Tricky Question Re: Feeding Horse Prone to Acidic Gut (long) - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 38 Old 05-07-2017, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
Basic understanding of horse nutrition, is a start, and knowing that horse feeds are divided into three main categories, not by what they only contain, but by their main content

Forage feed
Protein feed
energy feed

You then can apply the KISS principle to your own horse, never be a slave to those feed companies and their marketing, and able to formulate your own diet, for each horse, based on what he needs

You can have bagged feed with 16% protein, and still not have the horse get his daily needs, if the forage is only around 9%
Nope, feed companies make zero off of me, buying any formulated bag of feed!
Sure, that sounds very nice and easy. It is, much of the time. With my other horse, I could give her any variety of forages and have her do just fine. I could leave her out on pasture at this time of the year, 24/7 with no hay and just give a vitamin/mineral supplement to round out her needs. She'd do great, and have all her needs met. I could also have her in a dry lot at night (which I currently do), and feed any of the following forages which is available to me: alfalfa grass hay mix, good quality timothy, good quality orchard grass, good quality valley grass, chaff/chopped hay either alfalfa or timothy or a mix. She'd eat enough of any of those forages to be healthy, have great digestion, enough protein, calories (energy) etc.

Unfortunately, this won't work for all horses. It's one thing to provide 24/7 forage, and another thing to have a horse actually get enough calories from it to maintain a healthy weight. For instance, if I put my hard keeper mare out on the same good quality pasture as my other mare and left them out 24/7, she would quickly drop weight down to a very low BCS while my other mare would maintain. So obviously she needs more calories than just grass can provide. Providing good pasture for 12 hours/day with hay provided in the morning for a couple hours, plus access to hay for 12 hours at night free choice also only got me a horse with a very low BCS.

So in that case, you say you wouldn't go for any formulated feed...that sounds fine too. So there are a few options, and we're still in the roughage category: beet pulp, hay pellets such as alfalfa or timothy pellets, copra, chaff. Except what happens when you offer these free choice to a horse and they won't eat more than a pound or two? So you still have a horse on a complete roughage diet, but low BCS. Yet you probably want to exercise the horse, so you need enough calories so the horse can create muscle and have enough fat for health.

If you still want to stay away from formulated feeds, you can try adding fat such as rice bran, a powdered fat such as cool calories, BOSS or some type of oil like flaxseed, canola, coconut, soy. Again that's fine, except some horses (I've discovered) don't like the taste of rice bran or powdered fats, and don't like their feed wet and oily so won't eat too much wet fat.

So now you've tried adding roughage, protein and energy in various forms, and so now what? I've learned it's not always so easy. Friends are feeding 18 hand TBs in hard work, and horses with no teeth, etc, so I don't think it's so easy to just avoid formulated feeds for everyone. I'm not trying to be rude, just facetious, but I was reading in another thread that you said if people hadn't fallen off horses they hadn't ridden green types or problem horses. I am guessing it's the same with nutrition: if you think it's simple to keep weight on horses, you perhaps haven't fed enough types especially "problem" horses. LOL.
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post #32 of 38 Old 05-07-2017, 02:23 PM
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I have a horse that is very similar to your horse in bodyweight in the spring, performance shape but a bit ribby. My other horses eat the same things he does, they are fine, a bit fat actually. I am not one for feeding large amounts of grain, just beet pulp, Hoffman's minerals and a bit of extruded feed, and unlimited hay, whatever I got in the fall, mostly timothy mix. So I did a bit of research and came up with stabilised rice bran, WOW. Within a week of adding 2 cups to his pulp, he glossed up and ribs buried. I only did that for a month while waiting for my pastures to green up. This is the article that sold me on it:
https://ker.com/products/ker-product...an-for-horses/
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post #33 of 38 Old 05-08-2017, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
Sure, that sounds very nice and easy. It is, much of the time. With my other horse, I could give her any variety of forages and have her do just fine. I could leave her out on pasture at this time of the year, 24/7 with no hay and just give a vitamin/mineral supplement to round out her needs. She'd do great, and have all her needs met. I could also have her in a dry lot at night (which I currently do), and feed any of the following forages which is available to me: alfalfa grass hay mix, good quality timothy, good quality orchard grass, good quality valley grass, chaff/chopped hay either alfalfa or timothy or a mix. She'd eat enough of any of those forages to be healthy, have great digestion, enough protein, calories (energy) etc.

Unfortunately, this won't work for all horses. It's one thing to provide 24/7 forage, and another thing to have a horse actually get enough calories from it to maintain a healthy weight. For instance, if I put my hard keeper mare out on the same good quality pasture as my other mare and left them out 24/7, she would quickly drop weight down to a very low BCS while my other mare would maintain. So obviously she needs more calories than just grass can provide. Providing good pasture for 12 hours/day with hay provided in the morning for a couple hours, plus access to hay for 12 hours at night free choice also only got me a horse with a very low BCS.

So in that case, you say you wouldn't go for any formulated feed...that sounds fine too. So there are a few options, and we're still in the roughage category: beet pulp, hay pellets such as alfalfa or timothy pellets, copra, chaff. Except what happens when you offer these free choice to a horse and they won't eat more than a pound or two? So you still have a horse on a complete roughage diet, but low BCS. Yet you probably want to exercise the horse, so you need enough calories so the horse can create muscle and have enough fat for health.

