Supplement or feed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-14-2019, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Supplement or feed?

Horse needs a little more weight. Right now ribs show a little. Vet says he would be okay if he was a game horse. She would rather see a horse with a little layer over the ribs. So she doesn't think he needs much more, just a little fine tuning.
He doesn't have a specific job currently. He is in training, but it depends on the week, how many days. 2-4 days. In addition to that I go spend time with him 3-6 days/week. We just lunge. Not circles, but around obstacles and such. Nothing serious, he rarely breaks much of a sweat for that.
Pasture about 12 hours/day. Grass isn't as great as it was a month ago but its okay. We are in Wisconsin. Most in his pasture look similar to him. Not underweight per say, but wouldn't hurt to gain a little.
He will get smaller by end of winter compared to what he is now.
Gets 1.5lbs 12% sweet barn grain. Some hay but not as much once on pasture for the summer. Some tossed in at night.
Horse is mellow, I do not want the sweet grain increased. I like him that way.
I've read up on Purina Ultium and its a 'cool' feed. And suggested to me by mentor.
Horse likes chewing away at food. That's why I'm leaning towards added feed instead of supplements. Give him more to eat in his bin and keep him happy, rather than the supplement. But that's just because Reno likes eating, I have nothing else I'm basing it off.
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 12:19 AM
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Sweet feed tends to be very poor quality and just "junk feed" (like fruity cereals lol). Ultium is a very good quality feed, I've used it extensively on competition horses and pasture puffs, puts weight on without blowing them up physically or mentally. I would highly recommend it.

Make sure he's getting at least 2% of his body weight in quality pasture or hay daily, it sounds like he could use more on that front. And while I would cut out the sweet feed it doesn't sound like he necessarily needs the Ultium, however if you're willing to try it it would be worth a shot! Don't add it to the sweet feed, give just the Ultium (and his hay/pasture) and ditch the sweet feed. Work him up to the minimum amount and see what happens, you can always give more but I'm guessing he won't need it.

Be careful with adding food just because he likes it lol, I know it's nice to see them happy but adding too much really isn't good. But he will likely get the same amount of food, maybe a little more, and it seems to be a very tasty feed so I'm sure he'll love it!

Do you have pictures of the horse?
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 08:53 AM
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I like Purina Strategy and Strategy Healthy Edge (more fat than the Strategy). I agree sweet feed is just a bunch of candy!
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 09:32 AM
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For many areas pasture is headed out as fall approaches, growth wanes and nutritional values found in the grass diminish to being busy food.
I would be increasing his hay intake immediately if he is out grazing 12 hours and you see all the horses not looking great...your pasture is near gone/spent.
Increase the hay, quality hay given..for most horses that is between 15 - 20 pounds a day of "forage" needed to start.
Add feed loaded with vitamins and minerals so the horse can benefit most from what it eats and what the body needs to thrive and flourish.
I also feed Ultium to my horses...they all love it, are not "hot" and are glossy coats...best is it is not excessively high in starch or sugars.

You can also try adding soaked alfalfa cubes...
You can split the amount between 2 feedings or just give one time a day.
I feed 2 - 3 large handfuls in a flat back water bucket filled with water... this is near overflowing once they soften & expand...
I have started to feed that bucket {in a large floor pan} to my horse at night when he comes in to get away from mosquitoes...he loves them and licks every morsel gone!
The difference is startling when they fill in in places you not realized were lacking.
Top-line and ribs all covered easily, my horse loves his mushy mess and I'm happy with how my horse now looks.
I do not understand the reasoning but found cubes added gave me weight gain....
I tried pellets and they even in more quantity did not give me the results I searched for.
...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Its difficult for me to get right files to upload from here but i'll try. My profile is him but it was shortly after getting on pasture this year after working up to it in few hour increments. The pic is a little misleading with shadowing too, he isn't as full as it looks even at that point. [[][/[]


His board includes the 12% sweet grain. You don't think just adding the Ultium to it is a good idea? He does well on it, he just needs more calories.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post
Sweet feed tends to be very poor quality and just "junk feed" (like fruity cereals lol). Ultium is a very good quality feed, I've used it extensively on competition horses and pasture puffs, puts weight on without blowing them up physically or mentally. I would highly recommend it.

Make sure he's getting at least 2% of his body weight in quality pasture or hay daily, it sounds like he could use more on that front. And while I would cut out the sweet feed it doesn't sound like he necessarily needs the Ultium, however if you're willing to try it it would be worth a shot! Don't add it to the sweet feed, give just the Ultium (and his hay/pasture) and ditch the sweet feed. Work him up to the minimum amount and see what happens, you can always give more but I'm guessing he won't need it. He does see a Chiro for his back and had his second appointment this past Monday and pick was a couple days prior. She is also a Vet and actually who told me he could gain some. The Chiro has helped greatly, he didn't have any specific issue, but he looks better and seems to feel better having them. We think there was a saddle fit issue for awhile but now with the new pad (I forget brand but its a top of the line pad that has now made his trainers saddle fit perfectly, that with the Chiro has improved things. He has difficult withers to fit).

Be careful with adding food just because he likes it lol, I know it's nice to see them happy but adding too much really isn't good. But he will likely get the same amount of food, maybe a little more, and it seems to be a very tasty feed so I'm sure he'll love it!

