The Horse Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hullo people! I was just curious to know if you guys supplement feed your horses, if so why and what? My horses are paddock kept but they need extra calcium to prevent big head with the grass I have so I give them chaff, pellets (laminitis sage for my mare), oil (for Jakes bad coat) and calcium or dolomite. Even though Daisy is the only horse that needs laminitis safe pellets and jake is the only one with oil I give them all the same because they always swap buckets mid feed. They get fed once a day after being worked.in the drought that just ended the had molasses in a tub that was shared with sheep and cattle and a big round bale of hay, whatever was available. The have a salt lick in the paddock but don’t use it much. The water isn’t fresh tap water it is bore water with lots of clay in it but after getting it tested we concluded it was safe for the horses. Keen to here what you guys do!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
104 Posts
My horse is on a forage-based diet. Water (of course), salt, grass, hay, a carrier (ECIR safe), and a custom mineral mix. She does not need vitamins or anything else really.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
228 Posts
My families 23 year old gets a joint supplement with his twice daily grain, and it makes a world of difference! No more clicking and clacking. No more stumbles. Perfect!

My 20 year old isn’t on any supplements, just grain.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My horse is on a forage-based diet. Water (of course), salt, grass, hay, a carrier (ECIR safe), and a custom mineral mix. She does not need vitamins or anything else really.
What do you mean by “a carrier”
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My families 23 year old gets a joint supplement with his twice daily grain, and it makes a world of difference! No more clicking and clacking. No more stumbles. Perfect!

My 20 year old isn’t on any supplements, just grain.
That great! I might have to start my old horse on joint supplements soon
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nubs

·
Banned
Joined
·
104 Posts
What do you mean by “a carrier”
A carrier is just something to "carry" the supplements - usually a small quantity; for example, 8 oz. (1 cup) of hay pellets. It is not the staple of the horse's diet; it is not meant to provide a lot of calories or nutrition.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,597 Posts
My remaining two horses are 25 & 26. Both are easy keepers, aka Air Ferns, aka thrifty.

I have not fed any grain products for ~15 years.

The 26 year old is the healthiest but does have some hock issues.

The 25 year old has a plethora of health issues, ranging from a twice-fractured sacrum to founder to metabolic issues, including Cushings. He sees a vet/chiropractor monthly.

They have to be separated as the 26 yr old is a bully; he has ~19 acres of pasture, the 25 yr old ~6 acres of pasture.

They both eat:

A soy-free, no added iron condensed vit/min supplement from Horse Tech.
A pre-probiotic from Horse Tech.
Added Vitamin E

Joint supplements are different for each horse.

The carrier in the cold months is an 8 ounce cup of equal parts of Timothy pellets and equine rice bran. I remove the rice bran during the warm months. They are fed twice daily, so 16 ounces of a carrier daily.

I keep white salt blocks next to theIr water stations. I also add a teaspoon of human, non-iodized Sea Salt to their feed pan.

Hay is locally grown orchard/mix that I buy by the season and send it out for testing for starch content. NSC is always somewhere in the 8% range. It is a large part of why my IR/Cushings horse has been in IR remission since 2015 and does not need a muzzle when he is at pasture. The other big reason is the low NSC value in HorseTech’s vit/min supplement and that it uses alfalfa as the protein source instead of soy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rambo99

·
Banned
Joined
·
228 Posts
My remaining two horses are 25 & 26. Both are easy keepers, aka Air Ferns, aka thrifty.

I have not fed any grain products for ~15 years.
Is there a specific reason for no grain? Have you found it to cause issues and such? Considering my boy eats a few pounds of grain a day, I would hate for it to cause future issues!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
Is there a specific reason for no grain? Have you found it to cause issues and such? Considering my boy eats a few pounds of grain a day, I would hate for it to cause future issues!
While I’m not the person you posed the question to, I also don’t feed grain to my air fern Haflinger. Part of that is because he’s an air fern (and currently wearing his fat girth, ooof, I need to work him once he sheds out as I chose not to clip this year so we’re primarily stuck at a walk right now) and because unless I feed a ration balancer, which are oddly difficult to obtain from our local feed stores, he isn’t going to get enough nutrients on a few lbs of grain.

I have 2 seniors. My Haflinger gelding is 22 (and acts like he’s half that) and my grade Morgan/Quarter mare is pushing 30-ish (best estimate of her age from several vets). They both get joint supplements as the mare has DSLD and my gelding is still an active riding horse . My gelding gets a quarter-pound of soaked grass hay pellets as his carrier for his multi-vitamin supplement, which is Horse Guard. My mare is on a complete senior feed due to her inability to chew hay.

