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Anyone have a horse doing better on higher NSC?

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  • Anyone have a horse doing better on higher NSC?

    It seems like things used to be much easier before I knew anything. 12 years ago, we more or less fed hardkeepers a scoop of SS pellets and a scoop of textured Equitech twice a day. Easier keepers got some variation of that, and everyone got a scoop of ElectroDex in the summer or when worked hard. I always gave mine Select vitamins, but most of our barn didn't. Everyone was fat, blindingly shiny, and had a healthy amount of energy.

    Now with the low NSC craze... I admit most of mine do wonderfully on only soaked cubes and vitamins/aminos. But a couple just don't. One of those does best on a sweet feed with a 33% NSC (Legends Grow & Perform). He looks, feels and acts like a million bucks at 26 years old on about 3 lbs/day of it in the dead of winter, less of it in summer.

    The ones that do well on the higher NSC feeds tend to lose muscle and act lethargic on low NSC. I know I'm opening myself up to being roasted for feeding a sweet feed, but has anyone else had similar results?
    Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

  • #2
    I can't imagine anyone roasting you for feeding your horse whatever it does best on. As they say "if it "ain't" broke don't fix it.
    I know you asked if anyone had similar results and I haven't done that but even if no one else has either if you're getting the results you say it sounds good to me.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

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    • #3
      I spent over a year trying the whole RB/BP/Alf cubes/etc etc feeding. My boarders easy keeper did ok on it but no matter HOW much fat, protein, flax, rice bran, *fill in the blank* did I feed with my mare, she just lost weight and muscle and just never looked as good as she did on a complete feed that was higher in NSCs.

      I finally switched back to a bagged feed. I feed my boarders gelding and my 2.5 yr old WB gelding Seminoles Compete Safe which is a texturized feed (meaning, a lot like sweet feed with some pellets in it) and its a 10% protein and 8% fat and the NSC is 13%. However my mare is on their Show n Sport which is a 12/12 feed and is texturized as well. Its NSC is 16%. It says on the bag it is a reduced starch while the Compete Safe says its a low starch.

      I know there is a big thing about feeding ration balancers and adding in the things you need to make it work for your horses. However, I found what works for my horses, esp my mare, is a complete feed. So if your horses are doing well on your sweet feed, Im with the above poster, if it aint broke, dont fix it!
      ~~~~~~~~~

      Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

      Comment


      • #4
        My sister's Thoroughbred does really well on 2qts TC Complete (NSC 30% if I recall correctly? I might not) and 2qts rice bran per feeding, plus all the grass hay he can stuff into his mouth. He is one that really does better on a higher NSC feed and will drop weight if you try to feed him something lighter.
        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

        Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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        • #5
          The old man here apparently is immune to any negative side effects of NSC's. He turned 32 today.

          He eats safe choice, oats and alfalfa pellets, mixed up w/beet pulp and on really cold days, canola oil. Eats alfalfa hay. Yep, I commit all the major sins, I just do them all in one horse my vet saw him a few weeks ago and could not BELIEVE he is 32.. he looks pretty darn good!
          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          ---
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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          • #6
            We have a 24 year old quarter horse in the same category--eats Purina Equine Senior, rice bran and beet pulp, and alfalfa hay. He looks and feels pretty darn good on it.

            He just wasn't quite right on the "good for them" diet the others are on.

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            • #7
              The interesting or better confusing thing about this low NSC rage in the US, how come all those horses in Europe seemingly do well on the high NSC stuff.

              Recently I looked up some of the NSC levels in the different horsefeeds available in the Netherlands and the lowest is about 30%. Most of us here, would go over that.

              I feed low NSC too, but I keep thinking how did my horses survive all those years on this high %. And how come none of my friends' horses overseas have any issues on those high NSC's.
              Why are only US horses prone to EPSM and the likes and not the EU residing ones. Mind boggling to me.

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              • #8
                I think some horses do need the extra energy from carbs to do well.

