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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 5 year old ArabX. In the beginning, on rough board, she was eating a three-quarter scoop of Triple Grain Low Starch 2x a day, 6 flakes of hay, and had very little turnout grass to eat. In December, I moved her to a full-care facility. In this new place, she gets a scoop of a "custom" Blue Seal feed (designed for reiners and barrel racers) 2x a day. She gets approximately 4 flakes of hay, and is on lush turnout for 7-8 hours a day. She is worked 4-5x a week. I have noticed a slight change in her weight, but she is still considered a healthy weight, and no one would classify her as being over-weight. Problem is, she is getting a cresty neck, and it seems to be getting bigger. I spoke to my vet and he didn't seem overly concerned about a chance of metabolic/IR once I suggested it.

Should I switch her back to a low starch grain? Adjust the hay or turnout time? The latter is something I would rather not do, but what do you think? She is a small horse. She weighs anywhere from 930-1000 last I weighed her, and stands at 15.2.
 

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I wold take her grain free and provide calories in other forms like Alfalfa pellets, beet pulp or rice bran :)
 

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I'd run a bloood to be sure. I'd also switch to a low glycemic feed. I don't know if you have Masterfeeds there, but they make a great one called "Podium Eventer" That is amazing. It is still considered a performance feed and is indicated for use in horses with metabolic issues or tie-up problems. I use it on the racehorses and they do quite well. Purina makes a similar product called "Integria-T". I've never used it, but I've heard good things. In my opinion, it's far healthier for a horse to be on a low-glycemic diet.
 

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I just had a thought...Puina also makes a good feed called "BIR", which stands for "built in Roughage". It'a a good one that provides most of the calories from fiber.
 

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If your new barn is strictly Blue Seal, they make a low starch feed called Performance or now Sentinel LS. I agree with others, blood work first to know what you're dealing with. Also, all scoops are not equal. One barn's "scoop" might be a 2 quart scoop while another is a 4 quart. It's possible she's getting twice as much grain.
 

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Blue Seal also makes Carb Guard (I use it) which is low starch, another option if you have to stay on Blue Seal feeds.

From the website:

Low Starch & Sugar -​
The total starch & sugar level of

Carb-Guard​
is less that 11% and contains NO molasses.
A low-starch and sugar diet helps to minimize the risk of
starch overload and subsequent digestive upsets such as
colic and founder. A low-starch and sugar diet may also be
recommended for hyperactive horses and horses with
certain health conditions such as Tying-Up, EPSM, Equine

Metabolic Syndrome, Cushings and Chronic Laminitis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have used the Sentinal LS successfully with several horses

With IR, exercise is a HUGE part of the equation....do you have an indoor and is she in work?
Yes, that is why the situation is baffling to me. I mean, it's not horrible, but it does seem to be the only area where you can palpate fat is about 6-8 inches midway down the neck. I worked her all through the summer, and it usually consisted of 4-5 days a week for 1hr, and when my trainer came up (1x a week) it is 2hrs, rain, sleet, snow. (I have an indoor where I board)

The grass where she is turned out is rich and plentiful. She is on 6-7 acres field for 8 hours a day. My trainer suggests we run a blood panel at the end of the month when the vet comes for shots, then slowly ween her off grain altogether and replace it with the Tri Crown Safe Starch forage. I feed her a combination of supplements daily, ground raspberry leaf, chaste berries, flax, and organic garlic. If I cut grain, I don't know how I am going to get that into her. Everyone told me she was an easy keeper when I bought her, she seems to gain and lose weight fairly easy whenever I've consciously attempted to do either, but the fat deposit at the neck seems to stay the same size. I'll find a picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
This picture is from January, so keep that it mind. It is the most recent one I have of her that gives an idea of the area I am talking about. There's a little bit of heat in that area too, but it doesn't bother her. It's mainly the area where her mane is white. You can also see the puffiness behind her jowl, (obviously more-pronuounced because her head is retracted) I believe that is some swelling in the lymph nodes of that area, and most like due to the lack of light and air in her stable, combined with the sawdust bedding and smell of ammonia, because she never had that when I was at a barn without those conditions and shavings.

 

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You do not have to slowly wean off of grain. Simply stop feeding it or give a very small amount if you are not allowed to change feeds. Actually I would not board where they won't feed to my specs. Just in case that is a issue. Regarding IR, just feed her as if she is IR. Whether she tests positive or not it appears she needs to be off the grain. I would go back to what you used before as it worked for you. And that lush grass for 8 hours can do a lot of damage if your horse has any problems with sugars. Is there a dry lot area you can use for part of that time?
 
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