Diet advice? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-23-2019, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Diet advice?

Ok, so I was planning on taking Dr Kellon's nutrition course but it's $200 (!!!!) so I'm saving up right now. It's taking longer than expected, and so I want some advice on how my horse's diet could be improved in the meantime.

He's a 14.3hh Morgan cross, an easy keeper I think? He went a good 6 months in the pasture with just a round bale of hay and he didn't lose or gain weight. However, that was in summer/spring. He's now in light work and it's been a pretty brutal winter recently, so he's dropped the tiniest, tiniest amount of weight.

I was going to weight his food but we don't have a scale so...another thing I have to save up for I guess lol.

Right now, this is his diet (I'll also put why I feed it, just so anyone can correct me if it's wrong):

Morning:
1 scoop lucerne chaff (just for bulk food)
1 smaller scoop gumnuts (for building topline muscle)
100ml canola oil (for omega .... 3? or 6, one of them! + coat shine )
1 Tbs MSM (for strengthening hooves & antiflammitory)
1 Tbs salt (cos they don't get enough salt in their diet)
Water (so the dust doesn't go into his face)

1 scoop lucerne chaff (^^^)
1 smaller scoop gumnuts (^^^)
2 spoons FeedChar (digestion & calmness)
1/2 ground flaxseed (I'm pretty sure it does the same as the oil, but I don't want to get rid of the oil because it's high in fat and I'm worried he'll loose too much weight without it)
Water (^^^)

He also has magnesium chloride dissolved in his water (for bones I think? My mum just puts it in and she wants me to research my own stuff so I did and that's what google said lol).

In his paddock there's a round bale of grass hay. No idea what quality it is, but I can't afford to feed 19 horses hay anyway so there's not a lot I can do about it (bar talking to the parents)

Anyway thanks for any help!

Edit: Forgot to mention he's in a 10 acre paddock with 6ish other horses, quite muddy but still has a lot of green grass. He used to have a salt lick at the gate, but the gate's sectioned off now so I have to put it somewhere else

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-23-2019, 08:43 AM
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If the diet is appropriate or not will depend on his body condition. He might be obese currently, maybe underweight. Morgan breeding would indicate he tends towards the former.
Pictures?
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-23-2019, 09:04 AM
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The oil maybe has 800 calories for what you are top dressing his feed with. That is a drop in the bucket of calories a horse uses. It will not put weight on him not will leaving it off cause him to lose. To put it in perspective for an average 1000 lb horse that was only needing maintenance calories that is 1/2 of 1% . I wasn't sure of your measure for the flax as all it says is 1/2 ground flax. 1/2 pound would roughly be 1200 calories. Half again more than the oil calories but still just a small fraction. The benefit in the flax though is the Omega 3. Depending on the oil it may not have much at all and if Omega 6 is high (which in many oils it is) that promotes inflammation. As in all things there is a balance between the two that needs to be reached for optimum effectiveness. Most horses are just like us - when we add the processed foods in the Omega 6 rises to levels that are not balanced by the Omega three.



If you know the measure on the scoop then you can figure a ball park weight and have a guess as to the calories there. If your horse is at a good weight then calories you're on the right track so that just leaves the nutrition you are supplying and whether that is adequate and properly balanced.



I assume gumnuts are a type of feed that would compare to what we call pellets. Basically a commercially processed concentrate that provides the basics nutritionally. I do not mean a ration balancer specifically just a prepared feed as opposed to grass or hay forage feeds.



With prepared feeds they are typically created to address the basic needs for your area and pasture types. (Think something like Purina Strategy AX or GX - the AX is for those feeding alfalfa as their base forage and the GX is for those with grass forage The AX is not available to me unless I special order but since alfalfa is not grown here and most here feed grass hays and have grass pastures the GX is what is available). You could see if someone would put your feeds into the FeedXL calculator if you had a better idea of amounts and it would show any deficiencies or overloads. You could also sign up yourself though there is a charge for the service.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-23-2019, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
If the diet is appropriate or not will depend on his body condition. He might be obese currently, maybe underweight. Morgan breeding would indicate he tends towards the former.
Pictures?
The confirmation ones I have are from when he was still chubby, I only have riding ones. He has some winter fluff too, but he definitely isn't underweight, lol
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-23-2019, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
The oil maybe has 800 calories for what you are top dressing his feed with. That is a drop in the bucket of calories a horse uses. It will not put weight on him not will leaving it off cause him to lose. To put it in perspective for an average 1000 lb horse that was only needing maintenance calories that is 1/2 of 1% . I wasn't sure of your measure for the flax as all it says is 1/2 ground flax. 1/2 pound would roughly be 1200 calories. Half again more than the oil calories but still just a small fraction. The benefit in the flax though is the Omega 3. Depending on the oil it may not have much at all and if Omega 6 is high (which in many oils it is) that promotes inflammation. As in all things there is a balance between the two that needs to be reached for optimum effectiveness. Most horses are just like us - when we add the processed foods in the Omega 6 rises to levels that are not balanced by the Omega three.
Ok, so I'll probably stop the oil then. 1/2 cup, by the way, I'm an idiot and forgot to write that XD. Now that you're putting the calories down, it really doesn't seem to be much...can they get the right amount of nutrients and stuff from that little amount? Would I have to feed more to get the benefits? He isn't underweight, and I don't want him to gain any more because he will when spring comes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
If you know the measure on the scoop then you can figure a ball park weight and have a guess as to the calories there. If your horse is at a good weight then calories you're on the right track so that just leaves the nutrition you are supplying and whether that is adequate and properly balanced.
The scoops are just old plastic bottles. I think 2 litres for the chaff, and 1 litre for the gumnuts, but I'll double check tomorrow. Can you use human scales for food or no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
I assume gumnuts are a type of feed that would compare to what we call pellets. Basically a commercially processed concentrate that provides the basics nutritionally. I do not mean a ration balancer specifically just a prepared feed as opposed to grass or hay forage feeds.



With prepared feeds they are typically created to address the basic needs for your area and pasture types. (Think something like Purina Strategy AX or GX - the AX is for those feeding alfalfa as their base forage and the GX is for those with grass forage The AX is not available to me unless I special order but since alfalfa is not grown here and most here feed grass hays and have grass pastures the GX is what is available). You could see if someone would put your feeds into the FeedXL calculator if you had a better idea of amounts and it would show any deficiencies or overloads. You could also sign up yourself though there is a charge for the service.
Hmm, I don't know anyone who has the FeedXL calculator. Could you work it out by looking at the nutrition info?

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post #6 of 7 Old 07-23-2019, 10:09 AM
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@loosie would be able to help with the diet. Being she is from Australia and is familiar ,with what's available there for feeds.

If horse is an easy keeper probably want to go with a ration balancer of some kind. Or a good vit/min to cover his nutrition. They do need to have a season where they are lean, not good for them to stay fat long term.

My horse's are much thinner now ,then when coming out of winter. A little ribby but very fit.

Out riding my horse.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-24-2019, 08:27 AM
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There are members here with subscriptions to the FeedXL site that if they see this may choose to help you.



A human scale is fine for larger weights as you can weigh yourself then weigh again holding. Not precise but usually close enough. A kitchen scale works for smaller amounts. Mine will weigh up to 15 pounds with a high level of accuracy. They typically aren't that expensive and since you really shouldn't be feeding more than 5 pounds of concentrates to a horse can easily handle that part of the feed.


If you are sure on the sizes you can google corresponding weights. Here feed manufacturers will often have a chart that gives weights by measure that will get you close. I will pour what I measured out by scoop into a container I have the tare weight set on my scale so I now. For me for example the coffee can typically holds a pound and the metal scoop 3. If I change feeds I may or may not reweigh as I have consistently come up close to those weights.
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Last edited by QtrBel; 07-24-2019 at 08:33 AM.
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