I split their supplements into 2 feedings a day, and measure accordingly with a kitchen food scale (funniest story was I had a friend visiting and I was measuring my mare’s feed and she was watching me pour the senior feed in and scoop some out, but couldn’t see the scale at first so she had no idea what I was doing). Grass hay for my gelding gets measured with a fish scale. I’m pretty OCD about everything being exact (but then I’ve found I waste less that way)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,597 Posts
Is there a specific reason for no grain? Have you found it to cause issues and such? Considering my boy eats a few pounds of grain a day, I would hate for it to cause future issues!
I have dealt with two metabolic horses. The remaining horse being the worst of the two. His insulin numbers were so high, Cornell asked the vet if they could test his blood again. When they did, they marveled he was still alive. Needless to say, he foundered to the point I thought I might lose him from that.

Although whole oats can be good to soothe stomach issues in some horses, grains are high in useless starches and not recommended for horses with certain medical conditions.

I long ago gave up trying to find a decent ration balancer locally. This was die hard Purina country until the last few years and I have my own nightmare story with their WellSolve, when they first rolled it out in 2007.

I still have two, easy keeping, retired trail horses, ages 25 & 26. By “trail horses”, I mean these fellas have been on trails that would make a lot of people faint, they don’t know the meaning of “groomed trails”.

They cannot burn up all the bad starch that is found in a feed bag whose main ingredients is grain.

****

Where it states in part:

“Most horse owners are familiar with the fact that traditional grains such as oats and corn contain high levels of starch (40 to 60%), as do some commercial performance feeds. It’s tempting to focus on the grain in the diet; however, don’t to forget about the forage in the ration. Selecting an appropriate commercial feed won’t have as much an effect in managing the condition if the forage in the diet provides far too much starch or sugar. Ideally, have your forage tested to ensure it’s low in starch and sugar; if you can’t have it tested, consider soaking to lower the sugar content.

Recommendations about starch and sugar amounts for such horses varies depending on who you ask and the specific condition being managed. For the EMS and IR horses, veterinarians and nutritionists often recommend that dietary non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) be below 12% on a dry-matter basis. NSC is calculated by adding the starch and water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) fractions of a feed together”


*
When the article speaks to 12%, that includes everything —- pasture, hay, what goes in the feed pan.

The fact that I have been fortunate enough to find local horse hay growers who know THE TIME OF DAY hay should be cut, and that I have been able to remove a lot of NSC out of the feed pan, allows the metabolic horse to enjoy more pasture time and enjoy it without wearing a grazing muzzle — which also caused him ulcers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nubs

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
I am feeding a handful of supplements currently, and will be discontinuing a few once they run out. Both of my horses, an 8 year old Morgan and a 22 year old half-Arab, get Triple Crown Senior each day. The Morgan gets about 1 cup, just to act as a carrier for her supplement since she wouldn't eat it with just timothy pellets. The half-Arabian gets around 6 qts per day, which is two of those 'generic' feed scoops you'd find at a feed store, ya know, the bright colored plastic ones?

For supplements, both are on "California Trace" in an attempt to make sure they are getting all of the nutrients their hay may be lacking, and to improve the Morgan's hoof health (she's had a hoof crack since we moved to a new barn). Since her hoof health hasn't improved, I'm discontinuing California Trace. Instead, she will be switched back to a ration balancer that I used to feed her, Buckeye Gro'n'Win.

And onto supplements that the half-Arab gets...He's been on a Buckeye Ultimate Finish product for well over a year now, first starting with the 20 and now the 40, to help him cover his ribs. I'm discontinuing the Ultimate Finish, because his weight issues may have no been weight issues after all, and instead may be a symptom of his recently diagnosed Cushing's disease. It's expensive and quite frankly, I'm broke due to the next supplements...

The half-Arab also gets Mushroom Matrix's Equident, a supplement for his dental health, because he has recently diagnosed EORTH and we are trying to see if we can control his gum inflammation and pain before have to pull out 3-6 teeth. I'm not sure if I will be continuing this or not, but the decision will ultimately be up to my dentist.

The half-Arab also gets Tri-Amino, an amino acid supplement, to hopefully help him rebuild his muscle that has wasted away before we officially found his Cushing's, and started medicating. I will likely continue this for the rest of his under-saddle career, just to help him out a bit, since he really enjoys being ridden still.
 
  • Like
Reactions: walkinthewalk
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top