Winter feed eisuggestions?
I purchased a big 5 year TWH gelding about three months ago. He is a broad, well muscled fellow for sure, but he is also about 200 Pounds overweight in my opinion. He is turned out daily, from 8 AM to around 7 PM. However, his pasture is over grazed and there is not a lot of grass to be consumed. At night, he gets a "flake" of hay. I have not been able to ride or exercise him much due to my back surgery about three weeks after i bought him. I am hoping to pell some weight off of him over the winter. I will supplement his hay intake with feed. Any suggestions for a good diet feed that will keep him nourished but will also result in some weight loss? My hope is that by spring, his weight will be optimum and we can resume a very regular riding and training regimen.
Actually depending on the size of his overgrazed pasture, I might give him some hay during the day too, and I would certainly give him more than one biscuit over night if he's locked up. Regardless of weight, it's not healthy for horses to go hungry for many hours at a time.
BUT if you put his hay in small holed haynets, or some other form of 'slow feeder' where he has to work at getting it out & can't gorge, that will help ensure he doesn't get too much. You could also replace some of the ration with straw or such, which is lower in energy, or soak the hay beforehand to leach out some of the sugar.
I wouldn't be feeding him 'hard feed' at all as a rule, especially not grain or otherwise starchy or sugary feed, except as you may need to in order to supplement him for good well balanced nutrition. You can get sugar & grain free 'ration balancers' for eg.
Being in Illinois you should be able to get Kent's Topline32 it is a vitamin/mineral supplement I use that on my easy keepers with free choice hay
think of hay as the wood for the furnance it keeps them warm in the winter so you really don't "want" to restrict that. I am going to use double netting this year to slow down my fatty that is on limited calories which means I have to weigh her hay daily.
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