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?A few questions for the professionals?

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    06-09-2010, 05:12 PM
  #21
Trained
6) As others have mentioned, it will depend on the particular horse, and how well he or she metabolises what they eat. The appy I had for about 5 months last year was extremely hard to keep weight on, even with full pasture, extra hay, and grain supplementation. The mare I have now gets a bit of bermuda pellets with her apple cider vinegar in it, and 3 slices of hay per day. She does have some pasture, but there's very little to pick at, given we live in the desert right now! She is in good shape, if not slightly chubby!

7) A horse doesn't "need" grain to survive...good grass, and high quality hay and a mineral block is all they need in order to thrive. It's when a horse is heavily worked, or just doesn't maintain his body condition very well, that grain supplementation may be required; not necessarily 'sweet feed' or oats either; I think there are much better supplemental grains than those, which tend to add extra sugars and unnecessary calories. One of my favorite feeds is Ultium. I also like senior feeds, as they tend to be made for full feed usage, so don't contain alot of unnecessary calories.
     
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    06-10-2010, 10:31 AM
  #22
Green Broke
  1. It really, as others have said, depends on the horse. If you're doing advanced level eventing or throughbred racing yes, otherwise, no. Two times a day is fine. It's all about how much you feed. My event horse gets 2 and a half scoops of feed, but my easy keeping jumper gets a half scoop. Even when she was eventing she only got that much. It's just like some people need more to eat and drink and others need less.
  2. YES. I am an honor student and go to a hard college prep school and take advanced courses and it is difficult. I don't have the luxuray of going home and having all the time in the world to spend on homeword. I get up at 4:30 in the morning to go out and get a ride in before I feed, then I leave for school at 7, get home at 4, then I have to ride another horse and feed dinner and then usually have to muck stalls and clean the barn, so I'm not home home until 7, then I have to eat ontop of all of that and THEN do homework. So I don't get to go out with friends and I don't get to go see movies. It's the choice I wanted to take and I don't regret it though!
  3. Yup! I'm stronger than my three brothers, and I can walk forever and now I'm starting to actually work out and it's coming easier than expected, so if you're out there every day working, you'll gain some muscle tone!
  4. There isn't much regret. The only thing I don't like about horses is that I'm missing out on alot of "normal" high school experiance. I don't have time to go out and be with friends, I'm most likly not going to be able to attend dances, and I have to schedual everything around my riding and training. It is a huge comitment. No matter what, you're going to have to get up and work. There is no more sleeping in. There is no putting it off until tomorrow. There is no stoping for holidays. Christmas morning I get up, see my stocking, then go out and feed and care for the hroses before I get to open presents with my family. You have to be willing to give up vacations too. Ever since we got our farm I havn't taken a vacation. We went to Disney World for a week when we luckily found someone we knew well enough and trusted enough to take care of our two horses. Now we have four and they're all worth alot, and finding someone I trust to do it all RIGHT is hard. I don't regret having my horses at home though. I'm able to monitor everything about them, so when something is wrong, I know before it's terribly wrong.
  5. Every day. Unless the weather deams otherwise, I'm on a horse.
  6. If they're out on pasture and it's good grass, I say no hay. All of our horses are on nice grassy pastures and none of them get any hay. In winter we might give them a little, but if you know how to properly maintain your pastures, then it shouldn't be a problem. (if you are planning on starting a farm, you have to be willing to work in the pastures with the tractor, seeding, putting down minerals, etc to keep good grass up and the weeds down. I'm lucky enough to have a dad that does that for me, and we're one of the best horse farms in the state with pastures)
  7. All of our horses get grain. We have a hard keeping TB mare and her yearling that I'm training to go to the track so their on feed and elctrolytes. My jumper gets a half scoop because she doesn't do much work, and my event horse is on a scoop and a half of sweet feed and a scoop of rice bran because he is working so hard on a daily basis.
  8. I love my horses. They're my whole life. If I couldn't go and ride and compete I don't know how I'd live. Not alot of people understand the bond a horse and a person can have, but once you feel that bond, you never want to let it go.
     
