The Horse: Vanna is a 16 year old Standardbred mare. She raced as a youngster and then spent the next decade as a broodmare. She is in decent shape, but needs to be conditioned. She also has a bit of a hay belly going on. She is up to date on all her vaccinations and deworming. Her current diet includes free choice grass, hay and some grain. She lives outside year round. As far as I know, her teeth are in good shape and she doesn't have trouble with hay, cubes, or grains.
Her Activity Level: Currently, she is pasture fit and spends her days ambling around a field. Very, very occasionally, she is hooked to a cart and driven around. When she arrives at my barn, she will be moved to an individual run for a month-long quarantine period and then into a semi-private pasture with 2 geldings. Her activity level will be increased gradually as she transitions from a broodmare to a riding horse. I plan to walk and trot her at increasing increments as she is able, and gradually add hill work and trails to the routine. At any given time, her activity level will be considered light to moderate, never heavy.
Goals to Accomplish: The ideal diet plan will help maintain her body condition and weight year round. I do not want her to become overweight, but I do not want her to be underweight either. I want her to look like a well-loved pleasure horse, with a shiny coat, healthy hooves and a balanced appearance. I would like to keep her in optimum health, prevent joint pain and reduce any existing arthritis symptoms she might have.
Available Feed: Once she arrives at my barn, she will be provided hay and free choice grass. Iím almost positive that the hay isnít the best quality, so I wish to provide alternate roughage for her in addition to the provided hay. I am open to complete feeds as well. After much thought, I have created two diet plans for your review. Please modify them however you wish, but explain why; I would like to learn.
Option #1: Alfalfa hay cubes and grain, with free choice hay/grazing
I am most familiar with this feeding plan, since it is modeled loosely after the diet we used for the racehorses. With the racehorses, we also added sweet feed to the mix, but I would prefer not to add it to my mareís diet. In addition to the roughage, I would like to add a top dressing of Equine Choice probiotic mix to maintain proper gut movement and beneficial bacteria, and HorseSTART mineral supplement for pleasure horses.
Option #2: FrontRunner Cool Command Complete Feed, with free choice hay/grazing to eliminate boredom
I am not as familiar with complete feeds, but I like the idea behind them. This particular one includes alfalfa, soy hulls and beet pulp and is completely corn free. Protein is approximately 13% and a lower level of sugar and starch. Also on my list of complete feeds to consider is FrontRunner Phase 5 Senior which contains 14% protein and beet pulp. I spoke to a FrontRunner distributor and she recommended Cool Command for my girl, just because she will remain in steady work. To this, I would also add a top dressing of Equine Choice and HorseSTART.
Equine Choice - Aurora Wind Feeds Equine Choice Probiotics
HorseSTART - http://www.kenpal.on.ca/downloads/ho...RTBrochure.pdf
FrontRunner Phase 5 Senior - Front Runner - Phase Five
FrontRunner Cool Command - Front Runner - Phase One
If she was your horse, what would YOU feed?