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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Something that I have noticed over the years is how vastly different some owners feed their horses from others. So I was wondering and wanting to gather what you all do with your horse(s)’ nutrition specifically. So I have a few questions!

1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?

9- How old is the horse?

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?

I will post my own answers for each of my horses in a reply. ☺
 
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1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?
I do not feed grain because I found that, when I did, my horses were getting too many sugars and were gaining too much weight

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?
Used to, it was mostly grazing, supplemented with hay in the winter. But as my concerns about them gaining too much weight increased, I started limiting their time grazing and supplementing it with lower quality hay in hay nets to slow down their intake. This way, they were not stressed by a lack of eating, but were not getting too fat either.

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)
Mostly fescue. There’s some Bermuda mixed in parts of their pasture but most of it is fescue. Anything else has too much nutritional value in it for these easy keepers.

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?
Pistol— not much currently, up to 3 rides a week in summer. Hoping to do more this summer of time allows. Light work, with a little trotting and cantering for no more than around 5 minutes usually, the rest walking, up to an hour and a half.
Dixie- No more than 1-2 times a week, often way less in winter. However, this summer I want to see if I can slowly condition her to be able to handle more without getting a little stiff. 30-60 minutes of walking and light trotting.
Maverick: 5-7 days a week in summer, about once or twice a week in winter. Medium work, 30-60 minute rides with pretty even mixtures of walk/trot/canter along with backup, sidepass and a kinda-pivot (we are working on it).

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?
Easy keepers, all 3. Maverick the most so. But easy keeper is a funny phrase because keeping their weight down is all but easy. Haha

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?
I offer mineral blocks. Some people have concerns that horses can not lick as much as they need. That is ok because mine bite it. Probably good for their teeth really. Free choice.

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?
Yes, I offer a salt block alongside the mineral block. Free choice.

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?
No. I have considered wetting hay to keep the dust down but honestly I am not sure they would eat it

9- How old is the horse?
Pistol- 15?
Dixie- 20?
Maverick- almost 7

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?
Pistol- 5, satisfied with current weight
Dixie- 5, satisfied with weight but could use muscle
Maverick- 6, would like him to drop some but it’s sustainable and has taken a while to get to
 

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1' I feed pelletized feed Purina Strategy GX. Morning and evening. 1 1/2 # each feeding. To make up for any shortages of vitamins and minerals they may not get otherwise.
2. In the winter brome hay in the summer grass. 24/7 availability on each.
3. Brome hay. Grass is a fescue, brome and native grass pasture.
4. KI (3 yo.) 3 times a week weather permitting. Major (18 yo) occasional.
5. Ki easy and Major hard.
6. Mineral block
7. mineral with salt. Powdered occasionally depending on weather.
8. No
9. Ki 3 yo. ( 15.1 and 1155#), Major 18 yo. (15H and 1000#)
10.Hard to judge with winter coat but, both wintering well.
 

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1- Yes, because we don't have hardly any grass. One horse I ride regularly and the other is a harder keeper. Tess, who is 9, gets a 1:1 ratio of whole oats and alfalfa/timothy pellets. She's getting about 5 lbs total per day since again, no grass. JR, who is 25, gets about 7lbs (probably slightly more since the feed is extruded and hard to weigh with just a marked scoop) of grain per day, 5 of that being a performance feed (Blue Seal Performance LS) and the rest being Nutrena Empower, a fortified rice bran supplement. Both are high fat, since he has trouble keeping weight on. Both fed 2x a day.

2- Hay, since we don't really have grass. A lot of dirt. They have a round bale and then square bales for stall time.

3- Bermuda grass. All we have here. Alfalfa is $15 a bale and as much as I'd like to feed it...no thanks. They've got enough protein in their diets.

4- Tess does everything. We barrel race. We jump a little. We trail ride. She's half Arabian and has no "slow mode". It's always speed for her. JR is old and slow and would stand and sleep all day if you let him. He's semi-retired and is only ridden by kids or friends with limited horse experience since he's a babysitter, and never far. He can't keep up with Tess.

5- Tess is pretty average. JR is harder, but he's also old. He's not as bad as some other truly hard keepers I know.

6- A mineral block. JR's feed has the complete amount of vitamins and minerals he needs in a day, but I have a vit/min block in his stall if he wants it. I don't feed him free choice loose mineral because I'm afraid he'd eat it all and get sick. He's currently finishing off a hoof supplement for and abscess that occurred earlier this year. Tess gets a complete vit/min supplement as well as access to a block. The oats/alfalfa-timothy diet doesn't have added vitamins and minerals so she gets a supplement.

