Nutrition, Ration Balancers, and Other Feed
I recently started working at a natural/holistic pet store and have been learning a lot about pet nutrition, so I asked myself: What is my horse really eating??
I started doing some research on horse nutrition and different types of feed, and it seems like the new "thing" is Ration Balancers. From what I've been reading, they sound great and like that's the way to go, but I wanted to see if anyone on here has any experience with them, or knows a bit about nutrition in general that could give me an idea of what are the good foods/ingredients and what to stay away from...
ANY help/input would be greatly appreciated!!
FYI: I am leasing an 11yo quarter horse mare from my barn, I call her 'my' horse bc she baisically is. She's been eating the same grain as most of the school horses (Southern States Show & Pleasure, Pelleted), just want to see what other options are out there and if I should switch her to something better? I want her to be a healthy girl and to provide her with the best! :-P
I'm not very knowledgeable about the nutrition side of things, but I have had my mare on a ration balancer (Enrich 32 by Purina) for about ten months and I can honestly say that I've seen nothing but good results.
My mare is pretty hot by nature and somehow (maybe she's missing a few minerals in her diet/maybe she really needs the ration balancer to help her process sugar, I don't know) when she's on the RB she's much less hot than she is off it. That's probably not the same experience of nearly everyone else, but for me that's really great.
She also used to fluctuate with her weight, a lot. Like she'd go from being 200lbs overweight to 50lbs underweight in the span of a few months. It was ridiculous. Now, she stays at a steady weight most of the time. She is a very easy keeper so the spring grass caused her to end up about 200 overweight but it was quick to come off with increased exercise and after it was off I was able to keep her at a good 950lbs instead of hopping down to 850 first. I'm not sure how much of that was due to better management (I used to board her and for the last year she's been at my house so I've been able to manage her intake a lot better) but I'm sure part of it was the ration balancer doing it's balancing thing. haha
Wallaby: was she getting grain too, or just the RB and forage?
I am thinking of switching Brandon to a ration balancer as well.
She doesn't get grain, ever. Haha So yeah, just the RB and forage. Sometimes, like during the winter when hay alone isn't really cutting it, I add beet pulp as well.
Try it! I saw results in about a month which is about as long as a bag lasts. :)
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I have to figure out what kind of hay B is getting, sometimes it looks like grass hay, other times it looks like alfalfa. :/
Ah, that would make it trickier. :/ I feed Lacey Enrich 32 which I'm pretty sure is formulated for a combo of alfalfa and grass.
That seems to be working fine for her even for times like now where she hasn't had alfalfa for 7 months and has strictly been on grass pasture or grass hay.
If you're not sure or it changes back and forth, I'd just get him one formulated for a mixture of both hays. When I was looking into it, I think I remember seeing that most RB's look like they're for a mix of both.
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I have my horses on Life Data's Barn Bag (about 1/2 cup) mixed with a little whole oats, plus pasture. Hay in the winter. I adjust the amount of oats to how much work they are doing or not doing!
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