No grain?

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No grain?

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    10-28-2009, 10:56 PM
No grain?

Alright, so I know that the standard recommendation for a horse with ulcers is to take it off of grain....but what kind of grain exactly?

I suspect my TB has ulcers, he's a cribber, girthy, and sometimes has bite/slobber marks on his sides (I usually go out there six days a week and might find them on one of the days). I'm trying to find an ulcer treatment/preventative that works....U-Gaurd didn't work, so I'm going to try the 2X formula, but he is also on 2 scoops daily of Safe Choice. That is a serious downgrade from where he was at previously, where he got something like 4 scoops daily with no hay, but 24/7 turn out in a grassy pasture. Now he is on pasture with no grass, 2 scoops daily of grain, and 2 flakes daily of compressed hay (so its really like 4 flakes).

So my question is, since Safe Choice is low-starch, is it safe to feed him that? Also, if I can't feed him grain, how am I supposed to give him the rest of his supplements (in addition to the U-Gaurd he is on Optizyme and Joint Combo Hoof and Coat)?
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    10-28-2009, 11:04 PM
By "grain" they mean all GRAINS--no oats, corn, etc in the feed. There shouldn't be grains or grain products listed on the tag.

Rather than feeding a supplemental feed like Safe Choice, you should be feeding as close to free choice hay as possible and meet all of the energy needs of the horse. This helps to naturally buffer gastric acid to help protect the stomach. To balance the diet, then add in a ration balancer like Purina's Enrich 32. Ration balancers are forage based and designed to be fed at a rate of 1-3 lbs per day to compliment hay and balance out the nutrient content of the diet. If you are feeding vitamin/mineral supplements, they are not necessary if you are feeding hay with a ration balancer. Other supplements such as those for arthritis can simply be added to the ration balancer. Just be sure to choose a ration balancer that is designed to be fed with the type of hay you are feeding---generally grass hay or alfalfa.
    10-29-2009, 01:18 AM
Unfortunately, The property he is boarded on just doesn't kind of have the money to provide a roll of hay for the pastures they have (there are 4 pastures, and each pasture has 2-3 horses in it during the day and 2-3 in them at night....Ice is in a pasture by himself currently). Since he is stalled 12 hours a day (from 7 am to 6 or 7 at night) should I get him a hay bag and hang some T&A or coastal for him to munch on during the day? He usually inhales the hay he gets in the morning, even though he knows he's going to be in a stall all day. I don't want to feed him straight alfalfa because he already has some respect issues, so I don't want to add energy to the mix.
    10-29-2009, 01:54 AM
Green Broke
He should have hay in front of him every minute he is stalled. If he cleans it all up by them time he's put out, he needs more. Use Bermuda, Timothy, or other "calm" grass hay.

For "feed", I would feed 1-2 scoops of alfalfa pellets and a broad vitamin supplement (like smartpak's SmartVite Grass, Grand Vite, or Select II). Add some water or oil to make it all stick and mix together. Alfalfa is high in calcium which helps buffer the stomach.

NO FEED. No feed that has any grain products or by-products.
    10-29-2009, 03:16 AM
Although I would love to be able to afford to just pump money into his supplements, as it is I am spending anywhere from 75-100 dollars a month on what he's getting now.

I totally agree that he does need more hay, and I guess I'll just have to see whether its cheaper for me to buy a bale once a week or pay an extra 50 bucks a month or something like that on his boarding fee..... I am worried about him getting a belly. Since I don't have the time to go out two hours a day, saddle him up and put him through his paces (which at this time are walk and trot....he tosses his head when he throws fits, and I don't want him to do that at a canter) while fighting with him about the gate and wanting to run up on the other horses in the arena. He's already showing the barest hint of one, and his ribs are starting to disappear little by little, but I think by the time they do he'll be a barrel xD.

So my question is, can I give him some people oriented antacids, like TUMS or something else with calcium in it to help level out his stomach acid? He also pees, well, like a racehorse with the amount of alfalfa he's currently on, and I don't want him standing in puddles just so he won't crib anymore.
    10-29-2009, 02:17 PM
Antacids are only effective for less than an hour after giving so they are of little use unless you want to give them 12 times a day.

You need to get him turned out. Stalling is a risk factor for development/persistence of ulcers. It's also probably why he's acting so silly when you do go out to ride/handle him. He's got energy and being kept in a box.
    10-29-2009, 02:22 PM
Originally Posted by Ryle    
Rather than feeding a supplemental feed like Safe Choice
Safe Choice is no more a supplemental feed than any other grain or feed.

OP - have you talked to your vet?
    10-29-2009, 02:30 PM
Green Broke
What kind of supplements are you giving him and why? They could be causing the ulcers, or making them worse.

I agree, he also needs turn out as much as possible. More turn out and no more safechoice will REALLY improve his attitude as well. If your current stable cannot turn him out more, then you need to try and find a new barn.
    10-29-2009, 03:53 PM
Originally Posted by mls    
Safe Choice is no more a supplemental feed than any other grain or feed.
Any feed other than a complete feed (forage included) or forage is a "supplemental feed".
    10-29-2009, 04:38 PM
Maybe some good questions to ask the OP -

What are you willing to do to get rid of your horse's ulcers?

What supplements is he getting right now? How much are you speding on them? How much do you spend on the Safe Choice right now?

You could probably cut some of the supplements out and save enough money to buy him some more hay. Which is what you really need to do to help your horse physically and mentally. There is literally tons of information outlining the determints of having your horse on very limited hay and stalling him as much as he is stalled. Absolute minimum he should be getting 1% of his body weight in hay every day. That is for his digestive health. Horse's digestive systems need the forage to be healthy. If you're giving him less than that you're basically asking for health and behavioral problems.

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