7- Nope.

8- I probably should wet Tess's pellets but they're very small and don't swell up, plus she's got good teeth, so I don't. They do digest better if you wet them plus they get extra water, but I don't have water down at the barn so it's hard to do. I will do it during the summer if it's miserably hot, since I want to get as much water in them as possible.

9- 9 and 25.

10- Both of them could stand to gain a bit, but it's also February. They're coming out of winter. JR is probably a mid 4. So a good weight, but you can see the outline of his ribs. Part of that is old man conformation and lack of topline. Tess is probably about the same, if not an even 5. She could gain a little muscle though. JR is about 60lbs away from 1000 if I remember right, and Tess is pretty much right where she should be at 850. I prefer them (JR especially) to be a little chonk going into winter since they loose a little then. But spring is almost here!!
 

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——

Something that I have noticed over the years is how vastly different some owners feed their horses from others. So I was wondering and wanting to gather what you all do with your horse(s)’ nutrition specifically. So I have a few questions!

1- Do you feed grain? No, not since I started dealing with metabolic issues in 2007.

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Grazing most of the year. They live on 20+ acres in the SE. We were green thru early February during the 2019-2020 winter and they didn’t want hay.

NOt so much this 2020-2021 winter. Grass was mostly gone by Mid-November so they are going thru more hay



3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)Locally grown orchard/timothy mix that I send out to be tested for NSC value because one horse is diagnosed IR.

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?Not in work, as I can’t ride anymor. They are now retired pasture pets but they live in hills so they still get more exercise than the paddock horse that is ridden an hour every day.

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?Both easy keepers, although the IR horse also developed Cushings, which seems to have made him not hold weight like he used to.

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?They eat a condensed vit/min supplement from HorseTech. It is soy-free, no added iron and the NSC value is lower than anything in the stores. I use timothy pellets as the carrier for their supplements.

They have pure white salt blocks, plus I add ~teaspoon of table sea salt to their feed pan.


7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay? White salt block. I buy hay by the season so it is fresh cut when it goes into the barn. I sprinkle every row of hay with Kosher salt to help wick the moisture. I’ve done that for 20 years and nobody has died yet, :):)

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?Not unless I have to. If they get to coughing, I will wet the hay down.

9- How old is the horse? One horse will be 27 in April and has been with me since he was 2-1/2.

The other horse will be 26 in August and has been with me since he was 11. He is the IR/Cushings horse and is the horse on the left in my avatar.


10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?

The coming 27 year old that is basically healthy is a high five and could stand to lose 30# IMHO. He is a naturally slender built TWH and doesn’t need to carry 30 extra pounds.

The coming 26 yr old who is IR/Cushings is a conundrum. I can clearly see his ribs thru his winter coat BUT Cushings has caused muscle loss. I would still put him at a low five as his hip bones are not protruding, or is his backbone visible.

He also lives with a twice-fractured sacrum, therefore sees a holistic vet/chiro/acupuncturist every month. That means there are medically trained eyes on him, in case I lose my presence of mind and start seeing things that aren’t there:):)
FWIW, there are a few of us on here who have horses with medical issues that require special feeding. If we all contribute, you will be getting more than you expected, lollol

Also, feeding and the extra care these Special Needs horses require involves a lot sacrifice in terms of extra time & labor on the part of the owners AND some pretty deep pockets to pay for everything.
 

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Something that I have noticed over the years is how vastly different some owners feed their horses from others. So I was wondering and wanting to gather what you all do with your horse(s)’ nutrition specifically. So I have a few questions!

1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?

Yes. Cavalor Juniorix (4lbs/day), Cavalor Wholegain (1lb/day) and a locally grown/milled complete feed (1lb/day). Reasons: feeding a growing colt, current hay is lacking nutrition, senior mare needs extra calories.

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?

In winter, it's all from hay, during the summer the bulk comes from grass with hay supplemented for stalled horses. This is all based on seasonal availability.

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)


Timothy and orchard grass for all, alfalfa to the old mare only.

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?

Right now I'm buried under ice and snow, so nothing right now, (no indoor :( ) That will change once the weather breaks.

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?

I have one hard keeper, the rest are easy.

