Could I be feeding my horses to much?!

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Could I be feeding my horses to much?!

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    11-26-2011, 09:08 PM
Could I be feeding my horses to much?!


My horses aren't in bad condition, they're doing really well now coming into summer.

They don't have any grass, but they get almost 24/7 grassy/oaten/wheaten hay, and bucket food twice a day

Bucket food contains - scoop = 2liters - Morning and Night.

Horses - 2 scoops of chaff, 1 scoop of micronised rolled barley, 1 scoop of pony pellets, about 80ml cup of sunflower seeds, 1 multi vit. 1 vit. B and 1 vit. E, apple cider vinegar and garlic mix 20ml

Ponies - 1 scoop of chaff, 1/2 - 1 scoop of pellets and 1/2 - 3/4 scoop of micronised rolled barley and about 80ml cup of sunflower seeds, 1 multi vit. 1 vit. B and 1 vit. E, apple cider vinegar and garlic mix 20ml

Shetlands - 1/4 chaff, 1/4 pony pellets and about 40ml cup of sunflower seeds, 1/2 multi vit. 1/2 vit. B and 1/2 vit. E, apple cider vinegar and garlic mix 10ml

They also get about 1/3 of a biscuit of lucerne every day at lunch

They are all worked and cared for accordingly

Most are in a good weight now, would like a bit more weight on 1 of the ponies and 3 of the horses. (9 horses all up)

Anyway, the point is, my friends and people I've asked that have no grass, they give there horses 2 biscuits of hay, 1 scoop of chaff and a scoop of pony pellets, morning and night. And there horses are fat as mud. (not obese)

So could I be giving my horses to much food?! To much Fiber?!

Have different breeds too, 1 QH (average weight), 2 Quarter pony crosses (ones good weight other could have a bit more), 1 Australian pony (average), 1 TB(average, little fatter then the others), 1 TB x WB(on the skinny side, only new she was thin when I got her), 1 Crabbet Arabian(average), and 2 shetlands (they're fat.)

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    11-26-2011, 09:30 PM
Just to give you an idea on the weights.

The Chestnut is the Crabbet Arabian, she is 15hh, doesn't look it, but she has a really high wither, she is about 18years old. She is the second 'skinniest', she gets ridden occasionally. Now on 'horse' feed

The Black Bay is the TB x WB (not entirely sure of breed, what does she look like to you?) I've only had her for a few weeks, she seems to be slowly putting on weight. She's 6years, not in work, only green broken and 16hh. Now on 'horse' feed

She was getting fed 2 biscuits of hay and 2 scoops of pony pellets with no grass before I got her. With no work, in a small paddock.

And the Bay is one of the QP x's the fatter one, she is in full work, barrel racing etc. on 'pony' feed. She's 12 years, 13.1hh. (excuse the crap halter, it's stiff and the knot doesn't stay done up)
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    11-26-2011, 09:45 PM
The only way you can tell you are feeding to much or little is the weight. They all seem a fine weight, but it is hard to tell from pictures, feel their ribs. They should be easy to feel but should not show. The bay in the middle picture looks a bit underweight though.
    11-26-2011, 09:47 PM
To be perfectly honest, I am not very familiar with most of what you are feeding so I won't comment on that much past saying that my horses generally don't get anything except for plenty of a good quality hay, either grass or alfalfa, with no special feeds or supplements and they all stay fat/healthy/happy. So for a critique, I'll just stick to what I see in the pictures.

I would probably give the chestnut something a little higher in protein. Her coat looks good and she looks relatively healthy and seems to have plenty of fat on her...but her muscle mass is not where I would want it. I don't know how much of that is due to her breeding (some lines and some breeds are naturally less muscular than others), but the fact that I can see her tail-head standing up above the rest of her hip bothers me a bit.

The TBxWB mare...I can't really comment on her except to mention that if she has made steady progress since you brought her home, I likely wouldn't change anything until her level of progress changes (she either plumps up and starts to get too heavy or she stops gaining). Then, I would change something.

The bay pony is in good flesh. Maybe just a touch heavy but nothing I would be concerned about so long as she is in full work. If you drop her workload, I would likely also drop her feed to keep her from getting really fat.

About the halter...part of the reason the knot doesn't stay up the way it should could be due to the fact that you've got it tied backward. This is the proper way to tie a rope halter so that it doesn't slip.
How To Tie A Rope Halter, Horse Articles, Horse Training
    11-26-2011, 09:54 PM
Thanks Casey, I agree they all look fine in weight, but I don't know why I have to feed them sooooo much to keep them just alright.

Smrobs - thanks, with the halter, I have actually tied it like that, just not on the loop you thread it through, I knotted it on the long rope that goes over the poll... but yes, thanks :P

Whats something that's higher in protein?

Re the TBxWB, yeah, she is slowly gaining weight, so I'll see how she progresses.

And the bay QP x, yep, had to drop her feed a heap when she was having a spell! (:
    11-26-2011, 10:09 PM
I would have to know the protein % she's getting from what you're feeding now before I could even venture a guess on what could increase that amount...or even if that would help. If she's already getting 15%-20%, then it simply wouldn't be healthy to give her more and her appearance is likely do to her breeding. However, if she's getting 10% or less, then I would find a feed that has a higher percentage. One of the reasons that I like alfalfa (lucerne??) hay so much is because of the protein percentage. Good hay will generally have 15-18% and that is enough to give a horse just about all the protein they need.
    11-26-2011, 10:11 PM
I wish they sold alfalfa around here, heard so many good things about it. Thanks though, I'll see how much protein she's getting and up it if necessary.
    11-27-2011, 03:32 AM
Iloverains - where in Aus are you? As we have 'lucerne' not 'alfalfa'. Same hay, different name. It's generally fairly plentiful, particularly now that the drought has broken.
    11-27-2011, 05:07 PM
Oh really?! I'm in QLD, I give them lucerne everyday at lunch, about 1/3 of a biscuit.
    11-28-2011, 03:13 AM
Yep, exactly the same thing :)

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