Horse feed - The Horse Forum
 23Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 08-21-2019, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 33
• Horses: 0
Horse feed

Wife had a horse, my dad had 3 but that was over 40 years ago.
We have a new stable built and got our first mare 3 days ago. 21 years old (Arabian Holsteiner mix)...but well taken care of and a sweetheart.
A few questions through. She's a little chubby, owner was feeding sweet feed.
What we started doing that works well is let her out in mornings and sit nearby while she grazes. Pasture has mix of grasses, Rye, fescue, crabgrass, etc. I got her a salt block with minerals but I have to store in feed room since she won't stop licking it. We keep plenty of fresh water,however, even in 90+ degrees she drinks 2 gallons max a day. We got senior feed and she goes up in evening with a handful.
This afternoon there's a farm nearby that sells hay, so the fellow suggested we start with a mix. We got a $7 bale first cut fescue, a $4 bale 2nd cutting fescue, $5 bale oats, $6 bale orchard grass.
I experimented and she has no preference...so I thought I'd go back getting load of $4 and some oat bales?
How much to feed? Which is best? How much for over winter? Should I get, say, 80% hay, 20% oat bales? It will be on pallets on concrete in insulated barn here.
All of his square bales are stored cleanly...look and smell great.
Also I need to build/make a manger, or buy? For now I just used a very large plastic pail.
Feed I bought metal can...tight lid.

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
Fuddyduddy1952 is offline  
post #2 of 14 Old 08-22-2019, 12:29 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,902
• Horses: 8
First and foremost! Welcome back to horses! They'll keep you young at heart, but also remind you the ground gets harder and further down every year.

Now then.

Let her have all that salt and mineral block she wants. She won't get too much off a block - in fact, she may not get enough. There's some debate about how effective mineral in block form is for horses. However. We keep them in the pastures for our horses, but also our cattle share the same pastures and have mineral feeders. The horses AND the cows get both block form and loose mineral free choice, and it's not too much. We keep a yellow block (sulfur/mineral/salt), a brown block (Mineral and salt) and a white salt block available in all pastures. I see our horses and our cattle picking and choosing what flavor they want on a daily basis. I keep a cobalt salt block for the Old Man in his pasture... it doesn't seem to be a popular choice. Supposedly the cobalt helps with intestinal health as a horse gets older. I wouldn't bank on that. The yellow blocks - sulfur is supposed to help with flies. I also wouldn't bank on that, but since putting out the sulfur blocks this summer, I've noticed a drop in black cattle flies. Correlation does not equal causation though, so take that with a grain of salt. Regardless, let her have all she wants on a salt block. She'll eventually slow down on how much she's eating off it. If she's treating it like a box of chocolates right now, she probably needs it. You're going to want to get loose salt/mineral for her and either top her feed with it or invest in a mineral feeder.

I can't give any advice on the type of hay as ours stay on a native bermuda and bahia grass pasture in the summer, then bermuda/bahia hay in the winter. I don't buy square bales except for camping since, again, the horses and cows all share pastures and we feed with round bales. Square bales here are almost always bermud/bahia mix, so that's what we roll down the road with. I do know a first cutting of anything is going to be rich in terms of sugars. I've found if I feed one of our horses a first cutting hay in winter, they get the poops because it's a shock to their digestive system, they aren't used to the richness of it that late in the year. Someone here with more knowledge than me can advise you on that - we don't buy hay until the last few cuttings in late summer since we don't put out hay until the grass is gone.

I'd offer your girl free choice, all the time, on hay, once you settle on the right hay for her. Others here prefer to give x number of flakes of hay in the morning and evening. We just let them have all they want, all day long but they aren't stalled either. Hay takes energy to burn and that energy warms a horse up and helps get them through the winter cold, so that's why ours get to stand with their head in a hay ring all they want in the winter. :P

A plastic pail of hay will not be nearly enough once the grass starts to either burn up from the last of the summer heat, or runs out as fall approaches, or dies at the first frost. You're going to need a manger or a hay ring type set up. I'd look on FB marketplace for a used one, or a hay feeder for horses (Has a manger on top, a trough on bottom). You might can find them made new locally or even used on there. Those selling used will often negotiate on price. You might also hit up any farm/ranch/estate auctions in your area if those are a thing.

