Some advice on nutrition? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 5 Old 08-12-2012, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2011
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Some advice on nutrition?

Hey all,

So this is my first horse and I've recently changed coaches, so I'm not really yet comfortable with my new coach, although I was going to bring this up soon with her. But hey, I like hearing opinions.

My horse is a 6 year old Andie cross. Probably considered an easy-medium keeper. Maybe?

Anyways, he's around 1300lbs and at a good weight for where he is right now. But it just seems like I feed him sooooo much more hay then anyone else at my barn does! So I'm wondering if I need to cut down a little on the hay and introduce something else, like beet pulp?

Right now he's eating about 30lbs of timothy a day, plus a ration balancer pellet. Maintaining weight well right now, but his work is fairly easy, so it'll definitely change as we increase the intensity...

Just seems like a lot of hay to me? Is that right?
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-12-2012, 03:23 AM
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That sounds about right if he doesn't get any grazing. Horses should get around 2.5% bwt daily in roughage for maintenance & no less than around 1.5-2% even if dieting - their gut needs near constant small amounts passing through. Yes, you could feed him part of his ration as beet pulp, chaff, lucerne/alfalfa or such, but it will likely add to the amount of calories, which it sounds isn't needed, and may add to the $$(if you're not in drought at least) which is definitely not needed!
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-12-2012, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, no grazing.

Well, since he's doing such light work right now but will be increasing slowly, doesn't seem like a terrible idea to start adding a few extra calories soon, since he's just holding his weight. I think he'd start losing weight if I really bumped up his work and yet did nothing to his diet.

I have no idea what beet pulp costs around here, but I know that a ton of timothy cost me $400 last time, and he's eating it so fast lol.

But it's just so strange. The horse next to mine is way bigger than mine, but he only gets what looks to me maybe 5 flakes (lighter hay, local stuff. It makes mine cough sadly) and some sort of grain mixture at night. Seems so little? But then he was fat when he came, so maybe he really is an easy keeper.

My old coach kept telling me to reduce his flakes, but he was beginning to lose weight... I need to take a recent picture. Maybe he`s gaining weight and I can`t tell. This is him a month and half or so ago: http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/...confo_set2.jpg

Last edited by teamfire; 08-12-2012 at 03:36 AM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-13-2012, 02:05 PM
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It sounds like you're doing the right thing for your horse. Forage really is the best thing to feed, along with a ration balancer as you're doing, and 30 lbs doesn't sound too high to me for such a large horse. If he's currently maintaining weight on that, I'd stick with it.

If he starts losing weight with more riding, I'd look into rice bran, beet pulp, or alfalfa hay/cubes/pellets for extra calories.

And I wouldn't worry about comparing to the horses around him- I feed at my barn, which has 75 horses, and it's amazing how much difference there is in the amount of feed between some of the horses. They're all at healthy weights, though.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-13-2012, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Hm, looking back on my notes from when he first came, he might not be 1300. The number stuck with me for some reason?

Looks like he's probably more like 1200, but probably not that huge a difference.

Haha, yeah, I should know better not to compare, but it astounds me... Mostly because i'm always the one running out of hay first in my hay order group. Sigh!
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