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?

They have a mineral block.

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?

I do not offer a white salt block, but plan to in the future!

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?

No. I have looked into hay steamers purely for curiosity's sake though. they seem to take a lot of planning/time.

9- How old is the horse?

1 year 7 mos, 5 yrs and 23 yrs.

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?

I'm very happy with my horses' weights and would consider them ideal. Especially the older TB mare--I'm very pleased with her condition and weight this year.


I will post my own answers for each of my horses in a reply. ☺
My answers are in the quote. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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FWIW, there are a few of us on here who have horses with medical issues that require special feeding. If we all contribute, you will be getting more than you expected, lollol

Also, feeding and the extra care these Special Needs horses require involves a lot sacrifice in terms of extra time & labor on the part of the owners AND some pretty deep pockets to pay for everything.
I don’t mind those answers! That’ll be interesting too.
 

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1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?

Yes, to provide vitamins and minerals and calories for those that need it. Two easy keepers get 1# of Purina Enrich+ ration balancer once per day. A 27 year old gelding gets 1# of Enrich+ and 2-3# of Purina Impact Hay Stretcher to keep weight on. My daughter's barrel horse gets 5# of Purina Ultium Competition as he wasn't maintaining weight with the ration balancer. Not saying Purina is best but it is what is most available at our great local feed dealer. Purina offers way too many horse feed choices but has a regional feed rep available to help decide what is best for our horses. I've fed Cargil Pro Elitein the past and it was very good feed but it got to be hard to get regularly.

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?

Forage selection is seasonal although they have pasture access year around. Some fescue but mostly crabgrass in the summer. I plant wheat in the pastures in the fall to extend grazing season. There doesn't seem like much pasture but they still spend 4-6 hours out there picking at whatever is there even this time of year. In the barn they have free choice access to alfalfa round bales fed with hay nets year around.

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)

I've tried KY 31 tall fescue, Max Q tall fescue, and KY Bluegrass in my pastures with little success. Crabgrass just seems to take over in the summer which is what they graze. My pasture is only 3 ac which isn't enough. I'm not willing to restrict my horses to a stall or sacrifice area so the grass suffers.

Hay is pure alfalfa because that is what I am best at making. I have fed teff grass in the past but found that the quality was very inconsistent and I'm the guy who made the hay.

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?

Three of them are trail horses and get and hour or 2 of riding a week now, more in the spring through fall. The barrel horse gets 6-8 hours of riding now and probably double that in the summer.

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?

Two are are definitely easy keepers. The aged gelding used to be but is not now and the barrel horse never was.

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?

They get a scoop of AniMed selenium and vitamin e plus about an ounce of white salt in their grain per day. At the recommendation of the vet we added the red mineral salt blocks but they don't seem to use them much.

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?

White salt added to daily feed. Mineral blocks are available.

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?

No

9- How old is the horse?

QH barrel horse is 5, QH gelding is 9, Appaloosa mare is 24, RMH gelding estimated to be 27

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?

BH is 4.5 scored by vet. Working on getting more weight on him. Other 3 have more condition but are not fat.

There seem to be as many opinions on the right way to feed a horse as there are horse owners. I've sold hay since long before I was a horse owner myself. One customer wanted only the best quality alfalfa for her retired TB race horse while others wouldn't consider feeding alfalfa.
 

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1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?Yes
Horse 1- coming 3 yr old gets 3qts purina strategy GX for extra calories as she’s growing also for her supplements.
Horse 2- 1.5 qt purina strategy GX just to give her supplements

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?
We live in the desert so no grazing. I keep hay nets full of Bermuda.

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)
24/7 Slow feed hay net of Bermuda and 1 flake alfalfa am and pm for both.

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?
Horse 1 coming 3 yr old is currently on break to grow
Horse 2 6yr old gets ridden 3x per week and lunged 2-3x per week.
Both are barrel prospects, we do arena work, lunging, and conditioning trail rides as well as relaxing trail rides

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?
As far as keeping body condition yes both are easy keepers.

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?
I feed Horseguard vitamin and mineral supplement as well as

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?I have a Himalayan salt rock on a rope

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?
Yes wet the grain

9- How old is the horse?
Horse 1 coming 3yrs
Horse 2 6yrs

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?
My coming 3 yr old is still fluctuating with growth spurts but in general I am happy with her body condition, my other mare stays on the fleshy side so we have been increasing her workouts to increase muscle tone.
1110076
 

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I don't feed grains. Mine, aged 5 and 8, primarily graze. In the winter they have hay available. A native, timothy, alfalfa mix. But if they can find grass that is their preference. They have access to a mineral block.