Feed, I'd keep using the senior feed given her age. As to how much? I can't tell you that, each horse is different, but stay away from the sweet feed (Which it sounds like you're doing). Be sure you don't overfeed with grain based products. I will say this: Our senior horse that's become a hard keeper gets 5lbs in the morning, 5lbs in the evening, and water soaked alfalfa cubes twice a day as well. This is not a maintenance plan as he's lost a lot of weight this summer and we're fattening him back up. This is what the vet okayed for him. What your horse needs in terms of volume may be entirely different than our Old Man needs.

When winter sets in, The Old Man will be getting his senior feed topped with rice bran - it's a good, cheap source of fats and he really enjoys his rice bran toppers. Once we hit the late part of winter, I'll be topping or mixing all the horse's feed with it. Local feed stores usually sell it for less than franchise farm and ranch stores. If her teeth are good, I'd also consider alfalfa pellets - not the cubes, the pellets. Local feed stores will often have them in a very fine size - No 2 pencil or smaller sized, not much bigger than extruded feed and, at least where I live, it's half the price per bag of feed, so I supplement winter feeding with those for the horses with good teeth (Everyone but the Old Man).


You might consider getting her a protein tub formulated for horses. I had the 33.3 gallon one from Tractor Supply recommended to me by a friend who takes in rescue horses and gives them a new lease on life and an education. I now keep one out for our senior horse at all times. He shares his with an 18 month old and 3 year old. We've sold about half our cattle and they will be leaving Saturday, which leaves me a pasture open for nothing but my mares and fillies - once the cows are gone this weekend, I'll be keeping two or three of those tubs out for the girls through the autumn and winter as well. Do not buy one formulated for cattle. They're cheaper, but they're too 'hot' and have ingredients that are unhealthy for horses and as our local ranchers say: It will burn a horse up.

Water, IIUC, Arabians drink less than say, a quarter horse, due to their desert origins. Still, be sure you keep water available at all times and that it's fresh. We have ponds, but in summer I also keep a 200 gallon water trough clean and filled with fresh water for our senior horse so he doesn't have to walk his weight off to get to the pond at the other end of the pasture. Trough is in the pen where he gets fed and just a few yards from his loafing shed.

I'm sure others here will chime in and they may have far more comprehensive answers that I did. So! Good luck! And once again, welcome back to horses!
dustywyatt likes this.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."

Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 08-22-2019 at 12:38 PM.
AtokaGhosthorse is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 08-22-2019, 12:40 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 11,988
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuddyduddy1952 View Post
Wife had a horse, my dad had 3 but that was over 40 years ago.
We have a new stable built and got our first mare 3 days ago. 21 years old (Arabian Holsteiner mix)...but well taken care of and a sweetheart.
A few questions through. She's a little chubby, owner was feeding sweet feed.
What we started doing that works well is let her out in mornings and sit nearby while she grazes. Pasture has mix of grasses, Rye, fescue, crabgrass, etc. I got her a salt block with minerals but I have to store in feed room since she won't stop licking it. We keep plenty of fresh water,however, even in 90+ degrees she drinks 2 gallons max a day. We got senior feed and she goes up in evening with a handful.
This afternoon there's a farm nearby that sells hay, so the fellow suggested we start with a mix. We got a $7 bale first cut fescue, a $4 bale 2nd cutting fescue, $5 bale oats, $6 bale orchard grass.
I experimented and she has no preference...so I thought I'd go back getting load of $4 and some oat bales?
How much to feed? Which is best? How much for over winter? Should I get, say, 80% hay, 20% oat bales? It will be on pallets on concrete in insulated barn here.
All of his square bales are stored cleanly...look and smell great.
Also I need to build/make a manger, or buy? For now I just used a very large plastic pail.
Feed I bought metal can...tight lid.

