Another "easy keeper, but..." question
I have a 10 year old arabian gelding who I recently purchased (yay!). He was previously kept on a flake of bermuda grass in the AM and a flake of alfalfa in the PM, totaling about 16-18lbs of feed a day. He is an easy keeper and had low-to-moderate activity/work.
He has a bit of a grass belly, and I know that the imbalanced Ca/phosphorous in all of that alfalfa probably wasn't the best. Additionally, he will be ridden/exercised a lot more frequently with me, so I am adjusting his feed accordingly.
I am transitioning my horse over to an 80-20 split of bermuda and alfalfa, and I have added a vitamin/mineral supp (Select II) and am considering adding Omega Horseshine.
My questions are:
1. Should I be transitioning him off of alfalfa altogether, or is it okay to maintain the 80-20 split?
2. It's so hard to know what is necessary since he is a relatively easy keeper-- I want to add Omega Horseshine because the front of his back legs (on the cannon) has lost hair; the old owner claims it was because he pees on his legs.
3. Does my horse also need a pre/probiotic supp, or switch to an "all inclusive" supp like SmartVite Grass Performance (which has vit/min/probiotic/omegas)? I know it tends to be good for them, but like I said, easy keeper... can you tell I'm a first time horse owner? ;)
Thanks in advance!
If he doesn't need the alfalfa, I wouldn't bother giving it to him... but that's just my personal preference.
If he were my horse I would likely just have him on bermuda with a good quality all-inclusive supplement and keep an eye on his conditioning. If he started to slim down too much for my liking, I might phase in a little alfalfa again.
For my own horse, I couldn't get a hay analysis (my barn uses several different suppliers for hay), so I assume my hay is on the low side of average using the grass hay profile from Equi-analytical. Most nutrients have a very wide safe range between the minimum recommendation and overdose, so it's generally OK to "oversupplement" just a little. (Selenium is the one with the narrowest range of safety, so it's important to know if you're in a selenium deficient area or not, here's a map: Selenium in Counties of the Conterminous States) I know that SmartVite Performance Grass does a pretty good job of balancing out my "low average grass hay", but it also costs more than feeding Triple Crown 30% Supplement, which I consider to be a very high quality ration balancer (and is what I feed my easy keeper).
Also, forgot to mention that FeedXL.com is a really great website for figuring out a horse's diet. You enter in what & how much you're feeding (or the diet you're thinking of feeding) and it will do all the calculations for you.
Thank you so much! That is really helpful. :) I'll look into Triple Crown and the website you posted.
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