We aren't very active this February. Its pretty icy this winter and there hasn't been much need to work. We'll get real busy in 2-3 weeks.

I'm real happy with their condition. They're getting soft, but that's okay.
 

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I'll play :giggle:

1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?

Kind of? The Triple Crown senior is labeled as 'grain-free' because it doesn't have the cereals/concentrates, but when people think about feed, they think of it as "grain". My elderly mare gets senior because she needs the minerals and nutrients it provides. I feed their recommended amount of 6 lbs/day split into 2 feedings. My easy keeper doesn't get any grain or concentrated feed, but gets a handful of grass hay pellets instead as a carrier for his supplements (I even weigh that, and it's like 4 oz)

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?

I live in Southern California and keep my two out on a dry lot. There's grass right after the rains (and considering how little rain we've had so far and aren't likely to get any more) there's not much of that this year. I hand graze them frequently, but it's not enough to survive on, so my gelding is on hay. He's got three different kinds of slow feeder devices to help regulate his intake for as long as I can because he doesn't get free choice hay (nope, it's all weighed out twice a day). He gets his ration split into a hay pillow with 1" holes, a porta-grazer with 3" holes and one of those grazing balls with 2.75" holes that he won in a contest from Riding Warehouse. I have a hay scale and weigh hay for each feeder at every feed.

My mare on the other hand is on a soaked feed diet due to being older and having had some dental issues in the past, and gets hay pellets. She gets hay pellets 3x a day. I used to feed cubes, but could only get them from TSC and they never seemed to soak easily enough. I still get her large alfalfa hay pellets from TSC, but can grab a bag at the local feed store which are the little ones. She gets breakfast (which I prepare at home prior to going out to feed), a lunch when I get there in the afternoon which also gets prepped at home, and I prep dinner there at the ranch.

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)

Teff grass for the Haffieface and alfalfa hay pellets for the mare.

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?

Mitch gets ridden almost daily. Of those rides, 2-3 (depending) are solo rides where he works walk,trot, canter, and we usually cool out with an amble on the ranch trails which involves hillwork. That usually takes about an hour and a half (10 minutes warmup at the walk, 30+ minutes trot and canter, and about 30+ minutes cooling out at the walk. The other 2 days, we pony the mare and stay at a walk for about 45 minutes on the lower portion of the ranch around the areas where it's flat. We occasionally haul off for longer trail rides, but would like to do that more often if we can find the right riding partner. I mainly try to get him out every day because he's a thinky pony, and needs that kind of a job to keep him going. We used to drive at least one a week as well, but since my accident 5 years ago, we haven't. I've always been meaning to pick it up again, but ... I just haven't done it yet. He does work more in the spring/summer than in the winter, or at least he has for the last few years. I used to clip every winter and work him fairly hard, but the two years, I didn't so we just did the whole walking thang because I was riding late enough in the day I didn't want him to get sweaty when the sun was going down.

Jet gets ponied twice a week, for about 45 minutes at the walk. We don't do hills, or if we do, it's the really easy little hill behind one of the pastures or leading up to the show barn. Other days, she gets handwalked up to the round pen so she can roll in the soft sand and get a little grazing done. (It's good to be retired, but still "active")

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?


Mitch is super duper pooper easy keeper poneh. Jet takes more work, but does maintain her weight.

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?

Mitch gets a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement called Horse Guard. It's in a pelleted form, so I like that. He gets flax too. I'm thinking when the next bag of Horse Guard starts to run low, I'll probably switch him to their Trifecta product as it contains a joint supplement, a hair/hoof supplement and prebiotics in pellet form so I wouldn't have to feed him from a couple of different tubs. It costs more, but I think I'm paying close to that (if not more) anyway with the Majety's Flex wafer, the flax supplement and the Horse Guard.

Jet gets all her vitamins and minerals from her senior feed mix.

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?


They get salt blocks.

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?

Yup. Mitch's handful of hay pellets get soaked. He can probably eat them fine without soaking, but I like making it fluffy and soft to mix his flax into. Jet's hay pellets and Triple Crown senior get soaked.

9- How old is the horse?

