The Horse Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there guys. I would like to get input on feeding grain. My horses is a 5.5 year old mare. She's very smart... a thinker... I have affectionately named her Miss Bratty Pants. She has been that way since our first day together and I love her personality. Late last fall my trainer suggested we put her on half a scoop of sweet feed because she was a little ribby and we could feel her backbone. She has filled out nicely but is not too fat. She is maintaining a healthy weight. The other day Miss Bratt decided it would be fun to take off at a canter on the road and I had a bit of a time getting her back down to a walk. Now, we have had a miserable winter, way too much ice to do any regular amount of riding, then we had a frigid snap and the day she did this was a beautiful warm sunny day... so dramatic weather change. The managers at the barn are telling me to do myself a favour and take her off the grain because it is making her hot. They said that after they turned her out from a night in the barn she ran, jumped and kicked for over an hour. I am cutting her back to 1/4 scoop then will take her off. Any thoughts about grain??? Just gather opioions. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,870 Posts
You can generally find something better to feed than sweet feed, nutrition wise. If you have been feeding it since the fall and only now she is going loony, I'd blame it more on spring and the weather.

There is little evidence linking high sugar food to excessive energy, beyond the horse having more available energy stores. Like the sugar making kids crazy myth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,599 Posts
I am death on sweet feed from a health perspective.

Plus, when a horse sweats out sweet feed, it is a disgusting odor that attracts flies. I can't smell it but my friend's husband can pick out every horse on a trail ride that eats sweet feed. He's tested himself more than once.

Research equine rice bran in your area. Ours comes in pelleted or meal form. The bag HAS to say "stabilized and calcium fortified", as rice bran is high in phosphorous.

Rice bran is healthy fat and provides the horse with cool energy. Do not feed more than the maximum recommended amount on the bag:)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,677 Posts
I doubt that half a scoop of sweet feed would have done a lot of weight gain or made her 'high energy'
Generally speaking a healthy horse that isn't in particularly hard work will maintain weight and even be overweight if fed just decent hay or grass. You would likely have to add some minerals and vitamins to that depending on location and time of year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,530 Posts
Late last fall my trainer suggested we put her on half a scoop of sweet feed because she was a little ribby and we could feel her backbone.
How much does your half a scoop WEIGH? (Get a scale and measure.)

What brand of sweet feed are you giving her?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,999 Posts
What, besides the sweet feed, is your horse eating? How much forage, by weight, is she getting daily?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,861 Posts
suggested we put her on half a scoop of sweet feed because she was a little ribby and we could feel her backbone. She has filled out nicely but is not too fat.
Hi, yeah, 'sweet feed' is a bit like Maccas for humans - junk food & so generally not the best idea. Cereal grain is high in starch & sugars, which is not great for horses, and difficult to digest, and 'sweet feed' is also dosed with extra molasses/sugar. **So saying, it's not *always* a bad move to feed grain, if there are no better alternatives. Important to feed it little & often, to minimise problems & maximise benefits. Grain & 'high octane' ingredients are best for horses in hard work, needing some extra 'oomph' rather than for putting weight on generally. For more weight, more hay is the order of the day to start with, and making sure she's not left to go hungry - if she's kept locked up at night, hay needs to be enough to last her till morning, for eg. It's not good for horses to go hungry for long & gut upsets caused by this can cause weightloss, among other things. Some alfalfa &/or beet pulp, ricebran, copra, and other high energy but low sugar, easy to digest ingreds are good in 'hard feeds'. Of course, ensuring teeth are in good order & she's not wormy, should also go without saying.

If you were only feeding half a scoop(how big the scoop/heavy? How many times daily?) that's probably a pretty small amount, and if the horse is healthy, no IR issues or such, just like a little 'junk food' for people, it would likely have done her little/no harm though, just provide a bit of a 'high octane' kick.

The managers at the barn are telling me to do myself a favour and take her off the grain because it is making her hot. They said that after they turned her out from a night in the barn she ran, jumped and kicked for over an hour.
Seriously?? She is a 5yo horse, acting like a HORSE, after being cooped up over night, and it sounds like under exercised lately!! As per above, yeah, she doesn't need the grain & IMHO best without it, but unless you're feeding her a fair few of those half scoops daily - or it's a huge scoop - it's unlikely a small amount will be the cause of her jumping out of her skin. Sounds like management is the issue. Especially if you can't exercise your horse enough, ensure she has 24/7 - or as close as can be managed - turnout with other horses, so she can BE a horse. And get more exercise too, which is important for her health & soundness, not just wellbeing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,001 Posts
I doubt that half a scoop of sweet feed would have done a lot of weight gain or made her 'high energy'
Generally speaking a healthy horse that isn't in particularly hard work will maintain weight and even be overweight if fed just decent hay or grass. You would likely have to add some minerals and vitamins to that depending on location and time of year.
This. Regardless of grain vs no (which a QUALITY grain, not typically sweet feed, fed in appropriate amounts is often a good thing the focus should always be the hay) "half a scoop" isn't a lot. The biggest scoops I've seen, which are BIG, are 3 qts. Half is 1.5 qts... 1.5 qts per day of anything is just not a lot.