    06-10-2010, 10:54 AM
  #23
Weanling
1. It varies from horse to horse. The only horses I have known who *needed* to be fed 3 times a day are the ones who needed to put on weight, who got a small "lunch" to add more calories to their diet. I have known many horses who stay perfectly healthy on 24/7 turnout and hay. The "average" horse usually takes a little feed in the am/pm with free choice hay.

2. While I have never been able to keep a horse at home (living in a neighborhood on half an acre, ha!), I can say that I was a "barn manager" at a barn for a couple of weeks before I got fed up with the crappy barn owner there. I had the general duties of horse care over 30+ horses, and I was a high school senior at the time (albeit homeschooled). It was tough. But of course, that is 30 horses in a big lesson/boarding barn! If you can stay focused on school, I think 1-2 horses is manageable.

3. Absolutely! Riding alone keeps you fit. Doing stable chores even more so!

4. I have owned two horses. The first I do not regret a bit - it was never work for me tending to her. I loved every minute. My second horse I regret but NOT because of the responsibility. I was scammed, and it was a long, stressful and complicated situation. I just have to say be careful when purchasing a horse, and don't ever do it on a whim in the heat of the moment.

5. I am leasing my pony currently, and I ride 3x a week, due to the fact that I unfortunately am 30+ minutes away. My trainer is amazing and well worth the drive though. IMHO, the best dressage trainer in the area. Not biased at all.
     
    06-10-2010, 11:31 AM
  #24
Started
1) I keep two of my horses at home and one at a local stable until I get a fence up around another pasture. I feed my horses at home grain twice a day with hay because they have very little grass. If I have to stay at college late at night my dad will feed them for me. It's always good to have someone closeby that can feed them on short notice. The only time I have ever fed one of my horses 3 times a day is when I boarded him and someone could feed him at lunch for me. It's good to feed them more often in a day and feed them less grain than to feed them only once a day with a lot of grain. Better for their digestion.

2) My grades have never ever suffered because of my horses whether I kept them at a local stable or at home. Sometimes I like to go sit under their run-in shed in the pasture and study with them. They will distract me sometimes when they come up wanting their nose petted though. Just don't study for something major outside! :]

3) When I first got introduced to horses I was starting to get pudgy. After I started riding, however, I got skinny again very fast and have stayed that way ever since. They certainly will give you some exercise!

4) I will NEVER regret getting my horses. My first horse only lived 3 months before he died, he had cancer. I've had my present horse for 4 1/2 years now, because of my first horse. They were buddies in the pasture at the stable I boarded him at and since my first horse wasn't contagious, we would turn them out in a little pasture all to themselves and when I came to check on him at night I would give them both equal attention, and eventually fell in love with my second horse. I wouldn't trade him for the world. I now have two other horses. One is a pony and can be the biggest brat in the world sometimes! Once I get one quirk fixed, he starts up another! They can be pretty costly at times, but I love taking care of them. It is a big change if you bring them home. You have to get up to feed them in the morning and feed them in the evening, make sure they're up to date on vaccinations and worming, have plenty of feed and hay, clean out their shed or stall, make sure they have shoes on, and if they get sick you have to watch for the symptoms and be able to know what to do. ALWAYS have a first aid kit. It has helped me tremendously. Banamine has come in handy when one of them got into some bad hay. Learn how to administer shots in the neck especially, and in the rear end. You'll find it's a lot of fun taking care of them though. I enjoy it. When I brought my horse home, I only had one and I was 14. My parents know NOTHING about horses, so I was on my own. It was a little scary at first, but you'll get over that fast. If I can do it, you can do it.

