
      The HE is not at all over 30% NSC. Directly from Purina, it's 18% (yes, NSC, not just sugar or starch).

      Can he get more hay? 22lb for a 1300lb+ horse isn't even 2% of his body weight.

      4lb of HE isn't a lot. Am I to correctly assume that he doesn't have a weight issue, you're just maybe trying to tone his energy down? I'm not clear on whether you think his "kite" issue is from being very fit at the moment, or if you think it has something to do with the HE. It doesn't seem like the latter, since you said he's been on that for a year. But...

      That said, I would much prefer to see him on a TC product - better quality. TC Growth or Complete would be quite good for him. The Growth is textured, though I'm not sure on the Complete (might be a pellet).

      Is he getting too much fat/protein from the HE? Hardly
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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      • #4
        I'd stop the oat hay.

        Comment


        • #5
          Complete is a texture as well, the TLC is a pellet but the Sr, Complete and Growth are all textured.
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          Comment


          • #6
            I'd switch also to a tc feed. Probably the complete and stop the oat hay. What other hay do you have access to?
            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree that the oat hay could be too much sugar; according to the Triple Crown website oat hay has an NSC of 22% v. 11.3% for alfalfa hay and 13.8% for "grass hay".

              I also agree that 22lbs of hay is not much for a horse that size, and who is still quite young. I'd probably give two flakes of grass hay at each feeding and maybe try to give another 5-10lbs of hay if you can.

              The TC Growth is only 13.9% NSC; so it's quite low in sugar/starch...I'd consider switching to something like that.

              Here's the table I used as a reference (scroll to bottom).

              http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/artic...orse-nutrition

              Comment


              • #8
                Can you get Coastal Bermuda, or Timothy hay? If he were mine, I would ditch the Oat hay for something with lower starches. I'd switch to Seminole Compete Safe, and I would add soaked Beet Pulp - amount dependent on work load and how his weight was doing - and I would supplement with EquiPride - either the loose supplement, or EquiLix.
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                • #9
                  Why are you looking to switch, exactly? And what, precisely, is wrong with the current regimen? If he's acting nutty, he needs more work and/or turnout, more than likely, and not a diet change, especially if he's done well on that feeding program for a long time. If you are working him less hard, just cut the grain volume accordingly. More hay would be nice if possible for such a big boy!
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                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I board, so changing hays is not possible. The new barn will have a grass/alf mix. The thing is, his work load has not gone down yet. He's being worked the same amount of time, this hasn't changed for almost a year. So why would he get hyper now if the workload and feed hasn't changed in the past year?

                    I've used TC Senior and prefer it, but the price is almost $26. The feed stores also do not always have it on hand. They have a constant stock of Nutrena and Purina though.

                    The hay could be closer to 30 lbs, different people are now feeding every day so I can't always be there to monitor every single flake and the weight.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cooler weather? Just being a young horse? Basic temperament establishing itself? How long have you had him?
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                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I've had him for over three years. He's only acted this way when I tried Ultium, which we quickly stopped (not even 3 weeks). He's been on Healthy Edge for a year. By nature, he is not a hot horse at all.

                        Originally posted by Freebird! View Post
                        Can you get Coastal Bermuda, or Timothy hay? If he were mine, I would ditch the Oat hay for something with lower starches. I'd switch to Seminole Compete Safe, and I would add soaked Beet Pulp - amount dependent on work load and how his weight was doing - and I would supplement with EquiPride - either the loose supplement, or EquiLix.
                        I just looked at Seminole, and while I like what I see, they are not available in this part of the country. Unless I'm wrong. UC Davis has approved his diet for his workload.

                        Also, to reiterate, I have NOT cut his workload yet. That is why I'm baffled on why he's changed in just a few weeks. He's done well on the same workload/feed combination for the last year, until now.
                        Last edited by Freespool86; Nov. 24, 2012, 09:28 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, it sounds like you are happy with his diet, and so is he - on the HE, and not on Ultium, so....maybe just stick with what you are doing?
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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Freebird! View Post
                            Well, it sounds like you are happy with his diet, and so is he - on the HE, and not on Ultium, so....maybe just stick with what you are doing?
                            Not happy with the sudden change of demeanor. And I am looking to change, I've cut his Healthy Edge down so far that it's not really doing anything at all now plus a lack of vitamins. Looking at products such as the Nutrena Empower and similar. Price per lb comes out cheaper plus he gets what he needs nutritionally.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Freespool86 View Post
                              Also, to reiterate, I have NOT cut his workload yet. That is why I'm baffled on why he's changed in just a few weeks. He's done well on the same workload/feed combination for the last year, until now.
                              Change of season? It's got windy and wet - always makes them friskier!
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                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Are you looking to pack on the lbs? Alfalfa will pack pounds on anyone but I found it can make them higher than you want.

                                I'm in the NE and I know your hay situation in CA is much different than us out here. If he was here, we'd up the hay to a bale a day (our bales are 35 lbs). But again, your hay is much different than ours.

                                What does your barn manager say?
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                                • #17
                                  PS: I know about the price of Triple Crown. We're getting a load on Monday. Ugh is all I can say!
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Freespool86 View Post
                                    Not happy with the sudden change of demeanor. And I am looking to change, I've cut his Healthy Edge down so far that it's not really doing anything at all now plus a lack of vitamins. Looking at products such as the Nutrena Empower and similar. Price per lb comes out cheaper plus he gets what he needs nutritionally.
                                    Hate to say it, but since nobody else has....maybe he is "friskier" because he's hurting somewhere. Horses react to pain differently - maybe this is the way he is expressing discomfort, especially since this is a new thing in the 3 years you have had him.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Xanthoria View Post
                                      Change of season? It's got windy and wet - always makes them friskier!
                                      Well up until this past Thursday it was high 60's during the day and high 40's at night, so I'm not really considering the temperature to be a cause at this point, weird weather that's definitely warmer than usual.

                                      Originally posted by pines4equines View Post
                                      Are you looking to pack on the lbs? Alfalfa will pack pounds on anyone but I found it can make them higher than you want.

                                      I'm in the NE and I know your hay situation in CA is much different than us out here. If he was here, we'd up the hay to a bale a day (our bales are 35 lbs). But again, your hay is much different than ours.

                                      What does your barn manager say?
                                      No, his weight is fine, I only need to maintain. Barn manager does not get involved and is rarely even there, except to drop hints that I need to use Equidae because the feed store she works at carries it. Other boarders now feed and I've explained how much hay he needs but I have no way of knowing if each person is feeding the right amount. At the end of the month we'll be moving to different barn. He'll be in a dry lot paddock, hay will be a grass/alf mix and oat hay lunches. I don't have any control over the hay supply. I'm looking at Nutrena's Empower right now and I also have access to the Triple Crown 30%.

                                      If I have him on hay only, whether free choice or a specified amount, he'll start to drop weight.

                                      Originally posted by Lauren12 View Post
                                      Hate to say it, but since nobody else has....maybe he is "friskier" because he's hurting somewhere. Horses react to pain differently - maybe this is the way he is expressing discomfort, especially since this is a new thing in the 3 years you have had him.
                                      No, he's had bodywork done and has been seen by the vet, he's had approval from both.

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