Is ignorance really bliss? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-16-2020, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Is ignorance really bliss?

We had the equine dentist out yesterday. It has been almost 2 years since he has seen the horses (whoops! my bad) My husbands horse Belle received a not so great report her last visit. Her enamel was soft, she had cavities and hooks and points. Dentist said she had the mouth of a 30 year old horse. He recommended a high mineral supplement to help her enamel and no sweet anything of any kind. We got this mare because she had foundered badly at her old home so we knew watch sugars (pasture and feed) and her feet (hoof wall etc) were a mess. We were pleasantly surprised when he said her mouth had done a complete turn around. Her enamel looked much much better and the cavities were not deep and he felt would self resolve as her teeth continued to erupt and be wore down.

The other 3 horses had minor points and some sharp spots but all in all a great report.

Here is my question - dentist noted that Belle had scratches still and I explained we have been fighting it all spring with minimal success. He said her mineral balance must be off and suggested we switch our minerals for her. But he had no suggestions on what to switch to.

I need help - I have 4 horses that I feed a mineral supplement to all of them. Currently they get Remission and a salt and mineral block - I have some interest in Vermont Blend or CA Trace BUT have no idea what to really feed. My daughters mare has decided that the root of one of the trees in the pasture is wonderful and has eaten the bark off of the exposed root - so I assume she is missing something. The horses get grass hay with very little alfalfa in it when they get locked in their runs at night, a breakfast of Alfalfa, Timothy and Beet Pulp pellets (soacked) and the same mid day at lunch and then 2-3 lbs each of SafeChoice maintenance at night (except Belle - she does not get more than a handful of grain - just enough to wet and feed her Remission)

I want to feed the same mineral supplement to all of my horses - but there are so many to choose from and most have good reviews. What is a good all around balanced mineral supplement? I have thought of adding a ration balancer but am not sure if they are well balanced.

I kind of missed the days when you threw a horse out in the pasture and just fed hay in the winter. So much less complicated - but I guess ignorance was Bliss!
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-16-2020, 10:26 AM
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I was recommended California Trace by my new farrier - I was going to post about it. I'm not sure where you live, but I'm in Michigan, and apparently either supplement, California Trace or Vermont Trace, would make a world of difference with their hooves. I'm opting for California Trace, it's a bit easier on the pocket.

So, I'm voting for California Trace. My new farrier's passion is to learn new information, no matter if it is about hooves or feed. Our first appointment, she mentioned two different weeks where she would be away continuing her education in trimming hooves. The other great farrier I had did the same, and she had all of my trust. I feel like my relationship with this farrier will be the same.

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post #3 of 20 Old 07-16-2020, 11:10 AM
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First, isn’t it great to know you’ve headed this horse down right path to good health - what a great job!

Regardless of whether your soil is high or low in selenium, Watch the selenium content in a mineral product you buy. That is one thing that too little is as bad for the horse as too much

If you buy your hay and alfalfa more than 30 days at a time, I would send them both out for a mineral analysis.

The gold standard for forage testing is Equi-analytical in New York. I generally have my results back, via e-mail, in less than a week after they receive the product.

When the results come back, go over them with your vet (who sounds pretty diet savvy BTW:).

It may end up you need a custom mineral mix. I am sure there are seve4al companies who will custom mix.

I know HorseTech does custom mixes, although I’ve never needed one. I will say that I have done business with them since 2014 with no complaints whatsoever.

They get the bulk of my horse supplement money as all I feed are Timothy pellets for the carrier of their vit/min supplement and whatever else each horse needs.

And yes, @carshon , I’m right I. There with you about the old days, lollol. Once Upon A Time my horses ran on 98 acres with beef cattle and had a big open barn for shelter.

They got fed a cup of home grown oats and CORN to keep them coming up to the barn every day. They ate home grown Timothy hay in the winter - that I had rope burns in my fingers when the trip rope didn’t trip, pulling it up into the hay mow the previous July, lollol

Nobody was sick, nobody foundered. — what the hayyyy has gone amuck in this world———

Anyway, I said all that to simply say, “start by testing your forages and go from there for mineral adds:):)
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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-16-2020, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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@walkinthewalk We grow our own hay - I had it tested last year and I can't remember the analysis but this year we got really dry after first cutting (which got rained on) so our second cut off of 6 acres was 87 bales. So I have had to buy small lots of hay from 2 different sellers and am hoping for a good third cutting so I don't have to buy more hay. If I remember correctly my last years hay was OK as far as a grass alfalfa mix went and my mineral additions put me in a pretty good place. BUT we had a really wet fall and winter and spring and our problem child (Belle) developed scratches which she had when we purchased her and got rid of - and then it came back with a vengeance this year as well as some white line separation. It would seem going basically grain free for her hasn't been the cure all I had hoped it would be.

