Feed question

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Feed question

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  • Milk jug molasses horse

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    10-09-2010, 12:08 AM
Talking Feed question

I'm bringing the boy home Sunday morning! He has been pasture fed or on hay most of his life, with grain tossed in as a treat here and there.

I am wondering what I should start him on for feed. My goals are to improve his skin and coat, manage his weight properly, and to provide enough energy while we are training. He will be kept indoors (heated barn) over the winter, so the heat factor isn't as important. I've heard mention of an Omega Blend, and will most definitely be looking that up, and am also really interested in flaxseed. I am not 100% sure what the hay is, but I know it is an alfalfa blend.

Also, for his mental health, any ideas for stall toys and arena games to help relieve boredom? He is coming from an outdoor herd environment, so I don't want him to become depressed or sketchy from lack of stimulation. I am planning to work with him one way or another everyday, unless the weather is really bad (which will happen occasionally over the winter - gotta love Saskatchewan!). But even those days I'm sure my BO will pull him out and lunge him for me if I ask.
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    10-09-2010, 12:18 AM
Green Broke
All he should need is good quality hay, water and a salt block. Start out with that and see how it goes. I wouldn't worry about getting too fancy with his feed. 90% of horses out there don't need more than good hay, water and maybe a salt block.

He may initially not take well to being boarded. We've had that happen where I board. Some of the horses go nuts and destroy the stall walls. For those, the BO put hot wire on the inside of the stall so the horses didn't get close enough to push on them and kick them down.

You can get simple toys like an empty milk jug filled with rocks to the Amazing Graze toy and other similar toys like the lick it toys. Again, see who has what at the barn, ask to borrow their horses toys and see if it works for yours. Horse toys are really spendy.

Amazing Graze:

The Amazing Graze Horse Feeder (Equine - Stable Equipment Supplies - Horse Toys)

Horse lick it toy:

Jolly Jumbo Lick Horse Toy - GregRobert

The Amazing Graze is a really cool toy. I haven't seen a horse yet that won't push it around, especially if it has goodies inside!
    10-09-2010, 06:10 AM
Green Broke
Just my suggestion: most times I find when people move a horse to a new area the horse ends up getting diarreah. Maybe get a tube or two of probiotics just incase. I can tell your excited. I am excited for you. Don't buy to much at once. Just something for him to work with in the stall. Have fun!
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    10-09-2010, 12:01 PM
Where do I get the probiotics from? Sorry, this is a new thing for me - we didn't use things like that when I had horses last...
    10-09-2010, 12:05 PM
Also, those toys look awesome, I will see what toys are hanging around the barn. I was also told about taking an old plastic milk jug, filling it with some molasses and poking holes in it. Then you're suppose to hang it as a licking toy? Any thoughts?

As per feed, what could I feed to enhance his color? I've heard of pumpkin puree or paprika?
    10-09-2010, 07:30 PM
Green Broke
Are you going to be showing? Paprika will work on most horses though you'll find a lot of people poo-poo it. But you need to feed it prior to the spring shed and keep in mind, a lot of horses won't eat it. The ones that won't eat regularly paprika I've found won't eat the more expensive brands (like Black as Knight for black horses).

If you are going to show, you could always use a sheet for day turnout or only turnout in the evening. If you aren't going to show, you can decide if it's really that important.

I wouldn't use molasses for the milk jug. It gets everywhere and is a nasty sticky stinky mess in the summer. But you can use the milk jug and make holes in the bottom and put other treats in it. Sort of a generic version of the Amazing Graze toys. Those work pretty good.

I was also going to tell you that most horses will not play with Jolly Balls. They are the ones with the handles. Not one horse in my eleven years where I board has ever played with them. We have a Jolly Ball graveyard up here!
    10-09-2010, 07:49 PM
Also if he is a pasture baby with lots of other horses, make sure that in the barn he can see the horses near by, which will help him get used to being stalled. He is used to being protected by the others, so he will want to be able to see the 'rest of the herd' and if he can't, it will be more stressful for him. They say that there are horse-safe metal 'stall mirrors' that help, too - prevents unwanted behaviors like pacing and weaving.
    10-09-2010, 07:50 PM
I do plan to show a lot, so I want to get him as healthy and shiny as I can. I was thinking of trying pumpkin puree, but I don't know if he'll like it. I was planning to blanket in the sun after winter, so that shouldn't be too big of a deal.

I will try the milk jug thing with other treats and see how he likes it.

The plan at the moment is to put him outdoor for a week, and then outdoor daily indoor nightly for a week or so, and then indoor exclusively with turnout. Just to kind of ease him into the whole stall thing. I also plan to work his little bottom off and make him more tired at night.
    10-09-2010, 08:00 PM
I honestly would just let the coat be for a while. See how he does, and how his coat turns out. I would not bathe him very often either, though hosing off after a hard workout it fine. Prior to when I got my mare, she spent at least 6 months getting the bare minimum in feed, and absolutely no grooming what so ever, and yet she had an amazing coat. Very soft and shiny, and good color, though she is a gray, so her coat does go through some fugly periods. I still hardly ever bathe her, and only when she's really dirty, and I make sure that I use a very nice gentle shampoo. I've found that some of the color shampoos do a nice job of bringing out the color better. I would just see how he does before adding more stuff to his diet just to help with his coat. He should get a nice coat just from eating good food, and getting groomed regularly. He's very cute, and I'm excited for you.
    10-09-2010, 08:06 PM
@ dressagebelle - Thanks, I'm excited too! I am picking him up tomorrow morning, so my Thanksgiving is going to be even more awesome than my birthday (the day I actually put the deposit on him). :) I am resisting going all out for this guy - but I did break down and buy some treats and a couple brand new brushes (even though there are tons to use at the barn already). I even bought him a fancy-pancy new leather halter with a name plate. Now if only I had a barn name to engrave on it...

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