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Cowgirls Boots 01-26-2013 02:05 PM

ration balancers
 
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So I was told to switch my gelding to nutrena empower balance as he's pretty fluffy and once I put weight on him it seems to stick. My mare is the same way although going into winter she needed a bit of a push to keep weight on but now she's doing good.

During summer they're both muzzled from 5am-3pm and on 3 acres 24/7. There's only my two and my mini donk out there who will be permanently muzzled round the clock, unfortunately.

The vet said to switch him to the balance now as he's pretty 'fat' according to her but to me he looks just right. And plus he's got a massive coat. My trainer said to switch them both in the spring as this winter has been pretty brutal am they're doing fine on what they've got now.

My concerns are that if they are on a ration balancer during the winter what if they loose weight on it or can't keep weight on? I always get nervous changing feeds but the vet recommended it so I definitely try to listen to her!

Any input bout ration balancers or nutrena empower balance?
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Cowgirls Boots 01-26-2013 02:06 PM

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Could someone please move this! I meant to put in horse health :(
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PunksTank 01-26-2013 02:21 PM

I use Nutrena empower ration balancer for my easy keeper mare. She's a blimp :P

It's not actually a feed, more of a supplement. It has all the vitamins and minerals that a horse would not get eating grass/hay alone. If you provide enough hay and roughage with it I don't see why they'd loose weight - unless they're exceptionally cold?
If you find they only loose weight during specific months you could add oils or rice bran to the meal during those months. I don't know why people think that horses should be able to eat the same thing year round and life long, their dietary needs are changing constantly.

I'm curious to hear others responses on this as I'm going to be getting a new horse soon who is pretty severally under weight.

Cowgirls Boots 01-26-2013 02:38 PM

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Well I've been tryin to put weight on my new gelding who looks great right now. Vet took one look at him and goes 'he needs to loose 100# before spring'

Although it was exceptionally cold that day and his coat was puffed up. I can still sorta feel his spine a teensy bit and I can feel his ribs normally. He has a huge hay belly too.

I've never used a ration balancer. I'm always worried they make loose weight. Both mine are fairly easy keepers besides my mare who going into this winter needed a push but otherwise she's a blimp in the summer..and now lol.

The gelding came to me underweight and gained almost all of it back since I got him 3 monta ago so I know he wasnt being fed enough or right. But I'm sure come summer they'll be huge on all the grass which is why they're getting muzzled. The gelding also has a 1-2 degree of rotation in of of his fronts so I need to be mindful of his weight. Doesn't help that he's one of those chunky qh stocky types
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PunksTank 01-26-2013 03:01 PM

My mare lost a bit of weight on ration balancer - she was massively over weight (a good jiggly 150 or so extra) -Now she's still a bit overweight, but she's not loosing anymore. She gets hay all day, pretty much non-stop. Ration balancer is just like a grain, you feed according to weight (based on what they should be).

Wallaby 01-26-2013 03:10 PM

With a ration balancer, if they lose weight, you can just add rice bran/alfalfa hay pellets/beet pulp to help them out a bit.
You don't want to up the RB like you would when feeding grain, but adding rice bran/beet pulp/hay pellets isn't bad at all.


That's actually what I do for Lacey - she's basically overweight all summer but gets ribby by late Decemeber/January. So during the summer I feed her the RB by itself, then in the winter I add rice bran/beet pulp/alfalfa pellets as needed.
Right now she's getting her RB and a mix of rice bran (1/4lb)+beet pulp (1/2lb) and that's keeping weight on her nicely.
I had been using alfalfa pellets in place of the beet pulp but the last time I went to the feed store, they were out. Sooo I ended up with beet pulp. haha

I had never tried rice bran before this winter but decided to try it after she started getting really picky about finishing her dinner. Apparently rice bran tastes great and since adding it, there have been no problems with her finishing up her meal.

Captain Evil 01-26-2013 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PunksTank (Post 1863312)
My mare lost a bit of weight on ration balancer - she was massively over weight (a good jiggly 150 or so extra) -Now she's still a bit overweight, but she's not loosing anymore. She gets hay all day, pretty much non-stop. Ration balancer is just like a grain, you feed according to weight (based on what they should be).

Your mare is so beautiful; I say, let her get fat, you can never have too much of a good thing.

PunksTank 01-26-2013 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Evil (Post 1863357)
Your mare is so beautiful; I say, let her get fat, you can never have too much of a good thing.

xD Thank you so much!! I don't mind 'em chubby, but she was getting pretty jiggly, not a real healthy fat. She also has a bit of swelling in her hocks, IDK if they're wind puffs or something (the vet will be coming in a couple weeks) - it's never caused any lameness or anything, but I think it has a good deal to do with her weight.
Thank you -^.^-

PunksTank 01-26-2013 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Evil (Post 1863357)
Your mare is so beautiful; I say, let her get fat, you can never have too much of a good thing.

*gasp* I just looked at your Ahab - what a freaking beauty!! I hope you're loving him now!

Cowgirls Boots 01-26-2013 03:42 PM

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Now what about loosing weight due to excersize? I'm gonna be riding my guy almost everyday in summer. I doubt hell loose weight being on all that grass but I gotta ask all my questions!
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