Hello! I am new to HF, and I am in need of feed help.
I recently moved from a business barn to a private barn. At the previous barn, my horse was out on grass 24/7 and fed some sweet feed twice daily. At this new barn, we have to provide our own feed. She is still on the grass, but now she is also on hay (mixed grass, I think) and a red and Himalayan salt block 24/7 too. I always just used whatever the barn provided (bad horse owner, I know). Apparently, sweet feed is just sugary corn.... So, that is probably why my horse is fat....
This new barn is a co-op. We feed once daily. Although, since it is only about ten minutes from my house, so I can feed twice daily if needed. We feed separately in stalls. She is currently just getting a handful of very spread out timothy hay pellets to keep her occupied (she relentlessly paws at the door otherwise).
I have read that one should do a hay test at the very least. Although, a pasture and/or body (hair and/or blood) test for an extra measure is also recommended. There is one major problem with that: I am a minor, so my parents are will need to do most of the work (footing the bill, shipping, etc.), and they do not want to "deal with that."
What should I do? I have read that a ration balance or supplement(s) is a second-best to a fully custom diet. The problem is that there are literally hundreds on the market, all with different nutritional make-ups. How do you know which one to choose? I have read that everything is a balance between other vitamins and minerals. How do you know what is "balanced" without a hay and pasture analysis?