Low Energy Feed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-26-2020, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Low Energy Feed

I would love any recommendations on a low energy horse feed that will still maintain my horse’s body weight and nutrient needs. He is 17-18 years old and still very much energetic, to the point where it can be problematic.
(2lbs twice daily of Purina maintenance kept his weight up while on a dry lot. He now gets turnout on grass about 6 hours and a quart twice daily of a bulk feed -I’m unsure of the name or brand- of some grains, crushed corn, and pellets. I would love for him to be turned out 24/7 but that isn’t an option at my current facility) I also give him a couple handfuls of alfalfa since it’s good for the gut, and he’s susceptible to ulcers. Since alfalfa and corn are both such high energy feeds I’d like to phase them out but keep him healthy and comfortable.

I would love something as close to their natural diet as possible; I've been looking into Triple Crown Naturals but i would like to explore other options as well. One of my issues in my search so far has been the conflicting information on google. I looked up the dietary information for oats, one source said they’re a well rounded grain with a good amino acid profile. The other said the exact opposite. 😅 That’s been my experience with just about all of it so I’d love anyone’s input here. (Don’t worry, I will still be researching all suggestions.)

I’m also thinking about adding a calming supplement so any suggestions on that would be appreciated too. I used to give a valerian supplement but I don’t believe it was super effective. (We aren’t showing, so I’m not concerned about any herbs that may be banned in the show ring.)

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post #2 of 14 Old 05-26-2020, 01:12 PM
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If he doesn't need help with weight while on grass, I would put him on a ration balancer, my favorite being Buckeye Gro'n'Win. It provides all of the necessary good stuff, without putting a bunch of extra stuff in it.

I have fed Purina Maintenance before, and Purina products just aren't my favorite. There are much better brands and feeds to be giving. Buckeye makes comparable feeds if you want to continue with something like Maintenance in the winter. But, with owning a senior horse, I have just become partial to feeding a senior feed instead of a maintenance feed, my favorite being Triple Crown senior. Buckeye also has several senior feeds that are made to be easier on the gut.

For my 22 year-old horse that also turns nuts on certain feeds, I feed 6 lbs of Triple Crown senior and 1 lb of Buckeye Gro'n'Win each day. My horse is a harder-keeper, so I bet you could get away with a lot less senior feed.

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-26-2020, 01:35 PM
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I am a huge fan of beet pulp. Beet pulp is considered a forage, and is really good for gut health in horses.

If you get the stuff without added molasses it also super low in sugar - so I would not consider it a high energy feed. It is good for keeping weight on horses, and if it is soaked can also help with water intake.

I feed all of my horses beet pulp year round - it is great to mix with their ration balancer and additional minerals I feed. And my guys are not picky eaters, so gobble it right up (the sloppier I make it the better).

Just an idea if you are looking for something to help maintain weight, but is low energy.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-26-2020, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClearDonkey View Post
If he doesn't need help with weight while on grass, I would put him on a ration balancer, my favorite being Buckeye Gro'n'Win. It provides all of the necessary good stuff, without putting a bunch of extra stuff in it.

I have fed Purina Maintenance before, and Purina products just aren't my favorite. There are much better brands and feeds to be giving. Buckeye makes comparable feeds if you want to continue with something like Maintenance in the winter. But, with owning a senior horse, I have just become partial to feeding a senior feed instead of a maintenance feed, my favorite being Triple Crown senior. Buckeye also has several senior feeds that are made to be easier on the gut.

For my 22 year-old horse that also turns nuts on certain feeds, I feed 6 lbs of Triple Crown senior and 1 lb of Buckeye Gro'n'Win each day. My horse is a harder-keeper, so I bet you could get away with a lot less senior feed.
I haven’t been a big fan of Purina either, seems like a rather generic brand. I’ll definitely look into the Buckeye as well. The senior feeds I generally stay away from as they are usually full of molasses and are higher in fat and protein for the hard keeper.

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-26-2020, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbar View Post
I am a huge fan of beet pulp. Beet pulp is considered a forage, and is really good for gut health in horses.

If you get the stuff without added molasses it also super low in sugar - so I would not consider it a high energy feed. It is good for keeping weight on horses, and if it is soaked can also help with water intake.

