I grew up with a coach whose opinion was that if you have good quality hay, your horse shouldn't need grain/supplements to flourish. I've never been at a barn or with a coach who has been really pro-grain/supplements, so I'm a bit lost with this whole concept. I do realize that "you are what you eat" but I'm completely in the dark when it comes to feeding horses anything other than good hay and grain as a treat more than anything else.
So, on to my question:
Someone said that Ronan looks like he's still lacking in topline despite all my work to improve it, and asked whether or not he's getting enough protein.
To be 110% honest - I haven't the foggiest clue. I rely on my coach/BO to purchase good quality hay, and I feed him beet pulp, complete feed and milled flax seed on the days I ride (5 days/week). I've been working very hard to get Ronan to use his back correctly, and he's improved quite a bit but the results just aren't where I feel they should be, if that makes sense? He's in work 5 days a week and I feel that it doesn't really show.
How do you feed the show horse? What do you feed for improving topline/muscle?
A few things specific to Ro:
- He's been clipped 4 times this winter. He grows hair like there's no tomorrow, or rather like we're going into an ice age. Before his last clip, he grew these weird, long, coarse hairs. His coat in the summer was gorgeous... this winter he's grown the thickest coat I've seen in a LONG time.
- He's very quiet and calm, which is great... but also dead-sided and extremely lazy under saddle.
- He's very touch sensitive, and his coat rubs very easily during shedding season - to the point I have to be careful of my heels as they'll rub him raw.
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. I'll upload some photos from recently and the summer.
When I bought him, late May 2012: