Supplement help please. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-10-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 2,648
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Supplement help please.

I lost my job, so I need to cut back on supplements. I am sure I was feeding too many anyway.

My 18 year old arab gelding is on:
Smartvite grass senior
Smart Dark and Handsome
Total Calm and Focus
Sand Clear once per month
and a joint supplement.

Since I lost my job, what do you all thing of this product?

Horse Supplements Vitamins & Minerals | Equi-Shine

I am probably going to keep him on the joint stuff, the rest I am up in the air about.

I forgot to add, he is on grass hay and purina strategy + beet pulp.
They feed 1/2 of a folger's (large plastic can) twice per day.
He also gets salt at will.

Any help would be appreciated, especially feedback on the vitamin product.

"My treasures do not clink together or glitter; They gleam in the sun and neigh in the night."
-Arabian Proverb
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-11-2012, 06:40 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mountains of NH
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why were you feeding all of that?

Most arabs are pretty easy keepers. A ration balancer and hay is all most need.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-12-2012, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Milwaukee
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He isn't an easy keeper, he lost a lot of weight this winter.
I had the money and they sounded like a good idea, he looks fantastic right now.

He is only on about 3lbs of Strategy Healthy Edge per day.

"My treasures do not clink together or glitter; They gleam in the sun and neigh in the night."
-Arabian Proverb
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-13-2012, 08:08 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mountains of NH
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Is the amount of grain being fed at rates that match the directions? If the bag says 1/2 lb per 100lbs and he is being fed 2 lbs a day. then he isn't being fed right. I do realize this varies with work but the directions usually have that on the bag too.

How much hay is he getting? That is the biggest, most important part of the diet. Lots of horses live their entire lives out and work with nothing but good hay.

I'm not familiar with most of those supplements. I really don't feed supplements. I do have a bag of MagOx I give a teaspoon to my girls in their feed. Supposedly helps IR horses some. It's also the often the major ingredient in the calming supplements that aren't druggy. A 50 lb bag cost me $18.

In the winter, and I am in a cold, wet winter area, I feed free choice grass hay. They have hay around the clock. They also got a complete pellet, beet pulp and some timothy/alfalfa pellets. I did have one oldster that had trouble with chewing his hay so I would add haystretcher, more hay pellets and buy a bale of finely chopped hay to add to his food. He still was able to gummy down all the hay he wanted. Both the horses in my avatar are in their mid 30's. The Palomino passed this fall. The pony is still with me and still the alpha mare at 37. She is IR so I have to watch what her majesty gets for grain like a hawk. Her diet is complicated by being given a severely emaciated mare in November. I have to stand guard over the new mare's food so the pony doesn't claim it. Now that she is nearly where she needs to be she is only getting a low starch complete pellet and a cup of rice bran with her feed. I'm lucky. Mine have plenty of grass this time of year so feeding gets easy.

Look hard at what he got for hay over the winter. It's usually the biggest problem. Next look at his concentrated feed, the grain. It needs to be weighed and fed according to instructions on the bag or you aren't getting the right vitamin and mineral balance.

Hay should be weighed too. How big is a flake? It varies with the tension on the machinery baling it up. Varies with the soil and weather conditions. I bought hay from an old farmer for years who had problems with the tension on his baler. One bale might have 8 flakes in it, next bale had 20 flakes in it. Both bales were pretty much the same weight. In the dead of winter I figure a bale a day on a full sized horse. Most times it was less but if the weather went subzero it would be substantially more. Hay is what keeps them warm.

Worried about the vitamins and minerals? Most good feed companies have got it covered if you feed using their directions. Want extra insurance on the cheap? Buy a bag of ration balancer. It will cost you about $30 and you are pretty much feeding just half a cup to your average arab sized horse. Nutrena even makes one with added rice bran for the harder keepers. They are putting it in 40lb bags now. It will go a long way. You can easily bring it in a sandwich baggie to a boarding barn and add it too your horses dish while your grooming. Same with rice bran if you want to feed something for calories and coat.

Take a good hard look at his hay. I really can't emphasize just how important it is. The rest is just extras.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-13-2012, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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Total Calm and Focus (maybe)
Sand Clear once per month
And a joint supplement.

^ What you should keep.

I think he will do fine without smartdark and handsome. As long as he's getting brushed and eating well then his coat will be fine and the other stuff is really over the top. Water has electrolytes and if you want to jazz it up, add some gatorade.

Joint supplements are important, as is adding a sand colic preventative if the area is sandy.

I am up on the fence about the calm and focus. I think if he gets enough exercise and handling then he should be fine.

Increase hay and keep the salt.

And if you can, I would break his meals down into 3 sections and if he has access to grass turnout he will get his omega 3s and should start to keep his weight on.

Have you seen results with strategy? If not, then I would switch to a better senior grain. Personally my super hard keeper is blooming on Triple Crown Senior.

Best of luck :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-13-2012, 08:56 AM
Join Date: May 2012
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I would definitely keep the joint supplement especially since he is a little older. The rest I would get rid of. Horses also don't need to get electrolytes every day. It's more when it's like 80 plus degree weather and you are going to work them. If you are set on the electrolytes you can buy a bucket from Fleet Farm and give it when it's super hot out that way you don't have to go through it as much. The rest is sort of extra and not really needed. But the joint supplement would be the best option.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-13-2012, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Milwaukee
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Hi, thanks for all the good advice.

The electrolytes were per the advice of my vet, because last year he would gorge on the round bale so much he wasn't drinking, and then he'd colic.

He is getting about the recommended amount of Strategy Healthy Edge for his size, maybe a little less, hopefully grass will make up for it or I will pick up
a ration balancer.

The hay varies greatly, it seems like we get what they can get at the boarding place.
His group has a round bale during the day (most of the time) and is going to go out on pasture "soon".

So far I am going to switch/replace some of his stuff.
So far I have been told:
Baking Soda and Iodized salt, 2oz per day.
Generic Metamucil works as well as sand clear.

For shine, I am thinking about Horseshine (which is affordable) and/or Black Oil Sunflower Seeds + Paprika to keep him dark.

I know Valerian can be bought in bulk for calming.

I still have plenty of joint supplement to get me through a few more months.

"My treasures do not clink together or glitter; They gleam in the sun and neigh in the night."
-Arabian Proverb
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