Hello all! I have gone through the post all of you have posted 2 to 3 times now soaking in any and all info I can. I found a Belgian Mare for sale recently. I am physicaly going to look at her this afternoon and hope to go on from there. If I get her or not I am getting a draft very soon. My fiance and I already have an Arab gelding and have noticed in our research of drafts the world is different. I have some questions for yall.
Feeding: I have read a lot of info on this forum about the feeding and differences etc. In all I have gathered this much, low protein and high fat. If you even think about replying please be as detailed as possible all the way to weights and brands. My biggest questions are: She is currently pasture only and shares a round of coastal with 2 zebras and a water buffalo. She is not worked or riden at all. She is not stalled and lives on the pasture only. I plan to turn her in and out during the day and night with feeding in the stall or paddock. With this I am sure her diet must change when I begin to put her on a work out to get her in shape and in training. I would preffer to cut some of the coastal out of her diet and go with oats, complete feed, etc in small percentages. Coastal prices are through the roof right now in Texas due to the gruling sumemr we went through. So please when answer to my post please keep in mind we NEVER see snow on the ground here unless it is a freak once in 10 years 1 inch. I welcome any and all feedback but have found a lot of information for people up north to be slightly different than down deep south where we see consistent warm days toping 100 and dippin on average low as 60. So long story short the coastal fields have been destroyed over the summer here. Our pastures (30 acre just horse pasture) are green again but once again I would like to slowly wean her from pasture as the primary food source (unless you can justify why not to). I have read myself blind on the EPSM risks, diet, etc. Any and all info you ahve please share as detailed as possible.... I want the best care for her as we all do.
Supplements: Brands, reasons to use them, frequency of use, etc?
Vitamins/Minerals: Same questions as supplements.
Getting her back in shape for riding only she will never be hitched. Do you recommend any thing supplement, feed, anything about everything,etc..? She is in shape now so please don't take me as using that as a weight loss term I actually want to build her muscles back up, endurance, while at the same time working her manners, and see what hint if any formal training is there. She will lead, saddle, etc but I will be the 3rd owner and the 2nd owner has no knowledge of formal training.
Part 2 of this is....: She might be of Foal.... a.... Hybrid foal at that. 1/2 zebra. She has not shown signs of heat in 2 to 3 months now. The current owner has not had an ultrasound or any formal check, so is unsure. If this is the case I am aware of the high risk with hybrids but am totally opened ear to anything you have to say. This takes me back to diet... If she is of foal what do I do food, supplement, vitamins??? This is an area I don't know much about other than what books have said. I will hire a vet to take care of this one if she is knocked up. Anyone here with knowledge of this process either horse or hybrid is welcome..
Sorry for the long post, look forward to hear what everyone has to say. If I sound rude or brash in my post I am not at all and probably the goofiest person you could ever meet. I work on the legal/regulatory side of the oil and gas biz, and I swear that has caused my text typeing to come off as EVIL or rude.
P.S. I purchased the Draft Horse Owners (Amazon) book today based on most of yalls recomendations.