Feeding a 3-year-old - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Feeding a 3-year-old

My three year old filly is currently on just pasture. I tried explaining to the BO that she needs more but she thinks that she is fine. What other type of supplements and feed should she have?
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post #2 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 01:22 AM
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That depends on the horse. Do you feel your horse is under/over weight? Does the horse have poor feet or skin issues? Why do you feel the horse needs a feed change? The more information you can give, the better the suggestions you'll get. :)

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post #3 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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I was told she is the perfect weight, and I guess she is. Her feet aren't the best though in terms of quality. And I recently moved her to this boarding place. I do believe that where she was before she was getting oats, but is there any nutritional value for horses with oats?
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 01:35 AM
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Oats don't have many calories in them. They are mostly sugar. If her feet aren't as in as good of condition as you'd like, I'd recommend putting her on a hoof supplement. You won't see immediate results, but you should see improvement over time. I like Master's Hoof Blend or SmartHoof from Smartpak. What sort of riding are you doing and how heavy is her workload?

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post #5 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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We are mostly just trail and training at the moment, maybe one hour a day, three days a week. I could try a hoof supplement. Will she be okay not getting grain, because she's still growing.
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 01:51 AM
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My gelding just turned four and has never had any supplements or grain. He's always been in great condition. He just went through a growth spurt (went from 15.3-16hh to 16.1-16.2hh in a couple of months) and is a little on the slim side, but he should fill out nicely in the next couple of months to match his new height.

My old BO used to say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." In other words, if your horse isn't losing condition/weight and isn't too fat, there is no need to change anything in its diet.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 01:57 AM
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I'm not trying to be mean or snotty, but as the owner, it is your job to know what condition your horse is in. Learn how to do a Body Condition Score, and do it every week. Here's a video if you don't know much about it.

What's Your Horse's Body Condition Score? | Video | TheHorse.com

As far as what else she might need, that really depends on what she's getting from her pasture/hay. The best way to go is to have it tested. If you are in the US, your local extension agent should be able to help you with that. Many places are deficient in certain nutrients, but it's really hard to gauge what to add if you don't already know what's missing.

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post #8 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 01:58 AM
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Yes. Horses are meant and designed to eat grass. As long as The pasture isn't over grazed, it should be just fine. If you are worried about it, you can add to her feeding regiment. For example, my horse gets 1lb of Buckeye Grow and Win everyday. He is a hard keeper and this provides him with the additional vitamins/minerals and calories he needs to stay healthy. Another good thing you can feed them, if you are worried about calories, is beet pulp. It is loaded with fats that are good for horses and is easily digested. It's also fairly inexpensive. Just make sure you soak the living bejesus out of it. Beet pulp holds a ton of water and if not soaked properly, can cause choking. I use one part beet pulp, three parts water, and let is soak for at least 45mins. I usually let it sit while I ride.

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post #9 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 02:00 AM
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One resource you might want to check out (thank loosie for this one, I always do) is FeedXL.com. It doesn't cost very much, and can actually save you a bundle by telling you exactly what needs to be fed, and what doesn't.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-12-2013, 05:44 AM
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Hiya,

Sounds like your horse doesn't need anything more in her basic diet(no, grain is not generally necessary or desirable anyway). But it is likely that whatever her diet, she will be imbalanced &/or deficient in some nutrients, and that well balanced nutrition is important for hoof health, as well as the rest of the horse. Therefore I'd look at a low dose 'ration balancer' or other good quality, appropriate nutritional supplement. Check out Feedxl.com
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