What to feed, what to feed
So I'm nearing my wits end as far as feed decisions go for my horse. I've finally decided to come here and ask for advice. Yes he is wormed regularly an has his teeth done annually. We have *finally* found a trainer that works really well for the both of us and I can feel a definite improvement in my horse, specifically with dressage (which is a miracle). We are working on building up his severely lacking topline.
A little background information:
I work my horse 5-6 days a week. We are currently jumping once a week (BN/novice height), have a dressage lesson once a week, and the other 3-4 days I work on the flat or over caveletti. We trail ride about twice a month, but I'm hoping to bump that up. Also I'm probably going to eliminate one of my rides and have my trainer help me with his dressage once a week. My horse is a 14 y/o TB. Although he is older, he has pretty low miles....he was used as a very beginner lesson horse for most of his life. He gets fed hay 3X a day, 2 flakes in the morning 1 at lunch and 2 in the evening. The hay is very good quality orchard grass hay (no alfalfa available at the barn) He is in a pasture 24/7 which is just starting to sprout some grass. I am currently feeding him 1 cup of rice bran and 1 cup of LMF gold AM/PM. My overall goal is to provide him the adequate calories and supplementation he needs to build muscle and maintain his current weight(maybe even gain a little) with the work he is in.
Should I incorporate beet pulp into his diet? I have had him on beet pulp before as a filler, but didn't notice a great difference. However in the past we weren't on such a structured work routine. Should I add a joint supplement to his feeding? I've been told before that feed through joint supplementation doesn't have any hard science backing it up. When I had Blazer on SmartPak smartflex pellets I honestly didn't notice much of a difference. HOWEVER, he wasn't in the level of work that he is in now. I'm honestly just mostly concerned about preventing injury at this point. Our ultimate goal is to compete at prelim, so maybe I should have him on some sort of joint supplement now? My trainers use cosequin ASU and love it, does anybody else have opinions on that particular supplement? Does anybody have any experience feeding black sunflower seeds? I hear they can also be good for adding weight and are great for the horses coat.
So! Anybody have any suggestions? If you've managed to read through my whole feeding rant, that is!