First, NO sweet feed! Diets high in sugar and starch will only rev up his metabolism, making him LOSE weight.
I had an OTTB and the following diet did him WONDERS!
- Free Choice grass hay, or at least 25-30 lbs a day
- 3 lbs dry weight of shredded beet pulp (NO molasses), soaked for 15-20 minutes, then excess water drained out
- 3 lbs dry weight of alfalfa pellets or cubes
- 2 lbs of stabilized rice bran, powder or pellets
- Source Focus WT supplement
- any general vitamin supplement (Balance II or SmartVite Maintenance Grass are good).
If you can't give free choice grass hay or at least 25 lbs a day, then you can increase the hay pellets to 5-7 lbs a day, split into two feedings. If rice bran is too expensive for you, then you can use 1-2 cups of corn or soybean (veggie) oil.
- Free choice grass hay, or at least 20-25 lbs a day
- 1.5-2.5 lbs of alfalfa pellets (1/2 to a full 2-qt feed scoop)
- 1/2 lb of stabilized rice bran or 1/2 cup of oil or 1 cup of milled flax
- any general vitamin supplement
If you can't feed free choice grass hay, then 2-3 lbs of alfalfa pellets should do it. For the flax you can feed Omega Horseshine or NutraFlax from HorseTech.com if your feed store doesn't have bags of stabilized milled flax. You might have to add a little water to the bucket if he sifts out the powdered ingredients.
This simple, forage based diet works WONDERS and will help calm the horse down. His metabolism will stabilize and he should keep a good weight on less food, even in hard training.