Originally Posted by Speed Racer
More hay, less grain, not no grain at all.
If you have an ulcer-prone horse, every good vet I've ever known recommends a complete feed, fed in small amounts 3 to 4 times a day, with as much hay as the horse will eat.
It appears that you are equating any sort of feed with "grain". Complete feeds are forage based which is very different from all of the grain based feeds on the market like sweet feeds or pelleted feeds that use grains as the main ingredient. (Such as Strategy)
Yes, many vets will recommend complete feeds fed along with free-choice hay. This greatly reduces the carb content of the diet and for several years it was the best option because feed companies were not producing ration balancers which have very very low carb content. But complete feeds fed with hay may not provide adequate in the way of nutrients in the diet depending on the type and quality of hay fed because complete feeds are not nutrient dense. In order to make up for deficiencies in hay, complete feeds would need to be fed at extremely high quantities because they are balanced. Mix a balanced feed with a deficient feed and the balance of the whole diet is changed---the overall balance becomes deficient in certain areas. So to minimize the deficiencies you have to feed much more of the balanced feed and less of the deficient feedstuff. But with ration balancers you are using a nutrient dense feedstuff that allows you to compensate for the deficiencies of the forage by feeding only a small amount of the ration balancer.
No, I am not a veterinarian. However I do get my information from the same sources----the AAEP continuing education symposiums, equine medical journals, university veterinary teaching hospitals.