Do thoroughbreds cost more to feed than other breeds? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Do thoroughbreds cost more to feed than other breeds?

Okay, so I'm looking for a new horse and I've mainly come across TBs. I'm a teenage rider with 8 years of riding experience, now looking to do eventing. I was just wondering, are thoroughbreds more expensive to keep than, say, warmbloods? In terms of feed? I've heard of them being 'poor doers', but I'm wondering whether its a big difference from other breeds. And how much would it cost (per week) to feed a large horse in heavy work? Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 06:07 AM
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everything totals up when you add the farriar, chiro's, feed, where ur going to keep the horse, dentist, vet, ,, tack, saddle fitter

Every breed is expencive:)
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 06:30 AM
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It really depends on the horse itself. I know that Thoroughbreds are generally more expensive to feed, and difficult to keep weight on. My Thoroughbred, however, is the opposite. I give him very little, and he keeps his weight well. Fluke? Possibly ;) I spend about $50 a month on food at the moment. But he is in a very lush paddock 24/7 and is getting a bit too chubby lately! He is in very light work, only being ridden once a week, so obviously his feed would change with more work.

Best idea is to talk to the horses owners :)
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 06:53 AM
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we had 2 thourobreds that lived next door that just lived off grass, and they were fine all yr round, they also were the missing girls horses where she had aggisted, so they were left there
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 07:09 AM
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My TB mare has been quite easy to keep weight on - Free-choice Grass hay in the winter and pasture now in the summer. Nothing more than a mineral supplement. I did have her on a feed for a bit through the spring - she didn't seem to have the topline I like, but that quickly remedied itself and she is back on just pasture.

One thing to keep in mind is many TBs are off track and/or have been stalled a lot. The stress and stalling can lead to ulcers. If that is the case - treating the ulcers can sometimes change a "hard keeper" into an average or even easy keeper depending on the horse.

I would just ask what the feed regime is of any horse you are interested in and that should give you a good idea what kind of feed costs involved will be for that horse.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 10:48 AM
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I don't like making breed generalities, but in my experience, yes. My two Thoroughbreds cost me $1680 each just in feed yearly, while my Arabs thrive on 24/7 pasture and a few flakes of hay. My Percheron costs only $640 per year on a hay & pasture diet, and my Paso Fino is around $1050.

Of course, many Thoroughbreds are easy keepers, but the Thoroughbreds I've owned have always been high-maintenance.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 11:35 AM
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there are about 12 TB's on the farm right now. 4(22 year old gelding, 2 year old gelding, 9 year old stallion, 1 mare.) are hard keepers requiring ALOT of grain in addition to pasture to maintain condition, 3 are super easy keepers, very fat just off pasture, the rest are in between.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 12:09 PM
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I've come to think that racing bred TBs seem to be harder keepers than non race-bred (the lines).
I had a TB that was a rescue (bred 2 gens down from racing stock) that is too fat on a half scoop of oats and pasture. I now I have an OTTB mare "rescue" that I'm feeding 16lbs/day Omelene 200 with cool calories and an electrolyte supplement. She's gaining, but she's not gaining as fast as I'd think she would if she were such an easy keeper as the TB out of pleasure stock. We'll see how much condition she keeps in a few months when I really start up her endurance conditioning. I have a feeling she's going to still need a decent bit of feed to keep her weight. I'm currently spending about $50/week just on feed.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 12:14 PM
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My experience is yes. My barn has 76 stalls and several TBs amongst them. They seem to get on average about 2x the grain of the other horses. My friend just sold her TB who ate 6x as much as her easy keeper Morgan.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-25-2013, 12:28 PM
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All depends on the horse.
I have had some that were air-ferns, literally - I have a TB gelding that does very well on minimal grain and plenty of hay. Then I have the mare that seems to require a butt-load of grain plus unlimited hay. Then again I fed a QH mare that was the same way - took a ton of feed plus her hay to keep weight on her.
It is all on the individual horse. OTTBs are used to high calorie diets and their metabolism runs high due to years of training and racing; some never come out of that mindset, others after a let down do very well on less grain but still require a good supply of hay in front of them.
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