Diet change....want suggestions...
Ok I guess ill start by giving my geldings current diet an condition:
Grain- 12% pellets
Supplements- Weight builder (high fat supplement) NuImage (Hoof/coat supplement)
Hay- Extremely high quality coastal
Pasture- Winter: there is a bit of grass to nibble Summer: Its all he gets...lots of good green grass...he gets fat lol
and currently his winter condition is that he looks pretty good. He is a hard keeper during the winter...but he has a thick winter coat even with a blanket on...he isn't showing any ribs or an isn't skinny. He could use a few more pounds though in my opinion...just to help fill out his topline a bit.
The main reason im thinking about changing his diet around is ive herad all this negative stuff about grain an the like....plus ive heard alot of good things about strictly high fiber diets...like they actually help keep weight better the grain diets. I dont have the money to switch hay an such...plus i like my boy on coastal we dont have very good alfalfa in the area...but I cant switch him off the grain and onto something better...
So here is my idea for a new diet:
Grain replacement- Mix of beat pulp an alfalfa based pellets
Supplements- I dont want to change these...the extra fat an such is all good for a competitive trail horse...and trail horses in general...or so i read on the AERC site. I do want to add applecider vinegar in the summer since its suppose to help with flys an make the coat shinny an such....
He is a young horse...only seven...the main reason im thinking of changing him off grain is ive heard so many negative things lately about it...plus ive heard so many positives about the high fiber diets....
Opinions would be greatly appreciated...plus any suggestions...
also..im aware that ill have to transition him to his new feed so no worries lol :D
It is hard to know exaclty what to do you can read tons of articles and listen to pros but really you have to do what works for you and your horse. Grain is not the devil. However if it is high in sugar it is not what the horse will digest best. I would suggest that if you want to take him off grain and you have really good hay, up your hay amount that he gets each day and slowly take him off the grain and then watch and see what happens. Most healthy easy keepers will take to no having grain just fine. If he gets fat in the summer on grass more intake of hay shouldn't be bad for him. Depending on where you are Purina makes a strategy feed that is pelleted and at great overall easy keepper feed that may be something you want to look at just for overall health. GOOD LUCK
I agree that we shouldn't be making our horses obese, but as far as an easy burning, readily available source of energy, horses use fat. Humans don't use as much fat for energy because our digestive systems are entirely different. Unlike humans, feeding a high protein diet does not provide stable energy for horses, fat does.
In the summer, because you say he gets tubby, I would reduce or eliminate the extra supplementing you are giving him because the pasture is most likely providing all that he needs. Free choice minerals and water are all he should need extra in the summer, unless he is in high stress workouts, like a competition horse, then fat supplementation is going to provide more energy and keep his weight steady.
In the winter, supplementing with fat is excellent. I have my horses on beet pulp and a high fat/fiber pelleted complete feed based with soy bean hulls. The high fat content keeps their coats shiny, their feet strong and their weight steady.
I am would like to know the quantity of feed and weight of the horse to give an opinion. Also people in areas that have alfalfa mostly feed grass hay as there are less issues with less protein.
Ok to clear up some things....
He is a hard to keep horse in the winter and is a light weight most of the year...summer is the only time he really gets fatter then usual... he averages 850 to 900 pounds an is 15'2 hands, maybe closer to 1000 at the end of summer...hes part TB and is naturally slimmer... for the amount of grain i would say about two pounds a day.
The hay we buy is really good...but we only have a limited number of bails per year...so increasing his hay intake is difficult...but we do up all the horses hay when its really super cold out...plus we are in texas so there is a bit of grass all year round and its never super cold out for long...
In the summer he is taken off of everything but the pasture...he doesnt get hay or feed...he has a mineral block a huge pond to drink from all year round.
Ill post up some pictures of him one of his average weight an one of his fat summer pictures...and by fat i mean he gets a bit of a grass belly...thats all...
First pic is his average weight second is his fat pic lol
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