What to feed a horse to get top performance? - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By verona1016
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-05-2013, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation What to feed a horse to get top performance?

I have a 12hh pony he is quite lazy, now I had people say I need to feed him more than mjust grass, I now have clover hay that I feed him every night. Will this improve his performance?

I was going to give him cool conditioner (http://wvs.com.au/media/catalog/prod...onditioner.jpg)

Has anyone ever used this? Does it have impact?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-05-2013, 08:38 PM
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How is the pony's weight right now? Ponies are frequently very easy keepers and throwing more calories won't make them more energetic, just fat.

If something is deficient in their diet then you may be able to make a difference with feed, but a low calorie, high nutrient feed is what you'd want to look for.

Chances are good though that a lazy horse is lazy because of his personality and he's learned to ignore the aids. For horses like this, reschooling can help but they'll never be as forward as a naturally forward horse.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-05-2013, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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I just thought that it would make a difference. Clover hay does help a bit. He is more forward moving but thanks. I won't buy the cool conditioner. Just keep to grass and clover hay.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-05-2013, 11:44 PM
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If he maintains alright on whatever you are feeding him and he is healthy then it has nothing to do with feed and all to do with training. Sure, you could feed a horse a bunch of feeds equivalent to a bag of candy, and yes, you'll get that sugar rush out of them, but don't mistake that for being forward because that will only come from correct training and correct aids.

If he's healthy and happy on whatever you have him on then just stick with that and focus on getting him to move off your leg more quickly during the ride.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-06-2013, 12:49 AM
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It's like feeding a kid more sugar because you like them energetic lol.

Just make sure he is getting all he needs and is healthy. Some horses are just lazy, just like people.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-07-2013, 06:44 AM
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As said, some horses are just lazy. No amount of food is going to change that.

Although it's worth considering that in a lot of places grass is not a "complete feed". It's often lacking in a lot of nutrients. Some places and varieties of grass are better than others, but all grass and hay is going to be of variable, unknown quality. For this reason I've always fed a pre-mixed feed with added vitamins. Other people feed using grains, or add their own supplements and if you know what you're doing it all ends up pretty similar.

I know there are usually pre-mixed feeds for ponies which are low in sugar, which you might want to look into. If you're going to get feed you'll be wanting something that is primarily nutrients, with not much cereal or sugar, as you're not looking to put on weight.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-08-2013, 06:59 PM
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Agree with the above, but one thing I find is common & often overlooked is that horses are 'lazy' because of physical problems, such as sore feet, saddle pain, body issues. And commonly horses are lazy because of *too much* food, which may also be the reason for hoof pain.

I would not be inclined to feed a pony (who tend to need a lot less than a horse, proportionally) - on clover. It's usually quite high in sugar/carbs & lower than other hay/alfalfa in fibre. If the pony needs more 'condition' then I'd tend to head for alfalfa or beet pulp. If the pony is in hard physical work, this may be needed to keep him in good condition, but I'd not pre-empt that but wait until a horse was losing weight before feeding extra - overweight/overfed causes way more probs than light-on horses.

If the horse is on purely grass, then nutritional balance is likely to be a problem, which may effect energy, but you need to have an idea(or know, by analysis) what's in the grass, before knowing what the best nutritional supp would be to add. A low dose, quality ration balancer, or powdered supp in literally a handful of feed would likely be best if the horse doesn't need extra weight.
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