                Also TC Complete is around 20% their regular sweetfeeds are much higher because they are a traditional sweetfeed while the complete is beet pulp based.
                http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
                  Why are only US horses prone to EPSM and the likes and not the EU residing ones. Mind boggling to me.
                  It's worth exploring
                  www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                  chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                  • #10
                    could be anything- difference in work level, soil and grass types, metabolism, etc.
                    I personally have not seen too many horses do great on sweet feed- but as they say, if it works, go for it. If the horse is shiny, good weight, joints are in good health (for age, workload), no stocking up or digestive issues, go for it.
                    I DO know of several horses though that are better on a complete or senior feed than the whole beep/hay pellet/rb diet.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      EqTrainer I'm glad you commit sins too!

                      Murphyluv, I've had him for 23 years and he's been at this place for most of the last 6 years. Throughout his life, at all the places he boarded when I wasn't leasing a barn and before I built my barn, he has done best on a 14% sweet feed and has always lost muscle and acted puny on lower nsc, especially low protein ones. He's also been on TC Complete and TC Senior and wasn't as right as he is on the sweet. It just makes me wonder what's up with that since it goes against current research and sounds like there's a couple others with similar findings (couple older ones too!)

                      As far as I can tell, he has no long term negative effects. At 26, he looks gorgeous and my farrier who's awesome at picking up and being careful with hind leg stiffness asked why this one was never sore or stiff at his age. I wish I knew why, I'd bottle it. The horse moves like a very sound 8 year old!
                      Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

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                      • #12
                        that's awesome!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've seen a big change in my mare from switching from timothy hay to rye hay. Granted, I haven't done any NSC testing on the rye...but someone suggested on another board that rye hay is extremely high in NSCs.....maybe, but my mare's gas episodes have greatly subsided since we've gone off the timothy hay.

                          I'm personally not crazy about ration balancers for my guys. I feed my old TB..Pennfield Fibergized Omega, beet pulp, alfalfa cubes and Platinum Performance.

                          The mare does get Pennfield's Cool n Lite...but she is an easy keeper and just cannot have alot of grain......she also gets beet pulp, alfalfa, and Platinum Performance.

                          Both the PP and the Beet Pulp (the Standlee pellets) do have Cane Molassess in them...as does the Fibergized Omega.....at first I really stressed about this....but both horses are doing great on their diets...so I stopped stressing about it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The worst year of my horse's performance life was when he was on a ration balancer and hay.

                            Out of frustration one day I bought a bag of "sweet" feed and immediately saw an increase in performance. I also find that when on sweetfeed he has more strength and does not get fat- low NSC (12% overall diet) he can barely get out of his own way and puts on a lot of weight.

                            I'm also noticing, I think, that a higher body condition (fat) also improves his strength. I had always tried to keep him on the thinner side (think event horse) but recently it seems that he keeps more muscle mass when he's a bit fatter (on the higher NSC feeds). Not hugely fat, but a good covering of the ribs. Most noticeable in the loin area and it isn't simply fat- there is much more tone.

                            He's a TB genotype. I highly suspect that the difference I feel has a lot to do with muscle glycogen levels.

                            The feed I use isn't super high in NSC- I've found a blend of NSC and fat to be best. The winter he was on the low NSC he was too fat on 1.5# of ration balancer a day, this winter he's a good fat on 6# of a 20% NSC 12% fat extruded feed.

                            I love the particular feed he's on- not only does he feel stronger and is more agreeable under saddle, he's also less spooky.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
                              The interesting or better confusing thing about this low NSC rage in the US, how come all those horses in Europe seemingly do well on the high NSC stuff.

                              Recently I looked up some of the NSC levels in the different horsefeeds available in the Netherlands and the lowest is about 30%. Most of us here, would go over that.

                              I feed low NSC too, but I keep thinking how did my horses survive all those years on this high %. And how come none of my friends' horses overseas have any issues on those high NSC's.
                              Why are only US horses prone to EPSM and the likes and not the EU residing ones. Mind boggling to me.
                              I didn't realize our friends across the pond aren't seeing EPSM and the likes at the same rate that we are. That's very interesting. Wonder what it's about. Breeding? More work? My high NSC loving horse is an import, wonder if it's in his genes, or if raising him on high NSC feeds had something to do with it...
                              Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                just curious... but can anyone rattle off the nsc of regular ol' beetpulp shreds WITH molasses?

