Fat supplement vs. rice bran vs. oil
My daughter's QH mare needs a smidge more weight. She's fine right now, but has absolutely none to spare. She also works pretty hard, and her work load is increasing as the weather gets nicer. She's ridden 4-5 times a week, 1-2 hours each time. She's reining, barrel racing, trail riding and taking 2 lessons a week.
Right now she gets 2 healthy flakes of local grass hay (high quality) in the morning, along with 1 lb of LMF Super Suplement, and 2 lbs of alfalfa pellets. She is out on very nice pasture for about 4 hours a day (max for her...too much sugar/starch makes her get muscle cramps). If she doesn't go out on pasture, she gets an extra flake of grass hay in the middle of the day. At night she gets 1 flake of grass hay and 1 flake of alfalfa hay. My trainer/barn owner gives her a heftier serving than some horses.
I want to put a few more pounds on her so that when she travels she doesn't come home skinny. I need to keep her diet low in sugar. She has never tied up, but has gotten very uncomfortable when she was eating too much grain. Too much grain pretty much means any. When she pulled something in her neck she was on bute for a few days and we got her some senior grain, gave her about 1 lb with bute, and after just a few days she started shaking her head and her neck and butt muscles were super tight. (Tested for PSSM, negative, but eats like she has it).
My trainer suggested a fat supplement (Amplify came to my mind). Someone else suggested rice bran, and this winter the vet had my trainer put a couple of hard keepers on veggie oil. I'm still new enough at this that I need help understanding the pros and cons of each option. We tried increasing her forage...all winter...that's where the extra flake of hay comes from, and alfalfa year round, where most horses go off of it once they're out on grass. She stayed on it all last year.
I'm not made of money, but I am willing to add to her diet with whatever is best going to help me get some weight on her. Her workout has increased as my daughter and her are learning more, but she's never been an "easy" keeper. She's not really a hard keeper either, but she certainly doesn't pack a bunch of extra weight.