Confused about what to feed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-23-2010, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Confused about what to feed?

Hi everyone, I am a new horse owner and am a bit confused as to what grains I should be feeding my horses..
I havn't owned horses in 16 years, but had them while growing up..we used to just feed hay, salt lick, and for grain just sweet feed and oats..I am sure things have evolved a bit by now and am wondering what is the best grain to feed my horses, maybe you could all share with me what you are feeding your horses or what you think will be best for mine? They do not have access to much grass and are fed hay year round..
here is my horses info..

7 year old APHA mare, used for trail riding, ridden daily.
15.2 hh.

6 month old APHA colt, growing fast and will mature at 16+ hh.

Any help at all would be wonderful..thank you!
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-23-2010, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Maine
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Well we try not feed much grain especially sweetened grains like sweet feed.
But my 23 year old horse does get a small amount of barley at night and two scoops of beet pulp for lunch. The mini horses get no grain and neither does our 4 year old.
Other then that both big horses get lots of grass on the trails and good hay.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-24-2010, 10:46 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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What kind of hay? What kind of riding or work do you do with the mare? What is she eating right now? How is her weight on her current diet? Do you have recent photos?

I don't feed any grains to my horses. Sweet feeds, many pelleted feeds, and even whole grains contain a lot of sugar and strach that is hard for horses to digest. It can cause health issues, behavioral problems, obesity, weight loss, and developmental problems with foals.

I feed a good vitamin/mineral supplement, alfalfa hay pellets, and flax meal. The amount of alfalfa pellets and flax depend on the horse's metabolism and work load. I have one "lazy" mare who needs more "umph," so she gets 1 scoop of whole oats mixed in her feed (3qt feed scoop).

If you want to try this route for 30-60 days, you can do so easily with SmartPaks. Use Glanzen3 or Omega Horseshine for the flax (2 oz daily for maintainence, 3-4 oz for weight gain). For the vitamins, you can chose one of the SmartVite supplements (they have a bunch to chose from, depending on the horse and your situation) or I have had good luck with GrandVite.

Mix those two supplements in with 1/2 scoop (3qt feed scoop) of alfalfa pellets to start with (along with free choice grass hay, or nearly free choice). I put some water in my pellets to break them up and get the vitamins to mix in well (half as much water as pellets, stirred well). You can feed up to 2 scoops of alfalfa pellets at one feeding if you see weight loss on just 1/2 scoop. Most of my horses (on free choice hay) only need 1/2 scoop. My "hard workers" get 1 scoop a day.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-24-2010, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: north carolina
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I like to keep things simple...every horse is different so feeding will adjust with time, always start slow and a little at a time. and adjust as needed.. I have two geldings around 9 and 10 in age, we trail ride on weekends... soooo, I give my boys a half of a standard scoop in morning and another half in evening, I have some but not a lot of grass so I give about three flakes of hay for each horse with each feeding, fiber is a must.....salt mineral lick and plenty of fresh water... I feed omilene 100, that should do fine for the mare, but as for the baby, well, you'll want to give something geared more toward his growth.. can't help you there, but I know of many, many horses that were feed in this fashon and lived well into their 30's....oh, I feed costal burmuda hay... good stuff and they don't waste a bit......

Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.!!!

Last edited by Goose; 08-24-2010 at 11:12 AM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-24-2010, 11:22 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
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Goose, half of a scoop of Omelen 100 twice a day is not enough vitamins/minerals for your horse. If that's all you're feeding, you really should think about adding a vit/min supplement to one of their meals to make sure they're getting everything they need.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-25-2010, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Illinois
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go for nutrition first then add calories

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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`horse grain

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