@ClearDonkey please keep me posted on your transition to CA trace. I am interested in that product the most but feeding it to 4 horses seems like it could get expensive.
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-16-2020, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carshon View Post

@ClearDonkey please keep me posted on your transition to CA trace. I am interested in that product the most but feeding it to 4 horses seems like it could get expensive.
I forgot all about HorseTech as well! The woman I used to work for had a custom mix for her horses from HorseTech. She raved about HorseTech, and I enjoyed getting to experience their products without having to buy them for my horses. Her horses always looked great, despite being pasture pets only, though her horses did stop eating all of the product she was feeding near the end. I'm sure soaking the feed would remedy that, but I prefer quick morning routines.
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-16-2020, 07:45 PM
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Cal Trace is good stuff. I can't get it anymore in Canada, so I get my minerals from Mad Barn. The Amino Trace + blend is excellent, but not cheap. I get a custom mix that my trimmer/equine nutritionist has put together and my horses do well on it, but there are a few good options.

There are a lot of things I watch for when I pick a mineral mix, but here are a couple of important ones: avoid anything with fillers or sugar (watch for starch levels too, just like carbs for humans, they are basically sugar), check the ratios of the basic minerals (you can google this for specific info), and decide whether your horses can have iron and/or selenium because those two minerals can cause overload or toxicity in the case of selenium. We have very high iron, but no selenium so I make sure I do not give any additional iron, and that I do provide selenium. I prefer straight minerals to any kind of pelleted supplement, but that's me. I like to keep their diet as basic as possible. I just add the powdered minerals to soaked timothy hay cubes and molasses-free beet pulp twice a day to make sure they are ingested entirely.

As for salt and mineral blocks, they are not an efficient way to get a healthy, balanced diet. For one, horses' tongues, unlike cows, are not rough enough to get what they need, secondly, you have no control over how much they do get, and thirdly, they often contain things your horses do NOT need or should not have like iron.

Better to invest in a good mineral mix.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-16-2020, 07:48 PM
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Oh, and when I did feed Cal Trace, I tried the pellets and my older horse wouldn't touch it. I tried the powder and he ate it right up! Just mentioning it in case anyone finds the pellets less palatable.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-16-2020, 09:13 PM
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I have used CT for quite some time (years actually) and really like it. I now give them CT+ and all three will eat it by itself. I had to mix the regular CA Trace with something for them to eat it. The regular CT is now also made with or without selenium if you don't need that mineral added. What I like about it is that is has no iron content.

My girls live on a pasture that is fairly poor and they are supplemented with timothy and coastal hay (I like for them to have a variety of grasses). I give them the CA+ with timothy pellets. Since I have found a really good trimmer and pulled them off of alfalfa hay, I have not had issues with hoof separation at all. At the moment, I am trying a little experiment by giving them their mineral supplement with alfalfa pellets but a small amount. I want to see what happens. I'm trying to find a way for them to get enough protein without the issues. In the past, even just giving them a 30% protein ration balancer gave two of them a lumpy cresty neck without being fat. Too much alfalfa hay was doing the same.

For me CT has been a lifesaver. The nature of the land that they are on is that it is very acidic soil. In this condition, the plants really can't take up much of anything but iron if there was anything to take up. I really feel like liming the soil would help drastically but it's not my property, so there's that.

Honestly, I have had to go through all of this trial and error on my own because everything that I read is so conflicting. I had to find out what works for them. One of my mares has no trouble at all with most things but she is just fine on the same diet as the two that do.

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post #9 of 20 Old 07-17-2020, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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All good info! I believe my area according to the Farm Bureau is not high in Iron or Selenium. I am mostly interested in helping our previously foundered mare she is at a great weight now but still has some fat pads that really are not going anywhere. Mulling over my options
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-17-2020, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Oh, and when I did feed Cal Trace, I tried the pellets and my older horse wouldn't touch it. I tried the powder and he ate it right up! Just mentioning it in case anyone finds the pellets less palatable.
Do you think it is worth trying out the samples for both the pellets and powder before ordering a larger supply?

He's Ultimately Fine - Toofine - 1998 Half Arabian
Wilhelmina - Minnie - 2013 Morgan
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