02-19-2013, 04:09 PM
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I see, you haven't switched him to a ration balancer yet. Just switch him. He will do fine if he has free choice hay and is an easy keeper. Get a plastic ziploc bag. Take a measuring cup full and weigh it on a good scale. You can sneak a baggie into the supermarket and use their scale. You will be amazed how little a pound is. From there on you can eyeball it.
If he acts like your starving him to death you can add some hay pellets to his meal for bulk. My fat old pony gets 1/3 cup of ration balancer and acts like her throat has been cut so I get the lowest carb hay stretcher I can find and mix a little with it for her. I guess this is the start of the second year of me feeding her like this and she hasn't lost a lb but she hasn't gotten any fatter either. Her overall condition and attitude have improved greatly.
My other 2 seem to need a touch more but not much. The large pony/small horse mare (never really measured, hovers at around 14.1 I think) gets the ration balancer and hay stretcher mix with a couple of measuring cups of the purina mini horse food added. She's a small sturdy app, senior horse. Tends to be chunky and cresty.
My TWH is 16.1 and gets 3 cups of the mini horse feed with her hay stretcher/ration balancer mix and a measuring cup of rice bran. Much bigger and long and lanky compared to the other 2 and in her early teens she just needs a few more calories than the smaller older girls. More than just lb for lb size difference would dictate but not much. I'm using very low carb/high fiber foods for all 3.
It works well for me because I feed outside in the pasture. The two bigger horses eat their special stuff up first. If I have to abandon my mealtime vigil because of subzero weather the pony only gets a mouthful of hay pellets by the time she thinks to run the other 2 off their dishes. Saves me frostbite, panic and worry. Usually her tummy is filled by a meal with an NSC value of 6.9 so she doesn't bother or there is only crumbs left anyway.
You want to get his carbs way down if he's having a little trouble with laminitis.
I could probably drop out the mini food for all that I'm feeding doesn't amount to much but it does seem to make the two bigger girls finish theirs a little quicker and leave my chubby old alpha witch with nothing to steal. Works for me. You will just have to play around and adjust and watch and adjust until you find it.