Originally Posted by twogeldings
Loki (9yrs, roughly 1200lbs) gets two pounds Strategy, 2 flakes of quality prairie hay, and green, lush pasture daily (weather permitting) for at least 30 minuets, up to 2 hours.
Obviously as a working horse he will need more grain to make up for lost energy. But how much more? What other feeds would you recommend? With Sammy, my rescue, and Red (whom I am in the process of selling) I cannot afford to feed him ONLY Strategy at the moment. Later, yes, when Red is sold and Sam is at a reasonable weight level and not eating more than Loki and Red combined.
He cannot be on anything like sweet feed. It's like giving a hyper active kid a sack of sugar and a 12-pack of energy drinks, then telling him to scarf it. I know this because against my wishes a past stable gave him sweet feed and oats even though I SPECIFICALLY told them ONLY Strategy (two pounds) since he was not working at all. I swear he could have floated he was so hyper.
I've began light work, few minuets of lunging, desentizing. Right now it's only every few days as it rains quite a bit, and often times when it's not it's bitterly cold.
Still, I need to re-examine his feed intake and prepare to give him more as I increase his work load from light to moderate, and possibly even to heavy as he goes to training for a refreshers course in 'How NOT to give your rider a heart attack and ride CALMLY out past the barn'
Suggestions...? Loki is a higher-energy horse and is built more like a QH or a Paint than a Foxtrotter. More stockier.
I would like to keep him that way without him turning into Super-Rocket Horse X-Treme Second Edition (new AND improved!)
He needs more hay. 2 flakes plus limited grazing is NOT enough. My horses do just fine, even in hard work, on nothing but grass hay and alfalfa pellets, with 1/2 cup of milled flax. Horses don't NEED grain or feed, unless they're not getting enough forage or the quality of forage/protein is low.
If he's high energy on Strategy, then stop feeding it. Switch to alfalfa or alfalfa mixed pellets (2-3 lbs a day), a vitamin supplement (like Select II or SmartVite Maintenance Grass, from SmartPak), and some kind of fat supplement (like flax, oil, BOSS, etc.). Double your hay, at least. This diet will cover all the nutritional bases, be high in quality protein and fat, and will NOT make him hyper in the least. He'll have all the energy he needs for the work you do, but he'll be a lot mor elevel headed.
The last barn I borded at was most gaited horses, many of which were "high energy". The barn owner switched the whole place to this kind of all natural diet. The horses did SO much better! They all held their weight nicely, there was better muscle tone, all of the attitudes improved, and feeding time was "calmer." The mares' heats were less noticable and the "study" acting geldings were's as bad either. The few horses that did long distance riding got the addition of plain whole oats, but only during the times they were being ridden heavily (NO oats on "off days").
With your horse's attitude and reaction to sweet feeds, I would HIGHLY suggest a no-grain, no-feed diet. You'll see some major improvements, guaranteed.