Safe Choice Performance
 
 

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Safe Choice Performance

This is a discussion on Safe Choice Performance within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Does safe choice peform put on weight
  • Safe choice origional skinny horse

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    11-13-2013, 03:46 PM
  #1
Foal
Safe Choice Performance

Moving my horse, Indy, out of boarding and to our farm this weekend. (YAY!!) So here's a some things you need to know. He has always been a VERY hard keeper, is allergic to corn (yes, he's been tested) and we believe he has internal parasite damage from years of neglect before I bought him 10 years ago. I've had several vets look at him and all have given him a clean bill of health. His teeth are regularly floated, he is regularly wormed, etc. I've had animal control called on me in the past because "there's a very skinny horse in the pasture and he looks malnourished". But I always show them the paperwork from the vets and after AC looks at him, it's obvious he is healthy and happy. Indy is very energetic and is an 18 year old Saddlebred. He's been at several boarding farms from southern Michigan to northern Kentucky. Everyone has their own opinion on how to put weight on him, but nothing thus far has worked.

So with that said, I'd like opinions. I bought a bag of Safe Choice Performance today to start him on. It's about $19 a bag, but I'm willing to spend the money if he will put at least some weight on. His coat is always shiny and healthy in the summer, he grows a decent winter coat and he gets free choice hay 24/7, 365 days a year. Safe Choice Performance says it's good for hard keepers. Has anyone else had a horse that is nearly impossible to put weight on and tried this feed? Any thoughts on what I can supplement with? I've tried weight builders, beet pulp, oils and oats with no success. Everyone's initial theory is to give him corn, but like I said, he is allergic and will break out into hives. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
     
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    11-13-2013, 03:52 PM
  #2
mls
Trained
I feed one of my mares Safe Choice Perform and supplement with calf manna and Empower boost.

She had a lengthy recovery from an illness due to an injury. The above mentioned combo is the only feed that keeps her QH shape. Vets ran all kinds of blood work. Don't know what the underlying issue was/is but they figure if I found a solution - use it.
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    11-13-2013, 03:58 PM
  #3
Foal
Empower! I have been trying to think of that darn name for days. I tried it in the past and liked the results, but couldn't keep him on it long enough to really see results because the local feed store stopped carrying it. I'm going to try to order it through my Rural King and give it another shot. Thank you so much!
     
    11-14-2013, 12:10 AM
  #4
Trained
Hi,

Interested to hear why the vets think he's a hard keeper if he has a 'clean bill of health'? Have you spoken to a nutritionist? I've known a lot of 'hard keepers' but there has always been a dietary or health prob behind it that once rectified, the horse does well. Ulcers, hind gut acidosis, too little roughage, feeding infrequent & starchy/grainy meals, metabolic probs are the commonest problems, aside from teeth & worms.

I wouldn't advise feeding any horse corn, without very good reasons, as it is one of the most problematic grains you could choose for horses. I personally wouldn't generally feed something like that 'Safe Choice' because it's high NSC (around 28%!). I'd be looking for something with no more than about 15%. Little & often meals of whatever you feed, particularly if it's high NSC or not easily digested, like grain. Appropriate supplimentation for well balanced nutrition is also important.
     
    11-14-2013, 12:21 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Rice bran, alfalfa, beet pulp, and/or flaxseed are my usual go-to's for extra calories (after as close to free-choice hay or pasture as you can manage). You could also try a good low NSC senior feed like Triple Crown Senior. I don't know anyone who would think corn is a good option
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    11-14-2013, 12:46 AM
  #6
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Hi,

Interested to hear why the vets think he's a hard keeper if he has a 'clean bill of health'? Have you spoken to a nutritionist? I've known a lot of 'hard keepers' but there has always been a dietary or health prob behind it that once rectified, the horse does well. Ulcers, hind gut acidosis, too little roughage, feeding infrequent & starchy/grainy meals, metabolic probs are the commonest problems, aside from teeth & worms.

