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annsright 01-28-2012 09:14 AM

Feed Options for Easy Keepers
 
Was wondering if anyone has any feedback on what you feed your Peruvian Paso? We are looking into switching our two boy's (14 yr old/17 yr old) grain from the boarding barn standard sweet feed to something with lower sugar. We trail ride only, so they are in very light work. They are both very easy keepers and we don't want them to develop issues because of the sugar content of sweet feed. Any comments? Any recommended brands? Thanks!

walkinthewalk 01-29-2012 08:58 AM

Hooray for wanting to ditch the sweet feed. Sweet feed is a cheap way to feed a horse and keep them fat but it's unhealthy fat calories.

Think feeding a bag of Hershey's Kisses and a gallon of Hi-C to a ten year old boy:shock:

A high quality ration balancer may work for all the more you will be doing -- unless you plan on training for and entering into some CTR's.

Then next step is to find out what brands of RB's you have available to you.

Nutrena's "Empower" also has a pre-probiotic in it. Nutrena: Products - Horses - Empower Supplements

Triple Crown has "Safe Starch Forage" Equine Supplements: Forage Feed With Equine Supplements From Triple Crown

Purina has Enrich12 & Enrich 32. Purina Horse Feeds - NATURE'S ESSENTIALS

You might check your nearest Tractor Supply for the Nutrena and Purina products.

Purina has corn as a main ingredient (the first three listed ingredients are the main products in the bag; anything behind those are considered "trace" amounts.

Ration balancers are meant to be fed to horses that are NOT getting bagged grain. They would keep your feeding life simple and your horse healthy as long as sufficient hay and/or pasture was being provided.

Hope this helps:-)

Whoa! I just noticed you're from the Pittsburgh area!! I lived in the rurals of the Shenango Valley until I decided I wanted to retire somewhere with milder winter weather --- southern Middle Tennessee - lol lol

Where do you trail ride? Have you made it to the Flying W in Kellottville yet? http://www.theflyingwranch.com/

gigem88 01-29-2012 09:23 AM

My horses are easy keepers and are on pasture 24/7. I also feed them Life Data Lab's Barn Bag. I feed a cup of this mixed with whole oats. You adjust the oats to how much they are worked and how much energy they need. The Barn Bag comes in 11 pounds bags and is shipped to my front door!

Saddlebag 01-29-2012 10:46 AM

Just hay would likely work. That's what horses were designed to eat. When trail riding we always dismount and let the horses graze for 5 or 10 min. Depending on how long we ride we may repeat this, just to put something in their stomachs.

Guilherme 01-29-2012 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by annsright (Post 1330229)
Was wondering if anyone has any feedback on what you feed your Peruvian Paso? We are looking into switching our two boy's (14 yr old/17 yr old) grain from the boarding barn standard sweet feed to something with lower sugar. We trail ride only, so they are in very light work. They are both very easy keepers and we don't want them to develop issues because of the sugar content of sweet feed. Any comments? Any recommended brands? Thanks!

It is probable, based upon the above, that your horses would do just fine on good quality hay without any supplementation. If the hay is lacking in essential nutrients (and this can be verified with a hay test; contact your local Extension Office to find out how in your area) then add such supplementation as is necessary.

Of course the proof is in "the eating of the pudding." If you make this switch then document the horses' present condition with some photos and a weight check (tape, scale at a vet. on feed store, etc.) on the day you start. Then undertake the program and check again with photos and weight check at 2 and 4 weeks. If they're holding weight and fitness then you're on the right track. If it's changing (for better or worse) then make such changes as are required to address the situation.

The amount of nutrition any horse needs is based upon its job. A "pasture pet" will need little while a lactating brood mare will need a great deal. A horse in training for a major athletic competition (endurance, eventing, barrel racing, etc.) will need more than one doing "weekend warrior" duty by packing it's owner around on prepared bridle trails for an hour.

Put another way, you want to “feed to need.”

That’s the need of the horse, by the way, not the need of the owner to feel good about what they are feeding the horse. :wink:

On that subject, IMO the present “mania” against sweet feed is largely misplaced. Some very small number of horses will react negatively, but in the vast majority of cases it’s a great “so what” if all the other basic principles of equine nutrition are being followed. The purpose of the molasses in sweet feed is a binder for the other ingredients. It does increase palatability but is of such a small percentage as it probably has minimal effects in other areas.

