The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a equine nutrition novice, so bear with me....I currently feed my horse Racers' Edge Low Starch grain. He also gets a mineral supplement (free choice) and salt (free choice) in addition to his grazing and hay. He could stand to lose a little weight, but is not alarmingly overweight at all. (could maybe lose 100 lbs max) In fact, we just cut his feed back this week from 1.5 scoops twice daily to 1 scoop twice daily to see how this works in his favor. Is there any benefit to switching him to timothy pellets from the grain? Do horses truly NEED grain? I know there are many opinions on this, but thought I'd throw it out there :)

:runninghorse2:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,656 Posts
If he is getting his calorie need met by the forage whether hay or pasture and you have him on a "daily vitamin" aka ration balancer (like the purina free balance of something similar) then no need for grain at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,520 Posts
I would say for a horse in minimal work (especially one that is chunky), then grain isn't required at all. If you have a ration balancer or minerals/supplements sometimes it is necessary to mix it in a little bit of grain or pellets so the horse eats them.

My guys all get a bit of soaked beet pulp with their minerals once a day. I like the beet pulp b/c it is low sugar and gives them extra water and is great for their guts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,565 Posts
I am a equine nutrition novice, so bear with me....I currently feed my horse Racers' Edge Low Starch grain. He also gets a mineral supplement (free choice) and salt (free choice) in addition to his grazing and hay. He could stand to lose a little weight, but is not alarmingly overweight at all. (could maybe lose 100 lbs max)
If he really is 100# overweight, that is way too much weight.


He doesn't need grain of any sort but a low calorie, low starch ration balancer where it only takes one cup or one pound daily to get his vitamins & minerals in him should be ok - should.


That said, one person's eye for a "hundred pounds max" might be another person's eye for "50 pounds max" :) Several of us have lived thru pulling 100 pounds off insulin resistant horses and know what that much extra weight looks like, even on a hulky QH:)


You might post a clear side view picture of him -- without anything on his back and in good light. Post the opposite side the mane falls on, so the crest of the neck can be seen clearly:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: loosie

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Those of you that use beet pulp, do you do shreds or pellets? I've only ever used shreds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,327 Posts
Those of you that use beet pulp, do you do shreds or pellets? I've only ever used shreds.
I prefer the pellets because they are easier to feed, they don't require soaking. Or at least the Standlee ones don't require it.
I took my horses off the complete feed (with much protest) and switched them over to alfalfa and beet pulp pellets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,635 Posts
I prefer the pellets because they are easier to feed, they don't require soaking. Or at least the Standlee ones don't require it.
I took my horses off the complete feed (with much protest) and switched them over to alfalfa and beet pulp pellets.
Exactly what I did. My one horse kept getting ulcers, I cut out the grain, just some soaked beet pulp and alfalfa cubes and Hoffman's minerals. That was two years ago, no more ulcers. Much cheaper too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,327 Posts
Exactly what I did. My one horse kept getting ulcers, I cut out the grain, just some soaked beet pulp and alfalfa cubes and Hoffman's minerals. That was two years ago, no more ulcers. Much cheaper too!
Same here. All the junk in the complete feed was causing issues. I'm still transitioning but I see and feel the difference in cleaning up their diet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,635 Posts
Oh I saw a big difference in my wallet and their behaviour!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,517 Posts
He doesn't need grain, and if he's overweight it's not doing him any favors. Just a ration balancer plus hay. No need for pellets either. Just grazing and hay should be enough for him. If he starts to drop too much weight on just hay and grazing, then I'd look into grains, hay pellets, beet pulp, etc. As it is, it doesn't sound like he needs any of that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: loosie

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,312 Posts
My horse isn't on grain anymore. She's just on hay pellets, Renew Gold, Vitamin C, MSM (for joint support), marshmallow root for ulcer prevention, etc. No need for grain, her weight looks better & her coat as well. She has grass 24/7 too.

