when that happened they were on Buckeye and it was their supplement I put out ... almost $100 later I said screw it
Buckeye isn't so bad, actually, BUT..... they do not use Chelated minerals, they use Oxide and Sulfate forms of minerals (and some proteinates - which while better than inorganic forms, are not as good as finer chelates bc they are bigger and do not pass as easily through the intestinal wall -ie less bio available than the brand I use) - so although on paper your horses were getting what they needed, they were not actually absorbing everything they ate.
So my point is, your horses very well might have had a bit of deficiency. Same goes for the Buckeye free choice - if those minerals are not chelated, same story - the horses need to consume more and still get less. Hence your big binges.
Your big peeve and crusade is sugars/crap in grains - mine is Inorganic minerals. You have to feed more/spend more to get inferior results. And you're right - that only makes more $ for those companies.