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when should i start my 3 year old mare on hard feed
hi, i have a 12.2 3 year old (4 in may) welsh section b mare. i've only had her for a month and have recently broke her in, today i started riding her with only me controlling her, i think that within the next couple of weeks she will be going well. i was going to start her on sugarbeat with a garlic supplement (she gets attacked by flies in the summer) or if you have any other selection on what i can start her on it would be greatly appreciated. no oats though as she is hyper enough. currently she is only on hay as she has been for the past three years.
She shouldn't need hard feed right now if you have good hay, simply offering a mineral supplement free choice will fill her needs. If you want to feed her garlic then doing so in a tiny bit of beet will be ok.
When she is in enough work that her calorie expenditures exceed what she eats in hay, then adding beet pulp, rice bran or a ration balancer will help her keep weight. Until then, feeding excess calories will make her fat and spoilt. Good luck!
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In addition to anabel's good advice, good nutritional supplementation is important. Is your horse struggling to keep weight on? If not, why are you wanting to feed a high energy feed like beet pulp?
My basic approach to feeding is:
1. Good quality hay (or pasture). At least 1.5-5% of the desired body weight daily. Free choice hay in a slow feeder is even better if you can do it.
2. Ration balancer. These fill in the nutritional holes left from feeding hay alone. I like the Triple Crown 30% supplement personally, but there are lots to choose from: Specific Ration Balancer Products
3. Additional calories as needed. For horses that aren't getting enough calories from the hay & ration balancer, you can add additional calories using beet pulp, rice bran, oil, etc.
This is, of course, a broad generalization and requires some tweaking based on your individual horse's needs and what's available in your area.
Carful with garlic, studies show it causes heinz body anemia, you can look this up and use your own discretion!
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*However, as it is long-term overweight horses who develop IR, leading to associated laminitis, regardless of 'hot', 'cool' or otherwise, energy in excess of requirements (intake>use) can still lead to health probs, which is why I would advise feeding 'easy keepers' this sort of thing with discretion.
she is struggling to gain weight at the moment as i have just wormed her, i am starting her on sugarbeat, chaff and build up as currently she is underweight, so far i think this is good for her as she is starting to do more work and needs to gain condition, she also has access to hay when she is in the stable and pasture
I have had incredible weight building success with feeding Purina Senior feed to young horses (not sure its available in the UK). Word of caution here, when I got my mare as a young filly she was very underweight, so I immediatley wormed her, got her comfy, and I laid the feed to her (alfalfa, beet pulp, flax oil, and senior) not realizing she had a seriouse weight problem (breaths in calories)- she gained all right, and I had a heck of a time stopping the "gain". If I had known I would have approached it differently. The previouse owner had to have starved her, so sad.
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