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Simplify my feed program- barn full of ottb's

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  • Simplify my feed program- barn full of ottb's

    5 ottb's age 7 and below- all in steady work
    One 22yr tb with no teeth easy keeper hardly ever ridden
    One connemara/tb on stall rest very easy keeper!

    Currently I feed as much timothy/orchard grass hay as they will eat which for most of them is 20-30lbs. Beautiful hay but testing it is difficult to do as we get new loads in.

    Tb's get TC complete ranging from 4lbs to 8lbs a day.
    Easy keepers get TC lite with a bit of complete mixed in. Conn/tb eats 2lbs and older tb gets 2lbs of TC lite with 1lb of complete.

    Several of the Tb's in hard work are supplemented with rice bran (either max e glo or legends).

    My reason for possibly wanting to change from the TC complete is that it freezes like a brick and is a total pain in the @@@ to deal with. I have solidered on but I am a bit tired of it.

    I think my horses look good weight wise but I would like one or two of them to have more "muscle" and just a bit more weight. I upped the grain a bit as I am already feed unlimited hay but I was thinking perhaps I could simplify. I have been researching the ration balancers but I just do not truly understand how they fit into my current feeding program or how I would change my program to work them in.

    Then you have the whole protein vs fat debate. I tend to focus on the fat with the rice bran but many of the ration balancers are higher in protein so then where does your fat come from or does it not matter?

    I have many feed dealers locally but Southern States is the closest. The local Amish feed stores sell a variety of different brands but only a few types of each brand.

    Reducing the feed bill is always a benefit but not a concern. I welcome any discussion or thoughts. I try to stay current on my research but after having success with the TC complete I am hesitant.

  • #2
    My TB did wonderfully on Triple Crown Low Starch all summer. It's a dry pellet, soaks up oil very nicely, and she ate it well (until she decided she was done! But that's just her.)

    Might be something to take a look at!


    • #3
      You could add rice bran or rice bran oil.

      Cocosoya oil works well too.

      My OTTB actually did not do well on TC Complete at all. He lost weight on it and I had to feed him tons of it after that to gain/keep weight on.

      He is on Blue Seal Sport Formula Pellet now. He gets another cup or two of Omegatin and I add steamed Oats and Boss.

      I have to admit I think the Oats and the Boss have helped him a lot. Ever since I added those his weight and his coat have looked a lot better. BOSS isn't too bad cost wise around here either.


      • #4
        I think you would be really happy feeding your horses like I feed mine and it would probably be cheaper in the long run .. if you can get Progressive where you are. Then again you have enough horses, you could have it drop shipped

        You use the RB as your basic building block. Everyone gets a single pound a day, and you can raise it to 2 lbs if they need more muscle OR you can add Envision, which is their fat supplement, if the horse needs weight versus just muscle. You add oats for energy if necessary.

        Very low NSC, means quiet horses and less chances of ulcers and feed related digestive issues.

        My average horse eats 1.5 lbs of the RB, 8 oz. of Envision and a lb. of oats A DAY. Gotta love that.

        DDB had issues with her horses and soy but I can honestly say I have never experienced that. TC is soy based so if you are not having that issue now you probably won't.

        Feel free to ask me any ????.
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


        • #5
          EqT- do you use the grass formula RB or the ProAdd Ultimate? I'm leaning towards the Ultimate as I can get more shipped to me for the same price, but I don't know if it is too concentrated? (the Progressive rep I talked to yesterday said that my preggo broodies would only need a pound and a quarter ) The rep also said that they ship all over - even thought there are no dealers up here in New England, they have customers as far away as Maine who just have the bags drop shipped to them.


          • #6
            I have to admit I love the Progressive. I've had it drop-shipped, not sure I will continue to do so, for one horse. It is really good stuff though and the company was easy to deal with.

            I think fat has its place for sure but am finding that quality protein makes all the difference.
            We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


            • #7
              I was also seriously considering a feed change, for just about the same reason. I really don't like picking away at bricks of grain when it is 15 degrees.

              I was considering switching to Blue Seal, particularly the Vintage Performance LS. Higher fat and protein than even TC Complete (that is what I use now). I also recently acquired an OTTB, who is just coming down (last ran in Sept). He looks pretty rough, no muscle, ribs, no topline. I was just trying to figure out the most efficient way to get the most calories into him.

              Blue Seal is a bit harder to get around me, I would have to special order the BS, and it would be around $23 a BAG. I really like the look of the Vintage Senior, totally extruded, looks like Rice Krispies on steroids. I have been soaking all my guys feed anyway, I bet a pound would look like ten by the time it was done soaking!! The fat is pretty low relatively speaking compared to TC though. Higher protein also, I was looking for that for my new guy too for building muscle back.

