Nutrition advice appreciated..
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health > Horse Nutrition

Nutrition advice appreciated..

This is a discussion on Nutrition advice appreciated.. within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Standlee compressed hay for ir horses
  • Powered by vBulletin best friends animal hospital

Like Tree8Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    09-25-2012, 01:51 AM
  #1
Foal
Nutrition advice appreciated..

I'm losing sleep over this and since it's 12am and I'm on information overload and still haven't found an answer, I'll ask you fine people :)

I have a QH gelding.. Unsure of exact age but in his upper teens/early 20's. I had him for 5 years until I sold him 6 years ago and recently bought him again.

I'll be moving him to his new home this coming Sunday (Sept 30th) which is a self care, pasture board facility (they have stalls and if one becomes available, I'm going to snatch it up, mostly for use in the winter months/inclement weather so his diet will obviously change then). I had him at a similar facility years ago and always fed grain (Omelene 100) twice a day with Timothy/Alfalfa hay in the winter.

The seller is currently feeding him a scoop of pelleted feed in the evenings with an occasional round bale shared between him and another horse. He is in the pasture 24/7 which is very lush.

My concern is that he looks a little overweight. I'm sure once I start working him he'll lose a little of the pudge but I don't want to count on that since I don't even have tack for him yet and I don't work him hard.. Mostly trail riding.

The feeding plan I have come up with (OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS) is to keep him on his one scoop of feed in the evenings, slowly switching him to Omelene 100 (I've had great results with it in the past) until winter when I will up the grain to once in the AM and once in the PM and supplement hay.

Here are my insecurities:
A) I don't know what type of hay or how much I should be giving him now. I've read a lot of articles and still don't know what would be best for MY horse.

B) I've always been under the impression that feeding grain once a day is 'bad'. I've always fed twice per day, even if it wasn't much.

C) Should I be feeding him any type of supplements due to his age? I'm mainly thinking of joint supplements. Is it better to feed them as a preventative measure against joint deterioration or are they more for treating joint problems once they occur? I don't want to complicate his diet unless I need to but I am a very firm believer in taking preventative measures.

I've been out of the horse world for such a long time now that I'm insecure about my old feeding plans. I suppose you could call me a worrier but I really just want what's best for Stormy so I feel better asking a group of knowledgeable/up to date people than wondering if I've got it right.

I apologize if this is thread hard to understand.. I've got a lot on my mind and it can be difficult not to ramble ;)

Here are a couple of pictures of my boy.. Just for the weight reference.

This is the most 'forward' facing shot I have but when you're looking at him head on, his belly looks a lot larger.. That is my mom loving on her 'grandson'
2012-09-23 13.46.49.jpg

2012-09-23 10.45.43.jpg
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    09-25-2012, 02:11 AM
  #2
Green Broke
How much hay to feed him really depends on how good the pasture is where he'll be boarded. My horse is stalled most of the day, which isn't the best for him, but it's easy for me to figure out how much hay he needs, since it doesn't vary seasonally. Hopefully someone else on the forum can talk about the amount more in depth

As for the type, I'd go with whatever is plentiful and of good quality in your area. IIRC, coastal bermudagrass is common in warm areas like the southeast.

He doesn't look terribly overweight from the photos, but for easy keepers, I really like ration balancers. Purina makes a ration balancer called Enrich 32, but my favorite is Triple Crown 30% Supplement.

Oh, and always weigh your feed. Many people on this subsection will point out that a scoop is not a valid unit of measurement

I highly recommend using FeedXL.com to make sure your horse is getting enough vitamins and minerals. When you feed below the minimum recommendations on a fortified grain, odds are they're getting short changed.

Feeding grain once a day is OK as long as it's a small meal, but it's best to feed as little and often as possible, so if you can feed 2x or 3x a day, do it.

For joint supplements, the cheapest supplement you can add is MSM. I feed it to my 8 year old as a preventative. Since your guy is a little older, you might consider a supplement that has a combination of ingredients (MSM, glucosamin, chondroitin sulfate, etc.) SmartPak makes several formulations of joint supplements based on the level of support needed (SmartFlex)
ParaIndy likes this.
     
    09-25-2012, 02:25 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016    
How much hay to feed him really depends on how good the pasture is where he'll be boarded. My horse is stalled most of the day, which isn't the best for him, but it's easy for me to figure out how much hay he needs, since it doesn't vary seasonally. Hopefully someone else on the forum can talk about the amount more in depth
Darn it.. I specifically told myself not to forget to add that he'll be in a very lush pasture when he's moved. 25 acres with 13 other horses on it and plenty of grass to go around.

