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This is a discussion on Feed within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Corn, oat, barley ration horse feed

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    08-27-2008, 05:08 PM

I was wondering what types of feed are there (e.g. Pellets etc)? What do they consist of (grainfree etc)? What is the feed used for most commonly (professional competition horses, trail horses etc)? What kinds of feed should one definitely stay away from? I ask in general, because I'm curious about this subject and know fairly little. Thank you.
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    08-27-2008, 05:36 PM
There are so many types of feed, its ridiculous. I guess where you would start is what you want to feed for. Ex. Growing horses, lactating mares, trail horse, pasture horse, performance? There are different feeds for how demanding a workout you give your horse.
    08-27-2008, 06:25 PM
Green Broke
I agree taht there are TONS of types of feed...

Basically, you have grains such as oats, barley and corn (with nothing added) Generally speaking, oats and corn are known to make horses "hot" or energetic. Feeds that are high in starch should be avoided if the horse has a history of laminitis or founder.

And then you have commercially processed feeds that are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Some even are "complete feeds" so that you don't have to feed hay (senior feeds are like this)

Try this link: http://www.horses-and-horse-informat...utrition.shtml

There is so much to talk about here, it's hard to answer your questions without saying "i want to feed this brand to this horse".
    08-27-2008, 10:12 PM

This is a great site set up by a good friend of mine that explains stuff in ways that are easy to understand
    08-28-2008, 11:22 AM
I have a horse, he's 5 and in training for dressage. I definitely see him at high levels of competition before he's 10. So I guess you would call him a performance horse, but he's still growing.
We feed a lot of grass hay. And then to supplement we feed Hoffman's Horse Ration. It was made in Alberta by people that bred a lot of horses and they kept coming up with foals with birth defects caused by nutritional imbalance no matter what they fed. So they developed a sort of "all round" feed with all the nutrition and energy that a horse would need in Alberta and surroundig areas with similar nutritional deficits in the local vegetation. It's got no grain or molasses and so very little starch. All of the energy in it is fat energy (or "cool energy") from soybean hulls, rice bran and flax.
They say that it's good for old horses, young horses, pregnant horses and performance horses. Seeing as we've had all 4 of those kinds of horses on it and they are were/all healthy, shiny and have great hooves I would say it works pretty darn good!
We struggled for a while trying to find something for our horses that had everything we wanted, and we went to a feed conference and found this stuff and are in love with it!

ETA: http://www.hoffmanshorseration.com/
    08-28-2008, 01:05 PM
Green Broke
I agree there are a ton of feeds on the market today.

For my part, the one to stay away from, without question, is good ole sweet feed.

I don't care how it's bagged it is the worst thing for a horse since bot flies and tapeworms.

There was a 10 yr period where I was sucked into feeding sweet feed, but a very wise feed store owner sat me down one day and said I needed to re-think sweet feed. That was in the fall of 1998 and I've never looked a bag of sweet feed in the face since :P

The type of feed should depend on the age and health of the horse. Hay, amount and quality of pasture and turn out time are also part of the formula.

When the horse in my avatar went metabolic last year, I took him off anything with oats & corn. I eventually transitioned all four of my horses to Duke's base meal. The only differences are the supplements.

When I did that, I discovered that the snarky personality another TWH has had all his life was directly related to oats & corn. He wasn't even off oat/corn based feed a week before I saw a huge change in his personality for the better.

This is when the "Good Old Days" really were and I miss them. My horses were on 100 acres of pasture they shared with beef cattle. Ate grass hay, oats and corn that we grew,

There was no such thing as hybrid hay, oat or corn seed that was created to fatten cattle quicker but was still used in grain products for horses. I blame a lot of horse health issues on that --- hybrid seeds to produce product to quickly fatten cattle for slaughter.

Coggins didn't exist, neither did any of those other diseases horses need protected against. And that was as recent as the mid-1960's

Sorta got on my soap box -- my apologies

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