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk


I would go with orchard for sure. Is all she's getting for forage a small amount of pasture in the mornings? Get her on hay asap, she should be eating pretty consistently all day. It's odd the first cut fescue is more expensive then the second? I also wouldn't remove the block just yet she likely needs it especially as she hasn't been drinking.

Is she alone? Horses shouldn't be kept on their own she should have some sort of companion.

A handful of senior is just fine, you can always give her more when she loses that chub ;)

To answer your questions horses need 1.5-2% of body weight per day in forage, right now you have the pasture in the winter I'm guessing you won't. Also make sure you plan for PLENTY extra. I would get all orchard, oat isn't healthy. For now I would offer her maybe half the amount depending on your pasture- if she finishes quickly give her more, if you come down in the morning and it's sitting there give her less.

Feed her on the ground for sure. I just throw my hay directly on the floor or on the grass outside, if you are feeding on sand I would probably put something down underneath (don't want them ingesting too much sand). I prefer to feed my grain elevated but that is less important the hay can cause issues if fed in a manger.

A metal can should be fine for the feed, make sure she can't open it/have access to it. A bowl on the floor or attached to the wall is fine.

Congrats on your new purchase! Do you have pictures, that is a lovely cross!!
Yogiwick is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 08-22-2019, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 33
• Horses: 0
A few pictures. Her father according to previous owner was a champion $1M+ Holsteiner, first picture. She said $2.5k stud fee in 1998.
Mother registered Arabian, second picture, third is the mare. Last picture I took here yesterday.

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
Yogiwick and dustywyatt like this.
Fuddyduddy1952 is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 08-22-2019, 03:13 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 8,039
• Horses: 0
First ---- I need your avatar t-shirt for DH ---- they line up on the garage apron if they hear him putting his work boots on, lollol

1. Horse is 21 -- part Arab -- "-a little chubby-" and was fed sweet feed by the previous owner. These things make her a prime candidate for metabolic issues; ie insulin resistance which is generally accompanied by some degree of founder.

Your thoughts to control her diet are spot on:)

2. In her case, I would remove the mineral block and give plain white (not those gray things with flecks in them the deer won't even eat) cow salt block.

I also add about a teaspoon of table sea salt to the feed pan. Even though they are high in starch, I will use salted soda crackers as treats this time of year. The horses love them:)

2.1. Always always have plenty of clean free-choice water available. I pay for my water and I still waste a lot at the barn this time of year because I will empty the outside tubs and inside buckets if I even think they are turning murky in this heat/humidity.

If your current mineral block is red, that red is iron which is a bad thing for horses that might be leaning toward metabolic issues. Iron depletes copper:zinc which are needed for hoof & coat health AND to help stabilize insulin levels.

3. No to the oat hay as it is too high in NSC's. (non-structural carbohydrates. Yes to the orchard hay. Buy the hay that is the least stemmy.

For metabolic and overweight horses it is not whether its first, second, or third cut, it's the time of day the hay is cut. I always buy first cut hay and it always tests somewhere in the 8% range for NSC value.

That's something else -- if you're buying from the same farmer, it would not hurt to get the hay tested for mineral content AND NSC value. Too high of NSC value would mean having to soak the hay:(. Your local co-OP's don't generally test hay for horses, they test for cattle which different information is needed for cattle. The go-to tester for horse hay is Equi-Analytical in New York, even though there are others:)

3.1. Hay manger or no? It depends how fast she eats her hay. If she eats like she is starving, her hay should be put in a few slow feed hay nets so she has move around, as if she were pasture grazing. Just be sure to tie the hay eats high to where she can't get hooves in them :)

Ditto horses should eat 1.5% to 2% of their DESIRED body weight in forage daily. I would start weighing the hay as a flake of hay can vary in a big way. I bought a fish scale when when my IR horse first needed to go on a diet and it was an eye popper to see how much variance in weight those flakes of hay had:)

4. I am not opposed to lick tubs for a horse that's a hard keeper. That is not the case with your mare --- again mineral lick tubs are generally high in iron, although there is one company who produces a low iron lick tub, but I can't remember who they are:(

4.1. What feed brands are available to you, within what you consider a reasonable driving distance?. Look at the ration balancers with FIXED formulas. Any list of ingredients on a feed or ration balancer bag that has the word "by products" or similar means the manufacturer can put any filler they want in the bag to meet the guaranteed analysis.

