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Feeding the showhorse/improving muscle tone with feed? (Pics included)

This is a discussion on Feeding the showhorse/improving muscle tone with feed? (Pics included) within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Hi form equisoy
  • Epro xl topline

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    02-27-2013, 07:24 PM
  #11
Weanling
You need amino acids and protein to build muscle. Next step is work.. correct work.
     
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    02-27-2013, 08:29 PM
  #12
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneFastHorse    
You need amino acids and protein to build muscle. Next step is work.. correct work.
Exactly. To build my boy's topline, I am starting a combination of Tri-Amino and exercises from the book http://www.amazon.com/101-Dressage-Exercises-Horse-Rider/dp/1580175953/. I think this is what you might be looking for!
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    02-27-2013, 08:50 PM
  #13
Weanling
Some horses just need some form of condensed feed when they're doing more work. Like others have said, a top line doesn't come from feed, but if he's not getting adequate food, he's not going to build a top line! He's going to use the groceries for energy.

Assuming you have covered the basics (teeth, deworming, adequate blanketing), there are a few more steps you can take.
-Get some blood work done to rule out health conditions
-If your horse is only getting fed twice a day, find out how much. Is he cleaning it all up? Does he waste some? Is it possible to get fed three meals? Larger quantity?
-Add free choice alfalfa cubes or pellets. If he's in a stall/paddock alone you can leave him a feed tub to nibble out of when he pleases, if he's in a herd, this isn't as feasible. And if he's in a heard for feeding, do you know that he's getting to the feeder?
-Add a concentrated feed like a pellet or COB. A pellet specified for performance horses is probably what you should look for.
     
    02-27-2013, 09:10 PM
  #14
Trained
From talking to people with show horses and working in a tack store that sold supplements, this is what i've heard.

You need some good quality protein so he has all the right building blocks to build the muscle that he will gain with correct work, which he is getting. Soy is a good way to add protein, we have a supplement here made by Hi-Form called Equi-Soy, it's debittered soy flour, and you only feed one cup a day. We used to sell it like hotcakes to all the show riders, meant to be really good for topline and weight.

Then you can also get supplements specially designed to have all the amino acids needed for muscle building. Here we have Konkhes Own Muscle XL and Epro Topline Xtra - Again these were very popular with the local show riders.

The last thing is to get some fat into his diet to help with his weight and coat quality. You can buy oils that are blended to have the correct ratio of Omega 3/6, or we have a product called KER Equijewel that us a high fat rice bran oil pellet that again you feed at low dosages to boost fat intake.

Just some ideas!
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    02-27-2013, 09:33 PM
  #15
Showing
Allie, you mentioned that he is "grained" when you go ride, 5 times a week, but either I missed it or you didn't mention exactly what "grain" he's being fed...okay, never mind, you said a complete feed. You may not be able to control the nutrient level of the hay you get, but if you're buying his grain, you can control that and being fed the proper concentrate 5 days a week should be plenty to get his protein levels up to par. Next time you're out there, look at the nutrient percentage list on the back of your feed bag. With a horse like Ronan, who obviously needs more protein than some other horses, I'd want something that was at least 15% protein....though 18% would be better.

I am a huge advocate for feeding alfalfa to add clean, healthy protein to a horse's diet. Pellets or cubes might be your best option as I'm unsure how easy it is to get good alfalfa hay where you are (I know I can't afford what little bit of crappy alfalfa we've got around here right now).

Something else you might think about doing if the alfalfa pellets/cubes are too expensive or hard to get is getting a lower protein cattle range cube (make sure of which one you get because cattle feeds can run up to like 40%, which is way too much for horses). The ones that we get are 20% protein, so I feed them sparingly, mostly as treats, but they are cheap and potent and would safely bring his protein level up when mixed with lower protein feed like hay. Talyn has been reluctant to eat alfalfa, so I've been feeding her about half a pound per day along with her 8-10% protein grass hay to make sure she's getting enough protein to grow properly.

However, I also suggest you have a full workup done by a vet just to ensure that there isn't some underlying cause that needs to be fixed first.
     
    02-27-2013, 09:45 PM
  #16
Green Broke
I'll second the alfalfa. I can actually buy bales of alfalfa cheaper than grass hay here but that might not be the same where you are. Pellets and cubes are good but I personally won't feed them without soaking prior, just seen to many horses choke (granted they were all senior horses but still scares me). I soak them along with the beet pulp in a heated bucket. Dump everything in after I finish feeding and they are ready long before the next one.
     
