Grain alternatives for winter. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-06-2011, 07:02 AM
Green Broke
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Another vote for just hay. Especially an easy keeper. And as smrobs said, a windbreak and a shelter for rainy cold weather. I'm only going to have a windbreak as I don't have a shelter. But on bad days I will probably blanket her. She's been through all kinds of weather so its not like she's used to it. But I do know hay is the key to warmth.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-07-2011, 01:03 PM
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I am a definite believer in roughage, roughage, roughage. Unfortunately I don't have any grass on my property, so my guys all get LOADS of hay year round. But with the inconsistencies in hays and soil I don't believe that it is all they need, especially if we are asking them to perform any kind of job.

I feed all mine a handful of feed with the supplement Platinum Performance Equine. It's made to be fed instead of grain, but provides them with everything their bodies need. Even my hard running barrel horses stay looking great with just this supplement and hay.

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post #13 of 16 Old 09-07-2011, 11:33 PM
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A horse's system is designed to eat green grasses and dry hay. If one allows a horse to wander outside a pasture it might surprise you as to what they go for. I tho't my gelding would be a glut for spring grass, but no, he'd eat if for about 5 min then head for tall brown dry grasses and eat that for an hour or more before nibbling the new grasses again. My horses get hay only all winter and remain fat even with -40 temps. They just eat more. Blanketing your horse can cause it to get the chills as they often sweat under a blanket when the sun shines then get chilled as the temps drop and night falls.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-08-2011, 01:53 AM
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I've never blanketed mine either, b/c of the sweating. But I am definitely cutting the grain/corn mix. I think if anything I'll only feed after rides (as a treat for being goog horses!) and that will be STRAIGHT grain! They are definitely easy keepers! Young and healthy! And actually pretty fat right now!
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-08-2011, 04:39 PM
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If your horses are sweating under blankets you are doing it wrong. Blanketing requires commitment, and at least twice daily rug changes if the weather warrants it.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-08-2011, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheatermay View Post
I've never blanketed mine either, b/c of the sweating. But I am definitely cutting the grain/corn mix. I think if anything I'll only feed after rides (as a treat for being goog horses!) and that will be STRAIGHT grain! They are definitely easy keepers! Young and healthy! And actually pretty fat right now!
Yeah, a handful as a treat is unlikely to hurt anyone, unless they're already IR or Cushings or such, just like lollies & junk food for us. Generally fine occasionally, it's when we eat this stuff regularly it can become a problem. Just remember corn is very high NSC & also more difficult for horses to digest than other grain so I'd avoid that, even as a treat. Carrots are surprisingly low NSC(considering how sweet they taste), so a pretty healthy treat.
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