There are a some good senior feeds (ration balancers) in today's market -- you may even have a local feed manufacturer making a fixed formula feed, so read the ingredients list on their bags as well:)

****

You're doing the right thing by limiting Miss Chubbette's grazing time but everything else has to follow along with that:)

Also, don't forget about hooves. Hooves need trimmed according to how fast they grow. All hooves grow faster during Spring & summer but some horses naturally grow hoof faster than others, so keep an eye on her hoof growth and don't let the farrier tell you when he/she is coming just because it's convenient for him/her:)

For example, I have one horse who could go 7 weeks without a trim but my foundered horse has always grown hoof quickly so the farrier is here every five weeks and trims both of them.

Inquiring minds want to know what an Arab/Holsteiner cross looks like:). Where are the pictures? :) :). Include a couple of hoof pics while you're at it:)

Oops you posted pics while I was typing:) what a beauty! She is not really over weight but I will still stand by what I said because of her breeding and her age. You are very wise to want to control her weight to avoid health issues down the road :)

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 08-22-2019 at 03:26 PM.
walkinthewalk is online now  
post #6 of 14 Old 08-22-2019, 04:19 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,902
• Horses: 8
Yeah, she's not that overweight, if at all. I mean... look at her daddy tho! What a HOSS. She may just carry more weight and muscle on her frame with bloodlines like that. Wow!


The lick tub as Walkin called it, I'd save it for winter for her. I should have been more clear about my posts. For horses that don't need weight gain, and are at maintenance level, they get the tubs in the worst part of winter. Same with the rice bran and alfalfa pellets, etc. The only horse we have that gets access to feed, alfalfa cubes, and a tub all year long is the Old Man because he's hit the Not Easy Keeper Stage of his senior years. His teeth have gone bad (bad float job last summer). The fillies in with him, of course have access to the protein tub, but it won't hurt them one bit to have a little extra umph with their pasture grass.


No one else gets that much on our place because they don't need and it they'd be fat. :P
walkinthewalk and Yogiwick like this.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
AtokaGhosthorse is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 08-22-2019, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 33
• Horses: 0
First...thanks all X1000 for advice and kind words. Picture of her feet. She's never been shod. I'm sitting here as I type, neighbor's mares whinnied and she runs down toward red barn to talk, but still 1/4m away. We just cleaned and washed p
S

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
walkinthewalk likes this.
Fuddyduddy1952 is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 08-22-2019, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 33
• Horses: 0
Cleaned and washed stall. Put pine savings and straw on mats.

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
walkinthewalk likes this.
Fuddyduddy1952 is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 08-22-2019, 11:27 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 11,988
• Horses: 3
An amazing set up! Ready for another horse, or three!!

WITW that's a highly desired cross, well ArabxWB in general is. Idk I was a kid then lol but I'd guess that's right about the time the sporthorse started to take off. I bet this mare was FANCY back in her prime.. maybe she still is!

Thanks for all the pictures!! Love looking at any horse obv obv lol but these guys are real eye candy! <3
Yogiwick is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 08-23-2019, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 33
• Horses: 0
The lady we got her from had her from birth. B&W pictures of when she used to jump.
Today she met the neighbors 3 mares. It was amazing to watch. The two (mother & daughter chestnut mares) very friendly but the dominant paint mare didn't like that attention. After a while they all settled down.

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
Fuddyduddy1952 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome