luvs2ride1979: At this point if he has to take a month off of riding or more, fine. What's one month compared to the rest of his life and mine? We could probably use some extensive groundwork training. I just want his feet to get better! No hooves no horse.
You were talking about switching him to just hay, alfalfa pellets, and a vitamin supplement. Right now I don't necessarily ride him hard but I do ride him a lot. Would that type of diet be okay for him? Also, are alfalfa pellets expensive? The vet really likes the way his diet is set up now but I will also bring this up when I talk to her about what I can use on his feet. Thanks!
As long as he's getting a lot of GOOD quality hay, then he should only need 1-4 lbs of Alfalfa pellets plus 1/2 cup of flax or rice bran to keep his weight up. Alfalfa pellets are calorie dense and high in quality, muscle building protein. My "hard keeper" TBxArab maintains well on 25 lbs of bermuda a day with 1.5 lbs of alfalfa pellets.
A grain-free diet promotes hoof health and a healthy metabolism. It's like people giving up on refined and artificial sweeteners and refined flour. We (would) be much healthier and fitter, though who can stick with that, lol. Thankfully, our horses only have access to the foods we want them to have, so we can keep them healthier and from ruining their diets
If he loses weight, then you can increase the flax or rice bran to 1 cup, the alfalfa pellets to 6 lbs, and add a probiotic like Source Focus WT. Once his weight levels out, you can slowly reduce his feed as his body and metabolism adjusts to the new diet. Even in hard work, my horses can maintain on just 2-2.5 lbs of Alfalfa pellets a day, along with 1/2 to 1 cup of flax. I use NutraFlax from horsetech.com. Omega Horseshine is good too, or you can just buy whole flax from your feed store. You don't need to grind or soak North American grown Flax for horses.
To round out the horse's diet, you do need to add some vitamins. They all seem to work well. I have used GrandVite, Select II, Balance II, SmartVite Maintenance Grass, and Uckele's Equi-Base Grass. I didn't notice a whole lot of difference in their outward health/apperance on any of them. Next I'm going to try a custom blend from HorseTech.com of their PhotoFinish and NutraFlax products, so I can get down to one bucket. They don't charge anything extra for customizing the blends, only for the added ingredients.
This "natural" type diet really helped my horses a lot. Their overall "glow" improved, their feet and coats are better, my mare is a LOT less "marey", they both are calmer, they both have better work ethics, and my "hard keeper" is now in danger of getting FAT! lol I don't go back to grains or commerically prepared feeds again if I can help it.
Well the good news is that the first guy I emailed got back to me and he sounds wonderful. He knows a lot, has some great recommendations, isn't to far away, and is not overly priced. He may be coming out as soon as tomorrow! I am sending him the pictures of Indy's feet and we will see what he says! I will keep you all updated, thanks so much!
Good to hear you might have found someone. Update us with before and after photos, and let us know how tender he is after the trim.