Mitch will be 22 in 3 days. Jet is ... 🤷‍♀️ ... old? (She's been age-guessed by 4 vets. One said 30 4 years ago, another said between 26-30 3 years ago, and the other two when they came to do her initial exam for the Davis DSLD study 2 years ago said 'aged') Even assuming that she was the age I was told when I first leased her 14 years ago, she's in her mid 20s, but I'd probably err on the side of caution there and estimate at least 4-5 years on top of that. So she's late 20s, early 30s. No papers, so no real way of knowing.

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?

Mitch is an air fern. Takes work to keep the weight off him, and he's always a little fluffier in the winter (but then, I get a little fluffy too ... and I don't seem to have an excuse for it). He's built like a brick outhouse, so part of his chub is body structure and being a little barrel dude. Right now, I'd say he's a 6 as he's wearing his "fat girth", but his summer bod is a 5 because I can put more work into him and he loses the hay belly look He's been a LOT fatter when he was on full care, so I don't think I'm doing too badly as it is.

Jet's always been somewhat rangy and svelte as long as I've known her. She was a nervous eater early on, because she was a pasture horse and low mare on the totem pole. She used to crib a lot too, particularly when she was still on hay, but I haven't seen any indication of that for well over a year now since her diet changed to soaked feed. She's got a long body conformation and has always had prominent wither so she's not compact and stout like Mitch is, and that makes her look a lot thinner. I'd say she's 4.5/5 on the scale. She's been retired for about 5 years now, so her topline went to pot a number of years back, and because she doesn't do much hillwork, her hindquarters are never gonna recover. She's not ribby at all, even with a furry winter coat (and I check every single day) and her butt has a good layer of jiggly fat. I'd love to see her put a little more weight on, but given that she has DSLD issues, I'm exceedingly careful with her weight management, and am pretty satisfied with how she looks.
 

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1. Their feed is a "muesli" feed that is mostly hay pellets, some oats, sunflower seeds, split peas, and a couple of other things. They just get a little, enough to get their supps in. Teddy gets extra alfalfa pellets, because he's skinny.
2. Hay. Because the pastures here are terrible. At the old place, it was almost all forage.
3. Coastal bermudagrass. A little alfalfa, especially for Teddy, again because it's harder to keep weight on him.
4. Varies. Teddy is not in work, the others are in moderate work.
5. Pony is a super easy keeper, Moonshine is medium, Teddy is a little bit of a hard keeper.
6. The barn feeds red salt blocks. I feed minerals based on what I think is in their pasture, but I've recently realized that this is a mistake since they hardly eat anything from the ground any more.
7. See above.
8. Thank goodness, no.
9. Moonshine: late middle age; Teddy: middle age; Pony: eight
10. Moonshine: 5.5; Teddy 4.5; Pony, ugh. Fat.
 
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1. Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?

Only 1/5 of my horses gets a little grain as a carrier for her supplements

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?
Grazing all year except they have free choice hay in the winter. Horses that are being rode get grazing overnight and are brought in and fed hay in a slow feed net during the day in an attempt to keep them from getting obese.

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)
The grass/hay available wherever we are. Right now it's a brome/orchard grass, used to be brome/alfalfa/crested wheat and native short grasses.

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?
I try to ride at least 5 times a week if there is good weather. The horses are used for ranch work and depending on time of year, they are likely to be saddled and working all day during busy seasons. I'll usually give horses a day break if I'm doing a lot of that type of work, or if the horse was used hard thr previous day, might only use it for a half day the next and use that as an excuse to ride a younger one. My barrel horse is fed the same as everything else, even when running fit.

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?
Most of the time, my horses are all fatter than I'd like, so all easy keepers.

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?

Free choice on a salt block and offered Hoffmanns loose mineral while in the barn after being rode.

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?

Yes, they have free choice on a blue salt block.

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?

I like to give haynets a soak if I can. The one horse that gets grained, I will soak her grain.

9- How old is the horse?

Ages range from 3 to 14.

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?

I would rather have them on the tubby side this time of year so that when I do start riding lots I won't have to pump grain into them to keep them in good condition.
 

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Mitch gets a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement called Horse Guard. It's in a pelleted form, so I like that. He gets flax too. I'm thinking when the next bag of Horse Guard starts to run low, I'll probably switch him to their Trifecta product as it contains a joint supplement, a hair/hoof supplement and prebiotics in pellet form so I wouldn't have to feed him from a couple of different tubs.
Side note! I LOVE the trifecta, definitely worth the extra!
 