    02-28-2013, 12:39 AM
  #17
Showing
Thank you guys so very much! I've read everything and will come back to it tomorrow with a notepad (when I'm not sitting ready for bed)
I talked with my BO who is starting him on a grain program twice daily, starting tomorrow. I will research what feeds are around here that match suggestions here and find a proper mix :) He will Lao be getting a blood panel done when the vet is out next just to rule that out.
Teeth were done in August, saddle is custom made to him and being refitted next week. I've had him on a 5 day per week program (trying my ****edest for that to be correct work!!!) for some time now and he just isn't where I want him to be. His coat is dull and he's just very dull, personality-wise.
Thank you all for the suggestions, know I am taking it all in and trying to do right by my horse :)
     
    02-28-2013, 04:18 AM
  #18
Trained
Has he been scoped for ulcers/put on ulcer medication?

My cousin bought a new horse a few months ago, and totally not a typical ulcer candidate - Had been out of work and out in a big paddock 24/7. However he was thin, dull coat, and generally a bit 'lifeless' as well as not being super interested in feed. She was feeding him twice a day with Alfalfa and a high protein/fat hard feed as well as 24/7 grass, but he just wasn't picking up like he should.

She put him on Ulcerguard and within two weeks he is looking SO much better. The long bleached hairs in his coat are coming out in patches, he is filling out, he is munching his feeds down and is just a much happier boy.

Might be something to look into.

Also, I agree with feeding Alfalfa. I forget you guys sometimes don't use it much, because here it is pretty much a staple, the main type of hay we use. If I had to feed hay only to my guys, it would be 50/50 alfalfa and meadow hay.
     
    02-28-2013, 10:21 AM
  #19
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponypile    
Some horses just need some form of condensed feed when they're doing more work. Like others have said, a top line doesn't come from feed, but if he's not getting adequate food, he's not going to build a top line! He's going to use the groceries for energy.

Assuming you have covered the basics (teeth, deworming, adequate blanketing), there are a few more steps you can take.
-Get some blood work done to rule out health conditions
-If your horse is only getting fed twice a day, find out how much. Is he cleaning it all up? Does he waste some? Is it possible to get fed three meals? Larger quantity?
-Add free choice alfalfa cubes or pellets. If he's in a stall/paddock alone you can leave him a feed tub to nibble out of when he pleases, if he's in a herd, this isn't as feasible. And if he's in a heard for feeding, do you know that he's getting to the feeder?
-Add a concentrated feed like a pellet or COB. A pellet specified for performance horses is probably what you should look for.
It does if the horse isn't receiving adequate protein and/or amino acids. You can't build good muscle without them.

If you work a horse who is lacking in calories, starch, amino acids and protein, then the horse is just going to lose weight instead of build muscle.
     
    02-28-2013, 10:25 AM
  #20
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
Has he been scoped for ulcers/put on ulcer medication?

My cousin bought a new horse a few months ago, and totally not a typical ulcer candidate - Had been out of work and out in a big paddock 24/7. However he was thin, dull coat, and generally a bit 'lifeless' as well as not being super interested in feed. She was feeding him twice a day with Alfalfa and a high protein/fat hard feed as well as 24/7 grass, but he just wasn't picking up like he should.

She put him on Ulcerguard and within two weeks he is looking SO much better. The long bleached hairs in his coat are coming out in patches, he is filling out, he is munching his feeds down and is just a much happier boy.

Might be something to look into.

Also, I agree with feeding Alfalfa. I forget you guys sometimes don't use it much, because here it is pretty much a staple, the main type of hay we use. If I had to feed hay only to my guys, it would be 50/50 alfalfa and meadow hay.
A quick, effective, cheap way to check for ulcers is to start the horse on ranitidine (human zantac) at 3mg/lb every 8 hrs. I treat ulcers with walmart brand zantac b/c it is more cost effective than ulcer guard.

You can use this method to check for ulcers, or you can use it to treat. I have had good results. It's cheaper, but it is a little more of a pain to dose them.

If you just want to check for ulcers, then dose them for 1-2 weeks. If you see a change, then there's a high probablility they have ulcers and then you can decide which treatment method you want to use.

To treat with the ranitidine (human zantac), again, the dosing is 3mb per lb of body weight, every 8 hrs for 1-3 months (depending on how severe).
     

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