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Horse Feed

This is a discussion on Horse Feed within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
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    06-17-2009, 05:57 PM
  #1
Weanling
Horse Feed

I don't know much about horse feed, and I was wondering what everything suggested:

I have a four-year old 15hh paint that will be eventing sometime in the future. He's being worked about four times a week right now and has a beautiful coat and beautiful feet. Any suggestions for feed?
     
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    06-17-2009, 06:39 PM
  #2
Trained
What are you feeding right now? If he is a good weight and has great coat/feet what are you looking to change?

My best advice is to get a great quality hay (if he is working hard try an alfalfa mix) and use a ration balancer (Buckeye, Assurance, and Purina all make them) to make up for anything that you may be missing.
     
    06-17-2009, 07:00 PM
  #3
Weanling
I'm with tigerstripes here. If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
Mine get free choice grass/alfalfa and Strategy 2x a day when they're in training. Then, every individual out here has their own supplements. Some get biotin, magnesium, flaxseed, senior, or oil.
     
    06-17-2009, 07:52 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I agree, we need to know what he's eating now (hay, grain, supplements, etc.). Is there a reason you want to change?

Also, be careful with him. At 4, he really shouldn't be doing any jumping, except maybe some free jumping. His hocks won't close until sometime between 4.5-5 yrs old, and jumping too early can put excess pressure on them. I wouldn't jump him under saddle at all until after his 5th birthday, and then keep things low and not too often until close to 6yrs old. All of the bones in his body will be closed and done growing between 5-6 years old.
     
    06-18-2009, 03:38 AM
  #5
Trained
I agree with others, basically. BUT if he's on grain/sweet feed, while it might not be 'broke' now, they're still a common cause of a number of health problems, so I'd avoid / minimise these ingredients.

Also it depends on your feeding regime - not just what & how much you feed, but how often & what size meals. Horses are designed to eat little & almost constantly throughout the day/night, of low grade(compared to conventional practice) fibrous feed. That's generally the best way to manage feeding - free choice hay / grazing, and if you're going to hard feed, make sure it's in tiny meals, at least 3-4 meals per day.
     
    06-18-2009, 02:42 PM
  #6
Weanling
I don't know what he eats - He's not mine yet, haha. That's why I was just asking.
     
    06-18-2009, 02:44 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
Also, be careful with him. At 4, he really shouldn't be doing any jumping, except maybe some free jumping. His hocks won't close until sometime between 4.5-5 yrs old, and jumping too early can put excess pressure on them. I wouldn't jump him under saddle at all until after his 5th birthday, and then keep things low and not too often until close to 6yrs old. All of the bones in his body will be closed and done growing between 5-6 years old.
He's perfectly healthy. He's my trainer's horse and they are very careful with breaking horses and he's been jumping for a couple months. They take things a lot slower than other people do as well. I've never heard of something like that, but he's already jumping under saddle. Not a lot, obviously, just once every couple weeks. He's shown as well I believe.
     
    06-18-2009, 03:14 PM
  #8
Foal
Barefoot, before you buy this horse I would find out what feed the owner is using and the details of the feeding schedule. If the horse is fine now, do not change anything. If not, just remember to make any changes over a period of time. Good luck!
     
    06-18-2009, 03:35 PM
  #9
Green Broke
I agree, you need to find out what he's eating and try to keep him on it for a while, then make any changes you want over time.

As for riding and jumping at a young age, read these article carefully.
And They Call Us Horse Lovers - Articles
Horse bone maturation
     
    06-18-2009, 03:44 PM
  #10
Yearling
I cannot sing enough praise about ADM Stay Strong pellets and Omega Horseshine. I add Beet Pulp or Alfalfa pellets as needed during heavy exercise or show season.
     

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