As said... she's been on this for awhile... and she's a young horse in the spring... don't blame things on the grain, but if she doesn't need it then don't feed it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the input. She is on 24/7 turnout with 24 hr hay access. I put her in over night because we had a late season snow storm with freezing rain warning and with her winter coat shedding out I felt better with her in. She gets 1/2 scoop in the evening and it'snot a huge scoop and it was an especially nice day that she took off on me. My friend also chalked it up to spring. I suspect she is in heat. She is touchy on her sides and belly and pees every time she is in the barn. It's a pattern I see with her. My trainer said to put her on the grain because of her young age and needing to fatten up going into winter. I will look into other more healthy options. Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,077 Posts
Follows the directions on the feed bag.....which makes recommendations on the weight of food to feed.

I feed by volume, meaning I throw it from a scoop....

That said, I weighed it to find out how much the scoop would throw....
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,861 Posts
There is little evidence linking high sugar food to excessive energy, beyond the horse having more available energy stores. Like the sugar making kids crazy myth.
Really? I don't know about it being a myth, because for one, lots of sugar gives me a bit of a 'high' too, and it stands to reason, being 'high energy' I had thought. But I do think that some people are quick to blame any 'sillyness' on sugar & the likes, with kids and horses - a little, like half a scoop of sweet feed, few lollies or a soft drink for kids, isn't likely to do much, if any in that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,001 Posts
Really? I don't know about it being a myth, because for one, lots of sugar gives me a bit of a 'high' too, and it stands to reason, being 'high energy' I had thought. But I do think that some people are quick to blame any 'sillyness' on sugar & the likes, with kids and horses - a little, like half a scoop of sweet feed, few lollies or a soft drink for kids, isn't likely to do much, if any in that way.
My father offered me coffee the other day... at 8 pm. I told him he was crazy and he honestly didn't get it.

Then last night I couldn't sleep literally at all. (In fact I still haven't slept more than 2 hours and it's 7pm...) Whelp it suddenly hit me at 7am that the Excedrin that I am not use to taking has caffeine in it... apparently enough to keep me up all night. I just wanted to stop my migraine!

OP while there is no excuse for bad behavior it's honestly not a surprise in the situation. It does sound like she may be in heat. Even the deadest horses can get fresh in the spring. I know how revitalized I feel! Yes, nothing wrong done, just do a little more research in the future.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,861 Posts
Whelp it suddenly hit me at 7am that the Excedrin that I am not use to taking has caffeine in it... apparently enough to keep me up all night. I just wanted to stop my migraine!
Happened to be talking to my nutritionist sister today about caffeine today, because I saw an article on FB - just scanned, didn't read all - that said a cup of coffee at bedtime can actually help you have a good night sleep! Certainly doesn't do that for me - I'm like you by the sounds. She was saying that different genetic types are effected differently by caffeine & for some it can make them dopey! Also acts on the same receptors as sleep, so for eg. if you're really tired & have a coffee, it's not likely to have much effect, but if you first have a 'power nap', to 'revitalise' yourself, then have a coffee, that is meant to do wonders to perk you up!

But I can vouch for the caffeine with painkillers thing - heard about that years ago & as a migraine sufferer, which often drugs don't do anything for, thought worth a try. I just buy the regular painkillers still, but whether it be paracetamol with codeine(pref) or asprin, a half spoonful(sometimes too sick to cope with a cuppa) of instant coffee does seem to make it more effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
I definitely noticed a difference in my horse when we took her off sweet feed. I can't say for sure it was the sweet feed per say that was causing her ADHD-ness (she may have had a sensitivity to one of the ingredients), but food can definitely affect horses in different ways. Just like people. Some people live on sugar and others claim to get hyper after drinking a coke. I don't think there is one size fits all when it comes to nutrition because every body and every horse are different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,466 Posts
You should try feeding something with more nutritional value if you want to add anything to her diet. I feed all of mine Purina Ultium, and then add from there. For weight I feed them 2oz of oil over their feed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,001 Posts
Happened to be talking to my nutritionist sister today about caffeine today, because I saw an article on FB - just scanned, didn't read all - that said a cup of coffee at bedtime can actually help you have a good night sleep! Certainly doesn't do that for me - I'm like you by the sounds. She was saying that different genetic types are effected differently by caffeine & for some it can make them dopey! Also acts on the same receptors as sleep, so for eg. if you're really tired & have a coffee, it's not likely to have much effect, but if you first have a 'power nap', to 'revitalise' yourself, then have a coffee, that is meant to do wonders to perk you up!

But I can vouch for the caffeine with painkillers thing - heard about that years ago & as a migraine sufferer, which often drugs don't do anything for, thought worth a try. I just buy the regular painkillers still, but whether it be paracetamol with codeine(pref) or asprin, a half spoonful(sometimes too sick to cope with a cuppa) of instant coffee does seem to make it more effective.
Weird...lol! Yes I'm rather sensitive! My father is not but as he's an avid coffee drinker is maybe just desensitized at 75?

I actually saw an article recently saying to drink coffee THEN take a 20 minute nap. Saying the coffee will start kicking in just as you wake up. Haven't tried it but it makes sense.

Definitely agree with everything you said!

Anyways, point being that different people are effected differently...same with animals.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top