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Suggestions for feeding a newly OTTB

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  • Suggestions for feeding a newly OTTB

    Hello! Last week I picked up one of the CANTER horses from Suffolk Downs and am looking for some suggestions for the best feed to try. She is a 16 h 4 yr old filly who is "racing fit" but not terribly underweight for off the track. She was vetted on Thurs and is in good health (vet rated her body condition as 4 out of 5). She literally raced a week before so she has been on 8 qrts of Vintage Racer grain a day. We were not able to get Racer anywhere so we are feeding her Vintage Victory and mixing it with soaked beet pulp and free choice grass hay. I'm not sure if this grain is the best option long term, though, so I am curious what others have feed their OTTBs.

    My plan for this girl is to primarily rest with lots of turnout over the winter and start back in retraining in the spring, hopefully as a hunter prospect. I have worked with a number of TBs in the past but this is the first we've had directly off the track. She needs to gain weight to be "normal" for a non-racing horse.

    Would love to hear your suggestions. Thanks!
    Sincerely:

    Karen A. Fildes
    Caer Avallach Farm LLC - Breeders of Quality Hunter & Sport Ponies
    www.cafarm.com
    Ponyworld - The Online Resource for Pony Enthusiasts -
    www.ponyworld.net

  • #2
    That doesn't sound bad. I considered Vintage Victory in the past.

    However my top 2 Blue Seal grains would be Vintage Performance LS (an extruded low starch feed with good levels of fat, fiber and protein) and Carb Guard (Even lower levels of starch/sugar, good amount of protein, lower fat content but higher fiber).

    My guy did well on Performance LS but I switched him to Carb Guard and he does just as well and it's cheaper per bag so I don't object. It's got good levels of protein, fat and fiber without high sugar content which is the last thing you need for a young TB (that's what I have).

    In addition to that he gets pretty close to having free choice hay. I also have him on alfalfa pellets, Omega Horsehine (flax) and a pre/pro biotic. This combination does him well. He looks great.

    That's what works for my OTTB.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks ThoroughbredFancy!

      Optimally my feed brand of choice is Poulin grain and we use that for our ponies (my normal grain shop carries Poulin, Triple Crown and Nutrena but not Blue Seal so I have to go to another shop for that). After reading your post I researched the Carb Guard and found that Poulin has a feed called Equi-Pro Carb Safe which is listed as 11% Protein 5% fat and is a pellet that includes flax seed. Looking at the descriptions of both this may be a solution that is similar to Carb Guard.

      I really appreciate your input! My husband was thinking we should go for something lower in sugar. Based on your experience that may be the best bet! Thanks so much!
      Sincerely:

      Karen A. Fildes
      Caer Avallach Farm LLC - Breeders of Quality Hunter & Sport Ponies
      www.cafarm.com
      Ponyworld - The Online Resource for Pony Enthusiasts -
      www.ponyworld.net

      Comment


      • #4
        2 things I'd do right off the bat, no questions asked - treat for ulcers, and get serious about deworming

        Then, I'd keep the sugars in the diet super-low. Like, alfalfa pellets or beet pulp as the base of the non-hay calories. Free choice hay, of course. Either a ration balancer or vit/min supplement. If you choose the v/m product, then I would also add Tri-Amino from Uckele, unless more than 50% of the hay is alfalfa.

        Simple feeds, low sugars, clear up the ulcers that are 90% certain to be there, make sure you aren't feeding worms.
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JB View Post
          2 things I'd do right off the bat, no questions asked - treat for ulcers, and get serious about deworming

          Then, I'd keep the sugars in the diet super-low. Like, alfalfa pellets or beet pulp as the base of the non-hay calories. Free choice hay, of course. Either a ration balancer or vit/min supplement. If you choose the v/m product, then I would also add Tri-Amino from Uckele, unless more than 50% of the hay is alfalfa.

          Simple feeds, low sugars, clear up the ulcers that are 90% certain to be there, make sure you aren't feeding worms.
          Ditto on this. FWIW, Margaret Webber who posts here as Mapleshade works only w/OTTB's and she feeds Progressives' ration balancer/fat supplement Envision/oats and additional copper/zinc and Tri-Amino.

          And she deworms them thoroughly.

          She used to feed other things and she says that the difference in her horses on this program is amazing. Few people have as many OTTB's come thru their barn as she does; so that means a lot to me.

