I feed a forage based diet. Since switching, my horses are healthier, calmer, and they hold their weight better. They rarely get rain rot, thrush, or sick at all (I haven't had a runny nose in two years!). My mare's heats are a lot better, they have a better work ethic, and they're more "peacable" when we have a new herd-mate.
Even my "hard keeper" TBxArabian does great on this diet, with no varriation from the "air fern" easy keeper
1st, free choice grazing or grass hay, depending on the time of year.
Next, their "goodies", once a day:
- 1/2 scoop of Alfalfa pellets (about 1.5-2 lbs, 3qt feed scoop)
- 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar (cheap walmart brand)
- 1/2 cup of Milled Flax
- A vitamin/mineral supplement that is high in amino acids and "complete"
I have been using a custom blend from HorseTech.com of flax and vitamins/minerals. It's been working great! Their feet are coming in even better and their coats are shiney, even with their woolies showing up with avengence, lol. The cost is $0.87 a day for just the supplement, which is a bit high, but it's worth it to feed just one "thing" (flax and vitamins together) and see the good results. HorseTech.com will make custom blends for no extra charge, including adding "flavoring" if you have a picky eater. They're agreat company.
This natural approach seems to help the horses' metabolism return to normal, which makes weight loss and gain a LOT easier than before. I used to pump my TBxArab full of food just to keep his weight on, 6-8 lbs a day plus mega fat. And I tried all of the good ones, even some of the locally produced mixes. Now, he keeps his weight on 1/3rd the food I was feeding before and is a LOT better behaved, lol.
I won't ever feed a commercial horse feed or grain product again., if I can help it