Equine Ration Balancer Pellets Explained | TheHorse.com Ration Balancers - The Horse Health Zone
All the big feed companies carry them now. If you go to their individual web pages you can read about them. Most aren't labeled ration balancer by their manufacturers. You have to look for a protein range somewhere around 30% in their descriptions. Some companies are a little more protein, some a little less.
I have 2 privately owned feed stores in town and a tractor supply. Tractor Supply carried Nutrena Empower Balance for me for a while but the new manager dropped it. So I've dropped them. I hear some other stores still carry it.
The vast majority of my feed comes from Poulin now but that's probably not available to you being more New England regional. I'm almost willing to bet some family member of this company has a chronic fatty. The starch/carb counts are really low on several of their feedstuffs.
When my horses were young they did fine on just about any feed. As they aged I couldn't give them little enough to keep their nutrition at a point they needed. My old pony is the worst air fern I've ever seen. I was feeding Blue Seals Trotter which is actually a nice mostly forage based feed. Low carb compared to a lot of the other old standbys but she was still blimping out and her coat looked like crap on just a handful. I had to start reading and was kind of amazed at all the changes in feed since the 1970's when I first started keeping horses.
If your horses are doing fine on what you are giving them then there is no worries. You could just top dress with a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement if you aren't sure they are getting all they need. Thing is their systems will eventually age. It is easier to prevent things like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome than to deal with it after it's developed. I can't just grab another bag of feed if my store is out. My pony would probably either blimp out or have a laminitis attack.
No way around it. You are going to have to break out the reading materials and read the feed tags and figure out what is best for you. I had to work out how to cut the two old mares down on starches and not short them on other needed nutrition. I also had to figure out how to get a bit more calories into my one that needs it but not so much that she will go IR as she ages. Gets complicated at times and I had to figure out how to make it work for 3 slightly different needs and still keep it simple.