I wouldn't advise feeding any horse corn, without very good reasons, as it is one of the most problematic grains you could choose for horses. I personally wouldn't generally feed something like that 'Safe Choice' because it's high NSC (around 28%!). I'd be looking for something with no more than about 15%. Little & often meals of whatever you feed, particularly if it's high NSC or not easily digested, like grain. Appropriate supplimentation for well balanced nutrition is also important.

I've seen some horses recover beautifully from years of neglect and starvation, but I've seen some that never seem to pick up the muscling that they should (particularly along the topline) after such events. A friend of mine has a TB that, from what I have been told, looked beautiful in his younger years. When she got a hold of him he had basically been starved by a trainer who ran into money troubles, and instead of discussing the issue with the horse's non-local owner she stopped feeding him. This occurred when he was 12 I think, and he looked really bad. Through years of vet visits, barn changes, feed changes, different saddles, different workout regimes the horse has never had a decent topline. Such events can really take a long-term toll on a horse, and muscle wasting in the topline seems to be the main problem.

She recently started feeding half Safe Choice Performance, and half the safe choice maintenance that the barn manager provides, and at 17 years is actually looking much better than he has while I've been around him. I was around him during his recovery period and shortly after, but I had only seen facebook pictures of him until recently, so I guess I wouldn't be the most reliable person to ask though!
     
    11-14-2013, 03:27 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckDodgers    
Through years of vet visits, barn changes, feed changes, different saddles, different workout regimes the horse has never had a decent topline.
Not saying that the starvation wasn't the problem, but back, saddle, etc probs are very common and if a horse isn't well muscled to begin with, injuries & weakness can be exacerbated with riding & certain 'work', regardless of saddle fit & general condition. His lack of 'topline' may have been nothing to do with the previous neglect, except that he maybe wasn't given time to build back up.
     
    11-14-2013, 09:22 AM
  #8
Started
Can you get Triple Crown feed there? My 29 yo Paint is on TC Senior (4-5 a day of the square plastic scoop) and he is doing GREAT!! He has NEVER had a topline in his life, but it is better now than it has been in a LONG time.

I get it at Southern States.

Nancy
     
    11-14-2013, 10:33 AM
  #9
Foal
Thanks for all the opinions. None of the vets have ever given me a concrete reason why he is the way he is. Most have said he's happy, has plenty of energy and everything looks fine, other than him being thin. Not the most scientific answers, but it's all I've gotten. I've had a nutritionist look at him, which is when we found out about the corn issue. And like the original post said, it's been speculated that he has internal parasite damage from not being wormed for years before I got him. He was stalled in a 12x12 boarded up stall the first part of his life with about 3 hours of round pen time a week. The woman didn't have money to feed the horses she had, didn't have pasture and his stall was rarely cleaned, so she ended up giving him to me. Indy's always been a little backwards and most of my horsey friends say he's one of the more "unique" horses they've met. He has quite the personality.

Anyway, I'm going to give this bag of SC Performance a whirl. I read pretty good reviews about it online and he's been on regular SC when he was younger with okay results. DuckDodgers, glad to hear someone else's horse has done well on it. I'm anxious to try it and hopefully see some results. A friend of mine mentioned she gave her thin mare Cool Calories 100 in SmartPak. She liked it, but I've never heard of it. Going to do more research before I spent any money on it.
     
    11-14-2013, 11:07 AM
  #10
Super Moderator
In general I find that the Triple Crown feeds seem to give about the best nutritional value - though the Sentinel Senior certainly piled weight on my pinto who was a bit poor when I first got her but a few months later looked like she needed to go on a diet!!!
Horses that are fractious, stressed or over work themselves by being 'hot rides' are likely to be hard keepers but other than that I have never really got my head around a normal healthy horse struggling to keep weight on. I always look for hidden health problems especially ulcers, encysted worms and tapeworms and deal with them first
You then have things like hyperthyroidism, IRS and Cushings that are worth blood testing for as they can all cause a horse to struggle to keep weight on
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