What do I feed my new horse?
I am purchasing a 7 year old bay tobiana mare and have some questions about what I should be feeding her.
The previous owner has been feeding her two scoops of 12% once a day.
She also had her on pasture 24/7 and she didn't feed any hay or supplements.
She has only been ridden once or twice a week (light work).
She is VERY lazy.
I think she looks a little porky. I would like to know what other people think. Does she look healthy, over weight, skinny?
She will be on 24/7 pasture at my place and will not be ridden more than a few times a week.
What should I be feeding her? How much? How often?
What about when winter comes around? Should she get more feed? Hay? once again how much and how often?
Any advice would be helpful.
To me, her weight looks good but it appears she could use a bit of muscling. The way I see it, when it comes to feeding horses, the simpler the better. I would probably just get a some alfalfa hay or (if you don't have access to that) some alfalfa pellets. That has a nice balance of protein without excess sugars or starches. Maybe a light feeding of that once or twice a day with all the pasture she can eat will help her build some muscle up. As for supplements, I would pick up a trace mineral block for horses at your local feed store, that should be enough.
She's a pretty girl :D.
She doesn't look porky to me. I think she looks just right. You should see my horses. :lol:
I'm with simple diets like smrobs. Skip the grain (or just provide a little like we do as a treat after a good day's work) and just provide good hay as needed to supplement your pasture grass, especially in the winter. All the Paint/QHs I know tend to be very low maintenance, easy keepers.
I agree with the other's, keep it simple, and her weight looks good. In winter I think grass/hay forage is the best. But then again I have come to the conclusion that Cinny (he's a paint too) just gets way the heck too silly with grains, especially sweet feeds. There is a magazine here called "Saddle up Nebraska" and I remember last winter reading an article by a vet that said that the grasses and hays are best in winter because when they ferment in the horses tummy they put off a lot more "heat" than the grains do, which just sugar up the horse. So basically stay warmer better if they are freely eating grasses and hays through winter. If there wont' be much available, I would invest in a few round bales to get her through winter :)
She looks a fine weight, maybe a bit pudgy. She does look like she might be wormy though. I'd deworm her now with a double dose of Pyrantel and give her Ivermectin + Praziquantel 4 weeks later. That should clear out any parasites she may have.
For my horses in similar work, I feed free choice hay, alfalfa pellets, 1/2 cup of flax meal, and a vit/mineral supplement (like GrandVite). This kind of diet allows you to adjust the calories she gets (alfalfa pellets and flax) without effecting nutritional value (vit/min). Most of mine get 1-3 qts (1/2 to 1 scoop) of alfalfa pellets a day.
During the winter, you'll want to feed free choice hay, or as close to it as you can get. Eating hay constantly keeps them warm from the inside and provides enough calories to keep their weight up. I feed round bales in a round bale feeder and never have to increase my "feed". If anything, sometimes I have to decrease how much feed I give them because we're riding less.
Congrats on the new horse! She's very pretty.
She is very pretty! I agree with worming, HOWEVER-do a fecal first. That is the ONLY way you know what to give. Very inexpensive to do, and cheap insurance, IMO.
What to give? There are only three effective dewormers out there, Pyrantel (and it's not great), Ivermectin, and Moxidectin, and the last two are the same "class" of drugs. Praziquantel is paired with Ivermectin or Moxidectin to get rid of tape worms. Giving Pyrantel first then one of the "ectins" with Praziquantel covers everything. Easier, IMO than sending out pooh for a fecal and waiting for it to come back to you... My vet charges more than the online labs for testing fecals, and his turn-around time isn't much better, lol. For me, it's cheaper and quicker to just treat than send off fecals on all 8 horses...
If you board, then either all horses need to be on the same schedule, or all horses have to be tested and treated regularly as needed. I'd rather trust treating my own horses regularly to make sure the other boarded horses aren't contributing to my horse's worm load, than trust other owners to test/treat their horses on a regular basis... If you're going to test/treat, then you need to have a "closed herd" with just your horses, or pay to do them all yourself.
I've been reading other posts about what people feed their horses. The one post that I saw that seemed to be an ideal plan was...
They fed their own "mixed" feed of Alfalfa pellets, flax meal (and plain whole oats to thier lazy mare who needs the energy, which mine does also).
They fed 1-2 qts alfalfa pellets and 1/2 cup flax meal. (didn't say how much oats?)
They also fed some sort of mineral/vitamin supplement.
This feed plan seems simple enough and healthy without all the sugar and carbs from complete feeds and sweet feed, which my horse doesn't need because she is on light work and has 24/7 access to pasture.
I called my local feed store and they carry alfalfa pellets, flax "seed" (don't even know what that is), and racehorse oats and crimped oats (don't know what these are either).
Is flax seed the same as flax meal, just whole or is it a toatlly different thing?
And what are racehorse oats and crimped oats and how do they compare to plain whole oats?
I have 2 horses, at 2 barns, one being a training barn, and neither is a "closed herd" at all. New horses get tested and treated, then added to the herd. All horses at each barn are on that barns schedule. I have yet to ever board anywhere that did not put right in their contract that the horses wil do the rotation O(previously) or the fecals(now). I am moving one of mine back to Va with me, and that barn does rotation. Prior to signing the boarding agreement I explained to them that I do fecals, and they are fine with that, and they get a copy. From what you are saying it would sound like you never do fecals, which means that your horse may never be free from parasite load, no matter what you give. That would make me a bit uncomfortable, but that is just me.
Oh, BTW, neither of mine has needed a thing since april. So we have gone the major season for parasites without any. I love that!
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