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arastangrider 11-22-2008 01:45 PM

Feeding my big fella
I have a three year old belgin/arabian who will be in light to med training this winter he will be getting 4 flakes of grass hay and local supliments should he be on anything else he's still growing and I wanna make sure he has everything he needs to grow and stay healthy

luvs2ride1979 11-22-2008 04:07 PM

To stay healthy, you should only be riding him very lightly this winter. Big geldings have knees close around 3yrs old with their hocks closing at 4.5-5 yrs old. Heavy training should wait until after 5yrs old.

As for feeding, if he weighs 1,000 lbs, he should be getting 25-35 lbs of hay a day. If your bales are standard grass bales weighing in at 55-75 lbs, that's half a bale or more. Since he's young, I'd give him as much hay as he'll eat.

For added protein, I would give him some Alfalfa, either hay or pellets. One small flake of hay should be enough, or 2 two qt feed scoops a day (about 3-5 lbs).

To round out his vitamin/mineral needs, I'd go with the supplement Balance II , Linpro, Uckele's Equi-Base Grass, or Triple Crown's 30% Supplement (OR Dealers). The first three are just vitamin supplements. You'll want to mix them with some of the alfalfa pellets and a dash of oil if he sifts it out, or some plain whole oats. The TC 30% is a highly concentrated pelleted feed (a ration balancer). You feed 1-2 lbs a day for full nutrition.

I prefer to feed vitamin supplements or a concentrated ration balancer along with forage based products because it's healthier for the horse. Ingredients like corn, wheat, grain sweepings, and molasses have negative effects on horses; they can can metabolic issues, behavioral issues, colic, and founder/laminitis. It's just safer and more natural to stay away from sweet feeds or feed pellets. If you don't feed at the levels recommended on the side of the bag, then the horse isn't getting all the nutrients it needs. If you do follow the recommendations on the bag, the horse is getting too much starch and sugars. It's a no-win situation.

Since switching to a forage based diet my hard keeper keeps weight on with a LOT less food than he did before, my feed bill is LOWER, both horses have great hair and foot growth, my mare's heats are less noticable, both are less spooky/fidgeting in new situations, and they both have a better work ethic in the arena. And mine is not an isolated situation. Our WHOLE BARN switched to this diet at the last boarding facility I was at. All of the horses showed positive improvement.

If he needs more calories, add plain whole oats to his diet and come corn oil or whole flax seeds (working up to 1-2 cups a day for either). The oil and flax are good fat sources for concentrated calories.

Peggysue 11-22-2008 04:37 PM

I agree with everything L2R said

but I do have a question what is the supplement he is one called?? can you get us the analysis on it

smrobs 11-23-2008 08:40 AM

I agree as well, a little bit of alfalfa wouldn't hurt. Our horses are fed a mix of grass and alfalfa and if we are using them hard, they get a bit of grain in the morning too just for the extra energy and we never have a problem with vitamin or mineral deficiencies. All of our horses are rolly polly except for our really old ones that it is just really hard to keep weight on.

KatieStanley 11-23-2008 09:51 AM


To round out his vitamin/mineral needs, I'd go with the supplement Balance II , Linpro, Uckele's Equi-Base Grass, or Triple Crown's 30% Supplement (OR Dealers). The first three are just vitamin supplements. quote]

Which one do you use? Thanks for the info- I'm in the process of buying my first horse (well first horse as an adult) so this helps!

luvs2ride1979 11-23-2008 11:01 AM

I use the Equi-Base grass, but I would use the Triple Crown if it was available in my area. I've also used Smart Pak's Smart Vite Maintenance Grass with good results.

Solon 11-23-2008 12:45 PM

He's part draft - you should make sure you've got some high fat in the diet somewhere.

arastangrider 11-26-2008 10:03 PM

for light to med riding I mean he will be getting ridden 4-5 times a week we don't canter or anthing mostley walking work
what would ou suggest for high fat? He is on Mega horse gaurd it is a local suppliment with higher doeses of selenum because our hay and grass lack it. That is what the vet has always sugested. now my other question is will this make him gain weight because he is already pretty chubby right now.also I forgot to mention he is on a 8 acre grass feild all day so he munching here is the info for the mega gaurd

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