Arab colt feeding issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Arab colt feeding issues

My husband and I recently purchased an Arabian colt that is a year and a half old (Mo). His previous owner had been feeding him wheat hay and sweet cob. Wheat hay is very hard to find in our area. A friend who owns horses suggested 90/10 (pasture grass/alfalfa) and switch the sweet cob for dry cob, which we have done over time. We had our first vet visit last week and the vet suggested adding a supplement as Mo is still growing. We purchased Purina's Nature's Essentials Enrich 32. According to the directions, we added 1 pound in the morning and 1 pound in the evening. After the first day, Mo stopped eating his hay. We know hay is essential, so we stopped the supplement. Mo went back to eating his hay, but his disposition has become very aggitated to the point of tossing his head, running and kicking out at both my husband and myself. He does seem to calm down after eating the dry cob, but not completely. Mo is not gelded. The vet suggested giving him until March, as his testicles have dropped but are still very small.
Any suggestions regarding food, similar problems, guidance...?
Thanks!
Sarah
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 12:39 PM
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He needs work and relationship building. Kicking out at a human is NEVER ok. He's going to be saucy, he's a colt but to even think he might want to be in charge should never be allowed. His testes may be very small but if they're descended then there's no reason not to cut him now if you want him gelded, unless your vet thinks he may be a crypt or has some other VALID reason.

I like to keep my youngsters on Bermuda Grass hay and Ultium Growth until they're 2 and then they go on to Strategy GX and only Ultium if they need it for performance training.

I don't feed COB at all, corn will make him hot and he's already going to be saucy enough just because he's a colt. As a 1.5 year old, he's probably starting to feel the testosterone and is going to be testing you on a regular basis. Give him some very clear cut discipline now, get him gelded and you'll have a horse who is a JOY to be around instead of a spoilt little monster by March. Since you're in CA I wouldn't wait til March anyhow, you have a very narrow window when you won't have flies. I used to get all my colts done by Feb at the latest, so they had time to heal before fly season.

I would not feed much alfalfa, if any at all, to him as he is growing and the protein in alfalfa can be very high (26%) which is not ideal for growing horses. Arabians can have problems with OCD lesions when fed too much protein.

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post #3 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mosaicsmom View Post
... his disposition has become very aggitated to the point of tossing his head, running and kicking out at both my husband and myself. He does seem to calm down after eating the dry cob, but not completely. Mo is not gelded. The vet suggested giving him until March, as his testicles have dropped but are still very small.
Sarah
He has settled into his new envionment andis now testing you and your boundaries. Pretty normal behavior.

That's the lamest reasoning for not gelding. If they're both down, he's ready. Because they are small, his recovery will be faster with less chance for complications. What normally happens when people wait is something bad happens. You have to get the vet out to stitch the boy up because he was trying to get to a mare, you get kicked, run over, bit, fences get torn down...
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-09-2011, 11:53 PM
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Agreed with above.

#1, get a professional trainer involved to help with training respect issues..

#2, stop feeding COB, the corn and oats can make horses very hot, so unless you know your horse very well and know they can handle, I would not feed it to them, but that is only in the case of oats... Corn is very very easy to overfeed, making horses extremely hot, and also just has a bunch of weird stuff that can make horses act weird.

#3 I would just feed Grass hay, but with that little Alfalfa it probably would be okay.
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“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-11-2011, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone

No COB since Friday night and Mo is much calmer this morning. Still a slight attitude, but much much better than Friday! Whew...thank you to everyone for the wonderful information. We weren't able to pick up the Ultium, but we did find the Strategy GX and started him on 1/2 recommended amount. I am hopeful. I can't thank each of you enough.

My DH is calling the vet in the morning and scheduling cutting as soon after holidays as is possible. We talked to one trainer last weekend that we like, a Chris Cox graduate. As soon as Mo is back on his feet, we plan on putting him into a 30-day ground program and then take it from there.

Thank you again to each of you who responded.
Best,
Sarah

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post #6 of 13 Old 12-11-2011, 05:38 PM
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Just don't let Mo con you for more than about 3 days after his brain surgery........

A good 30 day ground manners course for him and you & your hubby will make a world of difference, good for you!

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post #7 of 13 Old 12-13-2011, 12:41 AM
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Hi,

Firstly, I'd find yourself a *good* equine vet to geld him **ASAP** if you're not keeping him for breeding. 1.5 yrs is quite late to geld already(regardless of size of attachments), if you want to avoid the behaviours of a stallion. If you aren't completely sure of what you're doing, enlist the services of a good trainer ASAP too, as now is the time to teach him some manners & boundaries, as it's too late to start last year.

As for feeding, good that he's off the wheat, as that can cause some pretty major imbalances, due to the high phosphorus. I don't know what 'cob' is, but as you mention 'sweet cob', I'm gathering it's some form of made up feed. Good that you stopped with the sweets, but if the 'dry' is high in grain/starch, this can be problematic. He really shouldn't need anything more than hay for his basic diet, with a good nutritional supp. Beware of feeding youngsters up too much - like a lot of performance horses are - because it can cause DOD.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-13-2011, 12:57 AM
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sorry, double posted somehow!
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-13-2011, 11:59 AM
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Hi,

Firstly, I'd find yourself a *good* equine vet to geld him **ASAP** if you're not keeping him for breeding. 1.5 yrs is quite late to geld already(regardless of size of attachments), if you want to avoid the behaviours of a stallion. If you aren't completely sure of what you're doing, enlist the services of a good trainer ASAP too, as now is the time to teach him some manners & boundaries, as it's too late to start last year.

As for feeding, good that he's off the wheat, as that can cause some pretty major imbalances, due to the high phosphorus. I don't know what 'cob' is, but as you mention 'sweet cob', I'm gathering it's some form of made up feed. Good that you stopped with the sweets, but if the 'dry' is high in grain/starch, this can be problematic. He really shouldn't need anything more than hay for his basic diet, with a good nutritional supp. Beware of feeding youngsters up too much - like a lot of performance horses are - because it can cause DOD.
Wheat hay typically refers to wheat grass hay. It's a popular cool season grass in the Rocky Mountain region that makes great pasture and hay.
Cob is corn, oats, barley. Sweet or wet cob is corn, oats and barley with molasses.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-13-2011, 05:46 PM
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Thanks for that clarification LHP. I'd be definitely avoiding feeds such as that cob stuff. Generally speaking think there are healthier, safer alternatives to grain if horses need... rocket fuel anyway, of which babies don't tend to, but would especially avoid corn, as high starch & NSC as it is.
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