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sweet feed? oats? what is best to feed & why?

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    11-25-2012, 10:54 AM
Very pretty girl you have
I agree with everybody on the sweetfeed. Since you have that cowboy/nutritionist right there, you're all set.
Base for everything is hay. Everything above needs to be supplemented. The easiest way to do this is with a ration balancer. Your filly looks in good shape, so the RB is most likely all she needs.
Once you start working her harder, just keep watching her. Should should she lose condition it's time for adding some energy in one firm or another.
I'd like to borrow your cowboy every once in a while,tho
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    11-25-2012, 11:05 AM
Gigem, I honestly just started researching feeds & the best I've come up With is the nutritionist by my home who does his own mixes. Other than that I've asked around the rodeo ground and my barn, hence the crimped oats suggestion.

Does $$$ have anything to do with it? I think almost all the horses at this barn get sweet feed too...
    11-25-2012, 11:10 AM
Thanks desert horse woman, I am a little biased and think she's good looking too ;)

Your advice is in sync. With his = hay is basis. He loves to talk horse, he is a good man and if you want his phone number to keep on hand I'll gladly pass it along. He ships his stuff everywhere if that makes a difference.

Thanks again I appreciate your help.
deserthorsewoman likes this.
    11-25-2012, 12:51 PM
Green Broke
Well the Dollface certainly is not underweight - lol lol She has a beautiful face and is my kinda color

I'd be willing to guess she's more like 750 - 800 pounds if she's 13.2H

Just to let you know, Morgans and TWH's are on that nasty list of breeds called "Predisposed to Metabolic Issues", so you will have to be exceptionally careful of her weight and what she eats.

The lower you can keep her starches and sugars (hay and pasture also get factored in), the better.

While oats are a good mainstay for a horse, they are not good for easy keepers and horses that might be predisposed to metabolic issues.

Were she a QH, I would keep quiet on feeding oats but, given her genetic predisposition to metabolic problems, I would stay as far away from any sort of grains as I could. Legume hays, such as alfalfa, aren't good for these types of horses either - at least not until they hit their 20's and old age dictates they need more protein and amino acids.

I like your feed guy; I have a feeling he and I are close to the same age - I'd never get out of his feed store
    11-25-2012, 12:59 PM
Uh oh....poor guy is not going to get in trouble I hope
Regarding alfalfa I just want to add, it is actually low in sugars, lower than some grass hays, it s a problem if the horse is already overweight, since it supplies considerably more energy than grass hay. A normal weight horse can benefit from alfalfa, providing the more energy of it is being balanced with cutting elsewhere.
    11-25-2012, 01:17 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Hmmm. Want to trade feed suppliers with me, OP? My supplier was trying to convince me that his 12% sweet feed with some beet pulp thrown in was a 'quality senior feed' O_o

Your mare is adorable and looks to be at a good weight, if not needing to loose a bit, but don't come looking my way if she dissapears ;) I'd try to keep her on as much good grass hay as possible and as little feed as you can get away with. You might even find that with enough hay and grazing, she may not even need more than a few handfulls of ration balancer or something to keep her at optimal weight.
    11-25-2012, 01:59 PM
Oh, I cannot stop laughing! Alright, maybe I need to make sure she isn't on the pudgy side and I am failing to notice. I will put another pic on here that shows her from the side; I will also post another one that came to mind: she is rolling in some hay and, while rolling, decides to graze a little on the way over - the picture just seemed timely.

Thanks for saying that you think she's good looking walkin and endiku - I really feel very lucky b/c she is as wonderful as she is pretty.

I asked this earlier but it got kind of buried in the threads, but how do I know the ideal weight for her and, if I cut back/change diet, what signs am I looking for to know if she is hungry, getting the right balance, etc. (behaviors such as fidgeting have been mentioned as a possible reaction to new feed).
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    11-25-2012, 02:15 PM
She will be probably growing a bit more, certainly will widen and deepen a bit overall in the next 2 years or so.
For ideal weight, that would be a 5 to 5.5. On the Henneke body condition scale. You can Google this and a printable version of it will come up. You can do the scoring yourself. Write the beginning score, then check monthly, to keep track of the current feed regimen, and to adjust, if needed.
    11-25-2012, 02:44 PM
Green Broke
Oh my --- she is absolutely beautiful!!!

In your #17 post, the top picture is Christmas card material if every there was one!

The owner of my local horse forum does on-line scrapbooking and has made some beautiful Christmas arrangements with my four horses.

I then e-mail them to the photography place in town. I go into their store, pick out the type of card I want (post card type or regular style cards), they place the picture on the cards and I'm good to go for not much more $$ than buying decent looking Christmas cards would cost.

I also get a coffee mug with the picture on it for sentiment:)

This is one year that was a post card for example

I'm tellin' ya, that's a Christmas card picture of your horse, waiting to be made:)
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    11-25-2012, 07:07 PM
If the hay you are feeding has little nutritional and caloric value, then there are a lot of options to supplement it with. I do not use sweet feed for a lot of reasons, it has way to much sugar and it is the first thing to go "buggy" on you (does not store as well). Oats store super well if properly contained, and are good when fed in small quantities in the winter or for a working horse. I prefer Nutrena Original Smart Choice, or one of the many feeds like it, to supplement hay with. There are excellent formulated feeds out there that do not have the unnecessary sugars but do have the nutrition.

I always weigh all of my horses food (hay, laken, nutrena, whatever..all of it), and I feed them 3x a day. It takes seconds per feeding to weigh, and leaves zero doubt "how much" they are getting and of what. You said what she was being fed, but not how much and how often. When you feed something as potent as sweet feed (or oats, corn, or cob, etc.,) its a good idea to measure.

Having a hay analysis done can be costly on an individual basis - it is far easier to ask the supplier for analysis. Some won't have one, some will. If your barn buys a lot of hay it has the leverage it needs to possibly bargain for "x,y" analysis.

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