          Personally I have found it hard to get enough calories in my OTTB's when just feeding beep and alfalfa pellets to get the weight on them that I would like to see. Later, when their metabolism settles back down, many of them do fantastic on a diet like that. But in the beginning I find they do need MORE quality calories then the average skinny horse might - and being careful about not overfeeding a horse that most likely has ulcers is very important. No more than 5 lbs. of concentrated per feeding and ideally meals are 4 - 6 hours apart. Free choice hay always.
          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          ---
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

          Comment


          • #6
            Free choice premium hay. I feed a low carb feed (usually Safe Choice) and if they need the extra calories, supplement with Empower. Feed in a least three meals. We don't feed more than 4 lbs. of feed at a meal. For a really picky eater on the thin side, I'll feed TC Senior.

            Turnout and grazing as she can handle it.

            I would check the ulcer situation also.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kfildes View Post
              Thanks ThoroughbredFancy!

              Optimally my feed brand of choice is Poulin grain and we use that for our ponies (my normal grain shop carries Poulin, Triple Crown and Nutrena but not Blue Seal so I have to go to another shop for that). After reading your post I researched the Carb Guard and found that Poulin has a feed called Equi-Pro Carb Safe which is listed as 11% Protein 5% fat and is a pellet that includes flax seed. Looking at the descriptions of both this may be a solution that is similar to Carb Guard.

              I really appreciate your input! My husband was thinking we should go for something lower in sugar. Based on your experience that may be the best bet! Thanks so much!
              There are a few people at my barn that do like Poulin and feed it to their horses. I did notice that they have Carb Safe and that doesn't seem like a bad choice.

              Another grain low in sugar is TC Senior. I've seen a lot of horses do well on that. I considered feeding it to my guy but he's done so well on his current diet I don't want to fix what isn't broken. So you could look at TC senior as well.

              As far as taking the ration balancer route...I know Triple Crown makes some now. So you could always look into going down that path if you'd like.

              Comment


              • #8
                Triple Crown Senior is the only thing my OTTBs have ever really thrived on.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions! I am going to talk to my feed dealer tomorrow. I believe I can get the TC Senior or Carb Safe pretty easily through him. I have not fed Nutrena before so I will check on the availability of Empower. Looks like we have some decisions to make :-)

                  JB - in terms of the worming she was last done on 9-3 with Zimectrin Gold, so my vet suggested hitting her again as soon as we get a kill frost so the bots get hit. I have dealt with a pony who has had ulcers almost his whole life so we do keep stuff on hand for that.

                  So far with this being our first directly OTTB I am just thrilled with her. She is so sweet and the vet remarked that she seems to have been very well cared for. She has amazingly clean legs and is just accustomed to handling all over. She has adjusted to turnout within two days and is eating lots and lots of hay while she wanders around. Overall a really nice filly.
                  Sincerely:

                  Karen A. Fildes
                  Caer Avallach Farm LLC - Breeders of Quality Hunter & Sport Ponies
                  www.cafarm.com
                  Ponyworld - The Online Resource for Pony Enthusiasts -
                  www.ponyworld.net

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That's great to hear that your OTTB is already doing so well!

                    I did treat my OTTB for ulcers even though no typical signs were apparent. I figured it would be a good idea anyways. I didn't really notice a difference in him so I am not sure if there was much brewing in there.

                    I do keep him on a regular worming schedule and I also include a Power Pack every spring (Mar. - Apr.). That's something to consider. I felt that it added a little bit more bloom to my guy.

                    Out of your three feed choices I would go for Triple Crown, Poulin then Nutrena. That's just my order of preference and in my experience quality and consistency of ingredients.

                    I can't tell you off the top of my head the exact number but I think Nutrena Empower is much higher in NSC than the other two.

                    Ultimately it is your decision. You should also post pictures of said TB filly since I love me some cute OTTB's.

                    Good luck!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks ThoroughbredFancy! Here is a picture of Anotha Toughcookie ("Elsie") on the second day she was here .... her first day of turn out.

                      http://www.cafarm.com/images/sales/e...09elsie_FS.jpg

                      I am really looking forward to working with his filly once she's had time to "de-track" and rest up. She has such a nice brain that I think she'll just really be a fun one to work with.
                      Sincerely:

                      Karen A. Fildes
                      Caer Avallach Farm LLC - Breeders of Quality Hunter & Sport Ponies
                      www.cafarm.com
                      Ponyworld - The Online Resource for Pony Enthusiasts -
                      www.ponyworld.net

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ohh! What a pretty girl she is.


