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Giving your horse the important Vitamins+Minerals without feeding much grain

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  • Giving your horse the important Vitamins+Minerals without feeding much grain

    So, I have decided that my horse will need to be getting 2-3cups a day for grain because he will be on full grass and is going to get fat if I don't cut his grain. What vitamin/mineral should I use to make sure he gets all of his needed nutrients?

    Are equishine pellets okay?
    A ration balancer doesn't work because he won't be getting 3pounds a day.

  • #2
    1) Most ration balancers are 1lb a day. I've found a pound to be around 4 cups. Still may be too much.

    2) By the time you're down to 2-3 cups of any regular grain, it's just a treat. I'd cut out grain entirely and go ration balancer or a good pelleted vitamin with some hay pellets.

    I use this:
    http://cheshirehorse.com/Cheshire-Ho...ete-P4032.aspx

    But you could find something comparable almost anywhere, from any brand. Smartpak makes a vitamin specifically for horses on grass.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
      1) Most ration balancers are 1lb a day. I've found a pound to be around 4 cups. Still may be too much.

      2) By the time you're down to 2-3 cups of any regular grain, it's just a treat. I'd cut out grain entirely and go ration balancer or a good pelleted vitamin with some hay pellets.

      I use this:
      http://cheshirehorse.com/Cheshire-Ho...ete-P4032.aspx

      But you could find something comparable almost anywhere, from any brand. Smartpak makes a vitamin specifically for horses on grass.
      This. And SmartPak's vitamin/minerals are pelleted, so you could just feed those with no "mix" to have to trick them into eating it.
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by PonyGirl15 View Post
        A ration balancer doesn't work because he won't be getting 3pounds a day.
        Most ration balancers are about 1 lb per day, which is the equivalent to 3-4 cups. If you're wanting to cut down to only 3 cups per day anyways, then feeding a ration balancer would in fact meet your needs, in the volume you want to feed.
        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

        Comment


        • #5
          My mare gets hay & a handful of grain to make her think she gets something when other horses are eating.

          I use a supplement made to go with a forage diet from Horsetech. Smartpak version is good, too, but horse was fussy & would eat around it (no one was more shocked than I, since she is such a hoover)

          Comment


          • #6
            Just an FYI, if you decide to go strictly with a vit/min supplement instead of a ration balancer: Your horse might not get enough protein/amino acids from just the vit/min supplement alone. I think it was JB on here who recommended it once, but Tri-Amino is a great product and contains just the amino acids. My super easy keeper is on this and Smartpak's EZ Keeper grass vit/min because he still porks out on a ration balancer.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a couple for whom even a pound a day of a ration balancer is too much. I like Uckele's Sport Horse Grass pellets--they have a ton of vitamins, minerals, and even a fair amount of the essential amino acids, all in a 4 ounce/day serving that is pelleted and reasonably palatable, according to my herd.
              Click here before you buy.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm a big fan of no/low grain diets, most horses just don't need grain.

                I have one on a ration balancer and one on alfalfa pellets, flax and HorseTech's High Point. Good stuff!
                for more Joy then you can handle
                http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  And, though I have no financial stake in it (sadly), I am a huge fan of http://feedxl.com/

                  If you feed anything that they don't have in their database, they will add it within 24 hours of you sending the info to them. I LOVE FeedXL! It has saved me a ton of money and helped w/ the challenges of dealing with the hard keeper and the air fern.

                  ETA - Using FeedXL, I found I actually needed less of the ration balancer for my air fern than what was recommended on the label.
                  Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I free choice feed a mineral/protein tub. It's got enough salt that they will self regulate and only consume what they need. It also helps maximize pastures. My easy keeper now only gets a handful of grain only so he leaves the hardkeeper alone while she's eating. I don't typically take the easy route to any of my horse management but these things are amazing and take no effort!! I buy the 200# tub (for 2 horses) and don't have to worry about it spoiling, I just replace the tub when they empty it. And the left over tubs make really good mini water tanks. I get mine through the local co-op but TSC sells something similar and I'm sure Southern States would too.

                    http://www.alafarm.com/divisions/fee...MU-LYX_p14.pdf

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SouthernYankee View Post
                      I free choice feed a mineral/protein tub. It's got enough salt that they will self regulate and only consume what they need. It also helps maximize pastures. My easy keeper now only gets a handful of grain only so he leaves the hardkeeper alone while she's eating. I don't typically take the easy route to any of my horse management but these things are amazing and take no effort!! I buy the 200# tub (for 2 horses) and don't have to worry about it spoiling, I just replace the tub when they empty it. And the left over tubs make really good mini water tanks. I get mine through the local co-op but TSC sells something similar and I'm sure Southern States would too.

