Back to the basics on feeding. - Page 4
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health

Back to the basics on feeding.

This is a discussion on Back to the basics on feeding. within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        12-15-2009, 03:35 AM
      #31
    Weanling
    Equilibrium is a fantastic supplement! Its an allround mineral mix -

    But as stated above- if your horse doesn't need the sweet feed- don't feed it to him.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        12-15-2009, 03:18 PM
      #32
    Foal
    This is a great thread!

    My opinion is that every horse, every situation, and every feeding program is different, and that's okay. Personally, I try to stay away from much grain and sweet feed because I feel there are better feed choices available for my piggies.

    The feeds I use and like are rice bran meal, ground flaxseed, alfalfa pellets, and soaked beet pulp. I supplement my two hard keepers with a little bit of Omolene 200 but it's a very small amount just to give them a few extra calories. The bulk of their calories comes from other sources.

    I'm a trimmer and the healthiest feet I see are attached to horses that don't eat a lot of grain, and they get a good deal of turnout on varied terrain. Hooves are very important to me, and I think that horses eating less grain "generally" have healthier hooves.

    Grains like oats and corn and sweet feeds which are enriched with grain products and molasses contain a large amount of sugar. When the sugar is injested, the body has to release a proportionate amount of insulin, and insulin is somewhat inflammatory in nature. The less sugar floating through the horse's system, the better.

    Conversely though, I trim a handfull of horses who eat a fairly large amount of grain daily to keep weight on and they're healthy and fine. Their feet are 'ok' but could probably be better. Some of them are eating around 5 lbs. A day of sweet feed and have for 2 decades and have never had a problem. Again, every situation is different.

    In general, I think if you can reduce or eliminate grains and sweet feed from the equine diet, you should. Equines by nature are foragers - grazers. However, it's important to remember that many hard working horses do need extra fat and calories than forage alone can provide. Not every farm is blessed with nutrient rich grass for horses to graze on. Where pastures are sparse and thin, it may be necessary to supplement more. In that situation though, I would reach for the beet pulp, flax seed, or even corn oil before going to a sweet feed.

    Great posts everyone, I enjoyed reading them!
         
        12-15-2009, 04:09 PM
      #33
    Started
    Quote:
    Grains like oats and corn and sweet feeds which are enriched with grain products and molasses contain a large amount of sugar. When the sugar is injested, the body has to release a proportionate amount of insulin, and insulin is somewhat inflammatory in nature. The less sugar floating through the horse's system, the better.
    Enrichment is not a bad thing. It means it has added essential vitamins/ minerals. If we didnt enrich our milk or bread many poorer people would probably be very unhealthy. It has to do more with the type of sugar. Natural fructose isnt bad (in all plants), but excess can cause founder. If you are substituting hay for grain you need to feed more hay so there might even be the same amount of sugar in the body. Processed sugar is what you need to stay away from. Grain was ment to supplement a horses diet low in certain things, depending on the soil quality and the type of hay/grass available. You can get custom made grains that are very beneficial to your horse. The problem is using cheep generic grains, with lots of crap fillers and molasses. The molasses is sometimes needed because other wise a horse might not want to eat that crap. Racehorses are usually on some type of sweet feed, because they need the extra nutrients. Unless the owners are cheep, they usually spring for good quality sweet feed.

    Padrona uses FeedXL to make sure their horses are fed a balanced diet. (Read it on another thread.) I got the free subscription for a month. I didnt get a chance to use it. But it looks like a good product. If you are concerned you could try it out. I am not sure how much it costs now.
         
        12-15-2009, 04:36 PM
      #34
    Foal
    I agree that "enrichment" is a good thing, but the problem with enriched grain feeds is that to get 100% of all vitamins and minerals, horses end up eating pounds of sweet feed a day. If you read the tags on most grain bags, you have to feed the average 1,000 lb. Horse anywhere from 3-9 lbs. Of grain a day. I don't know any horse that NEEDS that much sweet feed. It's better to feed a good balanced vit/min supplement and avoid all the grain. Some ration balancers are good but I found them to pretty much all lack in one essential area such as folic acid, or iodine, or copper.