                        That's also great that you adopted her through CANTER. She looks pretty good for just coming off the track.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Good Afternoon.

                          I am reading all the weight gain threads and getting more confused and desperate. This is not like me. I am experienced and methodical. But not with this damn filly.

                          3 coming 4. Still growing. Flighty/ditzy x 10. (If she cannot see her buddy for 20 seconds she throws a hissy fit and tears the barn down. )

                          She has been off the track a month, grown 2" and lost weight. She will be sold in Jan at the Keeneland Breeding Stock Sale (GREAT pedigree -- 1/2 to a $1.5M earner, yadda. Only the first dam fits on the page).

                          I have 6 weeks to get 100 pounds on her.

                          My local feed store sells Progressive Nutrition.

                          I read what Mapleshade recommends and I am confused.

                          ProAdvantage Hi Fat = diet balancer.

                          ProAdd Ultimate (Envision Ultimate?) = concentrated supplement. [55% protein, 3.5% fat!!]

                          Why feed both?

                          For actual feed/grain: Sport horse formula looks good (10% fat). The low fat/low carbs has MUCH lower fat. -- Although all my other horses have been on Neutrena Safe Choice for years and they are happy and pig fat....

                          She is getting GOJUS straight Alfalfa, free feed. (Once I fed her a slice of it, she would not touch anything else.)

                          She has beenPower Packed, Strongid Gold'ed.

                          She has been on Legends Performance with Weight Builder and UGuard.

                          And she is eating POOP!!!

                          I am doing something terribly wrong........

                          I need to feed her up as much as I can without foundering her.

                          (I have also thought of asking my vet to give her a shot of Reserpine to let her veg out and not waste energy...)

                          please....help....
                          "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                          Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks ThoroughbredFancy - I was absolutely thrilled with the CANTER volunteers. They walked around with me looking at horses for three hours in the pouring rain until I made Elsie my choice. I will definitely work through them again!

                            The trainer was a good one and took very good care of his horses ... they all looked as good as Elsie.
                            Sincerely:

                            Karen A. Fildes
                            Caer Avallach Farm LLC - Breeders of Quality Hunter & Sport Ponies
                            www.cafarm.com
                            Ponyworld - The Online Resource for Pony Enthusiasts -
                            www.ponyworld.net

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              LH - Progressive makes a ration balancer that is low fat. It is called grass ration balancer, also comes in an afalfa mix if you are feeding that.

                              You must be looking at the already fat added ration balancer. You can feed that, it just is easier when you have multiple horses to use the low fat RB (protein, min/vitamins), the high fat Envision (fat) and the oats (carbs) so you can mix and match as necessary.

                              6 weeks is not long to fatten one up w/out foundering it, I'd really be careful to stick to low carb products. Adding a really good quality probiotic would help. Splitting her meals into small portions would help, too.
                              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                              ---
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by kfildes View Post
                                JB - in terms of the worming she was last done on 9-3 with Zimectrin Gold, so my vet suggested hitting her again as soon as we get a kill frost so the bots get hit.
                                Talk to your vet, of course but *I* would do a Power Pack instead of ivermectin - now. 9/3 means you're about 2 weeks past when you could/should have done something else. You got the bots with the ZG, and since they are not really a huge problem, it's not terribly urgent you go after them again right now. The Power Pack OTOH will get encysted strongyles which can be a HUGE problem, and unless this horse happened to come from a string of trainers/owners who were very diligent about deworming correctly ( ) then it's pretty safe to assume there is a colony of encysteds.

                                4 weeks after that, likely time for you to get a freeze, you could do the ivermectin again.
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  JB, kudos on the double CYA!!!
                                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                  ---
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    ______________________________
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      JB - Thanks for the advice. Just put in an order for a PowerPac. It certainly can't hurt :-)
                                      Sincerely:

                                      Karen A. Fildes
                                      Caer Avallach Farm LLC - Breeders of Quality Hunter & Sport Ponies
                                      www.cafarm.com
                                      Ponyworld - The Online Resource for Pony Enthusiasts -
                                      www.ponyworld.net

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        fwiw, i had had great success with free feed hay, beet pulp and rice bran - depending on the weight issues they will get more or less BP & RB. plus i give some kind of vit/min - generally Platinum Performance.

                                        i have brought back a mare that was *covered* in scabs, was literally starving - she was about 5 months off the track, and another who was straight off the track. both did very well on this program.

                                        Comment

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