Grain-free diet - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-14-2014, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Grain-free diet

Hey, for the past few years I have been researching on grain free feeding horses and I am absolutely positive on wanting to do this diet with my horse.
But there is still one question that is not clear to me: How much and what do I feed my horse?

She is 4 years old, lives in a pasture 24/7, always has hay and a mineral block to her disposition but I am starting to train her for endurance so we would be doing hard work regularly. Does she need extra energy? I was thinking of adding beet pulp, alfalfa cubes, rice bran or just pelleted ration balancer. Is that a good Idea? If so, how much of this do I give her?

Thank you:)
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-14-2014, 01:42 PM
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Some quality protein is a good idea if she's going into training- either a ration balancer or some alfalfa can provide this.

Ration balancers aren't designed to provide lots of calories, but they are designed to help fill in nutritional holes left by hay/pasture alone (mineral licks don't count... they're mostly salt) So from a nutritional standpoint, it's a good idea to feed a ration balancer or vitamin/mineral supplement (though the vitamin/mineral supplements don't include any significant protein content)

If you find that she needs more calories, alfalfa, beet pulp, and/or rice bran are all great options. Alfalfa offers high quality protein, high in lysine. Beet pulp is high in very digestible fiber, and rice bran has a high fat content (though of the three, rice bran is the highest in NSC). These are all different ways to provide more calories without adding grain, and what you pick is up to your preferences on ease of feeding (beet pulp should be soaked before feeding), as well as price/availability in your area.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-14-2014, 01:53 PM
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welcome to the forum

I feed my horses grain free, with alfalfa/ grass pellets as base, ain't depending on horse, the Arabian gets about half a kilo, the much larger TB mix 2kilos, then I add, per day,3 tablespoons iodized table salt, 100g flaxseed, magnesium oxide, 5g for normal, 10g for the insulin resistant horse, 2 cups of rice bran for the hard keeper, and a mineral/ vitamin mix especially for our area here.
To add calories/ energy I would add rice bran or beetpulp, or both, if needed. Beetpulp has about the same energy as oats, ca.1200 calories per lb, ricebran is a bit higher, it contains more fat.
All that on top of free choice grass hay and a flake of alfalfa .

I found I cannot feed any ration balancer, they all have added iron, and we are high iron here already, and iron is believed to play a role in insulin resistance.

it would help if you would tell us the breed of your horse and what ration balancer you have available, so we can give you more detailed info
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-14-2014, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
welcome to the forum

I feed my horses grain free, with alfalfa/ grass pellets as base, ain't depending on horse, the Arabian gets about half a kilo, the much larger TB mix 2kilos, then I add, per day,3 tablespoons iodized table salt, 100g flaxseed, magnesium oxide, 5g for normal, 10g for the insulin resistant horse, 2 cups of rice bran for the hard keeper, and a mineral/ vitamin mix especially for our area here.
To add calories/ energy I would add rice bran or beetpulp, or both, if needed. Beetpulp has about the same energy as oats, ca.1200 calories per lb, ricebran is a bit higher, it contains more fat.
All that on top of free choice grass hay and a flake of alfalfa .

I found I cannot feed any ration balancer, they all have added iron, and we are high iron here already, and iron is believed to play a role in insulin resistance.

it would help if you would tell us the breed of your horse and what ration balancer you have available, so we can give you more detailed info
My horse is an Akhal-teke. I do not have any ration balancers now but I am free to buy whichever one I need.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-14-2014, 02:20 PM
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I was just wondering what is available for you, when I was in Italy, nobody had ever heard of ration balancers lol.
I think, giving the RB, then adding beetpulp would be the best bet, since it also supplies water, which is a good thing for an endurance horse. Once you get further into the sport, it might be a good idea to talk to people who compete, for expert advice.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-14-2014, 02:44 PM
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I have an air fern horse who gets fat by breathing. I got her off grain and use Nutrena Empower Balance ration balancer. A little pricey at $25/bag, but I only feed about a pound a day so it lasts forever. I'm in the process of weaning my gelding off of grain, too, but he gets ribby if he's in work. Instead of a RB, I'm going to try out beet pulp (which he hates, so I mix it with a little cherry Jello powder) and a vitamin supplement.

Zeus&Lemonade
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-14-2014, 07:29 PM
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There is a grain free feed from ADM Alliance. It looks like it has all the the ingredients talked about here. I have thought about using it, here's the link. http://admani.com

Well, I just tried the link and it didn't work. But the feed is ADM Alliance.
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dieting , endurance riding , feed advice , feeding schedule , grain help

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