I think I have feed picked out, opinions?

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I think I have feed picked out, opinions?

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    10-11-2011, 07:05 PM
I think I have feed picked out, opinions?

I am going to feed grass hay. I want an orchard/timothy mix, but it is hard to find. I may do a Bermuda mix with some pasture if I can't find the orchard or timothy readily available.

This horse has laminitis so he does not need anything 'extra', especially sugar! He won't be able to graze in the spring/summer unless closely monitored. Because of this, I am not going with grain at all.

Hay isn't enough vitamin/mineral/nutrition wise, especially because he'll be ridden/worked what is considered light or 'moderate'. (3-6x per week for an hour or two.) I have been looking at supplements to help with his coat, hair growth, inside health, and be filled with all vitamins/minerals he will need. Since I'm not feeding grain, I looked for a pelleted form.

I found this;
SmartVite EZ Keeper Grass Pellets - Horse Multi-Vitamin Supplements from SmartPak Equine

Do you think the grass hay, some pasture, and the EZ Keeper pellets will be sufficient? I want him to be as healthy and balanced as possible without flaring up his very mild laminitis. (It will cause him discomfort and soreness, but isn't extreme.)

Thank you!

(The pellet has Vitamin A, B-1, B-12, C, E, D, and Biotin, colic acid, selenium, potassium, iron, etc. C:P ratio is good. (Calcium is more than doubled then phosphorus. You can see the chart.)
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    10-11-2011, 07:20 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
It sounds like a good start.

I would suggest taking his weight and writing a short summary, of how he's looking- as well as a picture; every month or so, to record his progress.

Every one to two months, look back at your documents of his overall health, energy, etc- and see if it's either 1) improving 2) maintained or 3) decreasing. If he appears to be decreasing in overall health for more than a month (I understand that horse's can have 'off' months from time to time, and so recommend not worrying too much if it's just slight decrease) he probably needs another suppliment to go along with what he's on, or to switch completely. If he drops significantly, I'd talk with a nutritionist.

If he maintains his health well/improves in the next two months, I'd say that you're on the right track with his feed and to continue.

I keep a notebook of my filly's health in this way, and I've found that it is VERY helpful.
    10-11-2011, 07:23 PM
Thank you for the tip! I wanted to start off extremely basic and go from there. I would rather him be on easily digestible, high nutrition, low sugar diet, which this is. But I have no idea if I am missing something.

Do you suggest taking shots in a conformation position, above view, or what? Which is easiest to tell condition from?
    10-11-2011, 07:43 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
It sounds like a very good idea to me. So many people feed their horses high this and that feed that costs a fortune, that does nothing more for the animal than a well formed diet of natural feed.

I generally take a picture from each side so that I can see her rib-cage area, then one from behind, with her tail out of the way- basically like a conformation shot. I also do a quick self exam, checking to make sure that she isn't dehydrated (gums, skin) and I feel for her ribs. I always like to feel just a bit of rib- but not enough that I can see them. It seems to be a good 'medium' weight.

Will you be free feeding the hay, or monitoring his intake?
    10-11-2011, 07:50 PM
I already feel his ribs. (I don't own him now, but within a few months if his health checks out I will put an offer on him. I just care for him.) I like that, too. When I can feel his ribs barely he still has a little pot belly which I don't like, though.

It'll be weighed out for him (since it is believed he has minor laminitis) but will be offered throughout the day. I am planning on putting the hay into one of those slow feeder nets so he will slow down his feeding. A flake will be gone in 30 minutes for him... not good! :/ but on pasture he gorges himself which is worse.
    10-11-2011, 07:57 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
The pot belly is most likely from lack of nutrience and using hay as a filler. Once he's been on the suppliment for a bit, and as he gets in better shape, he should loose that 'papa' look, as I think of it ;P

A net is a good idea. Eating often in small amounts keeps a horse's digestive system moving at a good pace, and tends to help them maintain good weights.
    10-11-2011, 08:01 PM
He's fed Bermuda but wolfs it down so fast. I don't think he has any grain or supplement. So that definitely could be it!

I know that, and that's why I am trying to slow him. The place I wanted him at is full, and I was going to self care there. So now that I have to board a bit farther it'll be full care and I doubt 3x a day feeding will settle with them. Hopefully the haynet works!
    10-11-2011, 11:27 PM
Originally Posted by laughing    
When I can feel his ribs barely he still has a little pot belly which I don't like, though.
Good & good plans, by the sound of it, IMO. As to exact nutrients, you'd have to analyse your hay &/or pasture for that, but for a pretty good idea & ease of working out appropriate supps, I find FeedXL.com great.

I think you need to look at the whole picture, not just the ribs, as you can have a fat horse that is still 'ribby'. Generally when you can't feel - or only barely feel the ribs the horse is overweight though. As a general rule, I find that if you can only just see the ribs but feel them reasonably easily, the horse tends to be a good weight.

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