Grain Feeding/New horse owner - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-23-2014, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Grain Feeding/New horse owner

Hello! I am going to be a horse owner as of this weekend officially. I am not new to horses totally (I've ridden my friends horses over the years) but I am not the most experienced either. Here's my story/question:

I test-rode a lovely 20 year old mare who was quiet as can be - there were MANY things on the trail she could have spooked at but didn't, including a deer not 6 feet away from us. Now I know that diet can alter behavior, but I'm being told by someone who used to ride that as soon as she gets grain, she's going to become high-spirited. She does not currently get grain, and where I am keeping her the owner feeds them just enough grain to lure them into their stalls when they need to be in. I've brought this up with the owner, but he doesn't think it's going to be an issue. I was just wondering if I could get some other opinions because I am a natural born worrier and would just like some other thoughts on this.

Thank you very much!
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-23-2014, 08:41 PM
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It really should not be a problem.

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-23-2014, 09:53 PM
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It also depends on what kind of grain you feed. Make sure its not something packed with sugar and you shouldn't have a problem. Could ask your new barn owner if you can just provide your own bag of grain to use, and buy a ration balancer, like triple crown 30%, purina enrich 32...lots of them out there..its a feed balancer basically. Horse thinks its getting yummy grain, but its just getting the vitamins and minerals that it could be lacking from field/hay, its not packed with sugar, and you feed it in very small amounts. One 50lb bag for ~28 bucks, lasts me like 40-50 days. I feed ~1lb a day, whats recommended for my horses size...so yes it should last me 50 days but sometimes I probably add a tiny bit too much when I'm rushing..not really that big of a deal though.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-24-2014, 11:57 AM
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The best thing to do is ask the former owner what the horses exact diet is and replicate that so long as the horse is healthy and happy on that diet. If you cannot get that particular feed in your location ask if you could have a bag or bale to transition the mare on and look into something as similar as possible.

If she's not on grain now, there is likely no reason for her to be on grain once you buy her. If she begins to drop condition then I'd look into something high fat low starch/sugar.

Congrats on your new mare. :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 03:11 PM
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If you keep her on the food she's currently getting, there shouldn't be any problem. Enough grain to get her into a stall or to come to the fence isn't going to make her hyper. It WILL make her very attentive to you whenever you appear...
Alfalfa cubes work the same way.

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post #6 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 05:04 PM
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Yes to above and of course if you are introducing anything new to her diet you will do so slowly. My older horse doesn't change no matter what he is fed, however my youngster turns into satan's span with alfa....THAT is not fed anymore to him.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 05:14 PM
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First of all it depends on what type of feed she is going to live off of. Primarily pasture, hay. Depending on what type you have will depend on what she needs. If you have lots of grass a cheaper grain just to keep her friendly will be fine. But if she will be in a padlock or stall she will need a higher quality and quantity of grain. It also depends if she is on the heavy side or light weight side. BUT WHATEVER YOU DO, slowly and I mean slowly wean her to your style. Too big of a change can and will cause problems. I have an 18y/o mare that has a total different feed ration than my 16y/o mare or 3y/o filly.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 06:22 PM
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Such a small amount really shouldn't alter her behavior long term.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 07:02 PM
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The only time our horses see alfalfa is when we crumble a cube or two and use it as a treat. They love it. A bag is very inexpensive compared to apples, or commercial treats.
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