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Sharpie 11-25-2013 11:10 PM

Rice bran vs rice bran?
I am finally running out of the bag of Equipride I have and will be switching to a different vitamin/mineral supplement. Not that I have anything against it, just that my horse isn't thrilled about eating it and mixing it into this that or the other to get him to eat it is getting old. So, I am looking at his diet (I have FeedXL) and also thinking I may want to add a little something extra to help him keep weight on this winter since he is always borderline thinner than I would like at a 4/9 on the scale with nearly free choice hay already. By "nearly" I mean that he gets all the hay he wants in his stall, but his shared turnout is essentially a dry lot for 8-10 hours a day.

I'm not too keen to go back to a feed like Strategy, SafeChoice or the like as I prefer to have the flexibility to just add calories to the base of hay, salt and vit/min as needed given the season and his activity/workload rather than having to stick with 5lbs minimum to make sure he's getting the vitamins. To that end, I have fed oats (lots of starch), beet pulp (a bit of a pain to soak with it freezing and all now), alfalfa pellets (low calorie:$ return?), and am thinking that rice bran might be a decent alternative.

I am finding lots of different kinds though, from the MannaPro Max-E-Glo to generic to Empower Boost. Assuming I go with something stabilized and calcium balanced, are there really any differences between them? Anything I need to watch for? In the past, I've fed veggie oil and he did very well on it both in weight and willingness to eat it, but much like the beet pulp and Equipride, it becomes a PITA to deal with over time. What about rice bran meal versus pellets? I know he likes both, or at least he does when they're in someone else's feed bucket at an endurance ride...

SketchyHorse 11-25-2013 11:32 PM

I believe Empower Boost is supposed to be a ration balancer with a "boost" in extra fat for the horse who needs a little more than what a typical ration balancer has to offer. I've just started feeding MaxEGlo Rice Bran myself. From my understanding you'd feed rice bran + feed. I'm not positive though - not a nutrition expert lol. I can't see a horse particularly enjoying eating the bran meal version by itself, but ya never know with some horses. I could just see mine personally getting burnt out on eating it quickly.

My choice would be the Empower Boost. It just makes more sense than the rice bran with the diet he's currently getting. No expert though, just my 2 cents :D

spirit88 11-26-2013 08:20 AM

Empower Boost is not an RB its a high fat supplement,Empower balance is an RB.

MyBoySi 11-26-2013 09:17 AM

I feed my HARD keeper TB mare rice bran pellets and she does awesome on it. Shes been getting it for about 8 weeks and even the farrier noticed right off how good she looked.

I am a huge beet pulp fan as well. I have an insulated tack room so dont have to deal with it freezing etc or I just make it at home and bring it along if Im boarding without a place to put it where it wont freeze.

Sharpie 11-26-2013 10:36 AM

RB is RB? It can definitely be confusing - Empower Balance is a RB (ration balancer) while Empower Boost is RB (rice bran) LOL! Yeah, I do like beet pulp, and my boy does well on it, but there is nowhere heated at the barn to soak it, and I go straight from work to barn so it can freeze sitting in my truck all day too. Hence the PITA factor.

The Boost does have some additional vitamins, per their website, so as not to "dilute" (their word) an already balanced diet. I'm guessing they're talking mostly about the calcium used to counter the high phosphorus and the vit E (mixed tocophorols) that helps preserve it.

Sounds like people like rice bran when they use it. I'll have to give it a try.
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Endiku 11-26-2013 11:16 AM

I've been feeding Kenzie Max-E-Glo rice bran for the past...2 months? Maybe 3? So far I've liked it. She has become a bit of a picky eater and put her hoof down (haha) when it came to beet pulp so I switched to the rice bran and that seemed to be the factor that finally got her ribs fully covered. Its expensive, especially if you feed pellets (in my area pellets are $3 more than meal) but I think it is very worth it because you really don't need much. She's regularly been eating a pound of it for a while, but I just bumped it up to 1 1/2 for a short time to put some meat on her after she dropped a little bit from the stress of transitioning to stall board.

I have noticed something though...that might be unrelated. It was about when I switched from BP to RB that Kenzie started showing signs of dry skin, and it started getting worse and worse until she was actually getting crusty spots on her neck and losing hair. No bacteria or fungus, I had the vet looked. I finally decided to get a little desperate and put MTG all over her body...and poof- her skin was soft and healthy again. According to FeedXL Kenzie is balanced in all of her vitamins and minerals, but I beg to differ given the signs of unhealthy skin that she was showing. Maybe the RB 'tipped the scale' sort of speak on something that dried out her skin?

If you're feeding it alone though, I'd definitely pay the extra for pellets. I can see meal getting dumped or gummed up in their mouth.

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