q's about feed for 3 yr old - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-17-2010, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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q's about feed for 3 yr old

I have a 3 yr old gelding I got at auction this summer. Here are some before (early summer) and after (2-3 weeks ago) pictures Before & After

What I am wondering is feed...he was at my house all summer and out to pasture. Now he is at my friends house and starting to get ridden (5-6 times a week for 45min to 1hr ring work or trails). She has no pasture. He is eating hay like crazy! He is getting 4-5 flakes am and pm and a couple of flakes for lunch sometimes if its cold or windy. Some days its over a bale a day! He is not getting a lot of grain, I would say about a pound am & pm (12% protien 6% fat grain Signature Plus Feeds - Signature Plus 12/6), He also gets a small amount (maybe 1/4 cup) cocosoya oil once a day. Would it be beneficial to cut back hay a little and up grain a little? I don't want him to get a hay belly....
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-18-2010, 10:33 AM
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no don't cut his hay... I try to keep hay in front o fmine 24/7

You do what to insure that he is getting the proper amount of feed for nutrition needed...

Since you are using Pennifield feeds check into Phase Feeds - All-Phase

Designed to be fed at 1lb per day with higher nutrition... if you NEED to add calories which I think he looks FINE weight wise now you can add in some Rice Bran or alfalfa pellets.

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-19-2010, 01:59 AM
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Hi,

Pics are sometimes not very clear, but while he's not thin at all in the 'before' shot, it appears he is not too obviously overweight in the after. I wouldn't think he needs to lose too much. Therefore, he's probably getting a reasonable amount of feed & calories. Now that he's in more work(I'd be careful about exercising a youngster under saddle too much, would favour other exercise & training more until the horse is matured.), you'll probably find he'll slim down & tone up a little more on that much feed anyway.

I agree, you definitely don't want to give him any more grain(I'd avoid it completely) and with no pasture, he'd likely need the vast majority of that much hay daily, if not all. 'Hay bellies' may be unaesthetic to some, but it's grain/starchy rich feeds that cause so many health problems. If you were to put his hay in small holed hay nets, you will still be able to feed him free choice, but may find that he eats less, as he can't gorge himself on it.

I'd consider just giving him the hay, including some alfalfa in the mix too, and cutting the hard feed all together, with the exception of a nutritional supplement, perhaps in the form of a pelleted 'ration balancer'.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-19-2010, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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He was thin in the first picture, I guess its just hard to see. In the second picture he has grown some and filled out with muscle. How much under saddle work should I be doing?
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-20-2010, 10:18 AM
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The horse's hocks do not close until 4-5 years old. I would be keeping things light and easy for the next year. Work will help strengthen the bones and tendons, but you don't want to overtax him. Start slow and build up.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-20-2010, 06:39 PM
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Agree with luvs to. Lots of exercise is good, but not too much/hard weightbearing(under saddle) or high impact & fast circles yet.
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