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Side note! I LOVE the trifecta, definitely worth the extra!
I really like Horse Guard. I’ve been feeding it for a long time because it’s perfect for a easy keeper who doesn’t need very much by way of “grain”. I can even toss it in to his bucket and he’ll eat it by itself. I’m probably going to switch to Trifecta because of the cost (I’m pretty sure I’m paying the same (maybe $10 or $15 more) with everything I’m giving him now since I added joint supplements this year. We got a free bag of Hoof and Hair Guard from the company for participating in a livestream discussion that Riding Warehouse put on (ask a question, get an entry in a drawing and my name got drawn) but my mare is eating it because I didn’t want to feed Mitch the soymeal. Trifecta has it in the pelleted form.
 

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I have two horses, a 33 year-old retired gelding and a coming 2 year-old gelding

1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?
The only "Grain" I feed is Triple Crown Senior gold. My 33 year-old can amazingly still eat hay, but needs the calories from senior feed to keep him at an ideal weight. It's low in sugars and starches, which is important because he has Cushings - But high in calories and fat. I try to stay away from corn/oats/barely as a general rule.

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?
This time of year, 100% from hay. They are able to graze a bit in the summer.

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)
Orchard grass and alfalfa hay, and grass pasture in addition in the summer

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?
Neither are being ridden (retired and too young to be started). I still do groundwork and turn them out to run. That's about the extent of it, haha!

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?

My senior gelding is definitely a harder keeper, always has been. My 2 year-old is a little air fern. Very very easy keeping!

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?
I have both my horses on AZ Copper Complete from HorseTech. I wanted to eliminate iron out of their diets as best as possible, as they already get more than enough through the soil and water. My old guy has been on a 1/2 dose nearly 2 months now (he gets half the recommended amount of TC Senior Gold. It does have iron but not much). The change in his overall health has been incredible. He went from being severely tender-footed, to being able to walk on gravel and frozen ground easily. I also think it's helped his arthritis. Iron promotes inflammation, so that makes sense. I just started the youngster on it a couple days ago. Too soon to notice a difference, but I am hopeful!

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?

They both have a white salt block in their stalls, but I also put 1 tbs of salt in their "grain" mash each day, 2 tbs on really hot or cold days.

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?
Yes! The AZ Copper Complete is a powder, so it helps to wet it down. My 2 year-old gets 3 oz of soaked Standlee timothy grass pellets as a base, and then I mix the powder in. Very low calorie, but he thinks he's getting a lot of goodies. I mix the TC Senior and the AZ CC for the oldster.

9- How old is the horse?
33 and nearly 2 :)

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?
I would put my old guy at a 4.5 at the moment. I would like to see him fleshed out just a bit more, but we did go through a cold spell recently. The 2 year-old is - a bit fleshy at the moment haha. I would say about a 6. I like my horses a little heavier going through winter. We will work on conditioning this spring.
 

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@RMH we control with overseeding with ryegrass in the fall and are working on reseeding select areas as we can. PH is our biggest issue. Centipede is what took over as the ph dropped. Now liming to promote reemergence of the bahaia and eventually back to bermuda.

Crabgrass is a high acid grass growing best at 4.8. Perhaps liming would help. We can't grow fescue or bluegrass here so not much experience with them except when I lived on the east coast. Their ph requirements are higher. 5.8 to 6.5 for tall fescue and 6.0 to 7 I think for bluegrass.

That is our situation. Preferred grasses need the lime applications.

Right now everyone gets a mix of oats, beetpulp, black oil sunflower and Calf Manna (for anise flavoring which keeps one picky one eating) so that I get their vits and mins. 3 get a pound a day + Grostrong. The other two get that plus a high calorie senior feed topped with a fat supplement. 4 pounds split into two feedings for one and 8 pounds split for the other. All get peanut hay - 1/4 to 1/2 flake for 3 and the other two get two flakes each. Bermuda rounds unless unavailable then bahaia. During transition we get mixed ryegrass or straight ryegrass hay. They are on 24/7 pasture.
 

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Something that I have noticed over the years is how vastly different some owners feed their horses from others. So I was wondering and wanting to gather what you all do with your horse(s)’ nutrition specifically. So I have a few questions!

1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?

9- How old is the horse?

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?

