Need food advice
I have never paid much attention to horse nutritian before, have always assumed that all horse feeds on the market were good quality, but now I'm beginning to question that.
I will be changing barns soon, and would like to start buying my own feed. Right now he's being fed sweet feed, which doesn't really work for him, but he has to be fed what the BO buys. I am starting to think that every horse should be assessed individually to determin what type of feed would benefit them instead of feeding everyone the same thing. Does this make sense?
I would love any suggestions on what type of feed I should get him. Here is some info, let me know if you need any more.
He's a 3 yr old gelding- am not sure yet if he's an easy or hard keeper as I am still working on getting him up to a healthy weight after buying him. I don't think he's an easy keeper though.
He tends to get a little hot on the sweet feed he's currently on.
He's got rain rot now, which I was told may be due to some vitamin or mineral difficiency and his coat is raggy and dull.
He is only ridden lightly around 2-3 times a week.
He has never coliced, but does get a little gas occasionally.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I was going to give you a generic answer until you mentioned that he gets gas. Since you're serious about this, get your Vet involved. He is still maturing, and you would kick yourself if he didn't get enough nutrition when you could have done something about this. A horse's digestive system is poor and delicate. Colic problems in later life start with chronic digestive problems which injure the stomach or intestines when they are young. Better your Vet says you don't have anything to worry about, then regretting doing not something. =D
Thank you for the reply. I will definately get in contact with his vet and discuss possible food options. I know the companion animal vets in this area are not well versed on proper nutrition for dogs and cats and tend to recommend poor quality foods (such as vet brands) even though they are full of fillers and unnecessary items, but I'm not sure if the equine vets here are the same. I guess you never know until you ask though:lol:.
I am going to recommend that you do NOT talk to your vet. Most vets only take 1-2 nutrition classes in their entire education. That said, some vets do take an interest in nutrition and learn more. If yours is not one of those, i would go to your local feed store and ask if they have a rep or consultant that you can talk to about nutrition. every feed company has someone who would be willling to come out and talk to you about your horse and help you decide what is best.
Agree with Corporal, except the 'poor & delicate digestive system' bit I'm not so sure of. Fed naturally, they don't seem to be poor & delicate to me, but there are so many common feeds, practices, etc that are just unsuitable & cause them to be 'poor'.
Right now he's being fed sweet feed, which doesn't really work for him, but he has to be fed what the BO buys. I am starting to think that every horse should be assessed individually to determin what type of feed would benefit them instead of feeding everyone the same thing.[/quote]
Most definitely. The basic diet - namely low energy, high fibre such as grass/hay is generally suitable for all, but it depends on age, conditions, weight, activity level, etc as to what else may or may not be suitable for any given horse. Sweet feed is a bit like McDonalds for horses - tasty, high sugar & energy, but little goodness. I'd do some homework on horse's digestion & what is natural for them and also find a good nutritionist/service(pref independent of feed co's) to help advise you.
Safergrass.org is one good site on feeding horses healthily.
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