What do you feed your horse[s]? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 04-23-2009, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
Posts: 6,634
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What do you feed your horse[s]?

I'm just curious, and maybe this isn't the right place to post, so I'm sorry if it's not. =\ I don't want a debate about what's wrong and right and what any particular person SHOULD be doing, I just want to see what's out there, and learn something new.

My horse Ricci was getting 2 flakes of alfalfa in the morning and 2 more at night during the winter, along with 2 scoops [about half of a coffee can sized scoop] of beet pulp and two scoops of timothy pellets. As it gets nicer, and the grass grows and she spends more time outside, I drop a flake in the morning and then a flake at night and switch her to grass or timothy hay. I also take her off the beet pulp [usually when I run out] and put her on alfalfa pellets. And then as it starts getting colder I move her back up to the 3 then 4 flakes a day and switch her back to alfalfa hay and timothy pellets. I just recently started her on a joint supplement and a hoof supplement. She's an easy keeper, but my pastures don't get that bad so I continue to ride about the same amount I do in the summer.

Now that I have Gracie, the 8 month old, her and Ricci share a big flake or flake and a half of grass in the morning, graze all day, and when Gracie comes in for the night, she gets a flake to herself, a scoop of beet pulp and a scoop of alfalfa.

Now if there's anything that you find is good to give to growing horses, or anything that helps them along, I'd love to hear about it. Also, if anyone knows what a certain feed is supposed to do for a horse, I'd love to hear that as well. I pretty much only know that beet pulp helps keep weight on, alfalfa makes her "hotter" horses, and I run on the rule that they should get both grass and alfalfa but I have no factual evidence that it's necessary, just what I heard from a friend.

Now tell me, what does YOUR horse get every day?

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

Last edited by riccil0ve; 04-23-2009 at 11:34 PM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 04-23-2009, 11:43 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: on a farm, duh!
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Blue: About 3 pounds(3/4 scoop) of 10% sweet feed and nice grass all year round. Blue gets excersied strenuously about 6 days a week. She also gets a scoop of stress dex. We are going to put her on black as night or another supplement to help her black.
Ariel and Airess: They get two scoops of 16% sweet feed, 1 scoop of rice bran, two scoops of shreded alfalpha, 8 ounces of corn oil, and 2 ounces of corn syrup. This is because Ariel is still nursing Airess. She also gets a haynet most nights. And a scoop of stess dex.
Cat: A half scoop(2 pounds) of 10% sweet feed with elctrolytes, isoxoprine, and asprin when we have it. She is getting smarpaks soon so she isn't on it right now(don't chew me out for that, we are getting them as fast as we can!)
Jack: A half scoop of sweet feed, and elctrolytes!
all of our horses are on at least 8 hours of lush pasture each day too. Ecept Cat and Jack who are always outside!

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post #3 of 28 Old 04-23-2009, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
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My horses get about 2% of their body weight in grass hay per day plus 1-2 pounds of ration balancer. I add a little stabilized rice bran if I'm running low on hay or someone is looking skinny. In the good (not drought) summer months they are on pasture almost 24/7 (prob 16 hrs a day avg) plus 1-2 pounds ration balancer. But this is Soda's first summer at my parent's so depending on how much he is ridden I might add some extra calories if he starts looking skinny.
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post #4 of 28 Old 04-24-2009, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In a box
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At the moment...

Sammy - Gelding - 16-20 yrs - 15.2hh - BCS of about 3.2, working on weight gain - Exercise: Minimal to none
5 pounds Purina Strategy per feeding equaling 10 pounds per day. 4 flakes of good Prairie hay plus moderate pasture nearly every day and normally during the night. If it's over 75-80 F, he stays in the paddock and is turned out at night when it's cooler. The paddock has a lot more shade than the pasture, hence he only gets turned out when the weather is nice and it's cooler. Lush pasture on weekends (for relaxation and fun)

Loki - Gelding - 9 yrs - 15hh - BCS of 5.2 - Exercise: Light increasing to moderate
2 pounds Purina Strategy per feeding equaling 4 pounds per day. He has access to 1 square bale of quality Prairie hay all day long, and another square bale at night. Right now he's ONLY in the paddock because I don't have a gate system up were he can move into more shade if needed on hot days, and the pasture right now is to small to support more than one horse. He gets lush pasture turn out on weekends for relaxation and fun.

Red Man - Gelding - 3yrs - 14.5hh - BCS of 4, working on weight gain - Exercise - Minimal to light
2 pounds Purina Strategy per feeding equaling 4 pounds per day. He has access to 1 square bale of quality Prairie hay all day long, and another square bale at night. Like Loki, he is in the paddock with lush pasture turn out on weekends. He has been gaining weight slowly and carefully on his current diet.

