So I'm in the process of researching feeds that are high energy (without being "empty" calories), and compact/light. It's sooooooo confusing though!! I have a hard enough time with human nutrition, and I swear horses are more confusing (or maybe I just care more)
We have a string of around 22 horses who are used for packing and riding in the bush for 3-4 months at a time. For this period of time they are free-ranged at night and so feed almost completely on wild grasses, shrubs, whatever. Later in the season when grass is harder to find or frost killed, we have fed alfalfa cubes.
This is supplemented with 1x daily feedings of oats. I don't have a clue how much in weight as it is just free-poured... maybe an icecream pail full or 2 each. Most of the horses do fine on this, but by the end of a hard season inevitably some of the horses are thin.
I know oats aren't ideal, and realize that sweet-feed is pretty much junkfood for horses.
So, I'd like to find something that will provide the most good energy per amount. Weight/bulk needs to be kept down as all feed is transported in either on packhorses or in small bush planes.
Cost IS an issue. I can convince the owner of the company to spend more than he does on oats... but only to an extent.
One last thing - we live in a remote area with a small horse community. I'd have to see what feeds the feedstore will carry or order in, but it's likely to be limited brands.
I know there are some very knowledgeable people on here, so, any suggestions?