Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hatton Vale, QLD, Australia
I have to be honest and say that unless you have a racehorse or a high performance horse then feeding doesnt need to be all about fancy expensive feeds.
I used to feed this and that and everything else and found myself forking out around $120 a week on feed to feed my 7 horses. Then one day I decided there had to be a better way. So now their diets consist mainly of hay and then there hard feeds are chaffe, millrun/pollard/bran, steam flaked barley and pellets. My 3 qh's who are very easy keepers just get hay then chaffe and millrun for their hard feed. My mare in foal gets stud-gro only cause she is in foal and being a tb she needs the extra fat content.
To make sure they are all getting all their vits & mins I feed a complete powdered supplement. This is the biggest thing to be wary of when feeding your horse and this is a lot of the reason people go for all the fancy, nutritious feeds. I have found that while buying a big bag of supplement is around $80, in the long run I am saving money cause this bag lasts about 4 months for 7 horses and I am spending a lot less money on the other feeds. Even since changing their diet none of them have lost weight or condition.
In most cases I would suggest not feeding grains. Apart from the obvious heat content in grains, prolonged use of grains can cause stomach ulcers. I see this all to often working with racehorses.
If a horse needs to gain weight, up its roughage intake. Make sure you are feeding good quality hay though and where possible, expose your horse to as much free choice grass as well. Also you can add things like vegetable or rice bran oil to their feeds for extra cool fat and the list goes on.
"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"