Am I feeding him enough? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 22 Old 03-07-2013, 11:13 PM
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As long as we do not overgraze our pastures we do not feed hay until late NOV or early Dec when ever we get our first hard freeze. We will probably stop feeding hay in a couple of weeks here.
If your gelding is in good flesh then no need to worry about what the neighbor says.
I do not believe in feeding grain and when I do it is only as a supplement. The older mares and those in foal or nursing do get more. The rest only half a scoop morning and evening just to get a look over of the whole herd. Shalom
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post #12 of 22 Old 03-07-2013, 11:16 PM
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Looks pretty healthy in those pictures. I'd say your doing just fine
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post #13 of 22 Old 03-07-2013, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taffy Clayton View Post
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.
I make sure that I keep my animals on the maximum area of good pasture as I possibly can since they find fresh grass more palatable than dry hay. I am lucky enough to be in a farming area so finding land isn't a huge issue. Hay is local as well. My father knows most of the old farmers in the area, so I have my pick of what ever hay I want. And I get a discount if I go and pick it up off the field. Doesn't get much better than that.

I find that most people (especially in my area) keep as many horses as they possibly can on as small of an area as possible.
How silly. It's just asking to pay for hay all year long, rather than cut down on animals on the field and have a more healthy pasture.

It must be frustrating for people who don't have the option of a lot of turnout.
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post #14 of 22 Old 03-07-2013, 11:44 PM
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Frankly, he looks perfectly healthy there (though only the first picture worked for me).

Today's horses are, in general, grossly overfed and basically turned into blubbery blob-monsters. I'd much rather see a horse in the condition that yours is rather than the condition most of mine are...obese .

The only thing I can think that he might need is a bit more protein if you start working him harder to keep him from losing muscle mass.
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post #15 of 22 Old 03-07-2013, 11:46 PM
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I couldn't view the pic in the second link, but if he's in the same condition as the first link, than I think he's okay. Maybe the neighbours are overfeeding their horses!

Are you familiar with body condition scoring? That's a good way to evaluate. To me, he looks like a 4 to 5 (out of 9), which is within the ideal range.
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post #16 of 22 Old 03-07-2013, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
Frankly, he looks perfectly healthy there (though only the first picture worked for me).

Today's horses are, in general, grossly overfed and basically turned into blubbery blob-monsters. I'd much rather see a horse in the condition that yours is rather than the condition most of mine are...obese .

The only thing I can think that he might need is a bit more protein if you start working him harder to keep him from losing muscle mass.
I'm with you - I wish some of mine were a little thinner as well!
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post #17 of 22 Old 03-07-2013, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Lol I'm not that familiar with body condition scoring....if someone could tell me exactly how to do it, that would be great

I'll try posting the second pic again.


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post #18 of 22 Old 03-07-2013, 11:55 PM
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Oh, yeah, working now .

IMHO, he looks perfect. Great condition.

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post #19 of 22 Old 03-08-2013, 12:00 AM
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He's actually getting fed pretty well for his work load. What most people don't take into consideration is how much work a horse does. If he's not doing hard work he doesn't meed much grain at all, just a ration balancer with either hay or an all grass diet. IF he's healthy and maintaining weight with what he's getting them keep doing what you're doing. No one knows your horse better than you and as long as a vet hasn't intervened you're fine. Everyone's got an opinion but don't let their ideas sway how you feel about what you're doing. If it works it works if not adjust it. And if you're really concerned get a nutritionist or your vet to write down a feed plan.
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post #20 of 22 Old 03-08-2013, 12:03 AM
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Here's a page that describes body condition scoring. Http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex4830

I find it difficult to be exact without actually feeling the fat along ribs, neck, etc.., but I would say your horse is probably a 4.5-5. He looks great, especially in the second picture.

Signs of a too-thin horse are prominent ribs, hip bones sticking out, veterbrae sticking up. I think anything 3.5 or under is considered too thin (generally speaking). Seven is getting too heavy (though there are exceptions there).
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