Bringing up horse's weight; feed selection (may be wrong forum) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-13-2012, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Bringing up horse's weight; feed selection (may be wrong forum)

I think I have found the horse for me :). He is, however, a little on the thin side. Now, I fully realize that as horses add weight they can become proverbial fruit loops, however, the barn and trainers are very reputable, known and approved by MY trainer(s) and known for dead honesty in general. I did enquire as to the horse's overall "heat" level. This horse was brought in off-track and was very thin..I saw the pics. I would say he has added a good 300 pounds since the intial shots were taken. Right now he is quiet and easy to ride. I asked the trainer there how his energy level manifested itself as he put on weight and while, obviously, his energy level improved, he hasn't become a hot nutcase.

He is eating Horsemen's Edge which I gather is a pellet only. My barn feeds a sweet feed mix or senior pellet depending on the horse in question.

I guess the question is, will a sweet feed mix enhance the energy level just by way of the added molasses..I am thinking sugar here or should I supplement the sweet feed with the pellet. I haven't asked as yet, as I was still thinking, but I believe the barn would drop my board slightly if I were supplying my own grain for now.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-13-2012, 09:01 AM
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I would not feed him sweet feed. Stick with what he is on now if he is doing well on it. If you want to change his feed just find a balanced one that is low in non structual carbs.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-13-2012, 09:03 AM
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I'd cut the sweet feed all together, I don't have any place for it in my feeding program. To me, that is like feeding a malnourished child McDonald's every day.
When was the horse last vetted, de-workmed, etc - have the teeth been done?
The best base for ANY feeding program, especially for a horse who is underweight, is good, quality hay. For an underweight horse, I want free choice hay available to the horse.....and, better still, good pasture when in season. From there, I add a tailored blend of alfalfa pellets or cubes, beet pulp and/or rice bran with tweaking to find what works for that individual horse.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-13-2012, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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The horse is vetted out regularly and watching him eat his dinner last night he didn't outwardly show signs of teeth (tooth?) issues. :) Obviously a PPE would tell for sure.

I've seen the beet pulp and rice bran mentioned before. What is the basis of those feeds?
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-13-2012, 10:27 AM
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-13-2012, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlkng1 View Post
The horse is vetted out regularly and watching him eat his dinner last night he didn't outwardly show signs of teeth (tooth?) issues. :) Obviously a PPE would tell for sure.

I've seen the beet pulp and rice bran mentioned before. What is the basis of those feeds?
Not sure I'm following what you are asking there - are you asking what the feeds are made of, what their nutritional values are or what the basis of reason for using them in a feeding program is?
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-13-2012, 10:44 AM
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I've been told the use of small mesh hay nets causes a horse to gain weight. The faster the horse ingests feed the faster it goes through. By slowing it down better digestion takes place, but those who feed may not want to bother. If your horse was in racing shape it takes time to put weight on but don't let him get tubby. Thinner is healthier. You want to feel his ribs but not see them. Too often people get the idea that a fat shiney horse is a healthy horse but that's not the case as fat surrounds the organs, not just the outside of the animal.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-13-2012, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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<Quote>Not sure I'm following what you are asking there - are you asking what the feeds are made of, what their nutritional values are or what the basis of reason for using them in a feeding program is?</QUOTE>

Sorry :)...I meant the reason behind their use
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-16-2012, 10:25 PM
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Rice bran is a high fat energy source that acts as "cool energy" adding weight, while not going to the horse's head so to speak. Vegetable oils = fats, are utilized for energy more efficiently than grains. A horse can gain weight quicker with rice bran without some of the bad side effects of grain, like founder, colic, or diarrhea. I'd also like to add rice bran puts a gorgeous shine on a horse's coat and is most often used as a coat enhancer.

Beet pulp on the other hand doesn't quite fit neatly into either the forage or the energy feed categories. At 10% crude protein and 18% crude fiber, beet pulp sits right on the edge between being a forage and an energy feed. Most nutritionists will refer to and utilize beet pulp as a forage, but beet pulp is higher in calories than any kind of hay. Beet pulp is lower in energy than cereal grains, but has a lower glycemic index, which means it is less likely to spike your horse's blood sugar; blood sugar spikes are what cause "hot" behaviours. It also doesn't raise the acidity of the gut the way cereal grains can, so again it is less likely to cause the bad side effects grain can cause.

I feed both beet pulp and rice bran on a daily basis.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-17-2012, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fargosgirl View Post
Rice bran is a high fat energy source that acts as "cool energy" adding weight, while not going to the horse's head so to speak. Vegetable oils = fats, are utilized for energy more efficiently than grains. A horse can gain weight quicker with rice bran without some of the bad side effects of grain, like founder, colic, or diarrhea. I'd also like to add rice bran puts a gorgeous shine on a horse's coat and is most often used as a coat enhancer.
I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this :). Now, the next question is how to portion. The horse is currently on Horseman's Edge as I indicated. Due to schedules I haven't been able to talk to my barn manager about the feed. Would there or should there be a grain/pellet portion change in order to accomodate the Rice Bran? May sound like a dumb question as I am looking for addded weight here, which means more could possibly be better, but I have also learned many times before that this isn't always the case.
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