              Maybe check into Blue Seal? Although I don't think your feed bill will go down! I just paid over $17 a bag for TC Complete and that is painful enough!

              Ultium is another to consider, although Purina has kind of turned me off with their QC, and consistency. I have also heard too many stories of horses bouncing off walls on Ultium.

              There is this really awesome feed I did use on my old fart a few years ago, it comes from Farmers Cooperative in Mt. Airy. Steuart Pittman endorses them. It is a high fat low starch pellet, it is 22% fat! I loved it, but where I got it no longer carries it, and Mt. Airy is quite a haul, although I could probably manage it once a month. That is also in the $20++ per bag range. Did the job though.

              I am going to watch this thread, see if anyone else has any ideas.


              • #8
                Originally posted by spacehorse View Post
                II would have to special order the BS, and it would be around $23 a BAG. I really like the look of the Vintage Senior, totally extruded, looks like Rice Krispies on steroids.
                $23 a bag for Vintage Senior?! :ekk: I've fed Blue Seal in the past, but I honestly don't know if I'd pay $23 a bag for it.... the VS pellets are so light that you need to feel a lot of bulk to get the weight you're shooting for...


                • Original Poster

                  Eqtrainer- I will give progressive a call. I buy in bulk anyway so perhaps it might work.

                  Spacehorse- overall, I have been really happy with the TC complete. I take in many horses who come in looking like upside down bags of bones and the results are fairly quick. A lot of that is just good hay and lots of it but I think the TC complete is a good grain and it does not make my horses hot. I use rice bran and the max e glo is only $20 a tractor supply so not to bad. You can add in some alfalfa for more protein. Of course there are other options which I am interested learning about.

                  Chipping the ice block of feed at 5am in the morning while the horses are already banging the walls has put me over the edge. I have more horses that usual so that could be the reason but darn it make it so that it does not form a brick


                  • Original Poster

                    I am paying around $16 for the TC complete and some brands are cheaper while others are more. I think it all depends on how much you are feeding when you look at price. Like what appjumper said- some you have to feed more of so no real savings. I try not to focus on price but when I am boarding horses for cost only I try to keep everything budgeted as best as possible.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AppJumpr08 View Post
                      $23 a bag for Vintage Senior?! :ekk: I've fed Blue Seal in the past, but I honestly don't know if I'd pay $23 a bag for it.... the VS pellets are so light that you need to feel a lot of bulk to get the weight you're shooting for...
                      I think the Senior was closer to $20 a bag. The Performance LS was about $23..

                      I did think about the weight issue too, the stuff is so light he would be eating TONS of it!! He actually is a very good eater, thankfully. If ulcers were a problem, they aren't anymore!

                      I actually do have him on alfalfa pellets, and lots of oil. I also picked up a container of Purina Amplify, which has a rice bran base. I really do think that RB really accelerates the 'bulking up' process.


                      • #12
                        Well, brace yourselves because Progressive's RB is about $33/50 lbs and the Envision is $50/bag. Of course oats are still $9/bag

                        But you feed so little of it. I swear, it seems like it takes me forever to go through a bag of it.

                        Jessica, I have not feed the more concentrated version, my feed store is not carrying it at this time. I do have a client who has been feeding it and her horse looks and feels great. However, he looked pretty darn good before and there has been a lot of deworming going on, too.

                        You certainly could try it and do a full report for us!
                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                        • #13
                          Gayle, the main reason I'm tempted is that I'd get twice as much feeding out of the concentrated stuff as I would the regular RB... if I'm paying for the shipping, it would be a big saver for me. The Progressive rep told me that the grass formula is $23.72 a bag and the Ultimate is $28.38 a bag... it worked out to being roughly $1.14 a pound for the Ultimate and $.47 a pound for the grass RB, but you feed half as much of the Ultimate so they almost cost the same to feed (for example - a broodmare's recommended ration: 2.5 pounds of the grass RB is $1.18 and the Ultimate is $1.42) But it would end up costing less to feed the Ultimate as I will pay less per ration to ship it...

                          So... perhaps I will have to be the case study for COTH on that one


                          • #14
                            I am currently feeding the ultimate (switched from grass formula). 12 ounces a day total with some whole oats (not much). He was quite the fatty from over the summer, we'll see how he does as the winter progresses. I do need to up the hay, that means buying my own to supplement the barn but haven't found some I liked yet.

