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feed question

This is a discussion on feed question within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        12-19-2012, 05:59 PM
    Originally Posted by tigggr1570    
    thanks for the information. A lot of information/abbreviations I don't understand but, will look up. :)
    Sorry! On my part IME = in my experience. NSC = non-structural carbohydrates, eg starch/sugar levels. KER is Kentucky Equine Research Co. Mg = magnesium. Ration balancers are 'complete' mineral/vitamin supps, which come in a variety of different forms(if choosing pelleted, ensure grain & molasses free!) & different mixes of nutrients for different situations.

    My pony and miniatures are both easy keepers, the arab not so much. He's not hard, just not easy to plump up like the others.
    Good - the arab I mean. The ponies shouldn't be 'plump' either - IME it's harder to keep it off them than put it on, but with the high fat/NSC feeds you're giving now, likely impossible to keep them a healthy weight. Not judging you on that - you just fell for (IMO criminal, considering the health of ponies fed it) false advertising on the part of the wonderful Purina co. If you look on their site, it is described as a high fat feed tho..... why ever any mini would need that...

    I had to cut back their hay, too as they were getting very rotund.
    Trouble with hay is that people see it as the 'low cal' alternative to fresh grass, when it's not. Grass loses a lot of nutrients when dried & stored, but unfortunately doesn't lose any sugar. If your ponies are too fat on just hay, either source some low NSC hay(may be harder than it's worth) or soak & drain the hay in fresh water for an hour or few before feeding, to leach out some of the sugars. The browner the water, the more sugar's come out into it & this is a good 'backyard' test to see what sort of sugar levels are in the hay you buy.
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        12-19-2012, 08:36 PM
    Thanks! This is all very complicated for such an easy animal in the wild! How do they ever survive on their own?
        12-19-2012, 09:06 PM
    Good question! Wild horses evolved in semi arid environments, where they may get fat in 'good seasons' but for the majority of time, feed is sparse & poor(compared to our cattle fattening pastures & rich cereals). They also tend to do many, many miles daily, between feed & water(one big reason their feet are good). In their travels, they cross many different soil types & graze/browse many different plants, so nutritionally they tend to be better off than their cousins who are trapped in a small paddock with a few different varieties of pasture.
        12-19-2012, 09:23 PM
    I've always wandered about how wild horses feet get taken care of as well.. lol

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