ration balancers - Page 2

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ration balancers

This is a discussion on ration balancers within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    01-26-2013, 05:14 PM
Super Moderator
I personally haven't found that to be an issue for Lacey - even with a grazing muzzle and daily work, during the summer she keeps it chunky: fit chunky, but chunky.
BUT, if it were an issue, the same stuff applies. Add rice bran/beet pulp/hay pellets to the RB and voila. :)

There are no wrong questions! Ask away. :)

ETA: in the summer I might try alfalfa hay pellets initially for a really easy keeper, then add rice bran or beet pulp if it's really necessary. Beet pulp and rice bran are both much "better" at getting weight on than just hay pellets, for obvious reasons. And rice bran is even "BETTER" at getting weight on than beet pulp, for most horses. So I would start with hay pellets, then beet pulp if a lb or so of hay pellets makes no difference, then, last resort, rice bran.
PunksTank likes this.
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    01-26-2013, 09:19 PM
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
*gasp* I just looked at your Ahab - what a freaking beauty!! I hope you're loving him now!
At the risk of hijacking the thread I just have to say...

Thank you!
Ahab and I have a convoluted relationship, that's for sure. So much of me wants to re-home him and get a "real" riding horse, but the little bugger is weaseling his way into my heart. He is not making Project Get-A-Horse easy. I always took care of him; fed him, groomed him, picked his feet whenever he would let me, scratched his butt and fed him apples, but he pretty much just blew me off and ignored me, unless he thought I was harboring a carrot.

Now, he wickers for me. My old horse, Djinn, ALWAYS whinnied at me, but Ahab: never. He also has started doing this thing, where, when he sees me coming, he walks away to the far end of the paddock, just as he always did. The difference is, now, when he hits the far end, he spins and walks back really fast, sometimes trots, and twice, cantered back, stuffs his nose in my shirt and snorts and blows. He always greets me now. So, as I said, he is making getting rid of him very difficult.

So, we are working on the riding thing; his hooves are better, his diet is much improved, a chiropractor is coming, a bitless bridle is on order, and I've been contacting instructors...
Wallaby likes this.
    01-26-2013, 09:24 PM
AWWW so fantastic!! I don't know about your Ahab, but drafts make Amazing riding horses! I know a number of people who do dressage and even low level jumping with drafts, nimbler drafts can even do quite well in jumping. Don't underestimate him because of his girth
Captain Evil likes this.
    01-30-2013, 08:02 PM
My guy is an easy keeper and gets Triple Crown's ration balancer as his main "grain"

I like to think of horse diets as split into three areas- forage, nutrition, and calories.

Forage ought to be, of course, the basis of any horse's diet. But most forage (whether hay or fresh grass) is deficient in some way (e.g. Selenium, copper, zinc, etc.) due to regional deficiencies or just the way that the plot of land it was grown on has been used/maintained over the years.

That's where a ration balancer comes in- it's there to fill in the nutritional holes and make sure your horse is getting sufficient amounts of everything he needs, but without the added calories or unhealthy starch/sugar of fortified grain products.

Lastly, you have to consider calories. If your horse starts dropping weight too fast or below desired body condition, you can add in calories very easily in the form of alfalfa, beet pulp, rice bran, oil, etc. Because the calories are separated from the nutrition, you can add or remove calories as needed without changing his nutrient intake. Horse losing weight in the winter? Add calories in. Horse injured and on stall rest? Take extra calories away.

If your vet is saying your horses need to lose weight, I'd listen. It's more damaging to a horse's long term health to be a little overweight than a little underweight.
Wallaby likes this.
    01-30-2013, 08:11 PM
Green Broke
So looking at my horse today he is no way in need of loosing 100#. When she saw him it was about 12 degrees out so his coat was puffed up and huge. She didnt even feel him, just glanced at him and said 'I'd like to see him loose 100# before spring'

Today his coat was down and it was 50. He looks totally different then when his coat is all puffed up. He is an easy keeper thus far so am probably going to start a ration balancer in the spring.
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    01-30-2013, 08:26 PM
Green Broke
I have a "hard keeper" on a soy-free ration balancer and just give her 1# of a rice bran/flax pellet in addition. She looks wonderful and the vet is very happy. It's cheaper for me to feed her this way than using normal feeds. Plus, I have two very easy keepers who definitely need do not need feed of any kind, so being able to feed everyone the same thing is an added bonus.

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