I will post my own answers for each of my horses in a reply. ☺
a
I have two horses, a 33 year-old retired gelding and a coming 2 year-old gelding

1- Do you feed grain? If yes, what kind and how much? What is the reason?
The only "Grain" I feed is Triple Crown Senior gold. My 33 year-old can amazingly still eat hay, but needs the calories from senior feed to keep him at an ideal weight. It's low in sugars and starches, which is important because he has Cushings - But high in calories and fat. I try to stay away from corn/oats/barely as a general rule.

2- Does most of your horse’s forage come in the form of grazing, or in the form of cut hay? Why?
This time of year, 100% from hay. They are able to graze a bit in the summer.

3- What kinds of forage does your horse receive (for example, fescue, Bermuda, alfalfa?)
Orchard grass and alfalfa hay, and grass pasture in addition in the summer

4- How much work does your horse do/how active is it? What do you do with them?
Neither are being ridden (retired and too young to be started). I still do groundwork and turn them out to run. That's about the extent of it, haha!

5- Do you consider your horse to be an easy keeper or a hard keeper?
My senior gelding is definitely a harder keeper, always has been. My 2 year-old is a little air fern. Very very easy keeping!

6- Do you feed mineral supplements, or do you offer a mineral block, or do you offer loose minerals, or a combination of these things?
I have both my horses on AZ Copper Complete from HorseTech. I wanted to eliminate iron out of their diets as best as possible, as they already get more than enough through the soil and water. My old guy has been on a 1/2 dose nearly 2 months now (he gets half the recommended amount of TC Senior Gold. It does have iron but not much). The change in his overall health has been incredible. He went from being severely tender-footed, to being able to walk on gravel and frozen ground easily. I also think it's helped his arthritis. Iron promotes inflammation, so that makes sense. I just started the youngster on it a couple days ago. Too soon to notice a difference, but I am hopeful!

7- Do you offer a (white, actual sodium chloride) salt block? Or, do you salt your horse’s grain or hay?
They both have a white salt block in their stalls, but I also put 1 tbs of salt in their "grain" mash each day, 2 tbs on really hot or cold days.

8- Do you wet any of your horse’s grain or hay before feeding?
Yes! The AZ Copper Complete is a powder, so it helps to wet it down. My 2 year-old gets 3 oz of soaked Standlee timothy grass pellets as a base, and then I mix the powder in. Very low calorie, but he thinks he's getting a lot of goodies. I mix the TC Senior and the AZ CC for the oldster.

9- How old is the horse?
33 and nearly 2 :)

10- What would you consider your horse’s body condition to be, approximately, on the Henneke scale? Or, more simply, are you happy with your horse’s current weight, and is your horse ideal, more fleshy, or more thin?
I would put my old guy at a 4.5 at the moment. I would like to see him fleshed out just a bit more, but we did go through a cold spell recently. The 2 year-old is - a bit fleshy at the moment haha. I would say about a 6. I like my horses a little heavier going through winter. We will work on conditioning this spring.
My Morgan mare, Angelina, is still an easy keeper at nearly 29! In winter (we live in cold snowy Michigan) she gets 2 flakes of grass hay in the morning and 3 at night. As her pasture grass grows I gradually decrease it to one flake morning and night. She also gets Purina horse treats and a small scoop of grain just because she loves them twice a day. Also apples and carrots daily. She’s pretty spoiled!
I’m very fortunate that I don’t have to pay for hay....I help my friend bale twice a year and he gives me all I need.
 

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QtrBel thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to try over seeding annual ryegrass this fall to see if it will give more forage than the wheat I have been planting.. pH is 6.6 from soil test last fall. I do pretty well growing fescue for cattle but horses are a whole different animal with the ability to graze right down to the soil surface. I checked into establishing Bermudagrass but we are in a fringe area and sprigs and someone to plant them are not available locally. Bermuda seed is very expensive and establishment might be iffy due to the competition from the existing crabgrass seedbank. Unfortunately it's a choice I make to sacrifice my undersized pasture to avoid having to confine my horses.
 

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@RMH If you keep after overseeding in fall and mowing to remove seed heads on the crab grass at that ph you may be able to get ahead of it. Our ph isn't quite into ideal for bahaia and needs much more lime for bermuda but the centipede out competes the crabgrass at our ph. When it started making an appearance I figured the horses would control it as the crown and roots are sweet enough that several dig it up and eat that part. No such luck.
 
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