Help me design a feed program for the spring/summer!
Hi guys, hopefully someone will respond because I really need the help. So right now my horse is on a round bale and flakes of hay in the evening with a little bit of sweet feed in the evening as well (I know, its bad, which is why I REALLY want to change it to help him).
Since I'm strongly considering leasing my horse to a therapy program after this summer, I really want to get him on a good, healthy feed program that will benefit him and I can pass along to the therapy barn when I lease him.
Right now hes in little work, maybe ridden once every three weeks (AT MOST) because well, life is crazy.
In the spring/summer he will be ridden more, maybe shown, but with school/work and then just work, I can still only imagine once a week riding, if that. I would imagine most of his riding sessions are an hour-2 hours.
He's a 12 year old paint horse, around approx. 15 hands. Does not need help in the weight department.
Should i not give him any sort of "grain"? is there such a thing as a "roughage pellet" that would just give him more forage? Hes brought in every night with the rest of the horses and I'd like to give him SOMETHING, and when hes leased out hes going to be worked every day, twice a day for 45 minute sessions (i will condition him for this prior to it occurring). So any suggestions? What do I do?
If you cant tell I'm clueless and would LOVE advice. Thanks!
What feed brands are around your area. I would give a grain, such as healthy weight or safe choice. Depending on what brands you have in your area. I dont like sweet feed to much. It lacks alot of things a horse need. Also the two feeds I said are not going to make them super fat or make them crazy.
Okay, thank you so much! I'll look what we have in our area maybe this weekend and report back, but I'll read about those two feeds and see if they're available.
I like the not weight gaining/crazy thing a lot. That would be the best because hes an easy keeper and if hes going to be in a therapy program that requires calm, which he usually is.
Thanks again. I'll look and see whats available when I can (board an hour away).
You could probably get away with a ration balancer. 1-2lbs a day, gives him all necessary vit/min, extra protein, probiotics and amino acids that might be lacking in hay/ grass.
If he's working later, it'll be easy to add oil or some grain, when more energy is needed.
Okay, I like the sound of that, because I wasn't sure if he would even need grain with his lack of work. So i get him on the ration balancer now while hes not in work, and when he works more I could add the healthy weight or safe choice like freemare suggested? Where would I find a ration balancer, at the feed store? Is it like a grain bag, bucket etc? What are some brand names?
Thanks so much for helping me in my ignorance haha.
Heres a few RB brands Triple Crown 30%, nutrena empower balance, Purina makes a RB dont recall name of it. You could also test your hay to find out whats missing then just feed a vitamin/ mineral supplement that covers whats missing. Thats what i do lots easier plus no extra calories add that way then i give 24/7 hay to eat. If you horse is fat put your hay in a slow feeder net that way you can limit hay but keep him buzy all day.
Purina Enrich 32 for grass hay/ pasture, Enrich 12 is for a straight alfalfa diet.
See what you can reliably get, brand wise. It will be the easiest, taking into consideration that he'll change hands eventually. Should he seriously work at his new place, and eat any manufactured feed, and enough of it, he won't need the RB, since feeds are fortified already, and it'll be enough if he'll eat the minimum recommended amount.
So ration balancer for now then when he goes to serious work at the therapy program, get rid of the ration balancer and put him on a healthy grain? I will look for whats been listed and see what I can find that is available and will be in the future at the feed store as well.
I wouldn't say he's fat, just at a weight he doesn't need to gain/lose.
The RB will be just fine as long as he doesn't do hard work, I.e.lots of trotting and loping. Should he lose weight, some hard feed can be added. Should he need a lot of extra hard feed( grain, pellets, extruded and such), that he arrives ay the minimum recommended amount, the RB can be ditched until he goes on holiday again;-). Most pelleted feeds have vit/min in it, and the manufacturer gives a minimum amount to feed to get the full benefit of what they add. As long he's below that minimum, the RB makes up for what's missing due to the lower amount. Should they feed straight grains only, he can stay on the RB, since straight grains are not fortified with anything.
Okay awesome. Ration balancer it is then. He will mostly be walking and a little bit of trotting for the therapy program, I may do more hard riding (like showing etc) and watch his weight then and see if grain needs go be added. That's the hardest he'll be worked is some showing/trail rides/rides at home for fun. So we'll just go with the RB unless something in his weight changes like you said. I don't think it will though.
I have a store that supplies purina by where I board him which is great for the enrich 32, I'll make sure they carry that and pick some up. I should still gradually introduce this right? Like add some in with his grain now until he adjusts?
Thank you so much for all the help, it was much needed and much appreciated!
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