                      http://www.alafarm.com/divisions/fee...MU-LYX_p14.pdf
                      We got the Blue Bucket at TSC, but that was full of molasses sugar. They LOVED it, but mine don't need molasses.
                      Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks for the advice. I think I am going to buy a ration balancer and give 1 cup AM+PM and then add a vitamin/mineral supplement and then just add more ration balancer if I need more fat. Thanks for the advice. He already has access to good grass and a 2nd cut alfalfa/grass hay mix so I know he is getting a good amount of protein from the alfalfa.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My easy keeprs get Triple Crown Lite when I feed less than 5 lb per day. It is specially formulated with more concentrated vitamins and minerals, etc. You are not supposed to feed more than 5 lb per day.

                          In the summer, when the grass is good, Music gets down to about 1.5 lb of Lite per day.
                          Janet

                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PonyGirl15 View Post
                            Thanks for the advice. I think I am going to buy a ration balancer and give 1 cup AM+PM and then add a vitamin/mineral supplement and then just add more ration balancer if I need more fat. Thanks for the advice. He already has access to good grass and a 2nd cut alfalfa/grass hay mix so I know he is getting a good amount of protein from the alfalfa.
                            That doesn't really make sense, though.

                            The ration balancer is intended to be a "complete" addition to a horse's diet, taking away the need for large amounts of grain. To get the benefit, you need to feed the minimum recommended amount. (Or as suggested by a real program such as Feed XL.)

                            A vitamin supplement does the same thing...gives the horse their "daily needs" but with no fillers/extra calories whatsoever.

                            Combining the two (again, without the advice of a vet/Feed XL type program) just doesn't make sense. You'll be messing up the balance of the ration balancer, and the vitamin supp will already be providing everything the horse needs.

                            If you need something just for extra calories, look to hay pellets, beet pulp, etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15


                              OP, you feed one or the other...a ration balancer at its recommended amount, or a vitamin/mineral supplement at its recommended amount.

                              If its a super easy keeper and doesn't need calories at all...vitamin/mineral supplement

                              If 1000 calories won't hurt/pack on pounds, feed a ration balancer.

                              Neither will exceed 3 cups per day.
                              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ldaziens View Post
                                We got the Blue Bucket at TSC, but that was full of molasses sugar. They LOVED it, but mine don't need molasses.
                                Yes these are molasses based, and when I first put it out the ponies had brown noses all the time... there has to be a way to get them to eat it and most feeds contain some molasses (even loose minerals) even if you can't taste or smell it. Now that they have regulated themselves and the grass has started to come in they hardly eat on these (they are on a small grass lot at the moment, get alfalfa/grass mix hay, and are fed Tiz Whiz Structure (similar to Safe Choice). I'm guilty of licking a new one just to see how it tastes and they are sweet, but salty too... which keeps them from over consuming and keeps them drinking water.
                                Fatty does not need the molasses, but it's helped me cut down on the amount of grain/filler he consumes and while he is 'well rounded' he is carrying his weight evenly. It all boils down to personal preference, these work for me. I don't like to mess with a ration balancer or force feed vitamins and minerals because it's easy to overdo it... the hardest part to horse management sometimes is 'less is more' and I'm constantly reminding myself of that...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  For a tub that has all the good stuff you want and none of the starch, sugar & molasses you don't, you just can't beat an EquiLix tub from the folks at EquiPride. My easy keepers on pasture have one and lick it when they need it (or drink the juice after it rains).

                                  For those who stall, etc. and want to eliminate grain, like the OP, EquiPride then (1 oz per 100 pounds) mixed with plain beet pulp or oats if desired. That's it!
                                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    10 ounces of equipride seems like a lot of "product". Is it palatable with "no grain" in it?
                                    Click here before you buy.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My 1900 pound Percheron gets 2 cups once a day, mixed with plain beet pulp. No grain.

                                      The first time I fed it to Tank, I started with just a wee bit cuz it does smell a bit funky.... gave me the curled lip and hairy eyeball. By the third day, down it all went and never looked back.

                                      The clyde-x never noticed and inhaled it straight, sans beet pulp, drooling all the way.
                                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        We use a mineral supplement that is a powder, and mix it in with a handful of beet pulp for each horse. It's great for the easy keepers who otherwise eat just grass hay.

                                        Comment

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