Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
How? What horses? Everything I read says that unless the horse has a pre-existing accute kidney problem, concentrated protein feeds are just fine, even for growing horses.
If a horse consumes more protein than they need, it's simply excreted through the urine. So, unless you think smelly pee is "damaging" to a horse, I don't really see the problem.
I know of 2 ponies so far that have switched to RB and went into kidney failure shortly afterwards. It was fed at the level recommended on the bag for them. Was it solely due to the RB? Probably not - can't even prove these two instances were due to RB at all, though it seems highly coincidental when in both instances those were the only changes in their life. Problem is - horses and ponies can hide issues very easily. These horses may have already been having kidney issues before this and no one knew it and may have gone on the rest of their lives just fine. But the added protein in the RB could have pushed them over the edge since the kidneys had to handle the excess.
However, many studies are showing that unless your horses are doing high-level performance, most hays & pastures have adequate protein. Why do we need to add even MORE to the diet then? I just never understood that frame of mind and one of the reasons I never jumped on the RB bandwagon. I do agree - sweet feeds and other feeds with a high NSC are not good for most horses. However, I also don't think extra protein is good either, especially when they are getting adequate amounts from their hay or pasture.
When supplementing is needed - I prefer recommending a little beet pulp (which is only 10% and I usually only give enough for the supplements to mix in unless the horse needs to gain weight or something) and just a regular vitamin/mineral supplement. These are usually given in a 1.5-3 oz scoop. This overall is very little added protein above and beyond the normal forage. Pastured horses who are in good weight only get a mineral block. So coming from this view - RB are a very concentrated dose of protein in comparrison.