If you still want to stay away from formulated feeds, you can try adding fat such as rice bran, a powdered fat such as cool calories, BOSS or some type of oil like flaxseed, canola, coconut, soy. Again that's fine, except some horses (I've discovered) don't like the taste of rice bran or powdered fats, and don't like their feed wet and oily so won't eat too much wet fat.

So now you've tried adding roughage, protein and energy in various forms, and so now what? I've learned it's not always so easy. Friends are feeding 18 hand TBs in hard work, and horses with no teeth, etc, so I don't think it's so easy to just avoid formulated feeds for everyone. I'm not trying to be rude, just facetious, but I was reading in another thread that you said if people hadn't fallen off horses they hadn't ridden green types or problem horses. I am guessing it's the same with nutrition: if you think it's simple to keep weight on horses, you perhaps haven't fed enough types especially "problem" horses. LOL.
Well, I would not use BOSS as it is sun flower seed, and about 100% omega 6
If more protein is needed, for work load, feed a high protein feed
You are quite correct, that except for my 30 year old mare taht I put down about ayear ago, my problem is centered more around horses that are easy keepers, and I do believe they are so much harder to manage, as ahard keeper i can turn out on pasture full time-God knows I have enough pasture!
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post #34 of 38 Old 05-08-2017, 12:21 AM
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I imagine you have this protein feed info, but will paste it anyways, just in case

http://gettyequinenutrition.biz/Libr...estsources.htm

Flax would be my choice, far as more calories from afat source

Far as pasture, you need to bring her to my place, and I am quite sure she would do great,keeping weight on. Not all pasture is the same, and I am cursed with pasture that my son even says is way richer then his pasture, as his horses only have to be here for aweek or more, to gain a lot of weight that they do not put on at home, on my son's pasture
I might regret saying this, but give me a hard keeper any day, over an easy keeper.

Last edited by Smilie; 05-08-2017 at 12:26 AM.
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post #35 of 38 Old 05-08-2017, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
I imagine you have this protein feed info, but will paste it anyways, just in case

http://gettyequinenutrition.biz/Libr...estsources.htm

Flax would be my choice, far as more calories from afat source

Far as pasture, you need to bring her to my place, and I am quite sure she would do great,keeping weight on. Not all pasture is the same, and I am cursed with pasture that my son even says is way richer then his pasture, as his horses only have to be here for aweek or more, to gain a lot of weight that they do not put on at home, on my son's pasture
I might regret saying this, but give me a hard keeper any day, over an easy keeper.
Thank you for that source.
I agree that flax is a great source for fats, and better than BOSS. At one point a couple years ago I was feeding BOSS, because I couldn't get her to eat wet oils and was looking for another source of fat she would eat. Even though it is high in Omega 6, it still was a calorie source and I was rather stumped about what else to feed.
@waresbear had a great suggestion for rice bran, and I have fed it, loved it. The one I fed for quite awhile was Nutrena Empower Boost, and Halla would eat 2 lbs of it daily for a few months. That was the only time over the years that I've had her a 5+ BCS. Then for some reason she went off the taste, and started leaving more and more until finally she was only taking a bite. Tried other rice brans but couldn't get her to eat them. So we moved on to other things.

@Smilie , you just might regret saying "give me a hard keeper" someday! LOL. Actually, both can be quite difficult, I have to admit. When my other mare has gained a little too much weight it is extremely difficult to get it back off of her.

Our pasture here looks about like this right now:
Very green, lush, a few weeds.

Two horses, Nala and Halla are thin. ALL the rest are fat. Some are quite fat, nearing dangerous (their owners give our high quality hay free choice, plus the pasture). Hopefully they will put the grazing muzzles on them soon.
Nala is in hard work, ridden 30 miles a week or so with lots of cantering and galloping. Halla is just special.
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post #36 of 38 Old 05-08-2017, 10:55 AM
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I guess the fence always does look greener on the other side, LOl, but i almost dread now when the grass starts to grow, as it spells , 'management'
Our pastures are not up nearly as much as yours, yet I already have grazing muzzle on Charlie when I turn her out, have to keep Carmen in almost full time, as I can't keep a muzzle on her, and am already wondering when I have to take away the two hours Smilie currently gets on pasture, with a grazing .muzzle
Seems it is much easier for me to get away in winter, while in the grass growing months, when it should be easy to get away, I am a slave to managing my horses!
Would be wonderful to turn horses out, and only have someone come and check on them, making sure fences, ect were okay
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post #37 of 38 Old 05-11-2017, 06:55 PM
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Gotta, I had a discussion with my coach yesterday, about ribby horses, feeding them everything under the sun and still stuck with a ribby horse. She is a very experienced horse woman who has fitted champion horses for decades, so she knows her stuff. She said sometimes the horse is out of alignment, and the TMJ could be out as well, horse just doesn't feel like eating lots. Might be something worth looking into, just make sure the chiropractor can do TMJ adjustments, not all can, and you have some therapeutic massage lined up afterwards, as muscles have a memory and throw things right back out to where they were.

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post #38 of 38 Old 05-11-2017, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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^^^^^^Thanks, that sounds like something worth looking into.
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