    Just feeding 1/2 lb. Or 1 lb. Of commercial sweet feeds is usually nowhere near enough to get 100% of all vitamins and minerals that the horse needs. Even good, high quality hays are usually deficient in some areas. I test my hay and am continually surprised how even the most premium quality alfalfa can be very deficient in certain minerals. A horse can look shiny and healthy and have great feet but still have deficiencies.

    Of course horses have survived for umpteen billion years without humans scientifically balancing their diets, so maybe it doesn't "really" matter that everything is met absolutely perfect every day, I don't know. I just prefer to make sure the diets are balanced.

    I don't think grain or sweet feed is "bad" but I just prefer to try to avoid it as much as possible. I do feed some Omolene to the hard keepers but not much. It provides a few extra calories and makes the big bucket of soaked pellets and beet pulp a little more appetizing.
         
        12-15-2009, 04:56 PM
      #35
    Trained
    Quote:
    Enrichment is not a bad thing. It means it has added essential vitamins/ minerals. If we didnt enrich our milk or bread many poorer people would probably be very unhealthy. It has to do more with the type of sugar. Natural fructose isnt bad (in all plants), but excess can cause founder. If you are substituting hay for grain you need to feed more hay so there might even be the same amount of sugar in the body. Processed sugar is what you need to stay away from. Grain was ment to supplement a horses diet low in certain things, depending on the soil quality and the type of hay/grass available. You can get custom made grains that are very beneficial to your horse. The problem is using cheep generic grains, with lots of crap fillers and molasses. The molasses is sometimes needed because other wise a horse might not want to eat that crap. Racehorses are usually on some type of sweet feed, because they need the extra nutrients. Unless the owners are cheep, they usually spring for good quality sweet feed.
    The problem is that horses digestive systems weren't made to digest grain - It can ferment in the hind-gut and cause numerous problems.

    Yep, many, many horses spend their whole life on grain or sweet feed and show no ill-effects. However, that is usually because horses don't live long enough for the ill-effects to show up.

    Grains and sweet feed have been linked to Isulin Resistance, Laminitis, Tying Up, EPSM, Cushings disease, and many other metabolic disorders. No matter how high the quality of a grain or sweet feed, they are ALL high in NSC's - Non-Structural Carbohydrates. The recomended MAXIMUM for horses is around <12% (I think, around that) and studies have shown that most grains and sweet feeds are in excess of 30%, 40% and sometimes 50% NSC's. Horses aren't made to, and CANNOT, process such high levels of NSC's properly and without harm.

    Personally, I will never go back to feeding grain or sweet-feed. There are so many other options out there, and many of them supply as much if not more energy than graisn and sweet feeds, that I see no reason to possibly endager the health of my horses.
         
        12-15-2009, 04:58 PM
      #36
    Started
    Quote:
    If you read the tags on most grain bags, you have to feed the average 1,000 lb. Horse anywhere from 3-9 lbs. Of grain a day.
    I don't even read the suggested rations anymore. Its insane. I think they do that on purpose so people buy alot more . Some places will custom make you a batch of grain, but Im sure you need to buy it in large quantities and its probably not cheep. I feed my two horses a scoope of grain daily, along with flax and alfalfa cubes and beet pulp. A majority of their diet is from hay.

    I hate those complete feeds, with forage included. Who has time to feed you horse 10x a day so they don't get bored and chew everything up? I understand giving it to horses with a few teeth or something but it should be so widely used. I think people are just cheep. It cheeper to feed complete feed then feed them a good ration of hay daily.
         
        12-16-2009, 12:31 AM
      #37
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sillybunny11486    
    I don't even read the suggested rations anymore. Its insane. I think they do that on purpose so people buy alot more .
    If you don't feed to the bag's recommendations, at least the lowest recommended level for your horse's weight and activity level, then your horse isn't getting all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs. If you feed a lot less, then that feed really isn't doing any good at all.

