Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: East of Austin, Texas on 10 acres.
Yes, I've read up on Dr. Valentine's diet recommendations for drafts. It's where I learned the basics of the higher fat/lower NSC diet that I'm currently trying to follow.
Our pasture has basically gone kaput with the prolonged droughts. We did have a lush field of coastal Bermuda grass, but now it's pretty barren. Also, we buy our hay when and where we can get it. What we have now is from at least three different sources--some of it was trucked in. Again, the drought has forced us to buy as much as we can when we can. We've not had to compromise of quality--it's all beautifully put up, but we have had to buy from many, many sources.
Big time hay dealers are buying up standing fields of hay which makes it hard for the guy with 1-2 horses to get enough. We get the left-overs. We are lucky enough to have gotten enough hay to last a year or so--lots of folks have had to sell off their stock and/or buy from other regions and/or buy bagged feed and/or buy feed not meant to be fed to horses.
My point is...testing isn't cost effective or practical for us right now. The growers often don't bother testing as they know they can sell the hay without putting much effort into it. We're trying to get together with a few neighbors to buy in bulk and thus increase our buying power.
We have a lovely equine veterinary facility about 15 miles away. I'm not sure if they have a nutritional expert on staff or not. It'd be worth a call.
I'll put up a thread in the breeding section!!
And again--thanks to all who've responded. We're far from experts. I had horses many years ago, but my hubby is a total newbie. We bit off a lot when we bought a pregnant horse... We're learning---and hopefully not at the expense of the horses.
Last edited by texasreb; 01-30-2013 at 08:25 AM.
Reason: added info