5) I ride my horses whenever I have the time and when the weather is on my side. I go to school full-time and when I don't have school I have work. When I get off at 6 in the evenings I try to ride if it isn't raining. Where I live I have to let the ground dry out for a day or two after it rains because it's all red clay. One step off the pavement and they will go sliding. An arena or round pen will help a lot with the footing issue though. Unfortunately I don't have one yet. If you ride by yourself though be extremely careful and don't do anything risky. Always carry a cell phone or a walkie talkie. I've had to use mine before. I barrel race at local shows a saturday or two a month, nothing big at all, just for fun. It would be good if I rode my barrel horse at least 3 times a week, but with my crazy school and work schedule I don't always have the time. Plus I have 2 other horses that need to be ridden also.
     
    06-10-2010, 12:44 PM
  #25
Yearling
6) Let's say a horse is around 16 hands, and he/she is on pasture most of the day; ridden 4-5x a week. How many lbs of hay a day would you think they would need?? Because I have read about 16 lbs a day for a 1000 pound horse, but if he horse is on pasture is it really necssary to give them that much?

As others have stated, it depends on the individual horse. If the horse is on good pasture, they really shouldn't need any extra hay unless it's hard to keep them at a good weight. Also, if they're not on pasture all day, I would assume they're stalled part of the day? If that's so then I would toss them hay while they're in a stall so they can meet their daily forage needs, but depending on the amount of time they shouldn't need 16 lbs of hay.

7) (sorry thought of another one) Some people say that a horse only needs grain if they are lactating or a hard keeper, old or in hard work ;something like that. But if the are not old and ridden 4-5 times a week, do they need grain??

Grain should only be supplemented to a horse's diet ONLY if they can't keep their proper weight on forage alone. My gelding right now, granted, is quite an easy keeper, but even when he was extremely fit and being ridden 6-7 days a week for two hours a day he barely got a handful of grain in the morning and at night. Generally, if a horse is getting enough good hay or is out on decent pasture 24/7, they shouldn't need that much grain, if any.
     
    06-10-2010, 04:30 PM
  #26
Foal
Smile

) The point of feeding horses as most possibly spread out as often is to simulate them as they would be naturally - to give a horse the best quality most natural lifestyle we would have to be feeding them eight plus small meals per day! Most of us don't have time for this, but the more spread out you can get the meals the better!
2) If you are good at managing your time, it's not as difficult as you may think!
3) Most definitely - instead of sitting on the computer or watching tv, you'll be out riding, doing chores or whatever else!
4) I do not personally own horses - I have never been able to afford it as I am going to school etc..I have had so much experience leasing other peoples horses or riding other horses. You get a lot more experience riding many different breeds and temperaments.
5) I ride almost everyday!
     
    06-10-2010, 05:04 PM
  #27
Green Broke
Horses don't ALWAYS need to have shoes. It's a good idea and some people insist on it. It really depends on what kind of work they are doing,the environment.If your horse has strong,hard feet they might not need shoes. If they start to break or crack or have shallow hoof walls or soft feet I would recommend that they should get shoes. Horses with white hooves have softer feet and they chip easily on hard surfaces. Shoes are also beneficial to their joints I have heard. I am not sure if that is correct though. Also if you get supplements for their hooves it will keep them healthy.

"Hooves grow about a quarter inch each month, and need trimming to stay even and to prevent breakage. The farrier removes the shoes, trims the hooves and replaces the shoes. Shoes won't keep your horse's hooves from growing; if they aren't trimmed often enough or if they shoes stay on too long, your horse will go lame. Sometimes the shoes can be reused; your farrier will decide.

Shod hooves do pick up more debris than unshod ones, and the packed rocks, mud or even ice can cause your horse pain and injury. The added pressure makes walking uncomfortable and can create a bacterial infection in the sole of the foot. Pick out your horse's feet each day to remove foreign matter and prevent infection. "

Take this into consideration.

Here is the website I got that from. It explains things very well.

Horse Shoes and Shoeing Basics
     
    06-10-2010, 05:25 PM
  #28
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidget    
Horses with white hooves have softer feet and they chip easily on hard surfaces.