    I eat healthy. I eat the recommended levels of fruits and veggies every day. I do NOT eat very much processed foods and NO fast food. I eat foods that will give me good nutrition, along with vitamins to supplement what's missing. Why should my horse not get the same healthy, balanced diet?

    I don't eat hot pockets, microwave dinners, or mc donalds, and I do not feed my horse the equivalent: sweet feed or otehr commerically prepared food. I feed my horses what is good for THEM, which is pretty simple, hay, and lots of it (I feed free choice bermuda with local grasses mix), with some pasture grazing. To balance it out, I feed a little fat (flax) and quality vitamins mixed in to, guess what? More hay, in the form of pellets (alfalfa pellets). This is the diet closest to what is "natural" for my horses that I can give them. They are healthy, glowing, and my hard keepers stay fat on a LOT less food than when I feed commercially prepapred feeds. My mare is less moody, the "crumbly feet" horse goes barefoot on trails now, my "sensitive" Arab cross is a lot more level headed, and my lesson horses stay a good weight even when worked hard and often.

    I pay a little more for this diet, but I save in the end. ALL of the horses are barefoot, I don't need winter blankets anymore, I don't have to buy thrush or rainrot medications anymore, and I only have to clean sheaths once a year (lol, thanks to the apple cider vinegar I use to mix the powdered supplements in with the alfalfa pellets). I won't ever go back to commerically prepared feeds again.
         
        12-16-2009, 04:39 PM
      #38
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
    If you don't feed to the bag's recommendations, at least the lowest recommended level for your horse's weight and activity level, then your horse isn't getting all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs. If you feed a lot less, then that feed really isn't doing any good at all.

    I eat healthy. I eat the recommended levels of fruits and veggies every day. I do NOT eat very much processed foods and NO fast food. I eat foods that will give me good nutrition, along with vitamins to supplement what's missing. Why should my horse not get the same healthy, balanced diet?

    I don't eat hot pockets, microwave dinners, or mc donalds, and I do not feed my horse the equivalent: sweet feed or otehr commerically prepared food. I feed my horses what is good for THEM, which is pretty simple, hay, and lots of it (I feed free choice bermuda with local grasses mix), with some pasture grazing. To balance it out, I feed a little fat (flax) and quality vitamins mixed in to, guess what? More hay, in the form of pellets (alfalfa pellets). This is the diet closest to what is "natural" for my horses that I can give them. They are healthy, glowing, and my hard keepers stay fat on a LOT less food than when I feed commercially prepapred feeds. My mare is less moody, the "crumbly feet" horse goes barefoot on trails now, my "sensitive" Arab cross is a lot more level headed, and my lesson horses stay a good weight even when worked hard and often.

    I pay a little more for this diet, but I save in the end. ALL of the horses are barefoot, I don't need winter blankets anymore, I don't have to buy thrush or rainrot medications anymore, and I only have to clean sheaths once a year (lol, thanks to the apple cider vinegar I use to mix the powdered supplements in with the alfalfa pellets). I won't ever go back to commerically prepared feeds again.

    After completely switching your horses over to the healthy diet, how long did it take for you to notice the changes in your horses feet, moods, coat, etc. ??
         
        12-16-2009, 04:43 PM
      #39
    Started
    Quote:
    If you don't feed to the bag's recommendations, at least the lowest recommended level for your horse's weight and activity level, then your horse isn't getting all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs. If you feed a lot less, then that feed really isn't doing any good at all.
    Thats why I feed OTHER things BESIDES the scoop grain.
         
        12-16-2009, 04:45 PM
      #40
    Foal
    And I wouldn't say it's not doing any good at all. The horse is still getting some nutrients, and calories to be burned for energy, and that's good.
         

    Thread Tools

    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



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:47 AM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0