Back to the basics on feeding. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 45 Old 12-13-2009, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Butler County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 17
• Horses: 0
If you want to move away from Sweet feed you can begin by adding the pellets at around a half cup per day. Then move up as the week goes on.
The deal with sweet feed is tolerance of the horse to sugars and starches. You can avoid it anyway and in the long run save money by buying a better feed. For instance I have a feed that is $24.00 a 40# bag. The daily rations of 1# per 700# is much lower and the daily cost is less than $1.00 per day. The average sweet feed would cost $1.08. You also would get a higher level of vit/minerals. The vitamin and mineral level of the concentrate is much higher than even other pelleted feeds due to the low feed ratio

The problem with feeding just oats is that you will more than likely need to supplement some vitamins and minerals. Not sure in your area but in most the North East the hay was very poor in quality and the lack of protein. To ensure your horse is getting what it needs you need to check your hay and feed accordingly.

I use a product called Enhance Equine Elite Performance and it's 20% protein and 20% fat. Most would look at it and say that is way to high of Protein and also fat. However when you calculate the daily consumption and grams of both you will find that you can actually be feeding in some cases less protein than a 12% sweet and a little over on the fat which in recent research has been discovered to be very good for the equine.

Last edited by garysheets; 12-13-2009 at 10:15 PM.
garysheets is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #22 of 45 Old 12-13-2009, 10:42 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
• Horses: 3
I just posted this on another thread, but it applies to this one too!

If your horse is in good health, has good feet, his coat is shiney, his mane/tails grows well, and his attitude is the way you want it, then there's no real reason to switch his feed. However, many people (myself included) have switched their horses to a more "natural" diet and have seen some great results. Horses are designed to eat and digest high quantities of low protein, low sugar/starch, low fat food. Sweet feed and most commercial horse feeds do NOT fall in to that category. Most are very high in sugar and/or starch and many are high in fat, or have low-quality fat.

Good health starts with hay! Make sure you're buying the best quality hay you can find for your horse. A grass type hay is best, or Timothy hay. I feeda local mix that is about 70% Bermuda with local grasses and clover mixed in. My horses do very well on it.

I prefer to feed my own "feed", rather than something storebought. Most of of the feeds on the market today are full of high starch, high sugar fillers and byproducts, without a lot of quality nutrition. It's like feeding your kids or yourself cereal and frozen dinners. They're okay, but not as healthy as homemade and fresh foods .

With the grass hay, I feed Alfalfa pellets (1/2 to 1 scoop, 2-3.5 lbs), a vit/min mix, and flax meal. I have custom blend me a vitamind mix along with high levels of amino acids, 10 mg of biotin per serving, high Vit E, and some pro-biotics in their flax base. Each serving has 2 oz of flax (about 1/2 cup). All ingrediants are humane-food-grade and very fresh! It costs me $0.87 per-day per-horse to feed (about 1 measuring cup a day).

I use apple cider vinegar to mix the powdered supplement in with the alfalfa pellets. However, you can use water or oil if your horse needs extra fat.

Since switching to this "all natural" type diet my horses's coats have improved, their feet come in strong (vet and farrier RAVE about their feet!!), their attitudes have improved (calmer, more willing, better work ethic, etc.), and my mare's heats aren't so "mare-y" lol. We have very little rain rot (and it's been a BAD year here in Arkansas for it) and almost no thrush anymore. I will never go back to commercial horse feed again...

If you want an off-the-shelf vit/min, I can recommend a few. All worked well for me, I just wanted to have one bucket, instead of the flax & vitamins separate. Plus I wanted more Amino Acids (only the first one has the high levels in it that I like).

Equine Products Inc - Top quality equine supplements - the 1oz serving
Uckele Equine Nutrition
Platinum Performance Equine Wellness - also has "joint goodies" in it
SmartVite Maintenance Grass Pellets from SmartPak Equine
Grand Vite from SmartPak Equine
Select II from SmartPak Equine
Daily Omegas Plus - Multi-Purpose Supplements from SmartPak Equine
LinPro from SmartPak Equine

For the flax I recommend's NutraFlax or Omega Horseshine.
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #23 of 45 Old 12-13-2009, 10:48 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
• Horses: 3
Hoof rings happen usually because of diet, not necessarily farrier work or trimming.

