Feed for a hot horse?
Apollo seems to be getting more and more anxious as time goes on...he came to me a skinny mess and was so laid back (probably from his poor health) and now that he has gained weight and is muscling up, he is feeling better and is starting to become incredibly hot. I've also heard his stomach gurgling a few times so maybe he has tummy problems that is causing him to be antsy/anxious?
Right now he gets a scoop of oats morning and evening (was fed oats at his previous home too), has access to unlimited hay in pasture from sun up to sun down, and has a few flakes of hay in his stall when he comes in at night. Should I just take him off of oats/grain all together and just have him on hay? He gained weight very fast once he arrived here and seems to be an easy keeper...I don't really know what to do for him. He is my first horse (although I've ridden for 12 years) so I've never had to choose feed for the horses I rode. He is 12 years old and gets worked 4-5 days a week, some days long lining, other days lunging, trot poles ect...were just doing ground work for now...he leaves sweaty and tired but is still anxious once we aren't working. He isn't spooky but is very alert and anticipates everything and makes everything 10x harder for himself.
No oats. If you need to give him something to keep weight on give him soaked alfalfa pellets.
Ditch the oats and get him on a ration balancer. Some horses, once they're up to ideal weight, don't tolerate oats. I had my share of them:-)
The RB will give him all he needs for what he currently does.
There are plenty of non grain feeds out there. For my horses I went with copra and beet pulp.
Make it simple free choice hay and a vitamin mineral supplement. That's all my horses get right now. When we ride six days a week 4 to 5 hours a day then I give grain. But I let them get pretty lean before I feed grain. Why spend money you don't need to.
Keep it simple lots easier.
Many people purchase horses thin only to find out that the horse is an entirely different ball game when it feels good! I second ditching the oats and putting him on a small amount of a ration balancer. Not so much for the fact that oats make horses hot (because I have never noticed a feed to make a HUGE difference in my horses) but more so because oats isn't necessarily the proper diet for a horse!
Plenty of hay
Salt blocks & minerals
Ration balancer or low starch pelleted feed
I rescued a very skinny horse once and he was very calm and well behaved. After I started feeding him plenty of hay and being on pasture, he fattened up and became a very easy keeper. But that is not the only thing that changed, his temperament did a total turn around! He became very hyper and he always threw a big fit when the farrier came. He also became unsafe for the little kids to ride. He was on just pasture and hay.
This sounds a lot like what happened to your guy, he was in very poor health when you got him so he didn't have the energy to be his real self. It will probably help if you take him off the oats though, hay and/or pasture is plenty for an easy keeper.
I agree with the others. Try to ditch the oats. I would try just hay with minerals and salt and see how he does on that.
Agree with the others. But why?? ;-)
Firstly why do you want to feed grain(or whatever)? If your horse needs more energy, for high performance work, there are other low starch options, but if grain is the choice, oats are a pretty good one for horses. Far more digestible than others & (relatively) low starch. But it's still important to feed little & often, rather than infrequent &/or large meals daily. So if you can only manage once daily feeds, I'd opt for low starch, easily digestible options, such as alfalfa, rice bran, copra, etc. If you need to put weigh on a horse, there are also other options, such as the above & grain isn't generally the best for putting weight on anyway.
Horses are built for eating small amounts of 'low grade'(compared to 'improved' pastures & rich feeds) forage near constantly. They don't cope well with long periods of hunger, too rich/large/infrequent feed & need to develop different gut enzymes & flora for some feeds, such as starch, fats & oils, etc. They develop them with regular small amounts & they die off without use or if overloaded.
So... basically Spirit said it above - hay/grass & a nutritional supp to 'fill the gaps' is fine for maintenance. If you find your horse is losing (too much) weight, then you can add as necessary. Oh & google 'magnesium for horses' ;-)
This may sound stupid, but as I said he is my first horse and it is my first time choosing feed for a horse...can you give me an example of a rotation balancer so I have an idea what to look for?
Thanks for all of your help everyone!
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