So I posted a thread about 6 weeks back asking for advice on nutrition for a hot horse. I got some really great advice and I just wanted to give everyone a quick update.
First and formost, thanks to everyone that helped. The support was needed and totally appriciated.
6 weeks ago, Nico was a basketcase. He was hot in the field (running just for the sake of running) on a lead line he would circle you just to keep moving...under saddle, you could feel him ready to explode. He never became dangerous but im sure it could have gotten scary in a hurry. He was being fed one full 3qt scoop of sweetfeed twice a day. Here is what he gets now...
Nico is only being grained when he works. I only have the chance to ride 2 sometimes 3 days a week. It was silly that we were feeding him for nothing. He lives on green pasture and is a 'round' horse to begin with. The extra grain was making him crazy. Now, after a ride and cooling he gets 1/2 a scoop of Nutrena 'Prime'. The difference is honestly amazing.
He is being lunged before a ride for about 15 minutes. Before it was about taking the edge off. Now it is about getting him focused on the task at hand. It only took a little while for him to draw the conclusion that if he works, he gets grain. He gets focused faster and stays focused longer.
Initially, I didn't see much of a change. He was a little less jumpy, running a bit less in the field....so we had to alter a few things. We did lots of circles and transitions in the ring and he wasn't allowed to trail ride (something he really enjoys) unless he was well behaved in the warm up ring.
6 weeks later, he is a different horse. If I had anything to complain about with him, it would be that now that his sugar is gone, he is a bit lazy. He has slowed down everything and is now a great little horse. In his field, he is a nice boy who is getting better at getting caught. On a lead he is mannerly and respectful of space. Less spooky and more focused under saddle. Oh and a totally random thing happened that I attribute to the feed change...he shines so strong you can almost see your reflection in his hiney.
He's not perfect...he loves the ladies and given the chance, he will mount. He can still be a bugger to catch in the field. I guess it really is true...a good horse starts with good nutrition! Thanks everyone who helped! If anyone has any other suggestions on how to keep us going in the right direction...I have open ears for anything!