We ride our two geldings six days a week right now its about five sometimes six weather isnt great. We trail ride trot alot some cantering ridding average of ten miles a day later this spring will be doing 20 or more miles a day. Ok we wear out a pair of shoes every seven weeks. Iam feeding both horses 1 1/2 pounds of oats 1/2 cup flax seed And 1/2 pound of soybean meal free choice grass hay this is twice a day. Plus they both get ulcer gaurd,supplemental magnesium 4oz a day. Thinking about adding empower boost later on for extra calories what does everyone else think could I improve my feeding program please help.Horses are 8 and 10 year old quarter horses.
Why not replace the soybean meal with a ration balancer(most are soybean based) to boost nutrition then add in either the empower boost or calf manna Max E Glo both are stablized fortified fat supplements (Max E Glo is cheaper)
If possible you might also get some alfalfa hay for the extra calories in addition to the free choice grass... if I was riding that much I would give a flake or two of alfalfa morning and evening with feed
Alfalfa is a really good idea..I recommend Safe Choice, Purina Omolene 200, and if you're wanting something cheap to add for weight gain or keep weight up would be beet pulp..gppd grazing or free choice hay..
Thanks for the replies Drumrunner I have used safe choice before with not so great results. My horses lost weight on safe choice I was feeding the recomened amount and even upped it a couple of pounds. I can get alfalfa hay so will locate some for the summer its a little pricey but oh well. I have access to triple crown feeds would that be a good feed they have a RB in that not sure about price. I will also look into the max E glo not sure who around here would have that.Dont want to travel to far for feed with the price of gas at 3.79 a gallon closest feed store is 42 miles then the rest get even farther away. Iv also used omelene 200 before had to many colics on it and my one gelding gets way to hyper on sweet feed plain oats have worked for not having hyper horses.
What do they look like now? Are they in good shape or a little on the thin side?
Our trail horses go about 100 miles a week in the late spring and all summer. They stay in good shape and several are near 20 years old. Last summer, they kept working right through the 100+ temperatures without losing weight.
We feed them a custom made grain pellet and they do great. They get 5 pounds a day of it when they are being ridden. The few tougher keepers I have get a cup of oil added. All get free choice grass hay and some grass, but our grass hay is pretty mature.
Obviously, a lot of grain in not good for obese horses or sedentary horses, but horses that work hard burn it up and do great on it. It has been the standard for hundreds of years without horses having any problems if they are working hard.
I feed some alfalfa in the winter and spring, but I do not favor it in the summer for hard working horses. They have to drink a lot more and they sweat a lot more, so you have to be sure you can water them several times a day and not just once a day during the day like we usually do.
We also wear out a full set of shoes every shoeing all summer long. Our big horses are shod with SX 8s with clips because they are thicker and do not wear through at the toes. [They are 3/16 inch thick.]
I agree with the alfalfa. For some reason, it gets a bad wrap, but it's about all we feed here in Arizona and the horses do GREAT on it. Very shiny and healthy and I don't have to feed any grain except as a "treat."
Cherri The horse in my avatar is the one I ride picture was taken just a couple days ago. The other horse is also in good shape right now but they both got ribby last summer so I want to avoid that if possible. With the weather the way it is now raining all the time or every couple of days alfalfa might be hard to get up good and dry this year. So might have to go with grass hay and five or more pounds of grain our horses do have pasture so they get at least tweleve hours a day if it rains alot I have great pasture.Our horses are already starting to drop weight Teeth were just floated iv wormed and vet just did a health check on all my horses.