I got the recommendation from my equine osteopath, she focuses on nutrition as well. It's a cleaner diet, & saves me money! A lot of commercial feeds have fillers & unnecessary crap. So I wouldn't feed him more grain, no. He should be OK on constant forage. Hay pellets you can add in if you want, it doesn't hurt anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
I am a equine nutrition novice, so bear with me....I currently feed my horse Racers' Edge Low Starch grain. He also gets a mineral supplement (free choice) and salt (free choice) in addition to his grazing and hay. He could stand to lose a little weight, but is not alarmingly overweight at all. (could maybe lose 100 lbs max) In fact, we just cut his feed back this week from 1.5 scoops twice daily to 1 scoop twice daily to see how this works in his favor. Is there any benefit to switching him to timothy pellets from the grain? Do horses truly NEED grain? I know there are many opinions on this, but thought I'd throw it out there :)

:runninghorse2:
Not only do horses not need grain, they should not be fed grain Even oats, with the lowest NSC of all grains has about 45% (but the horse only needs up to 15%) Too much NSC changes the pH level in the hindgut. Long story short, it shortens the horses life by creating an imbalance in the hindgut which can, and often does, result in health problems (some fatal). Secretariat was put down at 19 due to laminitis that resulted from a diet of oats and rich hay.

Hey pellets can also have high NSC (usually not as much as oats, but still more than is needed). It depends on what type of hay the pellets are made from (e.g. Timothy is a bit rich). Go with beet pulp. More nutritious than any hay and very low NSC. Just get beet pulp that is plain, without sugars (no molasses) added.
 
  • Like
Reactions: loosie

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,897 Posts
Hi,

Short answer, no, horses don't need grain. It's actually something that should be fed carefully, if deemed needed, as it can cause issues. Cereal grain is quite high starch/sugar, which horses don't tend to deal well with, and it is generally not easily digested either. Does he do a lot of hard work, that maybe needs higher energy feed than forage?

horse Racers' Edge Low Starch grain.
Sounds like an oxymoron to me. Grain IS high starch. And a feed for racehorses is also going to be 'high octane' - not a feed for your average Neddy. So I looked it up, and maybe there's a low starch version, but what I saw was a mix of corn, oats & barley. High fat, high starch/sugar. There's only a 'Performance Edge' I saw that's advertised as low starch but it is still oats & barley & advertised as high energy.

He also gets a mineral supplement (free choice) and salt (free choice)
Yep, nutrition is important. Without having an analysis of his feed, and knowing what's in whatever supplements, you can't know whether they're 'filling the gaps' adequately though.

He could stand to lose a little weight, but is not alarmingly overweight at all. (could maybe lose 100 lbs max)
Hope you're mistaken he needs to lose 100lbs - that's a fair bit, unless he's a... Shire or something. Remember, that horses put on excess fat on the inside, around their organs first, before they start showing excess on the outside. And you need to look at the whole horse when assessing, not just ribs or such - they can be ribby but fat, and they can have their spine protruding & still be fat, due to body issues or lack of muscle. The Henneke body condition scoring is a good one to look up, that most seem to use as their 'benchmark'.

At any rate, if your horse is fat, no, he doesn't need extra feed, esp if high fat/high energy. He may well still need extra nutrition than what he gets with hay & grazing - you can get 'ration balancer' pellets, such as from Smart Pack or KER, or powdered supplements that you can mix in a very small feed. I for eg make a bucket of around 2-4 litres between 4 of them, of alfalfa chaff & a powdered supplement & salt.

Is there any benefit to switching him to timothy pellets from the grain?
If you're wanting something to mix nutritional supplements in, that is one good option. But if he's already getting enough hay & grazing, then adding more (more processed) grass isn't needed otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
LMAO I can't stop laughing. I completed missed the "low starch grain" Is like no starch potatoes LMAO. No, no, it's like honey with no sugars in it (you know....what the bees make for diabetic humans...you'll find it next to the "no starch" potatoes and low starch grains in the fantasy food section LMAO). Snake oil sales have moved up a notch in the "let's see what we can pull over on, and sell to, unsuspecting equine enthusiast" department. Oats is as close as it gets to "low starch" grain and that is still 40 or 45% NSC (3 X higher than what a horse needs).

