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Sweet Feed, Bucking and my Stupidity

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    Sweet Feed, Bucking and my Stupidity

    This is a bit of a spinoff on the Strategy thread, but also a cry for help.

    My OTTB mare used to be on sweet feed. With only one scoop a day and good grass/hay, she stayed obese, but was very, very hot and bucked a ton, to the point I was terrified of her (and I'm a pretty good rider). When I bought her and brought her home, I switched her to Strategy. That was about a year ago. She slimmed down to a good weight and has been just an amazing ride, really making a lot of improvements. Bucking went away within a few weeks of the switch. Well, over the winter she lost some weight and was a bit skinnier than I wanted. I figured it was a combo of not great hay and needing teeth done, so I took her last week to the vet to get her teeth checked. Vet floated, but didn't feel that was the real problem. He said she just needed more fat in her diet. When he found out she used to stay fat on sweet feed, his response was basically, "Duh! Put her back on sweet feed." I explained that I really, really did not like her on sweet feed, that she did not handle the excess energy well. His only response: "Do you want to get her weight up or not?" That made me feel like an awful owner. He suggested a particular mix he uses, and I bought a bag. Trainer did NOT think it was a good idea, but I thought I should go with the vet's recommendation, so I settled for mixing 1.5 scoops Strategy with half a scoop sweet feed, twice a day. I figured that would give her the extra fat without being enough to get her "up." Well, I started that feeding Friday night. Saturday she was fine. Sunday I didn't ride. Today (Monday) I got on her, and she was hot as heck and went straight to bucking, just like she used to. I did NOT expect such a sudden change. Needless to say, the sweet feed is going in the trash, and I'll be listening to the trainer from now on.

    My question is... we have our first real combined training event this weekend, and I'm scared to death that the sweet feed won't be out of her system. When she is hot like this, I do NOT want to be galloping cross country, as her bucks can be downright MEAN. If I stop mixing in the sweet feed tomorrow morning, do you think it will be all out of her system by Friday?

    Also, any recommendations on a good feed that will give her a little higher fat wihtout the excess energy, which she obviously does not handle well? The selection around here is limited, but I think a store about an hour from here carries Buckeye. Or, do I just feed the Strategy and add corn oil until her weight is back up? (Assuming we don't find anything else causing the weight problems- I really think it was just poor quality hay over the winter that set us back.)

    And, I need someone to pat me on the back and remind me that her behavior tonight WILL go away when the sweet feed's gone? I've been paranoid about her health and happiness lately, so I've already been worried... and then tonight's ride brought back a lot of old fears that I haven't had to worry about for a whole year. Add that to the nervousness of competing this weekend, and I am basically a basket case. God, I don't knwo what I'll do when I actually have human children!!

    #2
    Just pour a cup or so of canola over her hay daily, or over grass hay pellets. It is healthy fat and has the best Omega balance of all the oils. Daily canola keeps my older horse round and shiny, and the oil is very palatable.

    Horses don't need any added sugars in their diets. I'm surprised your vet recommended sweet feed.

    Don't worry, your horse should come off that sugar high well before this weekend.
    --o0o--

    Comment


      #3
      You saw the light Unfortunately not enough vets understand the diet connection well enough. It is often very frustrating. Glad you figured it our yourself. Trust your gut instinct - it seems to work well

      Comment


        #4
        Canola oil is great, so is rice bran or rice bran oil. If you have a Nutrena dealer nearby, they sell a rice bran pellet product called Empower which works beautifully. You simply add 1 pound of it per day to the diet until the weight comes back on, and then cut it ack to 1/2 pound per day for maintenance. I've seen good results with this, and no craziness.

        It takes about 41-45 hours or so for something to pass completely through the horse's digestive system, so if you took your horse off of the sweet feed you should be fine for the weekend. Mine got high as a kite on one feeding of 1 pound of it. Not my cup of tea, thanks.

        Good luck at the show!
        "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

        http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by archieflies View Post
          This is a bit of a spinoff on the Strategy thread, but also a cry for help.

          My OTTB mare used to be on sweet feed. With only one scoop a day and good grass/hay, she stayed obese, but was very, very hot and bucked a ton, to the point I was terrified of her (and I'm a pretty good rider). When I bought her and brought her home, I switched her to Strategy. That was about a year ago. She slimmed down to a good weight and has been just an amazing ride, really making a lot of improvements. Bucking went away within a few weeks of the switch. Well, over the winter she lost some weight and was a bit skinnier than I wanted. I figured it was a combo of not great hay and needing teeth done, so I took her last week to the vet to get her teeth checked. Vet floated, but didn't feel that was the real problem. He said she just needed more fat in her diet. When he found out she used to stay fat on sweet feed, his response was basically, "Duh! Put her back on sweet feed." I explained that I really, really did not like her on sweet feed, that she did not handle the excess energy well. His only response: "Do you want to get her weight up or not?" That made me feel like an awful owner. He suggested a particular mix he uses, and I bought a bag. Trainer did NOT think it was a good idea, but I thought I should go with the vet's recommendation, so I settled for mixing 1.5 scoops Strategy with half a scoop sweet feed, twice a day. I figured that would give her the extra fat without being enough to get her "up." Well, I started that feeding Friday night. Saturday she was fine. Sunday I didn't ride. Today (Monday) I got on her, and she was hot as heck and went straight to bucking, just like she used to. I did NOT expect such a sudden change. Needless to say, the sweet feed is going in the trash, and I'll be listening to the trainer from now on.

