Question about feeding and a possible stifle issue - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Question about feeding and a possible stifle issue

We are feeding a high quality feed and a grain for horses sheep and cattle.

Per day she is getting ( we are slowly working it up to the full recommended feeding)

She is on full green pasture right now
4 Lbs. all grain textured feed
5 Lbs. Triple Crown Complete
11-12 Lbs. Costal Bermuda hay

All the info I have found is either all grain or all feed. Is there a ratio of feed to grain that we should be using?

I have been told she has a stifle issue in her back left side. Our Vet is treating it so far with Meds and rest. Is stifle chronic and anyone know any tricks to help her be more comfortable.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 02:32 PM
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What is "all grain textured feed"?
9 lbs. (4 kg.) of "grain" (hard feed, whatever you want to call it) is kind of a lot, in my opinion. And you're going to add more? Maybe it's just because I've never fed more than 2 lbs. (1 kg.) of grain before (always free choice grass/hay with some ration balancer). Why are you feeding her this type and amount of grain? Is she a "hard-keeper" or a high performance horse? Horses do best with grass/hay/fiber; that is what they are built to eat. If you are wondering, consult your vet and/or a nutritionist.
What's the horse's body score?
How much would you say that the horse weighs? For a 1,000 lb. (454 kg) horse, for example, that's almost 10% of body weight in grain alone.
They have some good articles about feeding horses.

About that stifle "issue", it depends. It could be chronic or it might be temporary. How long has she had it? Again, consult the vet. We'll need more information besides you just saying that there is an "issue."

Last edited by Seeker6; 07-02-2020 at 02:45 PM.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 02:47 PM
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I agree with @Seeker6 , that is a LOT of feed. Generally speaking, horses should get hay or pasture, and not feed. Most feed does not work with most horses' digestive systems. If she's really undernourished, or a really hard keeper, or in hard work, then maybe. Even so, that is a lot of feed. It is hard for me to imagine a situation where giving a horse nine pounds of feed a day would be necessary (ETA: maybe for a senior horse that has lost its ability to chew hay, but that doesn't sound like what you've got). Plus she's on full pasture, in addition to all that hay?

As for the stifle issue, it depends on the issue. Did you vet tell you what the actual problem was? For instance, one of my horses had bad arthritis and ossification of the stifle joint. With two types of injections, she is currently doing great. But there are all sorts of problems stifles can have.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Yes she had been called a hard keeper. on pasture and unlimited hay she was losing weight fast at the boarding facility so we have slowly been increasing her feed and she seems to be doing well on it.

So grain and feed should be considered the same when weighing food?

The stifle "issue" is what our Vet suspects. She has been on the vet recommended meds for 2 weeks now and is walking better and I even saw her do a slow trot across the pasture earlier today. Our vet plans to come out and do Xrays and more testing soon. I was only asking if there was something we could do to make our horse more comfortable in the mean time.

As far as how long she has had this problem: I met Honey in December of 2019 and she was limping and favoring this leg then. It got better and my daughter was able to ride her and do ground work for a couple of months. Vet thinks Honey might have re-injured it in the pasture at the boarding place
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 03:46 PM
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Triple crown complete is 20.6% nsc second ingredient is cane molasses third ingredients is whole oats. And your feeding 5lbs of it ,basically pure sugar.

Feeding high sugar diets is worst thing you can do.

Forage based diet with added high fat and a vit/min. My horses look good a good weigh and get NO grain No molasses. Forage based diet been on it over a year. In moderate to hard work.

Best thing I ever did was ditch all commercial feeds. Horses don't need grain or molasses in there diet. Also supplement I use has no iron in it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 03:56 PM
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What about asking your Veterinarian about a joint supplement? Might help with the stifle.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Dator View Post

She is on full green pasture right now
4 Lbs. all grain textured feed
5 Lbs. Triple Crown Complete
11-12 Lbs. Costal Bermuda hay

All the info I have found is either all grain or all feed. Is there a ratio of feed to grain that we should be using?

I have been told she has a stifle issue in her back left side. Our Vet is treating it so far with Meds and rest. Is stifle chronic and anyone know any tricks to help her be more comfortable.
I would ditch the 'all grain textured feed' and switch completely from using the Triple Crown Complete to Triple Crown Senior. I agree, there are better things to be feeding than both of those. Triple Crown Senior has 11.7% NSC's rather than 20.6% NSC's that the Complete has. Triple Crown Senior is a high fat, high fiber, grain-free feed. I love Triple Crown Senior.

