Am I feeding him enough?

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Am I feeding him enough?

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    03-07-2013, 11:30 PM
Am I feeding him enough?

I'm pretty sure I feed my gelding enough, but a neighbour of mine who also has horses, commented on how I am not giving him enough.

Luca is a 6 year old Standardbred gelding, good weight. By good weight I mean not being able to see ribs but feel them. He is not really an easy keeper, but he only loses weight if he isn't fed at all. Right now I'm feeding him 4 handfuls of coolfeed extra, which is a mix type of feed for medium work horses. Luca is ridden 4-6 days a week for about half an hour to forty five minutes. Exercise sessions usually consist of walking, trotting, small jumps and at the end a few fun gallops on the big paddock. Luca has access to okay grass (it's the driest season where I live since 40 years ago...that's what everyone tells me.). But we have 6 paddocks that have time to recuperate after being used for a few weeks. Luca also has a mineral lick.

I feed him once a day, in the morning. Is that enough ?? Or should I divide the 4 handfuls into two feeds, or give him more? Luca is in great shape, so I'm not that concerned, it's just that the neighbour told me that a horse his size (he is 16hh) and with this level of exercise should be fed more.....

Thanks in advance,
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    03-07-2013, 11:33 PM
So long as he is maintaining good weight and appears healthy (sleek/shiny coat, plenty of energy, etc) then I wouldn't worry about it.

IMHO, 4 handfuls is not really enough to worry about splitting it up into more than 1 feeding either.
    03-07-2013, 11:34 PM
Im more concerned with how much hay he's getting?
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    03-07-2013, 11:36 PM
Green Broke
Do you have current photos.
    03-07-2013, 11:36 PM
^^If there is plenty of grass (even dry grass) that he can forage whenever he wants, then he technically doesn't need hay.
    03-07-2013, 11:45 PM
I agree-- but "ok" grass to me, sounds like some hay might be needed--especially, if he's being stalled any.

I turn mine out on green pasture with a few flakes of hay. :)
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    03-07-2013, 11:56 PM
Green Broke
If you are questioning how much you feed, then you are probably not feeding enough.
A bit of grass in a field is not enough, to sustain a horse on just grass takes a lot of grass, and good grass at that. It is very easy, and it doesn't take long to over graze a pasture.
    03-07-2013, 11:58 PM
If I turn my horse out on grass with hay, the hay will sit there and rot before he touches it if he has the choice. :P
    03-08-2013, 12:03 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by grayshell38    
If I turn my horse out on grass with hay, the hay will sit there and rot before he touches it if he has the choice. :P

If this is true in the spring and early summer months, it is good that you have enough new green grass to tempt your horse away from the hay, just feed less hay so there is little waste.
If this is true in the fall and winter months, you need better hay.
    03-08-2013, 12:12 AM
He's pastured 24/7 and he has enough grass not to eat hay. He will only eat hay if there isn't anything else to eat . He's not particularly fond of it. Here are some pictures of him.
^ this one is from 2 months ago. He is a lot shinier now
Here, his full shininess!

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