Do you grain your horses?
   

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Do you grain your horses?

This is a discussion on Do you grain your horses? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Do healthy horses need grain
  • Why not to grain feed horses daily

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    04-14-2012, 08:38 AM
  #1
Weanling
Do you grain your horses?

Our BO is raising her rates significantly, and my daughter and I are looking to move barns. There is one we like, has more amenities for the same cost, and the horses look fat and healthy. The downsides are that it is 100% pasture board ( which is fine...) and they do not grain the horses. If you want them to have grain you have to feed it yourself. Same with supplements. Very few people there do. And the owner says they buy very high quality hay, and people don't feel they need the grain.
I guess I always fed mine a half scoop of grain as a matter of course... Do you think horses need grain? (the pastures are not grassy.,.. but the hay looks wonderful and they feed round bales so is available 24/7...
Do YOU give your horse grain? Why or why not? ( we are primarily trail riders,if that makes a difference...)
     
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    04-14-2012, 09:03 AM
  #2
Weanling
My horse currently gets 3/4 scoop once a day, but in the winter its at 1 cup 2X a day. They only grain in the summer because they want to make sure all the horses are there and in a good state(i.e. One comes limping in or doesnt come for grain at all)

You could move your horse and wean them off grain slowly, and if they were not doing well go out and buy them grain.

Im sure your vet would know the correct answers for your horse(:

Good luck!
     
    04-14-2012, 11:34 AM
  #3
Foal
I only grain when it needs help gaining weight or is consistently working. It really depends on how they maintain weight. My QH maintained without grain getting ridden 3-4 times a week for 1-2 hours. He had free access to hay. If you don't ride but once a week, don't worry about graining. They didnt have commercialized grain 100 years ago, people forget this :) (or dog/cat food for that matter!!)

Best thing to do is keep your eye on the horse's weight, and if you are unsure buy a $2 weight tape and have at it. This is the best way to tell if you are doing things correctly - weight and muscle tone (which has much to do with riding). Regular access to quality hay is the best diet for a horse that is a past time horse that has no serious ailments.

I use pellet and sweet grain, beet bulp, supplements, alfalfa cubes, and corn oil ONLY as tools to meet a horse's needs. If they do not require the extra calories or have an ailment, they don't get grain. This is because I feel it is pointless to mindlessly give a horse a partial scoop. I used to do it when I was in middle school, then I realized how much money I was wasteing - but not only that, they just didnt need the grain! Winter time is an exception because some horses need a little boost. But at a place with excellent hay, this is not needed often. There is a major difference between a horse fed decent/crappy hay and a horse fed nice, green lucious hay. The horse on the crappy hay won't maintain and you'll think you need grain, when really, you just need more grass and better hay.

I try to work up the latter into grain as well. If there is a weight issue, I worm everything on the farm and I do alfalfa flakes if I can get my hands on it, if not - then cubes. If that doesnt help, I douse them in corn oil. If still not enough I buy grain.
     
    04-14-2012, 11:39 AM
  #4
Green Broke
No grain, I do have harder keepers tho, so I feed beet pulp with a lg scoop of purina ultium mixed in and my TB gets oil daily. I try to keep it to things to keep the weight on but not make them hot.
     
    04-14-2012, 11:44 AM
  #5
Weanling
I haven't feed grain and or pellets in over 5 years.......but I do feed a cup of wet beet pulp to wash down some vitamin E and a selenium supplement which is an absolute must in our area.

Super Nova
     
    04-14-2012, 03:41 PM
  #6
Green Broke
My horses are out on pasture, the only reason I grain a little is to get them to come up to the gate so I can look at them. They have a tendency to get cut up. If I catch them I will give them a little while I am saddling too. If they are getting worked hard they get grained.

The last trainer I worked for never grained the horses in training. They got alfalfa cubes twice a day. Of course they were stalled, but they were worked 5/6 days a week. They all were in excellent condition and beautiful.
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    04-14-2012, 03:47 PM
  #7
Weanling
I give my horses grain 3x a week. I give them two handfuls of integrity senior feed. It's just enough so that I can mix in their pro biotic supplements.

For years they were on alfalfa and grass with no grain and did fantastic. I decided last year that since they are all seniors I wanted to put them on digestive supplements and that's the only reason I buy some grain now.
     
    04-15-2012, 08:29 PM
  #8
Weanling
I don't grain, but I give a Ration Balancer to my hard keeper, and now that my easy keeper is training for endurance, she is getting 1 lb a day as well (equals about 2 cups). You don't need to suppliment with a Ration Balancer as it has the essential nutrients for horses on quality hay. But it isn't grain and has low starch (which is great because my ez keeper is metabolic). Good luck with the new barn!
     
    04-15-2012, 08:36 PM
  #9
Trained
My horses like their grain, so who am I to deny them their culinary treat? They get high fiber extruded pellets, just a cursary amount in the winter, more when they are worked harder, but it's more of a treat than a supplement.
     
    04-15-2012, 08:52 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Even if the horses are only on hay, but it is a good quality and they have 24/7 access to it, they do not need grain. Unless they do a lot of work on a regular basis. Most barns will grain horses because the horses do not have the 24/7 access.

We mainly only "grain" ours during the winter. We feed mostly beet pulp with a little sweet feed in as a treat. That is just to make the winter easier for them and cuts back a little on the hay they eat. They do have access to hay at all times.

If the horses where you want to move yours look healthy weight wise and don't get grain, I wouldn't be too concerned.
     

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