Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Determining the correct feed for horses
Hi! I've been trying to increase my knowledge regarding equine nutrition, but with so much information and with companies who are quick to praise their own products, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.
My issue right now is trying to find feed that would suit my current horses needs. Each are very different then each other, so I recognize that I'll have to invest in different types of feed. Cost isn't a huge issue. I'd prefer to keep it under or around $20 a bag, but will pay a little more for something if it is perfect. My local feed store has an incredible diversity of feeds, but are also fantastic about special ordering or pointing me in the right direction if they don't have it.
Normally I don't bother with hard feeds, since my horses have been doing great just on hay/grass, but one horse is at a place where they feed all horses hard grains everyday and the other three are fed grain in the winter when they come in. Unfortunately, the only feed the barn owner provides is generic sweetfeed, which isn't ideal for any of my horses.
I'd really appreciated opinions from others or direction on where to look for help.
Mare 1: She is a 17 yo quarterhorse type mare. She is wide in build and is overweight (she is a work in progress lol). She gains weight easily. In the winter, she is on free-choice round bales during the day, and a few flakes at night (unfortunately cannot reduce the amount of hay). She will be in medium work in the fall (ridden for an hour and a half to two hours 4 times a week, with lots of trotting) and light work in the winter (ridden for less then an hour a few times a week, lots of trails). I'm thinking some sort of ration balancer would be the best option for her
Mare 2: She is a draft cross mare, nearly 17 hh. She is 22 yo and goes through the winters very well. She is also on round bales during the day and a few flakes at night. She is very rarely ridden. Has cushings disease.
Mare 3: 4 year old quarter horse. She is always good weight...doesn't seem to gain or lose regardless of what she is eating. Puts on muscle easier than the other two. She will be in the most work as she is a show horse. She also has free access to hay during the day and a few flakes at night.
Mare 4: 8 year old quarter horse. She is in light work right now. She is my newest horse, so I don't know as much about how she winters. She will be on free choice of hayledge in the winter. She will be outside all winter. I'm thinking about keeping her on beet pulp and a ration balancer.
Anyway, I'd greatly appreciate any help! Thanks in advance