Grain Free - Yay or Nay?
Sorry for the pun - I couldn't resist. :)
Thought I would get some opinions regarding nutrition and possible benefits of feeding a grain free diet (if it's even possible).
Here's where I'm currently at:
My AQHA Gelding turns 11 tomorrow, but he moves like a 25 year old. Chiropractor/Acupuncturist said he's not out of alignment, but he is very stiff in the hock area. To compensate he had stopped working his entire back-end and his muscles from the rib cage back became very stiff. We're using stretches and exercise to loosen him up, but I'm wondering if a diet change would also help.
His current diet consists of all day turnout with an okay pasture (improving though), PA Grass hay - about 1/3 of a 50-ish lb bale (more during winter months) and 2 cups of Blue Seal Trotter 2x a day. He also gets Smartflex III & Tri Amino supplements. During the winter, I add Standlee Timothy pellets. There has been an improvement switching to Smartflex III a few months ago.
He is about 15 hands and around 1,050 lbs. He's a very easy keeper and could stand to lose a pound or 10. And he'll eat anything. His current workload is light. At most an hour a day trail riding with a bit of arena work. We don't show, we just putter around the farm. I pretend I'm a decent rider and he thinks he's Peppy San Badger reincarnated.
So has anyone had experience with an all forage diet? How did it work? Any ideas regarding cost? What does it usually consist of feeding?
Is there actual room for improvement with stiffness or arthritis? Or is that just something the salespeople talk about to get $$?
Let me know if any additional info is needed. I tried to think of the basics.
Please don't slaughter me if I'm doing something incorrectly. I'm still learning about all the nuances of nutrition and still have a long ways to go. Thanks in advance