Horse Diet? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Horse Diet?

Ok, my horse has always been a hardkeeper and I've helped rehab several skinny horses, so I can fatten a horse quite easily. But that's not my problem this time lol, the horse in question is a 7 on the BCS, he has gotten one scoop of Purina Ultium his whole life and is worked 5 days a week, and is still fat lol. Rolly polly fat! So I was thinking keep him on the same feed, but cut down to a half a scoop and add in a vitamin/mineral supplement? And a slow feeder net? I know he needs a diet, just don't have experience with putting a horse on a diet.

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post #2 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 10:38 AM
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You pretty much have the right idea. It's winter, even in nice warm TX I wouldn't cut back on hay, just put it in a slow feed net. Maybe use a ration balancer instead of the feed and a few hay pellets or soaked beet pulp so he doesn't think his throat has been cut.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 08:56 PM
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Agree with the above, except for cutting down on hay... not knowing how much or what type or what sort of grazing. I would be aiming for feeding about 2% of his *ideal* bwt daily in forage(grass/hay), in a 'slow feeder' so he doesn't go hungry, and if that's all he's getting & he's not losing any, would be soaking the hay to leach out some sugars. I'd also be including extra magnesium in his diet & keeping extra vigilant about his hooves & hardened fat pads(his crest for eg) that indicates IR.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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So if I fed him a ration balancer would I still do the vitamin/mineral supplement? Or no because ration balancers are essentially that in a feed form? I don't have any experience with ration balancers and I can't say I completely understand how to feed one :/

ETA I had them check his blood insulin level while doing the PPE, and there was no indication of IR, and so far his crest looks like it should. So I think (& am crossing my fingers) that he is just an easy keeper and not IR

Sully ~Sullivan's Fly Supply~ [17.1 TB] RIP 2/24/14
Rio ~Camperio~ [18.0 Oldenburg]

Last edited by SullysRider; 12-05-2013 at 09:46 PM.
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post #5 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 10:27 PM
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'Ration Balancers' are often pelleted feed or such, but any nutritional supp that's going to balance his diet is effectively a ration balancer. Depends what's in the 'ration balancer', his feed & the other supps as to whether you need to feed more than one product. The aim is to balance the diet. **Worth researching current info on magnesium & calcium ratios, as I think magnesium should be added to diets conventionally accepted as balanced.

As the horse is already obese, I wouldn't be adding any more calories than is absolutely necessary. Therefore i'd go for a powdered suppliment, either palatable enough to be fed alone(yes, can get them) or sprinkled over wet hay, or a very low dose (say up to 100g) pelleted supp.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #6 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 10:46 PM
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The only thing I'll add to what Loosie is telling you is check the hay. I wouldn't feed alfalfa or timothy or any of the hays so often pushed as the best for horses. Even just a good hay can keep them fat. Good grazing will even keep them fat. I get funny looks (and even a few remarks ), because I feed what most people around here use for their cows (but then I've been feeding for years since I use to have cattle and it's worked really well with my easy keepers).
Working it good for helping to burn off more so it's great that your doing that (hopefully for at least several hours each day).

I'm just glad to see that more ladies are understanding that horses shouldn't be carrying excess weight. I deal with so many that think it's bad if they can feel the ribs on their horse. They want the plump little horses looking pretty in the pasture and they might ride for a total of 2 hours a week (on a good week). Normally their horses get ridden much less when their ridden at all.
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by its lbs not miles View Post
The only thing I'll add to what Loosie is telling you is check the hay. I wouldn't feed alfalfa or timothy or any of the hays so often pushed as the best for horses. Even just a good hay can keep them fat. Good grazing will even keep them fat. I get funny looks (and even a few remarks ), because I feed what most people around here use for their cows (but then I've been feeding for years since I use to have cattle and it's worked really well with my easy keepers).
Working it good for helping to burn off more so it's great that your doing that (hopefully for at least several hours each day).

I'm just glad to see that more ladies are understanding that horses shouldn't be carrying excess weight. I deal with so many that think it's bad if they can feel the ribs on their horse. They want the plump little horses looking pretty in the pasture and they might ride for a total of 2 hours a week (on a good week). Normally their horses get ridden much less when their ridden at all.
I just bought him, when I went to try him the first thing I noticed was how fat he was! I like my horses to look like athletes not puff balls lol. And it's just regular coastal, not the greatest stuff but not cow hay either, so sounds like it might work. He will be stalled 12 hrs with hay in a slow feeder net, and out to pasture 12 hrs (grass isn't great). So I'm thinking 2 lbs of Ultium per day (1 scoop total) and this supplement SmartVite Perform Pellets - Horse Multi-Vitamin Supplements from SmartPak Equine (which is supposed to have a high level of magnesium) and see how it goes? And if he's still too fat then either cut down the Ultium or do only hay and the SmartVite supplement? Sound like a good plan to y'all? Like I said I'm good at keeping hard keepers at a good weight but completely lost when it comes to easy keepers!

Sully ~Sullivan's Fly Supply~ [17.1 TB] RIP 2/24/14
Rio ~Camperio~ [18.0 Oldenburg]
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by its lbs not miles View Post
I get funny looks (and even a few remarks ), because I feed what most people around here use for their cows
Interesting. I thought the rich 'improved' grasses were developed for fattening cattle. Yeah, I get funny looks when I suggest their hay could be too 'good' and they should buy 'poorer' hay & save the other for fattening steers!

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 11:28 PM
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Our cow hay in Texas consists of weedy, stalky, brown hay full of grass runners and reeds. Definitely not great stuff!

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post #10 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 11:29 PM
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Sumo athlete is he?? I'd avoid cooping him up if at all possible, because, among other reasons, it will reduce his ability to burn off the calories. Stress also effects metabolism & reduces a body's ability to burn calories, which may also be an issue with a new horse kept stabled. I would be also looking to feed a supp that needs feeding far less than 2lb, and while SmartPak isn't available over here so I haven't looked into it all thoroughly, it looks like one good, very low dose option & they should have one in their range that would at least come close to filling the gaps in your horse's diet without extra feed.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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