If she can't gain weight on the senior alone, I love to add Buckeye Ultimate Finish 25. You can order it on Chewy and get it delivered to your doorstep if you can't buy it local. I fed like 1 cup a day to my hard-keeper and it made a world of difference.

Others will have better advice on the stifle, but if your vet isn't a lameness specialist, you should get one out. There is only so much that meds and rest will do for true chronic stifle issues. The stifle can be a headache of a joint to manage, and it will be great to have a second opinion.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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I was not prepared to have her at home this quickly. I was told on a Friday to come get her the next day. my pasture was not even finished. I had to put up a temporary fence to keep her out of the unprepared part of my pasture.
She is a hard keeper and I do plan to switch to a better quality feed.

Our Vet is keeping us well informed and we have talked about joint supplements and more diagnostic testing soon . I will try to keep the forum updated as I learn more.
Had to look it up, but now I know what NSC stands for

oh and the vet said she weighs around 950 Lbs.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 05:54 PM
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For a horse who is basically on rest feeding that much feed is a lot of food to be pushing in..
A diet high in fat more than 8 %, moderate protein of 10 - 14% at most and the fiber higher in values is what you wish to find.
Add in you look for as low a NSC % which is starch and sugars combined is usually the safer choices to make to feed.
Hard keeper horses do well with a food that is rich in calories derived from aka cool calories, friendlier to the intestinal tract of the horse.
I happen to feed Purina Ultium feed because it is the highest calorie feed per pound fed on the market today, period. My horse is truly a hard-keeper and requires extra calories or he is a walking skeleton...horrible.
TC Complete is better than most in calories per pound...with suggested fed 1 - 1.5% so if the horse is supposed to weigh 1000 pounds fully weighted then 10 - 15 pounds of this food from what I read if they are fed no hay/pasture at all. Sadly, there is nothing mentioning amount fed when fed hay/pasture to as a guideline. The 20.6% NSC though is high and can create issues for some animals, ie horse diabetes for some.

When you feed a caloric rich recipe you often feed less in amounts and meet the requirements of daily needs the animal thrive from...
Read you feed bag backs carefully to determine how much food is needed and remember in your case you are feeding 2 types of feed so are doubling gross amounts so do be careful you not overfeed...
It is not only calories that would concern me but the daily vitamin/minerals amounts can be overwhleming and knock a animal delicate intestinal system out of whack.
For horse is just shy of 16 hands, a Thoroughbred with very high metabolism and is eating what your combined amount of feeds fed horse at optimum weight tops the scale over 1200+ pounds.

Feeding a all-stock feed is not best for the horse as the recipe is made for many animals who have different requirements to thrive but more generic in recipe where you want specific.
If you are feeding multiple species of animals, honestly it is best to feed specific feed for each species so the daily minimum requirements are met properly.
Depending upon what the turnout of the prior barn was like the horse may not of been able to get enough quality forage to eat...
Was she turned out by herself or with others, was she chased by more dominant horses, was the grass 6" long or longer and acres of it as you will discover horses are very picky eaters and don't eat everything "green" by any means...
Watch your horse very carefully, take tape measurements around her girth line, take pictures and use them for comparison so you see if she is gaining or losing weight.
Learn to critique your horses appearance by the Henneke Scoring system for horses you can find from many web sites as there are many and all offer different pictures and slightly different written descriptions.
A horse with a strained or problematic stifle I would not honestly want fully weighted or fat as it is more strain for the animal to move around...if she was my horse I would want a score of a 4 till she heals...then once she is sound, fully healed you can start a work regiment to recondition the animals muscles and then add more weight to her frame if it is needed...
A under-muscled horse can often resemble to thin so do be careful how much weight you think this horse needs gained.
That should get you started on researching...
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-02-2020, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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So far I have decided to go buy some senior feed for her still researching to find best brand locally. Probably triple crown will be my best option. I am going to start removing the grain from her diet( she will hate me for it ).
I will talk to the Vet about joint supplements and let you all know what we decide.
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