What to feed and how to feed it! Flax Seed, Beat Pulp, Rice Bran
Okay so I have been doing extensive research on different all natural suppliments and feeds to feed my horse. There is the potential for ulcers (have not had him scoped yet) and they say grain is bad. He is a horse that gets rode 5 days a week and competes in barrel races and pole bending shows. He needs to put weight on but at the same time dont want anything to hurt his stomach along with my bank. I have been looking at flax seed to feed. How do you feed it? Does the oil work the same as if you were to ground the seeds up? Does rice bran work? What about beet pulp, I have heard that is not so good to give because it needs to be soaked for a couple hours before it can be given. He is borded and I dont want to make it too difficult for the person who feeds in the morning. Please help.
If there are any websites that I can be directed to please let me know. Thank you
personally I would go to the feed store and ask for a grain that has the majority of his nutrient requirements but it high in the percentage of roughge it contains which will ease his stoumach or at the very least cut his grain down some because when you feed grain the hormone gastrin is increased in horses. Gastrin increased the amount of acid the horses stoumach creates which in horses pron to or which have ulcers will create problems...
You best bet to beating ulcers without vet intervention would in mu opinion be increase the amount of roughage you feed and prefferably feed grass since you'll be able to feed more of it which will enable your horse to graze continuously or more so. This will also act to absorb the excess acid in the stoumach and create a natural combatant to acidity (saliva) which will nurtalioze the horses stoumach acid levels (in most cases)...
Also, be sure you aren't doing anything or your horse isn't doing nything which could cause it more stress because horses can also get ulcers from stress which can come from a change in thr norm routine, excessive exercise, change in diet. etc... stress is an important thing to look critically at because when a horse is stressed is blood flow to its stoumach is greatly reduced which consequently makes it more vulnurable to ulcers as well...
things to keep in mind about horses is that unlike humans where we will create hydrochloric acid after we've eaten, horses have evolved for the glandular portion of their stoumach to create this acid constantly so imagine drinking a heaping glass of an acid juice on an empty stoumach and thats what it feels like to be a horse without adequate roughage to graze on which for the horse creates an excessive amount of cid just sitting esstenially in the stoumach. so roughage is obviously key to preventing ulcers when a horse hasn't got access to adequate grazing.
even though exersice is good for horses you may want to think about the time you exercise because this will effect how full/unfull the horse is which will effect the time it takes for your horse to digest the food is has had and subsequently effects whether the horse will have excessive acid in its stoumach which will led to ulcers.
if your horse is still having issues with ulcer I would see if you could get some omeprazole prescribed by a vet; not the generic blocker ( forgot the name) because it takes longer and is generally under dosed.
personally I wouldn't change his diet by adding oils just yet until you've got the ulcer thing down for certain.
I would consider papaya because it contain pepain which I've also fed to my boyfriend for heart burn... pepain is a naturally occuring enzyme which resembles pepsin which stimulates the appetite, soothes membranes of the esophagus and stomach, and quiets inflammatory bowel disorders. papaya also contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, and thiamin
Two ounces shredded in with his feed should help with the ulcers and sooth his tummy
^ That will be the cheapeast option but if you would like there are also equine supplements which contin papaya and will give the same effects but at a higher cost and the supplement must also be refrigerated
sorry for the long rant I hope this helps you some and good luck !!
What does he get now?
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Lucern hay before you work him is a great start.
Sugar beet pulp is suitable it is basically just fibre and it can be soaked a day in advanced as long as it is kept cool.
My horse is also ulcer prone and I find the thing that sets him off is any kind of fructose (honey, molassis, sugar cubes, spring grass), he is fine with grains. He gets fed adlib grass hay, sugar beet pulp, lucern chaff and a complete pallet suitable for lamanitic horses.
He also gest Tuffrock GI daily, it is a mineralised clay compound that helps to regulate the acid levels in the hind and fore gut and coat the digestive tract.
Free choice grass hay (if possible) is the first step; putting it in a small mesh hay net will make the horse eat it more slowly. 24/7 turnout is also very good for the ulcer-prone horse.
Grain-free is the way to go. You can feed a ration balancer or vitamin for nutrients, and add beet pulp/rice bran/alfalfa for calories. Beet pulp shreds don't need to be soaked as long as the pellets. I don't actually soak them at all since I board my horse and can't get the feeders to reliably do so; however my horse is a pretty easy keeper and I feed the shreds in very small amounts (1/4 lb at a time).
Rice bran is great for calories, but unless you're going through it very quickly you need to get the stabilized kind, which can be kind of pricey. It's also unbalanced in its calcium to phosphorous ratio, so you shouldn't feed too much of it. Fortified rice bran has added calcium to offset this imbalance, but you then run into the possibility of feeding too much calcium & phosphorous overall.
Alfalfa pellets or cubes are also good. My horse LOVES alfalfa cubes and will do anything to get them :-)
Flaxseed is expensive to feed in quantities that add enough calories to matter. I put 2 oz. of them in my horse's feed for added shine, but don't expect much else out of them. You can do the same with flaxseed oil, but again, it's pricey. Many people feed regular canola/vegetable/soy/corn oil mixed into the horse's pellets, and this can be a very effective way to add concentrated calories into a horse's diet. It can be messy, though, and some horses object to the texture. You also need to work them up to it slowly as horse's don't naturally digest such high fat diets well.
There are also a bunch of different supplements you can add for ulcers. Herbal remedies include aloe vera juice, marshmallow, licorice, and slippery elm. Commercial supplements like Succeed, U-gard, and ProBios may also help.
I have a 10 year old OTTB who is hard to keep weight on. He's on pasture and whenever I go to see him (3-5or6 days a week) he gets 2 cups of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS), 4-6 cups of straight alfalfa cubes with about 1 Tbsp. of corn oil poured on top, and salt/mineral (as much as he wants-->stable doesn't put out salt/mineral out in pasture). I've also fed him rice bran with some corn oil (2 cups rice bran 3x/week), this really helped to keep his weight on. I will feed this again in the winter but its a bit expensive to feed year round (he doesn't lose weight in summer so much, the other feeds suffice for him). I feed everything dry, he is a very slow eater (will break up the big chunks of alfafa cubes by himself so I don't worry he'll choke). Plus the rice bran, oil and BOSS all keep his coat nice and shiny :)
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