Feeding my horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question Feeding my horse

Hey guys, I need a little help. I'm used to feeding my horse, 5% sweet feed. That was back when I was around 11 years old when 'dad bought me a pony.' I am sure a lot has changed since then. I have been taking lessons but not on a horse of my own, so I haven't really seen what they have been fed.
I have a 9 year old standard-bred that I ride mostly just english pleasure. He has access to pasture and also a large round bale when he's outside. Im not quite sure what to feed him. So, long story short....
- what grain should I be using?
- how much/many times a day?
- Any supplements?

thanks in advance!
Megan
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 01:13 PM
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Is this your horse or a lease horse? Is he at home or a boarded? Do you know what he is eating as that should be where you start?

If he is holding his weight and looks good on pasture with supplemental hay there is no reason to feed him grain. If he is not on a granular ration balancer like Moormans Grostrong or Purina FreeBalance 12 (I think that is what they call it) then that would probably all I'd add.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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He's mine. I have him at my house (4 acres) I use a round bail and just pasture grazing. I feed him 5% sweet feed once a day, but I was curious if that's what I should be doing. I haven't had my own horse in a while and I just needed a little advice on what he should be getting. Thanks for the help!
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 05:45 PM
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How much by weight do you feed?

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 06:39 PM
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As QtrBel says, if he maintains weight well, no need for supplementary high calorie food. He will probably need nutritional supplementation tho & could perhaps get all he needs from a Ration Balancer.

Grain & sweets are generally not good for horses. Modern cereal grain is v3ry high in starch & sugars, which is not good, especially when too much, or too much for the stomach to handle. The horse needs to digest this in the stomach, as that is where the enzymes to deal with it are. Undigested sugars/starch going into the 'hind gut' are what is most problematic.

Grain is also difficult to digest(oats about only one readily digestible), unless well processed. The horse has a small stomach that empties quickly too, esp if it gets full, so large, rich meals are the worst for going into the hind gut with little digestion. And infrequent 'meals' also make it harder on the horse, as they're built' for small amounts going through their stomach near constantly. So if you are going to supplementary feed, best to avoid grain & other sugary ingredients, and best to feed the ration over a few small feeds daily.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 06:55 PM
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So much more to feeding than what you are giving us in information...
Horse is on a round roll and 4 acres of pasture?
So is this unlimited ability to eat whichever hay/pasture the animal wants?
Because you have 4 acres of grass does not mean the horse has 4 acres he will eat as horses are picky connoisseurs of what goes in their mouth...
How often do you ride, for how long and what activity do you do during that ride?
How much trotting/cantering and galloping do you do?
Is your horse getting thin or look healthy with nice roundness to his back, butt and are his flanks sunken, bulging out or flat if you stand behind him and look at him?

How old is that avatar picture and does the horse still look like that?
Sharing a current picture of the horse naked standing with his head up will tell us a lot about underweight, overweight or good weight for us to offer better comments to you.
What feed specific by name and style is the horse fed and if you are using a scoop what size and how many times a day is he given that with how full and quantity?

So by that picture this is not a small horse but a good sized animal.
I would estimate him at least 1000 pounds.
So 5% for him... it can't possibly be 5% of his weight cause that would be 50 pounds of feed...my math is seriously wrong.

Horse feed, good quality has directions on bag back on how much to feed and how to figure what level of work, to figure in the forage the animal is eating a day and then minimum amounts to feed so daily minimums are met for vitamins and minerals...
Its not just a simple answer of scoop and feed this or that...
If your horse is really doing well with hay/pasture then he doesn't need feed but a ration balance specific for horses on pasture so he is indeed getting his daily amounts of vitamin/minerals to keep him healthiest.
A white salt block and fresh water plentiful are givens to any horse for life and thriving.

So, some filling in the blanks please so we can help you more accurately with answers.
...
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
So 5% for him... it can't possibly be 5% of his weight cause that would be 50 pounds of feed...my math is seriously wrong.
Hehe! Your maths is right for that equation but what's with the 5%?? 2% is the general 'rule of thumb' of how much feed a horse needs daily.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 07:33 PM
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I have to wonder if this is Blue Ribbon Gold 5% which is a ration balancer.....
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 07:35 PM
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loosie...
Either you read it wrong or I did...

5% fed in horse feed???

I'm not talking hay but feed....

For feed, I was once told...1 pound of feed fed for every hundred the animal should weigh...
So, my OTTB should weigh between 1200 - 1300 hundred fully weighted...
That equates to as much as 12 -13 pounds of feed a day and again was told mid protein level, higher fat and fiber as today many feeds are now made...
That is a lot of food fed when fed 2x a day hard feed plus their ration of hay or unlimited...
Depending upon what feed fed, that could give some a problem I would think metabolically.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-08-2020, 08:42 PM
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Feeding my horse

My horses are currently grain free, being fed coastal round bale, alfalfa pellets and soybean meal (Iím feeding per a specific feed guru). Prior to switching to grain free, they were on Total Equine , a 15% protein 5% fat grain (Iím in Texas so donít know if itís available everywhere) and prior to that they were on a 12 % protein 8% fat grain. They are rodeo drill team performance horses (paint/quarter horse cross) in moderate work nine months out of the year and did well on each of those type feeds. They always have access to pasture and round bale year-round. Edited to add: Iím not a fan of sweet feed for any horse...just a personal preference.


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