Switching feeds- need advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-22-2012, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Switching feeds- need advice

So I need to find a new feed (or two) for my two guys. Iím hoping to start them both back into work and what theyíre getting now definitely isnít going to cut it, calorie wise. Heck, they could both stand to gain a bit before we start.
One is an older arab with moderate muscle atrophy who should be starting back into work as soon as the ground dries up. Itís not a medical problem, just lack of space and zero work at his old home. Second is a stocky three year old who will be starting work this summer.
Both horses are a little thin right now, probably a 4.5 on the Henneke scale. (As per vetís orders!) They get free access to forage of varying quality and 1-2 lbs of Purinaís NE Enrich 32.
Stores near me carry Purina, Seminole and Nutrena feeds. They donít have much of a selection in stock, so Iím hoping I can get something ordered in.
I know very little about various feeds, and would appreciate some help.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-30-2012, 10:56 PM
Join Date: May 2012
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Here's what I've done to 'tweak' the weight on horses I've had, both young and ancient, whether they needed to gain or lose. lol! Especially when I get a new horse and I have no clue what they've been eating. For your guys, I'd start by adding a Hay Replacer pellet to what they are already getting. Start with a 1/2 to a full pound mixed in- mash it if they are prone to bolting feed! You might be surprised, maybe their forage isn't nutrient dense enough. If they still aren't gaining, add a fat supplement or good old corn oil to their ration. A 'weight builder' type of top dress with rice bran has worked for me in the past. I don't advocate using or not using corn oil-just some of my horses have done well on it, some haven't. Just feeding a ton of grain right off the bat will give you problems. I'd also exercise these guys lightly & keep a weekly weight journal. You want to gain muscle not just fat lol. Plus the journal will help keep your memory straight. Good luck & I swear it's not too labor intensive or expensive and I can do it with 10+ horses (my own & boarders) and kids running around. Tell us how it goes!
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 12:14 PM
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Well I have an older Arab who could gain a little more weight. In addition to being worked several days a week she also gets 1.5 lbs of Enrich 32 with 2 ounces of Cool Calories 100 on top of it. The Cool Calories is a 99% fat supplement which I think is much cheaper than oil, as it only costs me $11 per month.

Keep in mind not all weight builders will work with every horse. You may have to do trial and error for awhile. I think it works for me, I started my mare on it just as I was starting to work her. She's put on a few pounds but most importantly she has not lost any with all the work she is now doing.

I would keep the Enrich 32 in their diet as it is high in protein for muscle building. Also talk to your local feed store, they can usually give you details on each feed they carry along with what they recommend.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seminole, OK
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We tried several different feeds before finally finding on that actually worked for our bunch. We had to get some weight on the whole herd due to an illness they had all contracted. They recovered just fine, but had lost a LOT of weight.

We started them on Nutrena Life Design Compete (you can get it at Tractor Supply). They started gaining weight on it in spite of the winter weather. We sped up the weight gain by adding Purina Amplify (before we found out that Nutrena has an equivalent). By the time spring arrived, our horses were all fat and sassy again. Even the vet was impressed.

Now, our bunch is not in hard work, so if I think if we kept them on the Nutrena Compete, they would turn into real butterballs. So, we switched them over to Nutrena Prime, which is just a little lower in protein and fat than the Compete. If it looks like they are going to lose weight on the Prime, we'll switch back over to the Compete.

Right now, we only have two horses that are for sure broke to ride, and they are only ridden lightly. The other three are being started in the round pen, which isn't particularly hard work. We shall see how well they hold their weight, I guess.

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures!
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 07:42 PM
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Location: Colorado
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My TB is a very hard keeper, and in pretty heavy work, so we've been challenged to find a feed that puts weight on him without making him hot. Currently he is on a high quality grass hay (with a small alfalfa percentage) and about 4 cups of Rice Bran per day, plus a digestive supplement called TractGard (which works wonders for him, because before he started on it, he would get loose stools everytime he would travel, and now he never gets them!). Nothing else, save a few hours a day of grazing on some pretty good quality bluegrass and a joint/calming supplement, and he is a Training level eventer and the hardest keeper I've ever owned. Hope this helps!
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 07:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
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These are the 2 feeds that I use.

My 3 easy keepers get this grain....
Nutrenaģ SafeChoiceģ Horse Feed, 50 lb. - 2802262 | Tractor Supply Company

Meanwhile, my 13 year old hard keeper gets this one. He does SOOOO well on this grain. I'm 200% pleased. The ingredients are wonderful and really do help.
Nutrenaģ Life Designģ Senior Horse Feed, 50 lb. - 2802301 | Tractor Supply Company

"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with
him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."

-Samuel Butler
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-01-2012, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seminole, OK
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I really like the Nutrena Life Design feeds. They have the pre- and pro- biotics that aid in digestion. It really seems to make a difference.

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

I believe in dragons, unicorns, good men and other mythical creatures!
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-01-2012, 05:48 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Blythewood SC
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I feed Purina Strategy But i think Ill have to change too because she is pregnant so ill have to change to a mare and foal soon i belive not sure though lol Im new at this
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