Bran mash...is it ok in light moderation? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-25-2017, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post
I'm missing WHY you want to give him the mash? Just as a treat?

I just want to point out that half the reason it's recommended not to use bran mash is that you spend so much time adjusting a horses diet to perfect and NOT making any changes to turn around and add something completely different. I would not do it... if it's a treat you can find a better one and there's no other reason to. If you do do it I'd just give him a handful but where he just colicked why do you suddenly want to change things up??

There are better and easier treats.

I don't know what type of colic he had but you can add some oil to his feed. If he can't eat any hay he really needs to be fed minimum 3 times a day not 2, that could definitely be part of it.
His colic was actually due to a blockage - like food - in his intestines. Our vet came by and used a hose to pump some mineral oil into his stomach to break it down. As I said in my original message, this isn't something I would feed him all the time. We have horse treats but as I also said, he's lost most of his teeth due to old age so even small treats can be difficult for him to chew if they're too tough. I'm just looking for alternatives for him that will be easier for him to eat.

He also does eat twice a day, the senior + beet pulp + hay squares. According to our vet we actually are feeding him enough, it's when we cut down on his daily food he starts to slim up.

"He is honest. He has no ego. He doesn't try to win or lose. He doesn't lie. He always keeps your secrets. He is your best friend. He is your horse.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-25-2017, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sure your vet would have mentioned all this already, but I imagine that is at least part of the reason for his colic.
His colic was actually due to a blockage in his stomach/intestines and the vet had to use a hose and mineral oil to break it down and get him to pass it. Our barn area is a partially grassy fenced in area with two round bales. He eats the hay but he doesn't hang out at the bales like the other horses do since he doesn't have the teeth to eat it. But there's not too little to eat for him to go hungry during the night. He gets dinner around 6:30 at night and breakfast around 7-8:00. We don't leave any of our horses out in the field because the grass is so green, and we've experienced him actually trying to founder from being out there too much once.

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Yes, if you're giving it just as a small treat, a handful of bran mash irregularly is not likely to cause further issues. But if you're planning on feeding more than that, or feeding for other reasons, then you need to feed it little & often, as with other food.
This definitely wouldn't be a daily treat, maybe not even weekly depending on if he decides if he still even likes bran mash (since he's had it long ago). I had another user mention cooked carrots and applesauce and I might try that first. He usually has issues with carrots and apples as well because they're too hard for him, so anything that will soften those up would be good for him and his old man teeth.

"He is honest. He has no ego. He doesn't try to win or lose. He doesn't lie. He always keeps your secrets. He is your best friend. He is your horse.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-25-2017, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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The thing that stands out is that you soak his hard feed for several hours, this, in hot weather might well turn it sour. I would rather feed it to him 'sloppy' as in very wet than have it soak for a long time.
We actually keep his food inside while it soaks so it's not being exposed to a lot of heat at all, we don't keep the house too hot or cold. His feed barrel is the one we keep by our porch, we scoop some of the beet pulp and a couple hay squares, then add warm water and leave it inside by the door with a cover over it while it soaks (so the cat and dogs don't get into it and stuff). Then when it's time to feed we add the senior feed to the mix and some more warm water to soften the food and mix everything up.

"He is honest. He has no ego. He doesn't try to win or lose. He doesn't lie. He always keeps your secrets. He is your best friend. He is your horse.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-25-2017, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
This was tradition with me for years, you cooked the horse a bran mash on Christmas morning. Added some cut up apples and carrots to it, the recipe was in an old Western Horseman magazine. Just reminded me, I have not done this tradition in about 10 years.
I used to add carrots and apples to his mash too! He had more teeth back then so he still ate traditional horse treats with ease, I would cut some up and throw them in with his Equine Edibles Candy Cane mash mix. It's also been about 10 years since I've done this for him as well, once we moved out of Texas I forgot about that mash mix I used to feed him and didn't remember it until this last week.

"He is honest. He has no ego. He doesn't try to win or lose. He doesn't lie. He always keeps your secrets. He is your best friend. He is your horse.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-25-2017, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OldEnduranceRider View Post
I was thinking EXACTLY what horselovinguy said, cooked carrots, apple sauce. No chunks of carrots or apples, maybe shredded instead even. If he cannot chew hay, he cannot eat raw carrots or apples. I only gave my old guys bran mash in the winter when it was REALLY freezing and maybe they weren't drinking as much as they should. I just lost my old man in September, he was 36, when he was about 28 or 29 he could not chew hay. He'd chew it up then spit it out, had rolled up hay all over the place, but he enjoyed it, and did not attempt to swallow it, so I'd give him a handful at each meal.. He got 3 quarts alfalfa pellets, that I'd soak overnight, or over day, in a gallon of water, then I'd add 2 quarts of Equine Senior and add another 1/2 gallon or so. At various times he'd also get All-In-One, soaked also with his pellets, it would depend on what we could get our hands on. When he had colic, the day before we euthanized him, our vet was not in town, so a vet from the neighboring county came out. That vet was amazed at how good my horse looked at 36, and noted that my horse did not have any cheek muscles. We never did figure out what made him colic, but the vet also told us that it's hard to tell with the old horses. Good luck, he may live to be 36 or more.
P.S. He got that 2x's a day, in the summer I did not start soaking it till an hour before he would eat it, as it could get sour if left to soak all day, in the summer heat.
I'm definitely going to try the applesauce and cooked apples/carrots mix! He'll probably eat that up. My old man is nearing 30, but he sure doesn't act like it He'll still run around the field with the other horses when they're all feeling good, he's still got so much energy and spunk. His feed is pretty similar to the mix you described, he gets a scoop of senior feed with beet pulp and hay squares that were already presoaked, and then we add more water when we mix in the senior feed. But we leave his food inside to soak in the day and night and keep a cover over it to keep it from souring.

"He is honest. He has no ego. He doesn't try to win or lose. He doesn't lie. He always keeps your secrets. He is your best friend. He is your horse.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-26-2017, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by maddiejay View Post
But there's not too little to eat for him to go hungry during the night. He gets dinner around 6:30 at night and breakfast around 7-8:00. We don't leave any of our horses out in the field because the grass is so green, and we've experienced him actually trying to founder from being out there too much once.
Trying to founder?? I gather you just mean eating a lot of grass? How green the grass is, is not a problem(fresh, growing grass has more vitamins too), but it may be too rich a variety, or the weather/growing stage can cause it to have more or less sugar.

Yeah, horses generally eat stuff like 'hard' feeds relatively quickly, but if you use an effective 'slow feeder' or otherwise ensure his 'meals' are large enough to last the many hours between dinner & breakfast, & vice versa, if he doesn't have grass during the day. The *amount* of feed may be enough otherwise, but it's still bad for them to go hungry for many hours, to have an empty stomach, if they eat it all in the first hour, say. That's why people have suggested feeding whatever amount over at least 3 or more feeds daily. Horse's systems are built for 'trickle feeding' - that is, small amounts going through the digestive tract relatively constantly, not like us & dogs for eg, where periods of 'fasting' between meals is perfectly healthy.
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