I feed all of my horses beet pulp year round - it is great to mix with their ration balancer and additional minerals I feed. And my guys are not picky eaters, so gobble it right up (the sloppier I make it the better).

Just an idea if you are looking for something to help maintain weight, but is low energy.
I was looking into beet pulp and it did seem very promising. I’ve been told it doesn’t have all of the necessary nutrients but I’ll have to research it more. I may add another grain to keep the pounds on, as he does need some grain on top of the pasture.

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post #6 of 14 Old 05-26-2020, 02:04 PM
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My mare gets Triple Crown 30% ration balancer, only one cup (about half a pound) each day to supplement her 24/7 turnout on grass. It is low NSC and is packed with necessary nutrition. I've never had a problem keeping weight on her and right now we're upping the intensity of our trail riding and she's putting on muscle beautifully and maintaining a bright coat. She is also a quite high-strung horse but is very manageable on this feed (in combination with consistent ground work and exercise).
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-28-2020, 05:23 PM
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Firstly, you don't mention hay - I presume he is getting hay? If not, this is NEEDED. Horses need at least around 2% bet daily in forage, & need to have food going thru their gut near constantly, so shouldn't go hungry long periods. So if they don't have 24/7 access to adequate pasture, they need hay too, pref free choice.

As your horse is high energy and calories = energy, on face value, he doesn't need feeding extra supplementary feed to. But does he maintain weight without? Gut probs will influence that too, as will nutrition.

Adding a gut support such as Kelato Gastro Aid Recover, and keeping whatever supplementary ingredients low starch & easily digestible should help treat ulcers, get his gut healthy so he will better maintain condition too.

Corn is extremely high NSC and not a good feed for horses, period. Especially horses with ulcers. He may well be 'fizzy' due to gut pain. All cereal grains are high NSC and as such, I wouldn't generally feed, esp to a horse with ulcers, or 'too much energy'.

If he needs more /loses condition on just forage gives him then generally ingreds such as beet pulp, rice bran, copra & alfalfa are among some good options.

If he needs nutritional supps, add them to a small feed.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-28-2020, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Been There Dun That View Post
I havenít been a big fan of Purina either, seems like a rather generic brand. Iíll definitely look into the Buckeye as well. The senior feeds I generally stay away from as they are usually full of molasses and are higher in fat and protein for the hard keeper.
Most 'complete' type feeds are high NSC(carbs). Purina is also not fixed ingredients, so they use whatever's cheapest that fit the bill. I don't know why you feel that 'hard keepers' shouldn't have fat & protein, or molasses, and yet you're feeding high NSC with corn of all grains. Esp for a horse with gut probs, high fat is much more appropriate than high NSC.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-28-2020, 05:49 PM
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It sounds to me like more of a horse with not enough exercise rather than too much feed. But I know you said he can't really have a lot of turnout at his current place. But if a horse gets enough consistent exercise, you don't have to worry about excess energy from any normal amounts of feed.


My mare can be a fire-breathing dragon trail riding in the winter, and now that I've been riding her a lot she walks home on a loose rein. Feed hasn't changed.......well except she is getting MORE alfalfa now. So the calmness comes from the consistent riding......and maybe the warmer weather.


You could try a magnesium supplement. I tried it out on my young horse and thought it might have helped. It's hard to tell though........is the horse having a good day, or is it the supplement? I found it hard to tell.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-28-2020, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Been There Dun That View Post
I was looking into beet pulp and it did seem very promising. Iíve been told it doesnít have all of the necessary nutrients but Iíll have to research it more. I may add another grain to keep the pounds on, as he does need some grain on top of the pasture.
No single ingredient is going to provide 'necessary nutrients'. Vast majority of processed feeds don't. Beet pulp is a byproduct which is a good forage supp & also 'carrier' for nutritional supps. Even 'ration balancers' may not provide what your particular horse in his particular situation needs. Best to do a diet analysis then choose whatever appropriate nutritional supps your horse needs. And as said, grain is NOT a good idea, esp for a 'too fizzy' horse & one with gut probs. High fat/LOW carb is much better.
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