Should I change her feed?
Sunny is currently being fed a 10% protein sweet feed, supplemented with rice bran. I feel like all of the sugar isn't doing her nor I any good, being that she is already a "hot" breed. She is also a hard keeper, and even needs some extra pounds right now. She's about to go into training, so the less energy excess the better. She's a little over two years old, UTD deworming, no work right now. She is on pasture 24/7, brought in to feed twice daily. I have looked into lots of different feeds, but i'm dumbfounded with what to make of them. I want something with less sugar, but I want her to gain/maintain a healthy weight. I have almost zero knowledge on equine nutrition, so what do you guys think? Should I change her feed? If so, what do you suggest? I'm sorry if something sounds weird, or if I sound stupid. This is my weak spot with horses. XP
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Lots of fat and protein will do great at giving her stamina without giving her energy. Rice bran is an excellent example of this ....20% fat and 13% protein. Its the reason why senior feed is recommended for a lot of hard keepers, on top of being easily digestable because of all that extra fiber. You could also try feeding a performance feed like Purina Ultium. You can also use other supplements like beet pulp or vegetable oil.
However, the first place to start is always more hay. I think the maximum forage is 2.5 percent of a horses bodyweight....I know somewhere it calculates how much a horse eats per hour, so you'd have to google that, and then add hay accordingly. THEN consider hard feeds.
I am having great luck with this diet with my "hot" horses that are worked hard.
The Alfalfa pellets provide extra protein, calories, amino acids (important for muscle development), and good nutritional value as well. If you notice your horse becoming "hot" on the Alfalfa (only a small percentage of horses have a feed allergy to Alfalfa), then you can switch to Timothy pellets or beet pulp. I prefer Alfalfa though as it has better nutrition and protein than the alternatives.
If you don't have an ADM dealer near you, you can order their products online.
If you want an all-in-one feed that you don't have to mix, I'd look in to the following products. Check the web sites to see if you have a dealer in your area. I would recommend staying AWAY from Purina feeds. They do not have a fixed formula and they have more recalls and violations than any other feed dealer...
Triple Crown Lite Formula | www.triplecrownfeed.com
Triple Crown Low Starch Formula | www.triplecrownfeed.com
Premium - Lo-Carb Formula
Pleasure/Leisure - BUCKEYE® Nutrition
I know some of the above say "lite" or "easy keeper", but you want a feed that is low in starch and sugar, with no corn and very little to no molasses. High sugar/starch feeds can make hard keepers even harder to keep weight on, and it can make your horse more hyper.
Thanks so much to the both of you. Very helpful! :)
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you don't only lwant to look at calories but also the nutrition ... if you increase nutrition many times you can reduce calories and still gain weight
the first thing is free choice hay or pasture...
then add in a good source of nutrition either with vitamin/mineral supplement or ration balancer
then add calories like rice bran, alfalfa pellets/cubes or beet pulp
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