Everyones pretty happy on there current diets.
Sam's exercise basicly consists of getting lead around and getting chased by Loki when he's cranky.
I'd like Loki's to be moderate all the time but can't with my knee not moving correctly, and Red's exercise comes from his scooting away when you walk up, and little training on the lunge. He's improving though :)

Wait! I'll fix it....
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post #5 of 28 Old 04-24-2009, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Illinois
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All the horses on my place get free choice grass hay or pasture all the time year round

Sassy gets 1 1/2 lbs of Kent's Horsego32 and 2lbs of alfalfa pellets

Moosa Man gets 1lb of Kent's Horsego32 and 1lb alfalfa pellets

Lazy 1lb of Kent's Horsego32 and 1lb alfalfa pellets

Ransome (boarders horse) get 2lbs Kent's Horsego32 and 4lbs of alfalfa pellets

all but Ransome will soon go down to just the Horsego32 when the pasture finally gets up IF it does this year

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #6 of 28 Old 04-24-2009, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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All of mine have free choice of a mix of alfalfa and good quality grass hay. We just get those big square bales and leave them in the pasture until it is gone then put a new one out there. They are very good a self regulating (even though they are all very fat) but I have never had any food related problems like colic or founder.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #7 of 28 Old 04-24-2009, 09:24 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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Both horses get 25-30 lbs of Bermuda hay, depending on the weather and their work load (we don't have any real grazing to speak of, just enough to give them something to do when it finally comes up...). Their hay is broken up into 3-4 meals a day, depending on how much I'm home that day.

Once a day they get:
On this natural forage based diet, both of my horses have improved tremendously! They are calmer, have a better work ethic, my mare's heats are less noticable, my hard keeper Anglo Arabian (TBxArab) gelding keeps his weight on WONDERFULLY!, my fat mare doesn't balloon up so quick, their coats and feet are awesome, and they have plenty of energy for work. They also have great muscle tone and definition.

Before, when I used to feed grain or pelleted feed, my mare's heats were HORRIBLE, she would gain weight very quickly even on small amounts of grain, my gelding was getting a TON of food (6-8 lbs of grain a day!) and oil (2 cups!) to just keep weight on, they were both spooky in new places, and both would get cranky if we worked in the arena too often. I had to lunge or round pen both of them before even thinking of getting on... Trail rides were "fun"...

The whole barn switched to this kind of diet at the last boarding facility we were at. There were improvements all around! From yearling to old man, all of the horses did better, of course with some extras for the old man, plus his pellets were soaked to make them easier to feed.

Based on these experiences and my own research, I will try very hard to stay away from any commercially prepared feed or mixed grain for my horses. You can make your own fortified and balanced feed using hay pellets and/or beet pulp with a couple of extras, and it's SOOOO much healthier for the horse! It's just like people eating frozen dinners and packaged food versus good homemade food. You'll survive off the former, but you'll thrive on the latter.
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post #8 of 28 Old 04-24-2009, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979 View Post
It's just like people eating frozen dinners and packaged food versus good homemade food. You'll survive off the former, but you'll thrive on the latter.
I love that analogy.....

The boy's get 20-25 pounds grass hay and 3 pounds of alfalfa split into 4-5 feedings per day. We do have a small pasture, but it's more for entertainment than sustenance. They also get 2 one pound servings of an alfalfa pellet and one cup of Hoffmans, which is a mineral supplement.

Falon, our 34 year old toothless POA gets 9 pounds of soaked Ontario-Dehy Tymothy cubes, two pounds per feeding and one pound for a late night snack, 3 measured cups of Life Line All Phase RB, split over 3 feedings. She also gets 1/4 cup of the Hoffmans and 1TSP of Mag Ox.

The boy's are air ferns, super easy keepers. Falon came to us as an SPCA foster pony at the age of 30'ish. I've posted these before but here's what some love and a good diet can do for even a senior horse.

November 12,2006

June 2007:

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post #9 of 28 Old 04-24-2009, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
Posts: 6,634
• Horses: 2
Look at all of you and your fancy names and knowing the pounds of food they get! Haha, I don't know what half of the stuff some people said even are. But maybe I'll go weigh everything just because. =]

Is there an average percentage of body rate ratio to food for many things? [Did that sentence make sense?] I'd like to know what any would be, I'd love to be able to give my horses everything they need. I want them healthy as they can get.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #10 of 28 Old 04-24-2009, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 1,284
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The general rule of thumb is 1.5-2.5% of their body weight in long forage or like feed. Our pony has a total of 4 teeth so she gets her forage by the way of soaked cubes.

In order to know what, if any, supplements are required you need to know what's missing in the long forage. In our part of the world or hay is lacking quite a few essential minerals so we supplement for those.
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