Do you have pictures of the horse?
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg 815 reno pic.jpeg (154.3 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpeg 815renopic.jpeg (151.4 KB, 3 views)
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Last edited by BeckyFletcher; 08-15-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
For many areas pasture is headed out as fall approaches, growth wanes and nutritional values found in the grass diminish to being busy food.
I would be increasing his hay intake immediately if he is out grazing 12 hours and you see all the horses not looking great...your pasture is near gone/spent.
Increase the hay, quality hay given..for most horses that is between 15 - 20 pounds a day of "forage" needed to start.
Add feed loaded with vitamins and minerals so the horse can benefit most from what it eats and what the body needs to thrive and flourish.
I also feed Ultium to my horses...they all love it, are not "hot" and are glossy coats...best is it is not excessively high in starch or sugars.

You can also try adding soaked alfalfa cubes...
You can split the amount between 2 feedings or just give one time a day.
I feed 2 - 3 large handfuls in a flat back water bucket filled with water... this is near overflowing once they soften & expand...
I have started to feed that bucket {in a large floor pan} to my horse at night when he comes in to get away from mosquitoes...he loves them and licks every morsel gone!
The difference is startling when they fill in in places you not realized were lacking.
Top-line and ribs all covered easily, my horse loves his mushy mess and I'm happy with how my horse now looks.
I do not understand the reasoning but found cubes added gave me weight gain....
I tried pellets and they even in more quantity did not give me the results I searched for.
...

Would I notice 'hotness' from alfalfa usually? I do like his laid back attitude and dont want it changed. I've been thinking about purchasing my own hay/alfalfa to supplement what Board gives him with a slow feed net at night when he's stalled.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
For many areas pasture is headed out as fall approaches, growth wanes and nutritional values found in the grass diminish to being busy food.
I would be increasing his hay intake immediately if he is out grazing 12 hours and you see all the horses not looking great...your pasture is near gone/spent.
Increase the hay, quality hay given..for most horses that is between 15 - 20 pounds a day of "forage" needed to start.
Add feed loaded with vitamins and minerals so the horse can benefit most from what it eats and what the body needs to thrive and flourish.
I also feed Ultium to my horses...they all love it, are not "hot" and are glossy coats...best is it is not excessively high in starch or sugars.

You can also try adding soaked alfalfa cubes...
You can split the amount between 2 feedings or just give one time a day.
I feed 2 - 3 large handfuls in a flat back water bucket filled with water... this is near overflowing once they soften & expand...
I have started to feed that bucket {in a large floor pan} to my horse at night when he comes in to get away from mosquitoes...he loves them and licks every morsel gone!
The difference is startling when they fill in in places you not realized were lacking.
Top-line and ribs all covered easily, my horse loves his mushy mess and I'm happy with how my horse now looks.
I do not understand the reasoning but found cubes added gave me weight gain....
I tried pellets and they even in more quantity did not give me the results I searched for.
...

Would I notice 'hotness' from alfalfa usually? I do like his laid back attitude and dont want it changed. I've been thinking about purchasing my own hay/alfalfa to supplement what Board gives him with a slow feed net at night when he's stalled.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post
Sweet feed tends to be very poor quality and just "junk feed" (like fruity cereals lol). Ultium is a very good quality feed, I've used it extensively on competition horses and pasture puffs, puts weight on without blowing them up physically or mentally. I would highly recommend it.

Make sure he's getting at least 2% of his body weight in quality pasture or hay daily, it sounds like he could use more on that front. And while I would cut out the sweet feed it doesn't sound like he necessarily needs the Ultium, however if you're willing to try it it would be worth a shot! Don't add it to the sweet feed, give just the Ultium (and his hay/pasture) and ditch the sweet feed. Work him up to the minimum amount and see what happens, you can always give more but I'm guessing he won't need it.

Be careful with adding food just because he likes it lol, I know it's nice to see them happy but adding too much really isn't good. But he will likely get the same amount of food, maybe a little more, and it seems to be a very tasty feed so I'm sure he'll love it!

Do you have pictures of the horse?
Would be nice if this pic worked:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image1[1].jpg (17.6 KB, 1 views)
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 04:26 PM
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His weight looks good to me, you don't want him fat. Looks like he just needs condition (weight/muscle/shine) to give him that nice bloom.

I have read that horses that get hot on alfalfa are usually allergic to it. It's not going to effect his personality, that's just who he is, but if you find it gives him too much energy then just stop feeding it. Personally I would just swap his grain and make sure he's getting enough "regular" forage.

And in terms of adding vs swapping, the sweet feed may be free but I wouldn't feed almost any sweet feed even if free it's really not healthy, you also want his main feed to be good quality, so good quality hay (which we have addressed) at an appropriate amount then if needed a good quality feed to balance that out and add a little extra for the horses that need that. So there is no benefit to adding a little Ultium when his main feed isn't doing anything, while I get that it's free there really isn't a point other then that. Also, that will likely be a good amount of grain! Even a very hard keeper should never get more then 5 pounds of grain per feeding, it's not healthy. Less is always more and lean is healthier then fat. You should only feed what they NEED in grain never anything more as even quality feeds aren't "healthy" in the sense that horses are designed to eat forage not be loaded up with man made feeds. Feeding two feeds just because is a waste at best and dangerous at worse, it could also be too much for him just in terms of weight. If you want to keep the sweet feed and top dress something you could look just at a fat supplement that will have an even higher fat content then any feed but I think that would be the less preferable option. You could also add other forage options into his meals, but again I think ditching the sweet feed would be your best bet.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-15-2019, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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I always try to keep the pictures that he looks heavier in. The two that really show it wont upload for me in their format. Work computer. lol


He gets 1.5lbs of the barn grain twice a day. I do think they should give more hay. I think its a touchy subject and I might have to supplement that on my own. They arent starving of course. Which works fine at night but during the day he's on pasture with others.
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