What do you feed for the winter? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-11-2014, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
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What do you feed for the winter?

How does everyone keep there horses looking there best weight wise and coat?

My TB is now up to weight and she gets 2 lbs manna pro safe performance and 1 lb of nutrena empower balance (ration balancer) and on 10 acres of awesome grass pasture 24/7 and I can already see her coat getting very dull... What can I do without packing on the pounds?
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-11-2014, 10:17 PM
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ground flax seed does wonders for their coats,wont put on the pounds either. All my horses are on 2oz a day and their coats gleam in the sun even with all the winter coat they currently have.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-11-2014, 10:28 PM
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I only feed hay, oh yeah, I feed deer too!
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-11-2014, 11:18 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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Hay, Triple Crown safe starch forage, beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, crimped oats cooked in a pressure cooker for 4 hours (in water) and flax seed oil.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-11-2014, 11:23 PM
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Nutrena pro force fuel is great
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-11-2014, 11:40 PM
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Free choice hay and nutrena empower balance for my TB. Her coat is nice and shiny.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-12-2014, 04:32 AM
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I mostly just keep feeding my horses their normal concentrate ration, but do start giving them hay in their paddock (I aim to put out just a little more than they can eat by the time I will come back for the next feeding) as the grass in the pasture becomes less lush. Even when nice hay is available they do still do a fair bit of grazing on the winter pasture as long as it isn't covered in ice or snow.

However, when it gets unusually cold for my area or it stays cold for a week or more at a time, I will often add an extra feeding of beet pulp (usually a couple pounds of dry beet pulp mixed with a couple of handfuls of a textured sweet feed to make it more palatable for my picky horse) soaked in hot water. I just portion it out equally in rubber feed pans and put it their paddock and let them eat it for the extra fiber (to keep warm) and for peace of mind to know that they are ingesting some water as one of mine can be finicky about drinking in the colder weather. I'm lucky in that my harder keeping horse is also the dominant one, so if I do it this way he usually ends up eating about 3/4 of what I put out, which works out just the way I would like it to!

My horses foxhunt all winter, so I will also often offer a small extra beet pulp mash after they get home after hunting, mainly to ensure the finicky one is taking in some water. And after a long hunt, I figure that a few extra calories aren't a bad thing either. From a fiber point of view, you could basically accomplish the same thing by offering more hay. However, finicky horse likes his hot meals in the winter and since he's a bit of a hard keeper (young, big, still growing TB), I cater to him a bit.

ETA: Beet pulp is a regular part of my horses' diets, so they are used to it - I don't just all of a sudden start feeding pounds of it once the temperature drops.
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-12-2014, 09:54 AM
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More hay.
The concentrates stay the same.
If it's miserable I might make them a warm mash with their regular feed and a little beet pulp.

Winter coats aren't generally as shiny as summer coats. The longer hairs are poofed up to hold a warm layer of air near the horse. Just doesn't reflect the light as well.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-12-2014, 10:48 AM
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Ummm "dull"?

Sounds more to me that the horse is growing a winter coat taking away the sleek look of summer sheen.
If the horse is now at proper weight he should not need much else...he is healthy?.

However, if all you are doing is pasture turnout for forage...you need to start them on hay or a forage substitute of cubes, pellets or something.
The grass is beyond prime now.
Not sure exactly where you are in the state, but look around...I can bet you if there are cattle close by they are feeding them round bales and have been for some time already....

Start giving your horse a few flakes a day in addition to the pasture...
Grass is not growing as it was 2 months ago...it is no longer rainy season and with that went the nutrients of growing grass.
With the added hay to consume you may not need to change nor increase any of the feed/grain or supplementation stuff you mentioned already giving. In fact, you might need to decrease it so the horse not get to fat...

That rough/duller look you don't like is Mother Nature preparing your horse for the colder winter temperatures coming....
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