Diet for retired senior
Misty is 24 this year and is retired now, just a pasture puff. She's a 15hh standardbred and I'm not sure what I should be feeding her now that she's no longer in work.
What would be the best diet for her, and how much?
Chances are her teeth are still OK at that age, so grass/hay, as per usual, with a good nutritional supp/ration balancer. If/when her teeth aren't up to that - probably once she gets old, around 30+ - you may need to feed her 'chop' & such, if she can't chew long stemmed fibre well enough.
By nutritional supplement, do you mean pellets of some sort? Or something different? She grazes full time and gets hay in the evenings, and in the mornings gets some chaff and pellets, but I'm not sure she's on the right pellets... they're just general horse pellets, probably meant for a working horse rather than retiree!
'General horse pellets' are probably not nutritionally balanced - & even if they are, you need to feed the recommended amount - and they may have grain, molasses & such in them. Especially if they're grain based or otherwise high starch, it's important that you feed them over a few feeds a day rather than just once. Therefore I'd be analysing exactly what they are & whether you need to feed them.
Nutritional supps can be herbal, powdered form or pelleted as 'ration balancers'. If you're already feeding chaff, adding a good quality(you do tend to get what you pay for) powdered supp to that may be best & mos economical, or you could just feed a pelleted form by hand. The better quality ones are very low dose & can be just a single handful daily to give your horse all he needs. Feedxl.com is a great resource for working out exactly what your horse, with her conditions & her situation needs.
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