First Horse - What to feed?
Okay, dont get me wrong.
Ive been around horses for years, and I know what type of feed is out there but the thign is this is the first time actually feeding a horse without help and planning a diet.
Got a new horse off my teacher the other week and have started it out on meadow hay in the morning and night with a bit of luncene in the morning.
Hes not getting ridden at the moment, only lunged cause he was a bit stressed out from moving places (hes much settled now). I plan to start riding him quite soon, but if so I have to up his feed.
Question is: When should I started feeding him chaff, grain etc? And what kinds of feeds would benefit him most? He will be starting out with light riding until he gets a bit more fitter and than harder work would follow.
He does have access to a bit of grass in his yard, but since its winter here doesnt hold a lot of nuturions and hes not overly keen to eat it.
Look for Hygain balancre I think it is called... that will be your nutrition then play it by ear .. he may not need anything more then free choice hay and a vitamin/mineral supplement... the Hygain will cover his nutrition the hay his forage and calories ;)
If your horse has access to a good quality hay that is really all they need. Simpler is better IMO.
I would only add grain, or other supplements if he shows signs of needing it.
If you want to cover your basis, then a trace mineral block in his stall or paddock is an option as well.
But again forage is all that is really required for most horses.
If you bought the horse from your teacher, ask what he is USED to being fed. Then dial that up or down if he needs more or less weight.
If he has access to free choice hay or pasture then I'd offer a salt block or two and introduce him to one 3qt scoop of a high fiber low starch feed, such as Nutrena Safechoice, for maintenance of a happy coat :)
To answer your question, he could be fed grain the day he moved in with you. My new horses go RIGHT onto whatever feed schedule I plan to have them on the day the arrive.
All he got fed by my teacher was the exact same thing - just he wasnt getting worked as much as he used to.
I was thinking of giving him a salt block and now I reckon I will.
Thanks guys for your imformtion - helps. =]]
Agree with others, that if he's getting adequate free choice hay & he's healthy, he shouldn't really need anything else for 'condition' unless he's in hard physical work - ie endurance training or such. But if he does, I wouldn't feed grain or other high-carb feeds, as this is not very good for them & there are better, safer alternatives.
I disagree with the person that said he'll be getting adequate nutrition from grass but a mineral block will cover all bases. Most horse's basic diets, even including manufactured 'complete' feeds are deficient or imbalanced in a range of nutrients, and mineral blocks provide very little of anything but salt really. A good grain free complete nutritional supplement should cover the bases. Feedxl.com is a great service for info on diet & nutrition.
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