          My question is... we have our first real combined training event this weekend, and I'm scared to death that the sweet feed won't be out of her system. When she is hot like this, I do NOT want to be galloping cross country, as her bucks can be downright MEAN. If I stop mixing in the sweet feed tomorrow morning, do you think it will be all out of her system by Friday?

          Also, any recommendations on a good feed that will give her a little higher fat wihtout the excess energy, which she obviously does not handle well? The selection around here is limited, but I think a store about an hour from here carries Buckeye. Or, do I just feed the Strategy and add corn oil until her weight is back up? (Assuming we don't find anything else causing the weight problems- I really think it was just poor quality hay over the winter that set us back.)

          And, I need someone to pat me on the back and remind me that her behavior tonight WILL go away when the sweet feed's gone? I've been paranoid about her health and happiness lately, so I've already been worried... and then tonight's ride brought back a lot of old fears that I haven't had to worry about for a whole year. Add that to the nervousness of competing this weekend, and I am basically a basket case. God, I don't knwo what I'll do when I actually have human children!!
          If Strategy is working well for her than you could stick w/ that(however-i've never had good luck w/ it...its always made various horses of mine hot)but anyhow-if its been working for her you could always try adding plain soaked beetpulp-which will add fiber and cool calories along w/ adding some form of Rice bran-legends makes a rice bran pellet,and buckeye also makes an extruded pellet called ultimate finish that safely adds cool calories...but first and for most try increasing her hay-give her as much free choice good quality hay as she wants...also-you could always do a panacur powerpack,followed up by a good rotational deworming program or continous daily dworming-that always makes a big diffienrence w/ lots of horses weight gain/maintenance. I also like giving a probiotic to help ease digestion,and also ulcer supp's help w/ weight gain/maintenance.
          Most importantly..you want her to be on a feed that's as low in starch/sugar as possible-generally "sweet feeds" and even strategy have a high NSC =Non Structural Carbohydratres(starch/sugar content)which makes alot of horses hot and reactive.

          If you wanted to try a different feed that's higher in fat and fiber but lower in NSC(starch/sugar) you could go w/ something like Ultium or Blue Seal Vintage Performance LS-they both are in the NSC %range of 16-17% versus Strategy which is near 30% Also...another great choice is Triple Crown Low Starch.

          I also wanted to add that i've never had good luck adding corn oil to feed...its always made my horses lose their mind.
          R.I.P. "Henry" 4/22/05 - 3/26/2010 We loved you so much....gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN...i hope we meet again

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ladipus View Post
            I also wanted to add that i've never had good luck adding corn oil to feed...its always made my horses lose their mind.
            Not to highjack this thread, but ladipus, what kind of behaviors did you notice with the addition of cornoil? I added cornoil to my gelding's feed about a month ago and he's starting acting like a jerk under saddle since about that time.

            Comment


              #7
              Wierd. It's funny how certain feeds make some horses crazy and don't affect others. Before this mare, I'd never really seen any that had an issue with sweet feed. Until reading this forum lately, I'd also never heard of Strategy making horses crazy. And corn oil doesn't seem to bother my mare at all. But while Ladipus mentioned Ultium, I've had others tell em that it works great for packing on the weight, but makes their hroses hot. I guess it goes back to that "guess, check and revise" method, since horses react so drastically different.

              I'm going to just stick to Strategy plus oil, and if the oil doesn't make the difference soon enough, I'll look into the rice bran.

              Oh, and I thought she was on a good wormer rotation, but I am ordering a PowerPac just to be sure.

              Lunged her tonight, and she's energetic, but not explosive. I think by tomorrow she'll eb somewhat normal again!

              Thanks everyone!

              Comment


                #8
                Hope your mare gets back to normal and you guys have a great weekend. I've always stayed away from sweet feed after hearing a former trainer refer to it as crack for horses.
                On the other hand when my guy was on Strategy at a different barn, he was one spooky dude....Different strokes for different horses.

                Comment


                  #9
                  My horse is what most call hot and spooky, and I have not seen a difference with the corn oil (aka he was the same before the addition and didn't get worse) other than I finally can't see his ribs and his coat is really pretty looking.

                  He also does not handle sweet feed at all and is a complete lunatic even if he gets a quarter scoop a day of it.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Get a new vet........add fat to your mare's diet, NOT SUGAR!!!!!!!!!! Good grief, some of these guys are still in the dark ages.
                    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by twopoints View Post
                      Not to highjack this thread, but ladipus, what kind of behaviors did you notice with the addition of cornoil? I added cornoil to my gelding's feed about a month ago and he's starting acting like a jerk under saddle since about that time.
                      i've had various types of horses just get hot,pushy,and reactive to things -before the corn oil they did not act that way,and that was the only thing i had changed at the time...i also had that happen when i've given fatcat as well-its like it turbo charges them
                      R.I.P. "Henry" 4/22/05 - 3/26/2010 We loved you so much....gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN...i hope we meet again

                      Comment


                        #12
                        i think you'd be better off giving her Triple Crown's Rice Bran Oil Plus....its a nice combo of Rice bran oil,flax oil,and corn...that i have given w/ great results.

                        http://triplecrownfeeds.com/rice-bran-oil-plus.php
                        R.I.P. "Henry" 4/22/05 - 3/26/2010 We loved you so much....gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN...i hope we meet again

                        Comment


                          #13
                          What about BOSS? I've heard that giving a higher quantity can add weight and doesn't hot them up. I have mine on BOSS for the benefit of the coat & hooves so not a large amount but he loves it.

                          Comment

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