to decrease grain or not - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-11-2012, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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to decrease grain or not

So, I have a 4 year old I am trying to put miles and muscles on. I increased his grain about 3 weeks ago to 3 scoops of grain morning and evening. About a week ago, I notice that he is looking better, a bit fitter, a bit more muscle and a whole lot more energy. He is behaving badly and I am wondering if he is just feeling to hot to handle. I am wondering if this is a lack of training issue or a grain issue. He is a bit of a pushy horse but I have pretty well kept that in check for the last year. This week he has been crow hopping under saddle, trying to take off in the ring, trying to paw (not a strike but more like a testing the waters move) at me on the ground (which resulted in a come to jesus moment). None of these tactics have been successful and so he is trying new things in my opinion.

Is this a phase? In your opinions, is this the result of a lack of ground manners or a young horse with so much energy he does not know what to do with himself? I am planning on talking to his owner (a vet) about cutting him down to two scoops of grain. He is on a scoop of LS (high fat grain extruded grain) and two scoops of endurance. He also get hay and there is some grass in his pasture. I am working with a trainer with him; however, our next lesson is not until Monday.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-11-2012, 02:39 PM
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I haven't a clue how much a scoop weighs so it is impossible to say whether he is getting to much feed or not.

You need to feed by the rules.

Clean, fresh water must be available at all times
Feed little and often.
Feed according to work, temperament and condition.
Keep to the same feeding hours each day.
Do not work hard immediately after feeding.
Feed adequate roughage.
Introduce changes of food gradually.
Feed clean, good-quality forage.
Feed something succulent every day.

Feeding is an art. It needs a good eye for noticing gain or loss of condition as it happens and experience to know when to up the quantity without over doing it.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-11-2012, 03:52 PM
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Why exactly did you star him on grain??? We never feed our young ones grain...ever.

The performance horses are the only ones that get grain. And if you want him to look fit and conditioned....that takes proper riding not feed to get that result. So yes I say it is the feed....I would stick to good quality hay and maybe a cup of grain just to get any supplements if he gets any.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-11-2012, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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No we feed by the basic rules of feeding grain, foxhunter. I am just always evaluating every horses weight, the kind of grain, the amount of grain and their social groups. Making sure no one is being pushed of hay or grain or water.

As for why we feed grain, its based on the individual horses we have. Some mares that are easy keepers and live well on hay and limited pasture. We also have horses that need grain to keep a healthy weight. We tried having them all off grain. Some started to get thin so we decided that horses on grain were better then thin horses.

The good news is that the owner looked at him and said this is the best he has ever looked. He is worried that if we don't cut down the grain he might get fat. So a scoop of each it is for him, twice a day.

I was so worried, this horse and I just had a horrible morning. He hates ring work, I hate ring work, we had to do ring work. Then he really pushed my buttons by not loading on the trailer. Which is one of my pet peeves. All the horses here load on the trailer with just one person, no excuses. This morning he would not load. It was so frustrating all I wanted was for him to just get on the trailer, stand for a few seconds and get off. So, this afternoon I had help we loaded him and he stood nicely. So, my partner in loading agreed we would do this every day until this horse does not throw a fit around the trailer.

So I was thinking about everything that has changed and trying to figure out what has changed and what might be causing this bad behavior. The grain was the only real change. That and the increased focus on ring work.
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