Originally Posted by Ryle
Originally Posted by "jazzyrider
if a horse isnt getting his nutritional needs, then how could a complete supplement to fix that not be the answer?? That is what supplements are for, this is of course assuming that the horse has been wormed and there are no other issues. I've known a few horses around who had the same problem until being supplemented and once they start, the improvements are dramatic including my own.
I hate to say it for fear of the backlash that may come my way but what you said goes against everything I have learnt in my life from many different in-the-know people including vets, trainers etc one of the first things I learnt about feeding was that supplementation that provides complete needs is the only way to go once the horse has been cleared of any other issues.
Because supplements are not generally "complete" and supplements are not going to make up for a lack in the basics of a horses diet like an appropriate amount of forage. Supplements can help if the base diet is appropriate in it's amount/makeup but is deficient in specific nutrients. Now if you are talking about a supplemental complete feed, that is another story. But the granular or pelleted vitamin/mineral supplements aren't going to make up for a lack of adequate protein or fiber.
From your comment about how much he gets fed I am assuming that he does not get hay everyday and gets very minimal grass from the pasture. This is the most likely source of your weight loss issue and needs to be corrected rather than just adding a supplement as forage should make up the vast majority of a horse's diet both to meet nutrient requirements but also because the fiber helps to keep the GI tract functioning normally. Horses need to recieve a minimum of 1.5% of their body weight in forage a day. If your horse cannot graze due to an overbite then he needs to be getting hay daily. No amount of sweet feed or supplement is going to make up for this lack of forage in his diet. However if you switch to a complete feed (which is designed to meet all nutritional needs including the fiber) then you can feed just that at the amount recommended on the bag, however all of the time spent without hay during the day increases the risk of gastric ulcers and colic.
yes I was talking about complete supplement that's why I said 'complete supplement'.
Seeing the issue with the forage I now understand more the comment you made. I guess I missed that detail. Oops :) so fair enough.
I am a huge believer in COMPLETE supplements but just to clarify, as you already said, the rest of the diet must be adequate as well.