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Calories for the foundered horse

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  • Calories for the foundered horse

    My horse foundered in one foot about a year and a half ago from a joint injection. At that time, she was probably about a 6 weight wise, had a bit of fluff, but nothing extreme. She was pulled from grain, she was getting 2 pounds of a complete feed a day, at that time.

    Now she gets "3 flakes" of timothy mix twice a day (My boarding contract says 3 flakes, but the BO feeds ample hay, so it is more or less free choice) and a half a pound of timothy pellets twice a day with her isoxsuprine.

    Over the past year and a half she has very slowly dropped weight, which was good given the founder. She didn't have a lot extra to lose, but since she wasn't able to do anything, it took a while. At this point she has dropped enough I don't want her to lose anymore, so I feel I may need to start supplementing her hay with something else. The vet will be out next Friday to take radiographs (we do them before every shoeing) and will evaluate her weight and help me come up with a plan, but in the mean time, I was wondering what are your favorite calorie sources for a horse like this?
    The Procrastinators Anonymous meeting has been postponed again.

  • #2
    Most grain companies make a grain for horses sensitive to NSC. I'm a big Poulin fan and use their "Carb Safe" for my foundered girl:


    It has a NSC of 6.something.

    Just do your research carefully, because Nutrena's Safe Choice, a grain advertised as a "safe choice", has a NSC value of 15+....too high for any horse that really does need a "safe" grain.


    • #3
      Out of curiosity why are y'all still x-raying every shoeing cycle 1.5 years later? Has your horse been actively foundering this whole time?

      I'd add extra forage but first I'd verify the forage is low NSC which means you either need to test hay or soak hay. Otherwise move to a hay alternative that has already been tested and is low NSC.


      • #4
        Wow, that is a lot of xrays! Complete feed is not meant to be fed in small amounts so you are short changing her nutritionally. A ration balancer is probably your best bet.
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          I'd do Tribute's ration balancer, Essential K. All the Tribute feeds are low sugar, low starch (some lower than others - the higher octane ones for performance horses are a little higher since they burn it off).


          • #6
            What about some soaked molasses free beet pulp?
            I love cats, I love every single cat....
            So anyway I am a cat lover
            And I love to run.


            • #7
              if you use beet pulp, soak it and then rinse it (you can use a colander)before you feed it. This is for a very sugar-sensitive horse, usually you don't have to rinse it after soaking)


              • Original Poster

                We are still x raying because I am paranoid and the farrier doesn't mind having a new set to shoe of off every time. I have thought about stopping, but every time i think about it I start to panic a bit. The vet comes out for legend anyway, so he just takes a picture too.

                She gets her nutrition from her hay, I just put the amount of feed she used to get for a rough .estimate of what she needs to keep weight.

                I had not thought of beet pulp. In the past she was not a fan, but I bet after a year and a half of geass hay she mayhave changed her mind.

                I will look into the others, thanks!
                The Procrastinators Anonymous meeting has been postponed again.


                • #9
                  If she's not a big beet pulp fan, alfalfa pellets (soaked) are worth a try. My mare's not a huge fan of beet pulp but likes alfalfa pellets okay.
                  Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                  • #10
                    Many metabolic horses tend to be sensitive to alfalfa so I'd proceed with caution.


                    • #11
                      You can get tested under 10% NSC straight Timothy pellets from Standlee or Ontario Dehy, as well. My pony liked eating the slurpy mess of cubes!
                      "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."


                      • #12
                        Would Oil be safe in a situation like this?
                        I love cats, I love every single cat....
                        So anyway I am a cat lover
                        And I love to run.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Defying Logic View Post
                          We are still x raying because I am paranoid and the farrier doesn't mind having a new set to shoe of off every time. I have thought about stopping, but every time i think about it I start to panic a bit. The vet comes out for legend anyway, so he just takes a picture too.

                          She gets her nutrition from her hay, I just put the amount of feed she used to get for a rough .estimate of what she needs to keep weight.

                          I had not thought of beet pulp. In the past she was not a fan, but I bet after a year and a half of geass hay she mayhave changed her mind.

                          I will look into the others, thanks!

                          My horse catastrophically foundered 5 years and 4 months ago. He goes to the hospital for a check-up and shoeing every single month. He is x-rayed every single time. When a horse has foundered like that the vet and farrier look for any changes that may have occurred during the month and every once in a while there are changes. My horse is 32 now and doing fine in good weight. I go to great lengths to feed him well and one of the things I feed him is "Speedi-Beet".