Feeding and supplements advice needed :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-08-2014, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Feeding and supplements advice needed :)

I am really careful about the things I feed my horses. Like any horse owner I want to give them the best. Currently they are on a cube diet. They get 2 cans of cubes in the morning each and 1 1/2 cans of cubes each at night. At night they also get a few supplements. My 3 1/2 year old appoloosa is currently in barrel training. She gets a 1/2 cup of horseshoers secret for her hooves. I live in an area covered in sand so she also gets 1/3 cup of sand clear to prevent sand colic. Then she gets a small amount of red cell and about a small amount of Apple cider vinegar(keeps flys off all day:)). I also have a 17 year old retired barrel horse who, with her nighttime feeding, gets the same supplements except she also gets 2 cups of purina equine senior grain as well. I would like to know what the best supplements are to give them. I would like to go all natural on supplements if at all possible. I don't want to pump them full of chemical based supplements. Any advice or suggestions would be great :) thanks!:)
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-08-2014, 07:16 AM
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The best thing to give them is what they need. Are there any health issues or issues with their hooves? Are they missing minerals in their "cubes"? What exactly are the cubes? Do they get any grass or hay? You can have those tested for missing or low minerals. Just saying they get 3 1/2 cans of cubes a day doesn't help much. How much in weight are they getting? Do they have access to salt or mineral blocks or loose? Are they having a hard time keeping or gaining weight?

Too often people pump too much extra into horses that they really don't need. That gets to be a waste of money and can sometimes be worse for them. Granted that the younger one is in training and would need more calories for energy and protein for muscle development, does she really need anything else? The older one would need less with not having as much workload.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-08-2014, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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The best thing to give them is what they need. Are there any health issues or issues with their hooves? Are they missing minerals in their "cubes"? What exactly are the cubes? Do they get any grass or hay? You can have those tested for missing or low minerals. Just saying they get 3 1/2 cans of cubes a day doesn't help much. How much in weight are they getting? Do they have access to salt or mineral blocks or loose? Are they having a hard time keeping or gaining weight?

Too often people pump too much extra into horses that they really don't need. That gets to be a waste of money and can sometimes be worse for them. Granted that the younger one is in training and would need more calories for energy and protein for muscle development, does she really need anything else? The older one would need less with not having as much workload.
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They do have issues with their hooves. The older horse's left front hoof grows faster than the others and grows over the frog which causes abcesses. The younger one has the same problem with her back feet. They grow differently than the front. But since I have had them on the supplement they haven't had any problems. The vet prescribed the hoof supplement to me. The cubes are simply compressed alfalfa with nothing else in them. And they get about 4 pounds In the morning and three at night. They also get turned out during the day, but until monsoon season hits, there isn't too much for them to graze on. They don't have any weight issues. They are both in very good shape, especially the older one. They both have a salt&mineral block in their stalls that they use quite often.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-09-2014, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Gidgetbabii View Post
I am really careful about the things I feed my horses. Like any horse owner I want to give them the best. Currently they are on a cube diet. They get 2 cans of cubes in the morning each and 1 1/2 cans of cubes each at night. At night they also get a few supplements. My 3 1/2 year old appoloosa is currently in barrel training. She gets a 1/2 cup of horseshoers secret for her hooves. I live in an area covered in sand so she also gets 1/3 cup of sand clear to prevent sand colic. Then she gets a small amount of red cell and about a small amount of Apple cider vinegar(keeps flys off all day:)). I also have a 17 year old retired barrel horse who, with her nighttime feeding, gets the same supplements except she also gets 2 cups of purina equine senior grain as well. I would like to know what the best supplements are to give them. I would like to go all natural on supplements if at all possible. I don't want to pump them full of chemical based supplements. Any advice or suggestions would be great :) thanks!:)
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You do know horses are grass/forage eaters!?
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-09-2014, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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You do know horses are grass/forage eaters!?
Yes. I do know that.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-09-2014, 04:34 PM
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Drop the red cell. Too much iron and unless your horses are training like a 2 yr old thoroughbred they don't need it. Could even cause problems with older, easy keepers. A multi-vitamin or ration balancer would probably be a better choice.
They need hay if your in the desert. Also if you aren't feeding somewhere in the ball park of the amounts listed on the feed bag you are shorting them nutrition.

Iron Overload in Horses | The Naturally Healthy Horse Blog

Hoof grows over frog? Never saw that. Folded over bars? That's a trimming problem not a nutritional one. Got any pictures?
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-09-2014, 06:19 PM
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Agree on the Red Cell - it can have a negative effect on the feet because of the iron in it - unless a horse has bleeding ulcers, encysted worms or some other reason to have anemia they don't need extra iron. Stop using it
I prefer to use a forage based feed like Triple Crown Safe Starch that's already got all the balanced vitamins and minerals in it that a horse needs and add some sugar beet, alfalfa pellets or grass pellets to that if the horse needs something extra
Not sure what you mean by 'not chemicals' - you give your horse a salt lick - salt is a chemical!!
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-11-2014, 09:30 PM
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Hi there,
You have started feeding your horses naturally by feeding them apple cider vinegar. I prefer organic apple cider vinegar for my horses that way you don't have to worry about pesticides/chemicals.

Also it is good to use vinegar made from the whole apple.
Apple cider vinegar has calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, silicon, chlorine and sodium. You can feed an average dose of 1-2 ounces a day.

It is good for cleansing blood impurities, reducing calcification in joints and arteries, tying up of muscles and improving overall health.
It helped my horse Penny with her clicking joints. If you want to stay with natural supplements you can also add organic kelp.

Kelp has calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, zinc, vitamin A, Vitamin B, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D.

For horses you can feed 5-20 grams a day (1 teaspoon = 5 grams, 2 teaspoons = 10 grams, 3 teaspoons = 15 grams, 4 teaspoons = 20 grams).

I feed my horses 10 grams a day plus 2 ounces of organic apple cider vinegar a day.

You can't go wrong if you include both of these in your horses daily diet. It can't get anymore natural then that.

Best of luck.
Mary

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