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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading a lot about bran mashes online and, as I keep reading, the more confused I get. Some argue that feeding it every once in a while is bad for them, because it disturbs their intestinal flora. Those same ones say that a horse should be given bran everyday, in small amounts for "maintenance " or larger amounts according to the horse's needs.
Then, there are the ones saying that bran mash has a laxative effect, so giving them bran daily could cause them diarrhea and the horse may become dehidrated. So, feeding every once in a while in better.
Therefore, I come to ask for your help, as I would like to introduce something to help my horse's digestive system without making him sick. What do you guys think? And should I introduce the bran in his feed?
 

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I have never believed in bran mashes. I have always added water to the feed. it doesn’t matter if it’s a senior feed, ration balancer or if it’s just Timothy pellets with their needed supplements.

I add water to give them moisture to run through their digestive tract. All they need is a little bit extra water added to the feed pan on a daily basis.

Some horses like their feed mushy others not so much. You have to know or figure out what it is that your horse likes in terms of wet consistency.

Others may disagree but I am against bran mashes. I don’t see the benefit in them when I can add water to the feed pan every day.😀
 
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My vet would beat me if a bran mash was given "regularly"....
If you have a issue intestinal needing attention, then mash occasionally, only as needed not as a routine thing...otherwise he tells me you strip the gut of the beneficial microbes and bacteria that helps digest and utilize their food the best.
If you're mashing for added water intake, save it and just add the water to their rations and wet their hay gets them additional moisture ingested.
🐴....
 

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Bran isn't actually a laxative, that's a misconception brought about by the fact that it's 'historically' recommended for horses (and people) who suffer with constipation.
It's a very high fiber product that doesn't get digested, so it passes through the digestive system as insoluble fiber, which makes it a good bulk vehicle for fluids, mineral oil or electrolytes if a horse is possibly dehydrated or constipated.

There's no need to feed it on a daily or several times a week basis unless the horse is showing signs that its feces are a concern because they're too dry.

In the days when work and competition horses were stabled all the time and often worked for long hours with no access to water or grass, it was a useful way to hydrate the digestive system but the modern horse tends to not be kept or worked like that and also has more access to things like sugar beet that's fed wet.

Always damp your horse's food if you don't feed sugar beet and the horse has restricted access to grazing - (dry food presents a high choke risk anyway) and make sure your horse always has clean drinking water.
 

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I like a nice warm mash in winter if it's icy and extra cold, as a treat. Otherwise I feed beet pulp and alfalfa cubes, soaked, daily. It's a good way to get extra water down them and it makes salt and any other supplements you want to give them a way to stick to the feed and not all fall to the bottom of the bucket. Water and forage are the key to keeping your horse's digestive tract moving and healthy.
 

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I use rice bran for the fat content in it for these older horses. I recently had a mare colic and she is given wheat mash daily for 4 days , she was not a fan so we mixed in hay pellets. Made it quite mushy. So now we are giving all the horses a bran mash once a week . The vet said to get red bran , but I could not find any in stock. I do like to give them hay pellets and we do make them a mash .
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have never believed in bran mashes. I have always added water to the feed. it doesn’t matter if it’s a senior feed, ration balancer or if it’s just Timothy pellets with their needed supplements.

I add water to give them moisture to run through their digestive tract. All they need is a little bit extra water added to the feed pan on a daily basis.

Some horses like their feed mushy others not so much. You have to know or figure out what it is that your horse likes in terms of wet consistency.

Others may disagree but I am against bran mashes. I don’t see the benefit in them when I can add water to the feed pan every day.😀
Hey,
I go to the barn everyday and one of his meals his always a mash where I just add watter to his hard feed. And he really likes it! The thing is that the people in charge of feeding the horses will not add watter to the food buckets, hence why I asked for an opinion. The purpose of the bran was just to add a little bit, just to make them add watter to his food. I don't intend to give him a bran mash, it the only way I could think of to make them add watter. I was told that hard feed cannot remain a mash for many hours, because it ferments and etc. So I don't know what to do
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bran isn't actually a laxative, that's a misconception brought about by the fact that it's 'historically' recommended for horses (and people) who suffer with constipation.
It's a very high fiber product that doesn't get digested, so it passes through the digestive system as insoluble fiber, which makes it a good bulk vehicle for fluids, mineral oil or electrolytes if a horse is possibly dehydrated or constipated.

There's no need to feed it on a daily or several times a week basis unless the horse is showing signs that its feces are a concern because they're too dry.

In the days when work and competition horses were stabled all the time and often worked for long hours with no access to water or grass, it was a useful way to hydrate the digestive system but the modern horse tends to not be kept or worked like that and also has more access to things like sugar beet that's fed wet.

Always damp your horse's food if you don't feed sugar beet and the horse has restricted access to grazing - (dry food presents a high choke risk anyway) and make sure your horse always has clean drinking water.
Hey,
I go to the barn everyday and one of his meals his always a mash where I just add watter to his hard feed. And he really likes it! The thing is that the people in charge of feeding the horses will not add watter to the food buckets, hence why I asked for an opinion. The purpose of the bran was just to add a little bit, just to make them add watter to his food. I don't intend to give him a bran mash, it the only way I could think of to make them add watter. I was told that hard feed cannot remain a mash for many hours, because it ferments and etc. So I don't know what to do
 

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Hey,
I go to the barn everyday and one of his meals his always a mash where I just add watter to his hard feed. And he really likes it! The thing is that the people in charge of feeding the horses will not add watter to the food buckets, hence why I asked for an opinion. The purpose of the bran was just to add a little bit, just to make them add watter to his food. I don't intend to give him a bran mash, it the only way I could think of to make them add watter. I was told that hard feed cannot remain a mash for many hours, because it ferments and etc. So I don't know what to do
I understand what you're trying to achieve by providing the bran as a mash, done as a way to provide the horse with a feed that isn't dry, would need to be on a daily basis - it isn't going to hurt the horse unless you're feeding bucketfuls of the stuff, which you aren't likely to do

Any feed (including hay) that's left wet for long periods of time, will start to ferment in warm/hot weather. The higher the sugar content of the food, the faster it will ferment

Speedi-beet, which is about the best sugar beet product on the market - is available in most countries, is ready to be fed in 10 minutes and as its only 5% sugar, no added molasses, you can soak it and keep it in a reasonably cool place for quite a long time without it fermenting - that might be worth considering as an alternative to a bran mash
The same company also sells Fibre-beet, it takes about 50 minutes to soak if you use cold water but you can soak that a day in advance if its kept in a cool place

Fibre-Beet - British Horse Feeds
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I understand what you're trying to achieve by providing the bran as a mash, done as a way to provide the horse with a feed that isn't dry, would need to be on a daily basis - it isn't going to hurt the horse unless you're feeding bucketfuls of the stuff, which you aren't likely to do

Any feed (including hay) that's left wet for long periods of time, will start to ferment in warm/hot weather. The higher the sugar content of the food, the faster it will ferment

Speedi-beet, which is about the best sugar beet product on the market - is available in most countries, is ready to be fed in 10 minutes and as its only 5% sugar, no added molasses, you can soak it and keep it in a reasonably cool place for quite a long time without it fermenting - that might be worth considering as an alternative to a bran mash
The same company also sells Fibre-beet, it takes about 50 minutes to soak if you use cold water but you can soak that a day in advance if its kept in a cool place

Fibre-Beet - British Horse Feeds
Thank you so much! I have heard great things about Speedi-Beet and I will buy it.
 
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