Which makes a horse fat? - Page 2

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Which makes a horse fat?

This is a discussion on Which makes a horse fat? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    06-17-2010, 10:03 PM
Green Broke
The barn manager keeps telling me that she doesn't need more hay because it will make her fat but I really don't believe that...but how do I get him to see that?

I give her an extra flake at night when I'm there and I see she's out but I can't be there every night :(

Oh and some horses there get free choice so the money for extra hay is not the issue...plus I pay for my own feed and they still charge me full board which includes the sweet feed they give the others so even if they cared I still pay plenty ;)
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    06-17-2010, 10:04 PM
She shouldn't be on oats if she was having a weight issue. I vote no oats, more hay.

I add oats to my mares feed in winter so she stays a nice size of plumpy in the winter!
    06-17-2010, 10:06 PM
Green Broke
Equiniphile yes normally that's true...but my mare gets fed a small amount of oats...2 pounds a day...and only because she's allergic to pretty much all other feeds lol
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    06-17-2010, 10:07 PM
Green Broke
I was going to feed even less oats but that's the amount my vet said to start with.
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    06-17-2010, 10:08 PM
Green Broke
Do you think if I ask for her to be on free choice hay that will make her fat or cause health issues?? :(
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    06-17-2010, 10:11 PM
I really really doubt it. Free choice hay keeps them busy and keeps their body systems running well.
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    06-17-2010, 10:12 PM
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand    
Do you think if I ask for her to be on free choice hay that will make her fat or cause health issues?? :(
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If she's going to have health issues, she is just going to. Hay won't cause that, and it seems like you pay good attention to her weight so I don't think that is an issue. If they aren't willing to give her MORE hay I don't think they will be willing to give her freechoice hay, but if you can ask them to, go for it. If she is on freechoice hay she will probably barely need any grain, have you ever tried putting her on just a vit supplement? IF you can get her with that feed routine, just keep an eye on her and monitor her weight as you have been. If you notice she gets fatter, adjust her diet again.
    06-17-2010, 10:18 PM
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand    
Do you think if I ask for her to be on free choice hay that will make her fat or cause health issues?? :(
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No. You will just have to watch her and possible lower her grain so she isn't getting too much energy that she doesn't need.
    06-17-2010, 10:24 PM
Free choice hay and/or decreasing or completely eliminating the grain ration would actually be beneficial for a horse, in the majority of cases.
    06-17-2010, 10:44 PM
My opinion is this.

Horses are designed to be eating continuosly. It is bad for their gut if they aren't. All my horses are at pasture 24/7, but this applies even if they were stalled. I can reduce the quality of the forage or the amount of sugars in the forage but I won't reduce the amount. If a horse is too fat on simple forage, then that fat needs to be taken care of with excercise, not reducing the forage.

Extra feed is only given when the horse needs more calories than they are getting from their forage. I.e. They are not maintaining weight or are lacking in energy. I add calories in the form of feeds low in NSC's - So NO grains as horses guts weren't designed to digest grains (Though oats are the best of a bad bunch). I use fats to supply calories as opposed to sugars - Much better digested and utilised. So things like Copra meal, Soybean meal, Lupins, Oils. I always feed these mixed with a forage - I use Speedi-beet - To minimise any gut overload.

Vits/mins are managed with either free choice blocks or a ration balancer. Mine aren't being fed at the moment so they have a free choice mineral block.

I tend to only feed calories when i'm competeing and just add more hay for their daily ration. Because I feed fats and not sugars and mix those in with a forage (Speedi-beet) along with plenty of hay when we are away it doesn't cause digestive upset.


So if I were you, I would get her on free choice hay if you can, drop the oats and stick with a ration balancer or your vit/min mix. You can mix the vit/min mix with a small handful of Speedi-beet or smething similar so she can eat it. I know you are eventing so if I were you I would be feeding her fats as energy at competitions mixed with a lot of forage.

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