Coming home from Winter pasture - Supplements/Grain Question
   

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Coming home from Winter pasture - Supplements/Grain Question

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    04-03-2012, 05:05 PM
  #1
Foal
Coming home from Winter pasture - Supplements/Grain Question

Hi there,

I will be officially purchasing my boy when he returns from "winter pasture".. and i'll admit, I'm a little stumped over what kind of supplements/grain I should be feeding him come summer. He's generally a pretty easy keeper and during the summer months he's my guide horse at a horse back riding camp for kids, so he'll likely be doing 4-5 hours + days come June & July. In the meantime, mid April - May I'll begin building him up slowly on weekends and then by June hope to be focusing on longer trail rides again/more heavy arena work. During summer the horses get time in the pasture on nice grass, as well as hay twice a day. The ranch I work at feeds basic oats - and I garner from this forum that that's not exactly the healthiest way to go grain-wise?

Anyways, throughout winter they've been given round-bales, but I'm thinking those bales were few and far between, and they were probably left to scrounge. It's been a mild winter and he came home from a very cold winter last year in decent shape (obviously on the skinny side but not bad), so I don't expect him to be in terrible shape come the end of the month.

I guess i'm pretty uneducated when it comes to types of feed - the barn I used to work at was a show barn and fed Masterfeeds Equine Developer (which on the packaging stated from a weanling to 2 years.. but they fed it to all of the horses, but they were in regular work-out routines) and a scoop of Finishing Touch. The horse I lease now is given Senior feed 2 a day.. she's 3...

As you may be able to tell I'm very confused. Previous to this last year i've been raised on the hay twice a day, grass at night, and oats after rides mentality. So all these other feeds are foreign to me... especially since none of the barns seem to follow the recommended ages stated on the bags?

I'm looking for something that will help put a bit of weight on him initially when he comes home and then supplements/grain that will balance out the amount of workload he will be doing come summertime.

Sorry for rambling; any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
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    04-03-2012, 07:19 PM
  #2
Started
I would recommend a Ration Balancer. Basically what it is is a pellet/powder that is balanced in the nutrients that your horse needs, but won't provide additional fat and therefore weight.

Ration Balancer

If you notice your horse loosing weight, you will want to get him on grain, I would recommend Alfalfa (Hay/cubes/pellets) or Rice Bran.
     
    04-04-2012, 10:26 AM
  #3
Foal
Thank you, I really like that website, lots of valueable info!
     
    04-04-2012, 10:59 AM
  #4
Foal
If you don't mind me asking, which ration balancer do you use?

I'm looking around for canadian brands and found Masterfeeds VTM or Purina Equilizer, any preference?

The Equilizer break down is:

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
Crude Protein............. min. ...........12.0% Iron (Fe) .................actual.......... 1,000 mg/kg
Crude Fat ................... min. ...........6.0% Copper (Cu) ...........actual.......... 240 mg/kg
Crude Fiber ................ max. ..........10.0% Manganese (Mn) ....actual.......... 600 mg/kg
Sodium (Na) ............... actual ........1.0% Zinc (Zn).................actual.......... 700 mg/kg
Calcium (Ca) .............. actual ........2.5% Cobalt (Co).............actual.......... 2.0 mg/kg
Phosphorus (P) .......... actual ........2.5% Fluorine (F).............max............. 50 mg/kg
Magnesium (Mg) ........ actual ........0.3% Vitamin A................min.............. 39,000 I.U./kg
Sulfur (S) .................... actual ........0.25% Vitamin D3..............min.............. 7,200 I.U./kg
Potassium (K) ............ actual ........1.0% Vitamin E................min.............. 1,000 I.U./kg

Iodine (I)..................... actual ........4.3 mg/kg Selenium ................added ......... 1.8 mg/kg


Whereas the Masterfeeds is:

Wheat Shorts, Soybean Meal, Corn Distillers Dried Grains,
Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Molasses, Limestone, Mono and Di
Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Pellet Binder, Yeasacc. Vitamin &
Trace Mineral Premix (which contains Limestone, Wheat Midds,
Calcium Proprionate, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Oxide, Copper
Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Antioxidant, Iron Sulfate, Mineral
Oil, Yeast Culture, Sodium Selenite, Menadione Sodium
Bisulfite (Source Vitamin K activity), Cobalt Carbonate,
Ethylene Diamine Dihydroiodide, Vitamin A, D, and E, Biotin,
Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin,
Thiamine, and Niacin) Flavour.

NOV282010

(I couldn't access the exact tag info for this one)
     
    04-04-2012, 07:02 PM
  #5
Started
Well, I don't use ration balancer currently, but I have used Equerrys ration balancer in the past. My ration balancer- click on Choice under Horse Supplements General

I am not sure if they have that in Canada, but that is what I would recommend.

Here is an anaylis of the Masterfeeds -
http://www.masterfeeds.com/assets/up...1VTM%20Tag.pdf

My opinion out of VTM and Equilizer- go with the Equilizer. The VTM has 20% protein- that's a LOT! The average hard working horse needs around 12% and light working horse 10%.. Although it does have a bit more fat in it, your horse will be working so hard I doubt it will make much of a difference.
     
    04-04-2012, 08:33 PM
  #6
Foal
Thank you for your help; you are wonderful I'm just trying to figure all of this stuff out/make sure my boy has the happiest and healthiest life possible... sometimes, it gets a little confusing. I was also leaning toward the Equilizer, so maybe i'm slowly getting the hang of this thing!

The only other question I have (.. don't hate me ), is that the Masterfeeds' states that the balancer should be fed with regular hay, as well as oats. Why the mixing with the oats? Any particular reason behind this?

We generally feed a scoop of crushed grain (erm.. oats.. the term oats and grain are getting very muddled in my head) at the ranch twice daily, once with hay after their AM rides, and then once in the PM before they are turned out to pasture.
     
    04-04-2012, 09:23 PM
  #7
Started
Aww thanks- its no problem :) I have no clue why they mix with oats.. Maybe something to do with that they don't put some nutrient in it that oats has- which makes warning signs go off in my head..
     
    04-04-2012, 09:27 PM
  #8
Foal
Hmm.. interesting, I will have to look into that. The Equilizer only talks about hay/water... no oats to be had.
     
    04-07-2012, 11:18 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks    
The VTM has 20% protein- that's a LOT! The average hard working horse needs around 12% and light working horse 10%..
Since RB's are fed in such small quantities (~1 lb typically), the percentage of protein can look high, but they're still getting the same amount of protein as if you were feeding 5 lbs of a typical 10-12% grain mix.

The lower protein RBs (like the 12% listed on the Purina) are typically designed to be paired with alfalfa hay. If your horse is fed primarily alfalfa, this is probably the way to go. However if your hay/pasture is mostly grass, you're better off getting a "high" protein RB.

I just got a new horse who's getting rice bran (for weight gain) and Dynamite vitamins (left over from the last horse I had on trial and too expensive to let go to waste) right now. When the Dynamite runs out, I'll be putting him on the Triple Crown 30% RB. Since my horse gets exclusively grass, he needs the higher protein RB.
     

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