G.

Guilherme 01-29-2012 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by annsright (Post 1330229)
Was wondering if anyone has any feedback on what you feed your Peruvian Paso? We are looking into switching our two boy's (14 yr old/17 yr old) grain from the boarding barn standard sweet feed to something with lower sugar. We trail ride only, so they are in very light work. They are both very easy keepers and we don't want them to develop issues because of the sugar content of sweet feed. Any comments? Any recommended brands? Thanks!

It is probable, based upon the above, that your horses would do just fine on good quality hay without any supplementation. If the hay is lacking in essential nutrients (and this can be verified with a hay test; contact your local Extension Office to find out how in your area) then add such supplementation as is necessary.

Of course the proof is in "the eating of the pudding." If you make this switch then document the horses' present condition with some photos and a weight check (tape, scale at a vet. on feed store, etc.) on the day you start. Then undertake the program and check again with photos and weight check at 2 and 4 weeks. If they're holding weight and fitness then you're on the right track. If it's changing (for better or worse) then make such changes as are required to address the situation.

The amount of nutrition any horse needs is based upon its job. A "pasture pet" will need little while a lactating brood mare will need a great deal. A horse in training for a major athletic competition (endurance, eventing, barrel racing, etc.) will need more than one doing "weekend warrior" duty by packing it's owner around on prepared bridle trails for an hour.

Put another way, you want to “feed to need.”

That’s the need of the horse, by the way, not the need of the owner to feel good about what they are feeding the horse.

On that subject, IMO the present “mania” against sweet feed is largely misplaced. Some very small number of horse will react negatively, but in the vast majority of cases it’s a great “so what” if all the other basic principles of equine nutrition are being followed. The purpose of the molasses in sweet feed is a binder for the other ingredients. It does increase palatability but is of such a small percentage as it probably has minimal effects in other areas.

G.

annsright 01-29-2012 01:37 PM

Great information--thanks. I do need to give them a "social" amount of grain as I mix their supplements into it and they don't like to eat them straight-up. They are only supposed to be getting about a cup (I know that sounds ridiculous but that's what their previous owner fed them and trust me, they were NOT underweight). I will look into these--one question, walkinthewalk--you mentioned Purina had a lot of corn--is that bad? What would be best first ingredient?

annsright 01-29-2012 01:57 PM

BTW, walkin the walk, I have not been to the Flying W and appreciate the linek--looks like a great place! Right now we have a lot of trails at the barn where we board and we hope this spring to branch out to Mingro Creek Park--there's 20 miles of trails there. That will keep us busy for a bit, I think LOL!

Macslady 01-29-2012 02:33 PM

Nutrena also makes a food called Safe Choice that is not sugar filled, it also has some good vitamins and such for their health. That's what we use when we are riding a lot, otherwise our group does so well on hay we don't use any grain.

walkinthewalk 01-30-2012 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by annsright (Post 1331624)
one question, walkinthewalk--you mentioned Purina had a lot of corn--is that bad? What would be best first ingredient?

There's really nothing wrong with corn as long as the easy keeper horse is getting worked and doesn't continue to gain weight.

I have two horses with metabolic issues - I have to keep their sugar/starch as low as possible. No corn, oats, barley, etc.

They can't have soy either. Soy is the protein source for 99% of feeds and vit/min supplements. I have to buy EquiPride, which is soy-free.

Quote:

On that subject, IMO the present “mania” against sweet feed is largely misplaced. Some very small number of horse will react negatively, but in the vast majority of cases it’s a great “so what” if all the other basic principles of equine nutrition are being followed. The purpose of the molasses in sweet feed is a binder for the other ingredients. It does increase palatability but is of such a small percentage as it probably has minimal effects in other areas.
<sigh> I suppose we will forever agree to disagree on that one. I hope you never have to deal with an easy keeper horse that is genetically predisposed to insulin problems, and you suddenly find yourself splitting "NSC & WSC" hairs to keep its insulin stabilized.

Have you ever seen some of that cheap crap local feed stores make and fill it so full of molasses that it freezes in chunks in the winter? Even I, who can down a big bag of Hersheys Kisses in one sitting, can't stand to look at that stuff.

I will contintue my own personal crusade against sweet feed and you can continue to categorize me in the "mania group". My 5'3" self has huge shoulders and fairly thick skin:D


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