Quote:
Oh, and always weigh your feed. Many people on this subsection will point out that a scoop is not a valid unit of measurement
I figured someone would point that out.. I haven't gotten exact measurements from the seller yet as to how big her scoop is. She just told me "a scoop". I always used the 3 Quart. [/QUOTE]

Quote:
I highly recommend using FeedXL.com to make sure your horse is getting enough vitamins and minerals. When you feed below the minimum recommendations on a fortified grain, odds are they're getting short changed.
Thank you! I'll check that out.
     
    09-25-2012, 11:47 AM
  #4
Weanling
I would consider your horse more than just a little overweight.......If he has access to lush pasture 24/7 and he was my horse and was over weight ....the first thing I would do be to limit his pasture time........to 8 to 12 hours max ....and then in a dry lot the rest of the time......no hay no grain.....just supplements.

If you are able you could do split the pasture into two...........mine go out from 7 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 5 pm with a small (less than 5 lbs of hay) at 10pm.....no grain......just a cup of wet beet pulp and minerals. As you can see mine are only getting 4 hours total and are in a nice healthy weight.

Super Nova
ParaIndy likes this.
     
    09-25-2012, 10:10 PM
  #5
Weanling
Is there any way you could limit his pasture time? I think that is probably 90% of the problem. As for joint supplements, I think it would probably be a good idea to start giving him some. I like Smart supplements also, like verona1016.
     
    09-27-2012, 09:25 PM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshsStorm    
The feeding plan I have come up with (OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS) is to keep him on his one scoop of feed in the evenings, slowly switching him to Omelene 100 (I've had great results with it in the past) until winter when I will up the grain to once in the AM and once in the PM and supplement hay.
I don't understand why you want to feed him anything extra if he's already fat, not to mention going to be on rich pasture. I'd save the feed money for a grazing muzzle instead. If you are going to feed extras, particularly if it's grainy/high starch(which I'd also avoid unless absolutely necessary), you're right that it's important to feed it little & often, not great for them to feed only in 1-2 meals daily.

I also wouldn't increase his ration in winter(or whenever) unless he's dropped too much weight. It's not the end of the world if they lose a bit of weight in winter - on the contrary, it's good for these fatties to use up their fat stores & be able to 'reset' their metabolism.

Quote:
a) I don't know what type of hay or how much I should be giving him now.
If he's got 24/7 good grazing, he may not need it, but especially given that he's already overweight & going to better pastures, you might want to restrict his grazing & feed low NSC hay instead.

Quote:
b) I've always been under the impression that feeding grain once a day is 'bad'. I've always fed twice per day, even if it wasn't much.
Yes, but as he obviously doesn't need it, that won't matter.

Quote:
c) Should I be feeding him any type of supplements due to his age? I'm mainly thinking of joint supplements. Is it better to feed them as a preventative measure against joint deterioration or are they more for treating joint problems once they occur?
Yes, I'd be supplementing, regardless of age or joints. I think well balanced nutrition is important for their health & there will be a range of nutrients deficient or imbalanced in his diet. A pasture analysis would be best, but even if not, feedxl.com or similar is invaluable in working out exactly what might be needed.

Yes, I think joint supps(as opposed to drugs) are more effective as a preventative, but perhaps also possibly mild treatment. I don't know how effective they are after the damage has been done - I've heard some really good reports, but for eg. I haven't personally found fish oil & glucosamine to help my own probs, or my arthritic dog - resorted to anti inflams & occasional cortizone injections for her.
AshsStorm likes this.
     
    09-29-2012, 02:55 AM
  #7
Foal
Thank you so much for your input everyone.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to limit his pasture access where we are moving. I'm nervous to take him off of grain completely.

Do you really think he's THAT overweight? I knew he was overweight but you guys are scaring me! I know the dangers and definitely want to slim him down but I'm afraid of him losing too much. (Again, I tend to be a worrier).

Should I just cut him off or wean him? I don't mean to sound like an idiot but I'm just really hesitant to cut him off from grain completely. I like the ration balancer idea. Tomorrow I'm going shopping for all associated supplies (I sold all of mine when I sold him 6 years ago) and feed. The seller told me she has him on pellets but no certain brand. I think I'll get some Strategy and Enrich 32 (not sure where I can get TC) and wean him off (unless someone here has a better suggestion before tomorrow). Does weaning him off of grain over the next 10 days and replacing it with Enrich 32 or (if I can find it) TC sound like a reasonable solution?

He's also going to be in a small paddock until the 14th so that he can get acclimated to his new surroundings. There is some grass but not as much as the pasture he's in right now. Should I supplement him with a little bit of hay? I'm so nervous about making the wrong decision that I can't just trust my instincts on this one! I did NOT expect to be this incompetent!

I REALLY appreciate all of your help you guys!
     
    09-29-2012, 04:37 AM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshsStorm    
Unfortunately, I will not be able to limit his pasture access where we are moving. I'm nervous to take him off of grain completely.
I'd be very nervous of unrestricted pasture - it's much easier to be proactive & avoid causing metabolic problems than to have to spend the rest of the horse's life managing problems. Why are you nervous about taking him off grain?

