Evaluating gelding's nutritional needs
I'm looking for some opinions on evaluating my horses diet.
12 year old QH gelding, light work (described below) on 24/7 pasture (first time this year) with grass and access to free choice hay. He's not super obese, had to loose about 70lbs according to the vet back in June of this year which we made progress with. He's fattened up for the winter though. Access to free choice hay, mineral block and water.
The trouble is I'm at a boarding barn and they just got a new batch of hay in (purchased). They either grow their own or purchase and I'm not sure if its from the same supplier (sometimes they purchase round bales other times large square bales). For this reason, testing the hay is not always the easiest task... It's not green & leafy hay that the indoor board horses get but I heard the color thing is a myth? (I'm a small animal nutrition nut, very little large animal nutrition in college).
He is fed 1.5lbs of Gro n' Win once daily and I am thinking of upping him to 1.8-2lbs / day since he is in light work. We ride ~30min - 1 hour 2-3 times per week. Walk & trot with a little canter work.
He has started to get a case of rain rot and his winter coat has not been as good looking this year as it has been in the past. I'm reading that supplementing vitamin A can help but I am hesitant to supplement something without a hay analysis because too much of something isn't always a good thing.
He also does not receive salt free-choice which I believe he should. Correct?
Photo's for body condition:
This is from the other day when the lightest touch send him twitching/spasms and wanting to bite/kick me which is not that horse. He is very laid back. The pressure I put on him, normally would get no response other then him looking at me. He also had a couple swollen/raised areas that were painful, they can somewhat be seen in the video. Now he's broken out in scabs along his topline and bum. Poor baby.
Even though his coat is dry, you can see it just doesn't look quality (its looks kind of thin, dull and dry looking).
Video: - VID-20121101-00034.mp4 video by QHCowgirl_2008 - Photobucket
Photo's to compare to last year: P.S. hay is definatly not that green and nice looking this year! ... its also in a feeder so he can't lay in it.
couple years ago:
Vet never commented on his coat condition at all.
What do you guys think of his diet without a hay analysis?
It's really hard to say anything about more or different supplements without knowing more about the hay. If it's not at all green can mean several things: cut late, dried too long before baling, got rained on. In any case it has lost some nutritional value.
I don't know the Buckeye feeds, but it seems to be a ration balancer and should have all he needs. The amount I wouldn't change unless he starts obviously losing weight. Free choice salt is needed, or you can mix table salt in his feed, to make sure he gets what he needs.
For shine I always recommend wholeheartedly Omega Horseshine. It gives all the Omega's, puts a really nice shine on them, improves hooves, helps with ingested sand and is good for the skin in any case.
With the rainrot I can't for the world of it remember what I used....my one and only case of rainrot was in 1995.......
Nice guy, btw, love his expression:-)
The rain rot, I'm looking for a medicated shampoo and ordered vetericyn today so getting it treated we're in the process but what I am using now does not seem to be helping at all. I had just been reading that supplementing vitamin A can help treat it (and this particular horse has never had a case of rain rot before) but too much of something isn't always a good thing either.
I'm going to try to get some analysis of this hay that they are currently using. See if I can send that off. He did loose some weight through the summer, planned weight loss, I was feeding him for idle and adding ACV and increasing his work a little bit to loose that weight. That was the only reason I plan to increase it now so that he's getting what he should be now that he's working more. I just have to re-weigh it all out. I will look into the omega supplement, see what I can find around here.
I didn't see you were in CAN....duh....I get mine from tractor supply. But the maker, Omega Fields, ships, and I've seen it on HorseHealthUSA and I think they ship to you guys. Omega Fields should have a dealer list.
If he is dropping too much weight for your taste, you can add a lb of ricebran. And maybe split his ration in two feedings if possible. Or/and max the RB amount according to his weight. For the vit/min's. You'll see the results with Omega HS fairly quick, a week, 10 days.
Using ground hemp instead?
While there is no dealer directly in Ontario and the website recommended does not ship to us. Does seem like a great product though, shame I can't get it in Ontario!
I'm going to look into a stabialized ground flax supplement here which is what I believe is rich in the omega's but the problem is I read it has to be refridgerated which ... not available at this boarding facility.
What about using *natural* ground hemp meal? I believe it's suppose to be high in omega's. It is available locally, affordable for a 10.0kg bag (link: http://www.natureshoofcare.com/products.html)
Never tried hemp.
Horse Supplies, Pet Supplies, Farm Supplies, Goat Supplies - Valley Vet Supply ship to Canada and both carry the Omega HS. You can contact them to find out about shipping cost. Valleyvet has the 20lbs bag only, Jeffers has 4.5 and 20lbs. The big bag lasts me almost 3 months with 2 horses and doesn't need refrigerating.
I do have another option since I buy the Buckeye Gro n' Win, which is picking up a bag of Shin n' Win (a heat procesed flax seed supplement) - (http://www.buckeyenutrition.com/supplements/shine-'n-win/Detail.aspx) although I don't know its cost.
Hmmm...the guaranteed analysis is a little "poor".....to say the least.
In my "critters" album is a before and after pic of my Snipper. Apart from gaining weight with a senior feed, the Omega HS put on that shine and helped her shed out super fast. So of course I had no intention to try anything different;-)
ETA: poor in sense of what is provided in numbers
Thanks! I will keep away from it then. I imagine it has a nice price tag to it as well, the downside of the Buckeye products lol
I will try to oder the Omega HS, I have also requested more information on the hemp meal but I have never used it before.
Ill see what I can find on hemp too. I know it's pretty big in Germany ( I am German), so I'll Google a bit after I saved my monsters outside from starving;-)
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