                                cause.. well.. that is one of the sins I commit, is I don't soak and rinse.. I just soak. My herd is looking great on alf and beep with some veggie oil for the TB and the old guy and about two bales of hay a day (40lbs bales-23lbs hay per horse) it puts them right around 1.5-2% pody weight rule.
                                If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CoolMeadows
                                  I didn't realize our friends across the pond aren't seeing EPSM and the likes at the same rate that we are. That's very interesting. Wonder what it's about. Breeding? More work? My high NSC loving horse is an import, wonder if it's in his genes, or if raising him on high NSC feeds had something to do with it...
                                  Trying to explain or discuss the fact your horse has epsm in The Netherlands or Belgium f. ex., is like walking on a different planet. The feeding industry has not yet picked up on the low starch, low sugar yet or as I wonder, perhaps we here are overdoing it and it's not as nessecary as we think.

                                  Over there feeding discussions will go heated over whether protein should be lower. They seem to be hot on feeding the horse low protein (10%-ish) irrespective of sugar & starch. Here we tend to think better of higher protein and less starch/sugar.

                                  I'm experimenting at present with switching my one horse back from TC low starch to an imported Belgian feed called Cavalor (sugars & starches 36%). Analysis http://www.cavalor.com/extended-prod...subcategory=17
                                  Will be interesting to see if I notice a difference. He was actually fed Cavalor in the past when we were still lliving overseas. Then we moved here and I freaked out over the likes of EPSM etc and went low starch all the way with TC feeds.
                                  Time will tell whether it will make any difference in him or not.

                                  The EU feeds tend to be more muesli-based feeds which are a little different from the US sweet feeds, but nevertheless the sugars in the mueslis are high too.

                                  The UK on the contrary has lower NSC feeds too, but again not all that much mentioning of EPSM although people are more familiar with it then on the continent.

                                  Is it because they don't recognize EPSM or is it because less horses suffer from it, I have no idea.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Could it be that the 33% NSC sweet feed has a better nutritional profile than what you had before?

                                    I doubt a horse does better with more non-structural carbohydrates - I'm just trying to figure out the physiology behind that

                                    So, I bet there are lower NSC feeds out there that would do just as well for you because of their nutritional profile
                                    ______________________________
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Could be JB. In the 23 years I've had him, here's what he's eaten:
                                      Overseas - Either a mix of oats, barley, corn and flax, cooked or just oats and flax. Did wonderfully.

                                      Here - Omolene 200. Was phenomenal on that and was showing a lot at that time.

                                      Strategy. Was unusually quiet but looked well.

                                      Blue Seal Hunter. Similar results to Strategy but a bit perkier.

                                      Triple Crown Senior. Was awful on this. Just punky and puny and depressed.

                                      TC Complete. Slightly better attitude/look then on TC Senior but his coat was dull/rough. I even had bloodwork done thinking maybe Cushings as his coat had that look but it turned out his protein was a bit low.

                                      Equitech. Got obese and was a slug.

                                      In between those he's been on either TC Performance 14% or one of the Legends 14% sweet feeds and has always had a multivitamin. I didn't realize just how many different feeds he's been on in his life before typing that out! Do you see any particular pattern?
                                      Please don't try to be a voice of reason. It's way more fun to spin things out of control. #BecauseCOTH - showhorsegallery

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        How long have we realized that NSCs are an issue and since "we" started feeding accordingly? I'm genuinely curious because I had honestly never heard of them until two years ago, and it was from someone whose horses weren't even having EPSM/IR/etc issues. I'm sure that a low-NSC diet has merits for horses with actual problems, but I feel like a lot of people are on some sort of bandwagon.

                                        My horse is on Purina (gasp!) Horseman's Edge sweet feed. I can't even *find* the NSC content on that so I know it has got to be off the charts. Plus the main ingredients are oats and barley. You think? And he's fine. It's the only higher fat grain that my feed store carries, and that's the only one in my area. I have started cutting it with a 7-12% NSC pellet that I have to drive an hour to get. I've definitely considered going off the sweet feed completely and just upping his beet pulp and adding an RB, but the horse hasn't actually given me a reason to as of yet.
                                        "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"

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