What to feed? Losing condition in work - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-25-2010, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
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What to feed? Losing condition in work

So Riley's recently come into harder work than he's used to (HARD flatwork lesson once a week, riding 1/2/3 other days and competing weekends) and I've noticed he's starting to drop a bit of condition.

It's nothing drastic, just his hip bones are a little pointier, and in the right light you can see the shadow of his ribs but you can't feel them. He's currently being fed a 2 x 2L scoops of copra, 1 x 2L scoop of Easi-Response and 1 x 2L scoop of millrun. He's also on 24 hour turnout.

I'm wondering whether to change the feed he's on or just increase the amounts and the feedings to twice a day. I can get nutritional information for his feeds if anybody wants them.. Thanks

Thinks her father has realised she will never outgrow horses for boys
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-25-2010, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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have you tried adding beetpulp thats good for weight gain.
also is he on grass? If so and he is not keeping condition your grass could be lacking nutrients when did you last get it spread with fertilizer

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post #3 of 7 Old 06-25-2010, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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He's kept on grass 24/7, it's not actually our land though the old train line runs through it and the other part used to grow pineapples, so since Dad knows a few people we get to fence it cost free.

Admittedly it isn't all the best grass, we do have a decent amount of cooch as well as some other grass that they love (not a clue what it is though!) but big clumps of grass that they only like when it's dead (go figure)

I think his mixed feed has beet pulp in it, but the point of feeding millrun is similar, like a filler to keep his weight up. I'm thinking maybe he just needs a feed in the morning as well?

Thinks her father has realised she will never outgrow horses for boys
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-26-2010, 06:12 PM
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My horse who is essentially an easy keeper out of work loses weight fast when he is in comparable work to your guy. It is always a good idea to feed them a little, many times a day as it is easier on the horse's digestive system and will allow more of the nutrients to absorb.
I feed 3x a day normally. My horse gets a ration/vitamin balancer 1 lb. 3x a day and then "2 scoops" (so about 2 lbs, dry) of beet pulp twice a day and he also gets about 1lb of oats each day, divided up. So that's an extra 8lbs of feed in addition to basically free choice grass hay and a few kg of alfalfa/lucerne a day. When he's out of work he can sustain his weight on 2lbs of ration balancer and grass hay only.

I would keep the Copra and EasiResponse as they are both high fat and the EasiResponse appears to have all the needed vitamins. Take out the Millrun as it's just basically a wheat bran which is not helping your horse. If you can find DiamondV yeast culture I would add that in. Add in some alfalfa or lucerne for calcium, or add in Kelp to his hard feed and then add beet pulp or rice bran (brand name Satin finish) instead of millrun for filler. Split it up into two feedings and you should be good.
Also talking to a nutritionist and getting a fecal sample analyzed will help you determine what other changes to make.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-26-2010, 07:21 PM
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I am a thorough believer in feeding alfalfa/lucerne to horses that are in work. The horses that I am training get ridden hard every day 1-3 hours with lots of trot and lope work. They might get one day off a week if they are behaving really well. I feed nothing but alfalfa and they all maintain weight really well but I can tell that they are trimming down fat and building muscle.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-29-2010, 10:41 AM
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Adding speedi beet (I'm pretty sure that's what they call beet pulp in Oz) to his diet can help add extra calories without effecting his nutrition.

Adding some Lucurne hay or chaff can be a good way to add extra calories and protein. Lucerne hay (Alfalfa for us in the States) is very calorie dense and high in protein. I use it for my "hard working" horses and it really helps keep their weight up. I buy mine in pelleted form. It's easier to feed pellets IME as you can control exactly how much they get. Mine get 3-5 lbs of Alfalfa pellets a day, on top of their 1 lb of vit/min pelleted feed and Cocosoya oil (for Omega 3s and fat).

Last edited by luvs2ride1979; 06-29-2010 at 10:43 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-29-2010, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Queensland, Australia
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Thanks guys, we've been trying to get some chaff for a while but supply has been on/off and it's been expensive so we've been holding off. We're going to start swapping his millrun out for beet pulp over the next week or so and see how that goes. We've also gotta get some equilibrium mineral supplement for them

Thinks her father has realised she will never outgrow horses for boys
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