Also, oats by themselves will not provide enough nutrients. You need to add a vitamin supplement like one of the products I listed above. Oats are high in starch, so if you do feed them, feed only a small scoop a day. A 2qt feed scoop will hold about 1-1.5 lbs of oats, depending on the type. You really don't want to feed any more than that. If your horse loses weight, consider adding alfalfa pellets and flax or rice bran (for added fat).
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #24 of 45 Old 12-13-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: I don't know
Posts: 1,158
• Horses: 1
This some thing that is a key factor... Oats would be a treat after riding he does not get every day. I understand that the transition needs to be slow. So if I am going to feed oats I need to feed one of the supplement above?
I would like to narrow down his grain to 3 indgredients
2. Oats?
3. a supplement.

Live to ride. Ride to live.

Last edited by Tasia; 12-13-2009 at 11:02 PM.
Tasia is offline  
post #25 of 45 Old 12-14-2009, 12:29 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
• Horses: 3
Oats are fine as a treat. I'd personal use Alfalfa pellets as his daily feed. They are high in quality protein and amino acids that are missing from grass hay. Plus they have more nutrient value than oats.

For the supplement, choose any that I listed. They're all good ones.
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #26 of 45 Old 12-14-2009, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SouthEastern PA
Posts: 1,740
• Horses: 2
With a no grain diet you should be looking into a ration balancer.
sillybunny11486 is offline  
post #27 of 45 Old 12-14-2009, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: I don't know
Posts: 1,158
• Horses: 1
Ok so I think I have got this figured out
1.Oats or alfalfa pellets
2. Paprika
3. Daily Omega plus
I am a little concerned about alfalfa he tends to get the runs when he gets some thing rich.

Live to ride. Ride to live.
Tasia is offline  
post #28 of 45 Old 12-15-2009, 12:19 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
• Horses: 3
1/2 to 1 scoop of Alfalfa pellets (using a 3 qt plastic feed scoop) is not enough to make a horse's stomach upset. Plus it's dehydrated hay that's been processed in to pelleted form. It's not like getting fresh hay or fresh spring grass.
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #29 of 45 Old 12-15-2009, 01:13 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 4,510
• Horses: 2
I agree with kevinshorses. Our crew gets worked pretty hard during summer - we're mostly trail riders by nature, which almost daily takes us many miles from home on sweaty horses. We also play around constantly doing things like gaming, or jumping or English schooling in the front yard.

That being said, we can barely keep up to the amount of grass our horses ingest in the summer months. We feed no grain and no hay in summer - and we constantly get asked what supplement we use to get such shiny coats! Our horses are almost always fatter then what they could be, even with medium to hard intensity workouts daily.

People worry far to much about grain. Grain should ONLY come into play when your horse is exerting more energy then he can consume with just forage - and you'd be absolutely amazed at what that enegry level actually is. Unless you're a full-time competition rider and training every single day, 90% of horses do NOT "require" a grain or supplement.

Grain is not natural to horses in any way - the same as humans, it is toxic to them if eaten raw. It is not something they would ever eat in the wild - the ONLY purpose it serves is to replenish energy levels that cannot be recovered with a forage diet and those energy levels really only come into play with a competition animal. Grain is pretty much the leading and almost only cause of dietary colic. The more unnaturally we keep our horses, the more ways they'll find to get sick on us.

In the 76 years my grandfather has been alive, riding and training horses for HIS father and then breeding and showing his own herd of Arabians, he has never dealt with a single instance of colic. I have been with horses my entire 24 years and I have never had a single instance of colic. Shay-la has had a decent size herd of horses for the last 7 years and never dealt with colic. Can it really be a coincidence that our horses were all raised on almost a strictly hay and grass diet? If you DO feed grain (which we have in the past), allowing your horse to naturally graze 24/7 will cut your chances of colic almost to zero (with proper feeding regime and guidelines).

Sorry I routed off topic, it just sort of fell into the "sweet feed" question - no, sweet feed is not "good" for your horse, just like no grain is "good" for your horse. The more natural you can make their diet and lifestyle, the less problems of disease and injury you'll experience.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

MacabreMikolaj is offline  
post #30 of 45 Old 12-15-2009, 03:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,179
• Horses: 4
Agree 100% with Macabre!

wild_spot is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is Babe Long back or short back? Parker Horse Ranch Horse Riding Critique 31 12-16-2009 01:23 PM
This is why we learn the basics... chelssss(: Horse Videos 42 10-25-2009 07:16 AM
Dressage Basics RedHawk Horse Training 1 08-20-2008 09:29 AM
Horse Diet Basics Jatt Horse Health 5 01-28-2008 12:51 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome