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Questions about feed..
I have three quarter horses and after reading several posts, I have been questioning my feeding regimine. One is a 10 year old gelding, approx 1300+lbs. He is around 16hh and is in good health. We just got him and his owners are in the military and were giving him all kinds of vitamins and mineral supplements along with his feed. I also have a 10 year old mare that is approx 850lbs and is around 14.2hh. She is also in good health..actually a little on the plump side. (I'm working on that..lol) The last, but not least, is my 3 year old filly around 14.2hh also. I'm not sure on her weight at this time. Right now we are letting them have free choice hay and I am giving them approx 2 cups of 12% pellets along with enough whole oats to fill up a large Folgers coffee can 1/2 way. I put the pellets in the can so 1/2 full is oats and pellets together. Both my feed says 100% guranteed analysis on the bag. Im not sure if that matters but I read somewhere that it should say that on the bag. These horses are not worked or ridden daily. We are lucky to get to ride once a week. These are trail horses but we do not put them through rough terraine. We are usually not out on them more than an hour at a time and this time is spent at a walk. I have read on this forum extensively about feed and hay and have been questioning weather to feed grain at all. We are trying to get our horses in shape so that we can go on longer trail rides. I would appreciate any and all opinions and information for a feeding regimine. From some of the posts that I have read on here, I would have to be a chemist to feed my horses some of the vitamine/mineral suggestions I have read. I would like to keep it as simple as possible but still give my horses the nutrition they need to be healthy and happy. Btw...I use to feed sweet feed to my horses but it made them "crazy" and they were hard to deal with so I do not want to go that route again. If you would like to see pics of my horses, please look in my pics. Thanks..:D
We very much believe in keeping feeding simple. Our three stocky, Paint mares, 6 yrs (14.3hh, 900+ lbs., short backed and leaner), 8 yrs (14.2hh, 1100 lbs., halter type body built like a tank), and 16 yrs (15 hh, around 1050 lbs., penner) old have always been on only good free choice hay (fescue/orchard around here), a mineral block, and only one cup of Nutrena SafeChoice feed a day or after a ride (which is really just for a treat). They are all lightly worked pleasure trail horses, healthy, low maintenance easy keepers, and have good feet and teeth. Even though they are only lightly worked, you can take them out on the trail all day (W/T/L) and they have plenty of energy to spare. You can look at their pictures...they are not fat, but are certainly 'well fed' :-)
You can certainly cut out the grain and they'll be just fine.
you are not feeding "enough" of the pellets most likely for the nutrition... read the directions and see how much it tells you to feed them
What I would do is nix the 12% pellets from their diet. You're not feeding them enough of it to give them any real vit/min or nutrition. Instead, mix with your oats a good vitamin supplement like Grand Vite, SmarkPak's Smart Vite Maintenence Grass (comes in pelleted or powdered form), or horsetech.com's High Point Grass. All three of these are complete vit/min supplements with added amino acids. Your horses will be getting all of the vitamins and minerals they need.
You can easily adjust the amount of oats they get, add a fat supplement, and/or add alfalfa pellets should you decide they needs more weight/condition, without worrying about their vitamins. If your little one is too fat, you can easier reduce the oats down and still be confident that she's getting all the nutrition she needs.
I have mine on a similar diet, except they get added flax meal and alfalfa pellets, but our horses are ridden 3-6 times a week in lessons and some trail rides. The horses ridden the least get no oats, just a little alfalfa (1 qt), and just a little flax (1/4 cup). The horses in heavy work get 2 qts of plain whole oats, 1.5-3 qts of alfalfa pellets, and 1/2 to 1 cup of flax meal.
Having this kind of diet is much healthier than loads of feed or grain and it's much easier to adjust as needed. Mine all get less food during the summer when grazing is good.
2 Appaloosas, 15.2 around 1,100 lbs
1 paint/tb, 16h 1,000 lbs
1 Appaloosa, 15h, 1,000 lbs
1 haflinger 14.2h, 1,000 lbs
1 TBxArab 15.2h, 950 lbs
1 QH Pony, 13.3h, 800 lbs
1 QH, 14.2h, 900 lbs
1 Qh mix grade, 14h, 900 lbs (too fat!)
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