wild spot I totally see where you are comming from and of course it wouldn't hurt to try it. Whats the brand of grain/feed do you feed and i'll have my parents look into it and the price and see if we have a place here that sells any.
There are tons of different feeds you can try if you want :] I personally chose to stay way from grain as well, because it was adding to the tying up problem, but steam extruded and micronized grains are good, just on their own with a good vit/min supplement. I.e. Extruded Barley, Extruded corn, Extruded Lupins, Micronized Barley, Micronized Lupins, etc.
If your horses don't need much feed, then maybe give an all hay diet a go? Just free choice grass/meadow hay with a vit/min lick in the paddock. That is all mine are getting (But pasture instead of hay) and they compete pretty heavily this time of year.
If you want a more complete feed, then there are plenty out there. Different countries sell different products so the products I name might not be sold there - It might be a case of going to your feed store, checking out the lables and finding one in your budget. I'm looking into Rice Bran/Rice Bran Oil based feeds at the moment - A safe feed that supplies plenty of fat and energy. I'm looking at Mitavite Cool Performer (a more complete feed - Lots of vit/min) and Mitavite Power-On (more of a feed additive for extra energy, not as many vit/min). If you just want to add some energy and fat without much feed, oils are a great way to do it. Rice Bran Oil, or even a good quality Canola oil can provide fat and energy in a more digestable way.
Then you can make up your feed out of seperate components - At the moment I feed Speedi-Beet (Beet pulp) which is classified as forage, but as high in energy as alfalfa hay without the sugars (Important for my guy who ties up - I don't feedhim lucerne anymore). For extra energy I use Copra - A coconut meal similar to Rice Bran - High in coconut oils.
As long as your horses are getting adequate forage, and a good vit/min supplement/block, they shouldn't be deficient in too much, so it becomes a case of just supplying any extra energy you need. I always find with feeding that 'Keep ti simple, stupid' is the best philosophy!
wild spot if the feed you use is around the price of my regular food. The bartlett is 8.50 for a 50 # bag and then circle M is about 7.50 for a 50 pound bag. Then i'll definitely consider using it. My pastures arn't completly dry. BUT they are pretty darn close. The horses have eaten it down to the ground but they get a bale of hay a day and it works for them. So whatever works for them works for me!
Again, different countries so have no idea about price comparisons - However the sweet feed I was using costs about the same as a bag of Speedi-Beet or Copra, but the last two last about 3 times more (Both feeds can be soaked, and swell to between 2-5 times their original size, meaning you feed a lot less of it). A big feed for my boy is less than half a dipper of Speedi-Beet and 1/3 of a dipper of Copra - Makes a very big feed, it's great!
but it can and does happen with other feeds too,
If you are feeding a low starch, low sugar, low NSC naturally modelled diet, then those issues will NOT happen BECAUSE of the feed - They may happen due to other factors.
I'm not trying to force you to change your way of doing things - I am just saying that my way of thinking is that why would I feed something that can cause harm, when there are options out there that won't?