Hi everyone! I wanted to pick everyone's brains about horse nutrition. I have been so dissatisfied with molasses and high starch feeds recently, that I took my horses off marketed feeds and put them on hay pellets, alfalfa pellets, flax seeds, and a commercial horse vitamin (they also get orchard grass hay throughout the day). I was amazed that my "hot" horses calmed down and still maintain proper weight.
I hear about people having horses with Insulin Resistance, Cushing's Disease, and other metabolic problems and can't help but look at what we are feeding. So, I wanted to open up a discussion about this matter. What are your favorite feeding programs? A lush pasture is our dream, but when that turns south, what do you do? What are dangerous issues you have faced with improper mineral ratios? I am excited to hear from you!
You just told my story as well
. My mare's heats/seasons also got better, my flighty half Arab is a lot more focused, and both horses have a better work ethic.
I feed (nearly) free choice grass hay, some grazing, and one meal a day of: 2-3 lbs alfalfa pellets, 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, and a custom vitamin blend from HorseTech.com. It's about a 4 oz serving (1 measuring cup) and includes 2 oz of their NutraFlax
B-Complex (same as in Glazen
Vitamin A 25,000 IU
Vitamin E 1,500 IU
Vitamin C 1,500 mg
Biotin 10 mg
Iodine (I) 0.63
Iron (Fe) 250 mg
Copper (Cu) 50 mg
Manganese (Mn) 200 mg
Zinc (Zn) 300 mg
Selenium (Se) 2 mg
Cobalt (Co) 2 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 3,000 mg
Potassium (K) 750 mg
DL-Methionine 1,750 mg
L-Lysine 3,515 mg
L-Threonine 1,250 mg
It costs me $154 (free shipping) for a 40 lb sack, which works out to about $0.88 per serving. It was cheaper for me than buying the vitamin and flax separate. If anyone wants to order it, you can call in and ask for "Trial 471". I like it because it is high in the amino acids that are often deficient in grass hay and pasture (in our area). Most vitamin mixes don't have much (if any) amino acids.
It does have Selenium, which is low in our area. You should check with your local cooperative extension service to find out of your state's soil is usually deficient in Selenium before buying any vitamin supplement that contains it.
I have out a mineral salt block, but the horses rarely touch it! And my mare used to be a total CHOW HOUND when it came to salt blocks. She was an "easy keeper" and couldn't have hardly any grain or feed. With just our hay and limited pasture, she would really demolish the red salt blocks... Now she only occassionlly licks on them.
Both horses have great hair coats, long mane and tails, good growth in their feet (no shoes!), and their overall "vim and vigor" is very good. Their attitudes are happy and relaxed.
I will NEVER feed comercially prepared feed/grain again (if I can help it).