                            I also give some copper and remission and msm. Mr. Fussy is not thrilled with all this though, he eats it grudgingly. I think it's one of the supplements, he'll eat the ultimate out of my hand. There does seem to be in an improvement in his condition overall.

                            I got a sample of the cocosoya in the mail, good lord that stuff smells good, I'm tempted to guzzle it myself! (which would be a really bad idea)


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post

                              DDB had issues with her horses and soy but I can honestly say I have never experienced that. TC is soy based so if you are not having that issue now you probably won't.
                              I'm not the only one who's had problems...LMH, Equilibrium, Larkspur, Meaty Ogre and a number of others who found soy was causing problems for their horses. Just wanted to clarify that for the OP but I was the first one to stand up and question the logic of putting that MUCH soy (an byproduct ingredient with only GRAS status by the FDA and not even fully tested for safety in horses) in a feed as the RB's use. I still would not be surprised to find out there are a lot more horses that have problems with it that are unrecognized or something else is blamed.

                              I'm in the "if it's not broke category, don't fix it" ...a hard lesson I learned when I went on a RB from a program that I was fairly happy with and ended up with an expensive mess and a farm full of screwed up horses. Can't you just put them on a pelleted version of the feed you are using? I don't know that TC has as much soy as the RB's do. I think it depends on what she's feeding exactly.

                              If they were mine, I'd pull all high carb sugary nasty feed and put them on several lbs of alfalfa pellets and plain oats for those who needed more calories. I'd get them on a top quality supplement and some rice bran or beet pulp if needed. I've got some WB boarders' horses on that diet now and they are doing very well...dapples in coats and weight/temperament/soundness is better than when they were on the RB.


                              • #16
                                I have always feed my OTTB's Nutrena Prime 10. They get 1lb of Prime 10 with 1 cup black oil sunflower seeds and 1 cup oats. In winter months I will add in some beet bulp and soak it all together. I feed orchard/alfalfa mix hay.

                                All of my OTTBs (I've had 5 now) have been easy keepers. A few have been super skinny when I got them but this regemine really worked for them and works well on maintaining it as well. I've found access to pasture grass works wonders as well and puts nice dapples in their coats.

                                This is Dublin the day I picked him up at Golden Gate Fields, and after he'd filled in. Dublin
                                Cloverfox Stables


                                • #17
                                  She has a barn full of TB's. It's unlikely that they would have any issue w/soy. And TC is actually soy based, so I would think she'd already be having an issue if they were to be reactive to it...

                                  but she should not feed it to that pony on stall rest!
                                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                                  • #18
                                    I think Equilibrium has TB's also...not sure about LMH's...and I don't think that all makes of TC have as much soy in the main ingredients as do most RB's which are predominantly soy. We fed some here for a while to boarders...TC Growth and Performance I think, and while they hhad a few soy ingredients...it was not the main ingredient like the RB's.

                                    I'm just not sure I'd risk it. Why feed something that has not even been fully tested in horses when there are so many other good options?


                                    • #19
                                      I have a TB mare who has always been somewhat difficult to keep weight on, and I've been very happy over the six months that she's been eating TC complete. So I'd be reluctant to change.

                                      Although I definitely hear you on the frozen brick of feed issue. Is it possible to move the feed bins to a heated mudroom or some such? Or wrap the feed bins in a layer of insulation? How cold does it get where you are?
                                      "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                                      • #20
                                        TC is soy first. In fact, TC was the first feed to come forward promoting a soy product. It was their claim to fame I remember it.

                                        Why would I risk it? Because in spite of the horses who do have a problem with soy - there are obviously a lot of them who don't, and the one group that seems to be relatively immune to the issue are TB's. The benefits of Progressives feeding program far outway any potential negatives for these horses. Remember - I feed this program to diagnosed insulin resistant horses, the majority of which are TB's.

                                        I paid very close attention to your issues w/the feed and I believe they are legitimate. There were issues that clouded things but I truly do see your point. I do honestly believe it had more to do with genetics than anything else, because I have seen it in other air fern breeds. Not just issues w/soy, but issues with any concentrated feeds.

                                        However... when this program works for a horse, it REALLY works. In the OP's case, she is feeding pounds and pounds of TC when she could be cutting back significantly the amount of concentrates her horses get in one feeding and increasing their nutrition.

                                        They are also *working* horses - young horses building muscle, recovering from life on the track. Feed a housewife an overload of soy and vitamins/minerals and see what happens.. feed an athlete the same diet and see what happens. It might not be the same

                                        So that is why I would try it. A lot of horses thrive on it, some of them don't.. that goes for any feeding program
                                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.