Quote:
Do you really think he's THAT overweight?
Well, 'THAT' overweight is a matter of perception. But he's obviously overweight, you're feeding him grain & planning on putting him on unrestricted rich grazing. That all makes me worried for him. Also horses don't need to be at the extreme of morbid obesity before they suffer metabolic & other health probs.

Quote:
Should I just cut him off or wean him?
Best to 'wean' on or off any feed if possible, but quitting feed is not so important in that respect than adding ingredients.

Quote:
He's also going to be in a small paddock until the 14th so that he can get acclimated to his new surroundings. There is some grass but not as much as the pasture he's in right now. Should I supplement him with a little bit of hay?
Can you not keep him there then? Yes, if there's not enough grazing, he will need some hay.
verona1016 likes this.
     
    09-29-2012, 11:40 PM
  #9
Weanling
AshsStorm ... don't freak out. Your horse is definitely overweight, but you can control it. I have a pony that came to me obese and IR, and she is now down to a good condition, but it took some effort and I constantly have to keep on the ball. I think fat horses are harder to manage sometimes than skinny ones. I have both a hard keeper and easy keeper, and I worry about my fat horse way more than my skinnier horse.

First and foremost, if you cannot restrict access to pasture, you MUST buy a grazing muzzle. And don't buy a cheap piece of crap one, but buy a GOOD one, like Best Friend's or Tough 1, and buy some fleece halter covers (buy a set of 2 halter covers because you will need them). Fit the muzzle on your buddy and put the fleece covers to eliminate chaffing. My mare is sometimes out for more than 18 hours and she has a breakaway grazing muzzle with fleece and she doesn't get rub marks at all and her intake is limited in the muzzle. It's best to not have them on pasture access all the time, but if you can't, get the muzzle and restrict his eating in the pasture. That would be the most immediate step I would take when moving him to the new place.

Exercise him as much as you can. Sometimes I just take my mare for a walk with me if I am going for a walk. He will enjoy a change of scenery. Ride as often as you can.

A good vitamin should be ALL he needs extra ... NO GRAIN! If you feed a complete senior horse suppliment, or even Dumor Senior Vitamin (if you are on a budget), you should be covering your bases on his nutrition. He doesn't need the concentrated calories of grain nor the NSC (non structured carbs). He should have hay if he's in a stall or paddock, but put it in a nibble net (small hole hay net) so he has to work for it, the hay lasts longer, and he doesn't ever feel like he has an empty stomach. If you absolute feel he MUST have something other than the 2 oz of vitamins, buy Timothy Grass pellets (StandLee sells them). Give him some of those with his vitamins. It's just low NSC concentrated hay pellets. Don't give treats often, and if you want to give some treats, buy those mini hay cubes. It's basically low NSC compressed hay. My IR mare loves them and thinks she's getting a treat when she's just getting hay.

I feed my IR mare hay, pasture, a complete vitamin and Animed Remission for her hooves and IR issues (cresty neck and fatty croup). She has a grazing muzzle, I stall her now and then and rotate my pastures, and I have a paddock for her so she can go muzzle free sometimes and just hang a few nibble nets of hay on the rails. I go through a GOOD grazing muzzle in about 6 months. I've gone through a couple of cheap ones in less than a month, so a good one is good to have - and the fleece/wool is key. I can take the fleece off and wash it, too, so it doesn't get super gross. Sometimes when I am working a double she is out 18 or more hours, but I make sure her muzzle is well fitting and secure, and she has been fine.

He won't lose weight overnight. But you definitely don't want him having metabolic issues (IR sucks) OR laminitis! Those are definitely dangers in an overweight horse. Plus, if you get him on a program now, it will be easier to manage him in the spring when things will be more lush and dangerous. If he gets used to wearing a muzzle now, it won't be an issue in the spring when it's time to put it on for the new spring grass.
loosie, Sharpie and AshsStorm like this.
     
    09-30-2012, 12:07 AM
  #10
Yearling
Beautiful horse.
I recommend 24 hour turn out with a grazing muzzle, he needs to forage and if he can do it constant, let him. I would take him off grain and maybe give a little senior ration with some glucosamine daily.
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice appreciated... Newpony Horse Training 4 05-20-2011 08:38 PM
New Pony-Questions-Advice Appreciated AllThePrettyHorses Horse Training 3 05-01-2011 09:49 PM
Sore Warm Leg--Advice Appreciated CharliGirl Horse Health 9 03-17-2011 07:23 PM
Crap, what next??? (any advice appreciated) 7Ponies Horse Health 14 08-26-2009 04:04 PM
Feeding My New Horse:Advice Appreciated!! hillbillyin Horse Health 22 08-03-2008 11:10 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0