Untrue. Old wives tale. And scientifically proven to be untrue as far back as 1976.

Quote:
A 1976 study by James E. Dinger of the University of Maryland entitled "Recent Findings in Hoof Physiology" found no correlation between hardness of the hoof wall and the pigmentation of the hoof. More recently, scientists have viewed cross-section slides of hooves under electron microscopes and failed to find any structural differences between white and black hoof walls.
White hooves: a mythic weakness? - Thoroughbred Times
     
    06-10-2010, 05:47 PM
  #29
Green Broke
Okay,so proved me wrong.
It depends on the horse.
Some horses have crappy feet and some have feet that are really strong.

I guess it's like people and their fingernails. Some have flimsy ones that chip and peel if they tried to grow them out and some people have extremely hard nails that are in great condition.
     
    06-12-2010, 05:01 AM
  #30
Trained
1) I feed twice a day, but my boy is paddocked during the day so has free access to pasture. When he is staying at my coaches place he's in a yard and I will allow him ad lib meadow hay during the day. But he is still hard fed twice a day.
A stalled horse is best to be fed 3 times a day though, it IS healthier for them to be fed three times, to split the meals into smaller portions and keep their gut moving. A stabled horse should have constant access to hay anyway.

2) When I was at school I didn't have a problem with keeping my horse riding going and grades up. My horses are kept at home, I feed them twice a day, rug, etc. etc. The only time I decreased my riding was in the last term and a bit of year 12, when exams were coming up. Otherwise no problem at all. If it's not horses it'll be boys/partying! (or if you're like me, all 3 :P)
I'm at university now, and more serious than ever about my horses. I work, have a serious boyfriend, study full time etc. and I am managing. I have exams coming up in 2 weeks so have dropped off my riding a little to give me more time (Usually ride 5-6 times a week!) but horses certainly haven't detracted from my grades.

3) It can do. Really depends on how much you are doing with your horse. I'm usually riding/lunging/mucking out/grooming every day sometimes twice a day and that helps me stay reasonably in shape, I'm fitter than a coach potato at least. But horse riding alone won't keep you truly fit. I like to run and do some weight training occasionally to keep in shape.

4) I don't regret it by any means, especially not with Hugo. Every horse I've owned has taught me something, particularly as I have a habit of 'pity buying' and landing with nice, but very green horses. Only one horse I've come close to regretting. I was ripped off buying her from my then 'boss', who told me she'd dog her otherwise. I bought her out of pity, trained her to elementary dressage, fixed her medical issues etc. and got $300 less than what I paid for her!
But overall, no I don't regret it. They give me so much happiness, provide me with a goal, a reason to get out of bed (whether I like it or not :P).
But yes, horses are a BIG change to not having a horse. They are A LOT of work, do not underestimate how time consuming and expensive they are.

5) I ride 5 to 6 days a week. That is my current horse, I will often ride a couple of times a day depending on whether I've got another horse in work or not. It really depends on what you are planning on doing with the horse. If you're a pleasure rider, a couple of times a week is plenty. For myself, I am a dressage rider and want my horses fit and strong, and riding 5-6 times a week helps this as well as progressing quickly with their education.

6) I generally like to have a round bale of average quality meadow out in the paddock for my horses to pick at. But my horse in full work gets 2 biscuits of quality meadow hay every night with a hard feed, a hard feed in the morning and is paddocked all day with good pasture so I'm not having to feed so much hay. Although he is an extremely good doer so the amount of hay you feed does depend on the horse. I've had a few that I was having to feed out almost a full bale every day to keep weight on.

7) Grain isn't essential. I hard feed my horses (a combination of chaff, processed feeds and barley/oats depending on the horse) when they are in work, those that are not in heavy work and are nicely weighted can be quite happily living off hay. Many horses in light pleasure work are perfectly happy on hay and pasture.
However when a horse is being regularly worked, to the point of sweating and blowing, I like to hard feed them to replace many minerals they lose, and to provide energy and assist in muscle building.
     

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