Ration Balancer??? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-31-2013, 11:41 AM
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Agree with saddlebag iv been feeding oats for years never a problem. And its a whole lot cheaper. My horses look better then horses on expensive feeds. So oats can't be all that bad.

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post #12 of 19 Old 10-31-2013, 12:07 PM
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I used to feed my horses straight grains and NATURAL grass hay for decades, and never had any problems. Every horse was fed according to need, some did fine on oats, other got crazy just seeing them, so the got barley. Hard keepers got corn on top, easier keepers just a handful of oats. Nowadays I'm forced to feed high (milk/growth) performance hay, nothing natural anywhere near, and most feeds are highly processed and pelleted and I have nothing but problems. I'm now at a handful of grass pellets, a vit/min supp, yeast, flax. Can't even feed a RB to one, he gets all puffy on it. He is IR, I soak his hay, washing out tons of sugars. I think "we" are creating horse junkfood junkies with all that processed and high performance stuff. And I'll take a hard keeper over an easy keeper any day. Much easier to add than to take away.....

OP, I think you'd be best off having your roughage/pasture tested to see what's missing(most likely minerals due to intensive farming), and add only what's necessary, and if you need more energy, go into the grains. If possible, organic.
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post #13 of 19 Old 11-01-2013, 08:23 AM
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When it comes to barley, I figure nature never intended that horses eat barley nor corn and made the grains as hard as pebbles. Did you know that the tiny seeds of wild oats and some of the weeds contain as high as 32% protein, so a small handful packs a lot of punch. These are what help fatten wild horses going in to winter.
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post #14 of 19 Old 11-01-2013, 09:58 AM
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Wild horses move a lot more than most of our kept horses. Any wild grains they run into are consumed with lots of stem and leaf. Unless they get into a farmed field they are also not consuming big whopping mouthfuls of it.

Our farmed grains have been bred for thousands of years now not to shatter and drop seed. If you don't drop seed you die out. Wild horses aren't consuming a ton of fat seeds. They get small bits that have reverted to a wild form. Our cereal grains, with the exception of corn are also natives of Asia Minor. The conditions don't exist in most of this country to grow wild in abundance. Nature doesn't plant in rows. Other plants get growing around the grains and they are often out competed. I also doubt you see many wild ones living into their 40's. 40 is getting to be a fairly common age now with the advances in feed.

Not saying I wouldn't feed oats if I ever got the chance to ride as often and as hard as I did at 17. In fact it might be the easiest thing to add if I only could but I'm lucky to get out once a week for a couple hours. My horses would explode on grains. 2 of mine would explode on hay from regularly fertilized fields.
Being a bit of a plant geek I know the soil in this area is deficient in all the readily water soluble minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron. No selenium, no boron, no copper. The water is so soft and acid in this area it eats hot water heaters every couple of years.

I would love to eat a big plate of spaghetti and a soup bowl full of ice cream every night but you know what would happen to this 50+ yr. old body? I could at 17. Something happened.

The concentrates and especially the ration balancers are the easiest way to make sure mine are getting the nutrition they need without adding a lot of unnecessary calories.
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post #15 of 19 Old 11-01-2013, 10:17 AM
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I feed a locally produced RB with 1/2 pound WHOLE oats and 1 cup WHOLE flax seed per day. Just enough oats to get everything else into them.

My little herd gets 24/7 turnout on rough and wild pasture of mostly foxtail. It doesn't look pretty but it feeds them well.

I have IR horse, easy and hard keepers and they all look perfect. Whole flaxseed has been the best addition. coats are shiny, feet are healthy. I highly recommend it.
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post #16 of 19 Old 11-01-2013, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
When it comes to barley, I figure nature never intended that horses eat barley nor corn and made the grains as hard as pebbles. Did you know that the tiny seeds of wild oats and some of the weeds contain as high as 32% protein, so a small handful packs a lot of punch. These are what help fatten wild horses going in to winter.
Those foxtails (or bearded wheat, some call it), are considered an obnoxious weed in my area. They get stuck in your socks or dogs ears and paws and even noses, causing big vet bills. But they are also 40% protein! My horses can get quite fat quite quickly and I have to control their access.

I was really surprised because everyone thinks irrigated pastures of orchard grass is best. we moved from 20 acres of that to 33 acres dry "weeds" and my horses gained 50 lbs each in 2 weeks!

Now I love my dried weed patch! Better than irrigated. their feet stay dry and their forage is excellent. they have never looked better
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post #17 of 19 Old 11-01-2013, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tiffanyodonnell View Post
I feed a locally produced RB with 1/2 pound WHOLE oats and 1 cup WHOLE flax seed per day. Just enough oats to get everything else into them.

My little herd gets 24/7 turnout on rough and wild pasture of mostly foxtail. It doesn't look pretty but it feeds them well.

I have IR horse, easy and hard keepers and they all look perfect. Whole flaxseed has been the best addition. coats are shiny, feet are healthy. I highly recommend it.
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Do you give your IR horse oats? I have an IR horse who can't have oats or pasture he's super sensitive to high NSC. Anything over 11%NSC and he's becomes laminatic with 24 hours.
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post #18 of 19 Old 11-01-2013, 10:45 AM
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Yes, she gets 1/2 lbs whole oats per day. just enough to get her RB and flax in her. works for her, but she is at perfect weight for her
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post #19 of 19 Old 11-01-2013, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tiffanyodonnell View Post
Those foxtails (or bearded wheat, some call it), are considered an obnoxious weed in my area. They get stuck in your socks or dogs ears and paws and even noses, causing big vet bills. But they are also 40% protein! My horses can get quite fat quite quickly and I have to control their access.

I was really surprised because everyone thinks irrigated pastures of orchard grass is best. we moved from 20 acres of that to 33 acres dry "weeds" and my horses gained 50 lbs each in 2 weeks!

Now I love my dried weed patch! Better than irrigated. their feet stay dry and their forage is excellent. they have never looked better
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One is a cremello. No sunburn. I wish I had that.
I envy you for that pasture...minus the foxtail lol. Had a horse which gobbled up the seeds in hay and had a whole handful stuck under her upper lip. First time that happened Ithough choke and called the vet. Totally senseless...he didn't find them, I did. Next time that happened I knew where to look. Might be different when on pasture.
My neighbor here runs about 25 cows and two aztecas on 160 acres full of any kind of native weed. Horses never see a vet, get hooves done or vaccinated, dewormed, have no shelter, and well water. It borders the sloughs with millions of mosquitoes. These horses are in perfect shape, hooves look great, tho not necessarily pretty, and are healthy.
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