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Feeding times for my new horse

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    05-13-2013, 06:06 AM
For weight gain feeding 3 times a day is ideal but feeding morning and night would be ok if you can't go three times a day. The dark is not a problem to horses.

You probably already know this but when you first get him, feed only a tiny bit at each meal because he will be stressed from moving and suddenly getting heaps of food will not help his smooth transition! Build up the quantity over 10days-2weeks until he is on the amount you want him to be on then maintain this quantity until he's at a healthy weight. Remember when it comes to spring, the grass will be lusher so he probably wont need so much high sugar/starch food, but fiber and micro-nutrience are still needed.

I would also suggest giving hay for most of the year. In winter, grass isn't growing so there is pretty much 0 nutrience in it so hay is needed (Grass only grows when it is consistently above 5degrees C). In spring- autumn I still offer my tb hay because it provides a lower sugar forage option for her. Seen as she is eating the hay atm she probably wants it so I will contiune to provide it, if you follow my logic...

As for flexibility, I like routein and so do horses but I also feel it is important that a horse can cope with change. Alli gets fed between 6.30 and 7.30 mon-sat but on sunday I might give her a small amount before our ride and the rest after. She thinks its great- 2 breakfasts!!! In the evenings she can be fed any time from 4.30-7 depending on whether I had school or work, or if I work her that night and for how long I work her. I think its good for her to be used to a slightly flexible routein- what if I have to go away and the person left lookign after her has to feed her at 8am and 7pm?
I want Alli to be able to cope with slight changes as it stops her getting as stressed if there is ever a change. She is prone to ulcers and I have found slight flexibility is better than ridgid structure which can be upset (thus upsetting the horse). Life is unpredictable so there needs to be some form of give in a horse routein.

Oh, and have fun with your new best boy!
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    05-13-2013, 08:27 AM
Originally Posted by NaeNae87    
but in my experience the majority of horses cannot cope.
Virtually all horses I've known must be unusual then.

They need to be fed at a certain time (if not bang on, then around that time) and if they are not fed then they need access to add lib hay or they need to be grazing.
Of course. You need to feed them healthily, according to their needs. My point was that if you don't, then you frequently get horses with problems. Especially is you're worried about problems such as ulcers & windsucking, it's not good for your horses to only hard feed once daily.

they normally start to fence walk about 5.45pm.
And you're talking about horses without routines stressing??
    05-13-2013, 10:22 AM
I honestly don't think it's bad to do that. Horses graze all day long, so they can make that feed last until their next meal. Trust me, I've seen it.
    05-13-2013, 11:55 AM
For what it´s worth - and I have very little experience of keeping a horse around a normal working day - I think horses can cope with a lack of routine very well. My example :
Our four travelling horses have a routine of not having a routine. They get hard feed when we find it. It could be corn, oats, barley, or a mix. It could be between 2 and 7 pounds of feed, depending on what they´ve worked that day, what they´re going to work the next day, and how muh feed we´ve got left. Salt, vitamins etc are occasionally added. They get fed anywhere between 4pm and 11pm. They have been in situations where they haven´t seen grain for ten days.
Fibre-wise, we look for grazing and / or hay every night. Only once in five months have we not been able to find anything, and on that occasion they were tethered under a tree whose seed pods and seeds they eat. They get alfalfa or grass hay or grass, of all qualities, or dried/green maize stalks, or willow brush, or poplar brush. They aso graze during the day on whatever we find, but not at regular fixed times. If they´ve got hay, they get about a half bale a day - if we´re in one spot for 24 hours, then they get their hay in two batches : if we´re only there overnight, they get it all in one whack.
Not once, in months, have we had the slightest indication of colic. All the horses are healthy and shiny. Once they´re turned out or picketed, they know to eat what´s in front of them. They are extremely unstressed horses...

My tuppence-worth.
    05-13-2013, 07:36 PM
Originally Posted by AnnaHalford    
They get hard feed when we find it. It could be corn, oats, barley, or a mix. It could be between 2 and 7 pounds
Oh I'd like to learn more about your 'great horse trip' Anna! Where have you come from? Where are you heading?? Yeah, so long as they've got adequate forage, little & often (horses are built to eat tiny amounts near constantly) they tend to be good.

But I would strongly caution you about feeding grain infrequently & in large quantities. The way their gut works, it doesn't deal with that sort of thing well & they won't be getting much out of what you feed then either. You may not have seen any outward signs yet, but this commonly wreaks havoc on a horse's gut. Stick to the 2 pounds max per feed(with chaff or whatever is mixed with the grain), less if they're not used to it - haven't been getting it recently - feed as little & often as possible when you're feeding it, and I'd avoid corn, or cook it first, as that's particularly high in starch & indigestible when fed unprocessed.
    05-13-2013, 08:20 PM
Hi !.. if you are feeding hay, can you set up a feeder so there is hay in it all the time? This way he can eat more naturally. I have done this with skinny horses, at first they will eat and eat, but do slow down. You can start slowly, giving hay twice a day, Larger amount in the evening 1 pm so there is something for him to eat all night. If he has grazing that is even better ! ;) and yes, you need to have a job to afford horses . Don't let the bah humbuggers get to you . There are many kind people on this forum .
    05-14-2013, 07:13 PM
I would uuhh have read up on the diffrence between GM grain and organic grain. I did not read the advertizements or corprates info, I read the studies. The magic word is permacuture....with a big nutrional differance between GM and organic. Would you eat a tomatoe with cold water fish gene in it. Hmmm you can dig deep and find out a lot. Virus shot with masquito genes. Corn used to be sweet when I was a kid the GM corn is starch and gross to me. Do the taste test you'll see the differance.
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