If your horse is doing hard work (riding over 100 miles a week, pulling a plow, grinding cane ever day, pulling a loaded wagon daily, etc.... it is rare to find a horse that is actually worked hard anymore) you still should never feed grain. Beet pulp is high in nutrition and good for the hindgut (which is were grains to their damage). Copra is high in nutrition and is so digestible it doesn't reach the hind gut. Both are very low in NSC. While I'm not an advocate, but even select oils (not all oils) will provide what's needed for energy without screwing with the animals digestive system. Remember that they took great care of Secretariat (with that "low starch grain" AKA oats) and he did manage to hold out till he was 19 before the laminitis was so bad he had to be put down. Some make into their mid 20's, but just like people who eat too much saturated fat, bad cholesterol, etc...it does eventually catch up to you. Of course just like no one says that a person died of too much fatty food (or other causes) they are only said to have died from the effects (heart attack, stroke, etc...). What we have to do is look at what caused it. e.g. laminitis is often the result of a bad diet that has too much NSC, but it's not the only ailment that can be the result of NSC, just as a heart attack isn't the only potential risk from eating 5lbs of bacon 3 times a day.

There is starch in pretty much everything horses eat. Then need a small amount for optimum health (a SMALL amount). Very small in fact. Most of what people consider to be "horse hay" even has more NSC than a horse needs.

Low starch grain. That is cracking me up LOL.
 
  • Like
Reactions: loosie

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
Laughing too much and making typos. It's "copra" not cobra....although a large cobra might be one way of avoiding killing the horse with kindness, but more painful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
Low starch race horse grain, no less!
That low starch "race horse grain" must be oats since that as always been the "go to grain" in the horse racing industry and it has the lowest % of NSC relative to the other grains (they must be packaging it differently, with a new name to fool the unsuspecting...the industry will do ANYTHING to get people's money). It was what they used to help shorten the number of years Secretariat had (and it works...not easy to spend almost 2 decades slowly killing a horse that's making you many millions of dollars and making it look like it was just bad luck. Well, actually it's easier than one might think. A bad diet is a slow killer and it leaves no real "tell-tale" signs (unless we look closer at what caused the cause of death....i.e. why did he get laminitis).
 
  • Like
Reactions: loosie

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,897 Posts
That low starch "race horse grain" must be oats since that as always been the "go to grain" in the horse racing industry and it has the lowest % of NSC relative to the other grains
Not just oats, got barley AND corn too... :think: Unless it's not the one I found.

OP, understandable if you don't know anything about feed, what with all the marketing to convince you... I used to feed 'Completo'(sweet feed with grain) to my donkey once upon a.... Beware of being an unwitting slave to the marketing! It definitely pays to educate yourself on matters of diet & nutrition, not just take 'words' for it blindly. Just like learning about hoof health - otherwise, with so many conflicting views, varying understandings, who are you to know who's word is good or not? A lot, even 'professionals', can talk the talk convincingly, but that doesn't mean they necessarily know what they're talking about! Dr Kellon is a world renowned source on equine nutrition & she does online courses for horse owners, among other info she has. Worth looking up.

A bad diet is a slow killer and it leaves no real "tell-tale" signs (unless we look closer at what caused the cause of death....i.e. why did he get laminitis).
But it can't be what I'm feeding him - he's been on it for years & been fine. But it can't be the cigarettes - I was smoking for years before I developed this cough...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,745 Posts
I went on the site this feed is on. They have a beet pulp based feed no grain no corn. It's high fiber high fat so low. Sugar and low starch. Much healthier option.

I googled the race feed and found the no grain one.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top