Feeding your pleasure horse twelve cups of grain a day!
Firstly, I would like to say, I'm not the one doing this - my friend is. Also, I know you don't measure in cups but oh well. Anywho, my friend was doing this with her pleasure horse who, in fact, isn't ridden a lot. I basically informed her a bit and she slowly decreased the amount to what I feed my horse - two cups a day.
lol. it says that on the back of some feed bags, probably to get you to buy more feed sooner.
Heck, I wouldn't give any grain to a horse that wasn't being worked much, unless they had to have it for weight reasons or medical reasons, or energy reasons, which your horse shouldn't have if its not being ridden much.
So if you ride a horse 4-5 times a week (about 45 mins each) Does it need any grain?
^ Nope. Nearly all horses can do just fine on a no grain diet - Most horses will be fine on good quality free choice hay and mineral/vit supp, and for those who need more energy, there are plenty of non-grain products that do the job, such as lupins, FFS, Copra, etc.
Where on earth does she even get the time to feed all day?
Well I can not say if that is too much or not enough. How big is the cup. If you are talking a cup like a measuring cup that is not at all very much. Probable about 3lbs. You need to go buy weight not volume.
Also I do agree most horses do not need grain. I only grain when I am working a horse or my older horses especially in the winter. Past that good quality hay should be good.
A quart is 4 cups. So 12 cups per day is only 3 quarts. That is 1 1/2 quarts 2x per day.
Really not much grain at all in the grand scheme of things.
My barely ridden (would not call her a pleasure but.... that is another topic all together) mare gets 2lbs 2x per day which is about that much. If I fed her less she would be skinny.
Each horse is different. Just because an amount works for your horse does not mean another horse needs the same amount.
Yes, yes, I know. But her horse is...not skinny. Which I failed to mention earlier.
If you're not feeding to the bag's recommendations, then the horse isn't really getting any benefit from the feed (vitamins/minerals). Two cups a day is not enough.
That said, most pleasure horses don't need much grain. So, to keep your horse's nutritional levels up, you need to add a vitamin/mineral supplement to the grain. Something like Select II, GrandVite, SmartPak's SmartVite Grass, etc.
Or you can switch to a complete "ration balancer" type feed that you only need to feed 1-2 lbs a day, like Growstrong, Straystrong, Triple Crown's 12% supplement, Buckeye Gro'n Win, Progressive ProAdvantage, etc.
Here's a good article on ration balancer feeds:
Ration Balancer Benefits
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