Help with feed choice

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Help with feed choice

This is a discussion on Help with feed choice within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    03-21-2012, 11:21 PM
Unhappy Help with feed choice

My horse was very overweight when I got her, despite the fact she was only getting 2 cups of carb safe grain each day. I kept her on the carb safe and, with regular exercise, she got down to a healthy she's too thin and even with increasing the amount of carb safe we feed, she stays ribby.

What should I switch to??? I don't want her to be overweight, but definitely need her to gain a little. She gets too much energy easily as well, so LOW sugar and LOW molasses would be important. Even on the carb safe, she's up all night kicking her stall and pacing.
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    03-22-2012, 07:21 AM

Firstly, what is the 'carb safe' grain, how much does she get, how many feeds & what else does she get? How much hay?

While the stuff she's getting may well be OK, as with human foods marketed as 'lite' for eg. It is pretty meaningless & many feeds marketed that way are not healthy. Low carb/starch/sugar & NO molasses is the way to go generally.

While 'ribby' can indeed be a sign of 'too thin', horses, as with people, come in different shapes & ribs showing a bit thru a summer coat isn't necessarily at all terrible. You need to look at the whole horse, not just the ribs.

The way the horse is fed - eg. Little & often/free choice rather than 'meals', and free movement also has an effect on the health of the digestive system & the 'energy' you see could possibly be due to gut pain. This combined with her restlessness could be the reason for too much weightloss. I'd start with free choice hay, 24/7 turnout if poss & consider probiotics &/or ulcer treatment too. Well balanced nutrition also plays a part & it's possible she's getting enough feed/calories but imbalances/deficiencies are causing issues.

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