Originally Posted by WhattaTroublemaker View Post
I'm having an absolute terrible time finding a feed that's low in sugar and starch. I'm pretty sure Trouble had a couple bouts of laminitis in the past and I need something to feed with his supplements. No one knows anything in my feed stores and I got very frustrated yesterday when the clerk told me sweet feed would be great for him. UM NO. What do you all suggest? One store carries blue seal and the others carry purina and Shur Gain brand feeds.
I'll go a little bit out on a limb and consider that because you're worried about laminitis you're worrying about sources of starch that are high in NSC. That seems to be what horse owners know about, but the subject of starches in the equine diet entails a bit more than just that.
My personal feelings about feeds in general is that the feed industry over all spoon feeds horse owners a bunch of BS so that they can get you to buy whatever they tell you that you need. Each manufacturing is doing the same sales pitch for their item and they collect their followers who march in lockstep to song they sing. Obviously I don't have much respect for the feed industry in general.
My recommendation would be what I feed. Beet pulp (with not molasses added) and copra. I'm not advertising here, but just providing infor on my source so you'll have a source in case you can locate another. My beet pulp is Standlee and my copra is CoolStance. They are both just made just one item and not some form of "balanced feed" (which is BS too since how is someone going to create a "balanced" feed if they haven't tested my soil, grass, and hay to determine what my horses are already getting against what else they might need).
Both beet pulp and copra are very low in NSC, sugars, and have good nutrition value for equines. Beet pulp is fiber with significantly better nutritional value than any hay you can find and is good for a healthy equine hind gut. Copra is super digestible and is absorbed in the small intestine. They compliment each other well for balancing out the Ca to P ratio since beet pulp has high Ca, but virtually no P. Copra has high P and very low Ca (the reverse of what equines need). The right mix will result in about a 2 to 1 ratio (CA to P) which works well for horses.
Aside from feed. keep in mind that most cases of founder happen between mid Spring and early Summer (that's when I deal with most of the foot problems around here). The result of horses being turned out to graze on lush grass coming up after Winter which is high in NSC. To help with this you can look at cutting the grass to about 3-4" and if practical turn the horses out on it in the early morning before the sun is up and pull them off it about 10 am or earlier. The dynamics of the grass changes during the day with the amount of sun it gets. After being in the dark all night it's less problematic, but starts changing after the sun comes up. Also check you hay. If it's too high you can soak it in water to leech out some of the NSC.