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Hey Guy's,
I am reasonably new to the industry. After I went into the produce store the other day I was completely overwhelmed by the number of products to choose from, which got me a little confused. I have a couple of questions, can you please help!!!!!

First question. What is the biggest issue that you face when feeding your horse?

And secondly. What is the main frustration that you come across when buying a feed?:runninghorse2:
 

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I have an insulin resistant horse that is so severe, he is on a prescription to control his insulin.

1. That means everything in anybody's feed store tisses me off because the feed purveyors spend more money on advertising how good they are instead of producing something that makes sense to feed a metabolic horse.

1.1. I special order a condensed vit/min supplement that has no added iron, is soy-free and is guaranteed an NSC value of 4.25% max. I feed it with Timothy pellets.

I feed this to both horses, one of which is not metabolic. They are both easy keepers, in their early 20's and pasture pets because I can't ride anymore. It's all they need and probably would be enough if I were still trail riding.

2. There is junk and fillers that is in most feeds, if one carefully and thoroughly reads the labels.

Ration balancers are better for the average horse and even those are not all created equal. Many have that word "products" and "by-products" in the ingredients list; deal breakers for me, regardless of what else sounds good on the label.

The bottom line for you, IMHO, is to first decide what your horse's job is, how hard you will be working him, how easy he is to hold a nice weight. NOT over weight, it doesn't hurt to lightly see a couple ribs on even the stocky built horses.

My IR TWH is built like a tank but I can see three ribs on him. The vet wants me to keep his weight right where it's at. No easy task but he is a handsome lad after losing 100+ pounds.

Learn which brands of feed are the better quality; local feeds generally are worthless but there are exceptions.

Read feed labels in their entirety and learn what the percentage, mg's, and ppm's per pound mean for your horse. Most feeds and ration balancers require the horse be fed one pound minimum to get their daily requirement of vit/min.

If two brands are nearly identical, buy the cheaper brand.

Watch your horse for any negative changes in coat/hoof health, personality, allergies. Sometimes what is great for one horse can be a disaster for another, just like humans can have food issues.
 

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I am annoyed by the fact that it is almost impossible to get beet pulp here, because they don't produce sugar around here anymore, so it's only the expensive, imported stuff.

And also the fact that "horse feed" produced in my country contains everything - wheat, rye, oats, corn, sunflower meal, yeast, linseed meal (flax) and even barley.. Ok, some of that is good, but I rather buy my own sunflower, linseed meals and feed them separate or mixed..
 

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I like buying clean basic grains. I get a mix of corn, oats, and barley, and can ask for "C.O.B." at any feed store when I travel. The percentages are on the bag and they always let me see how clean it is. Every place is proud to put out a clean product. That is for healthy working horses.

For ones that need extra pounds, I can get Triple Crown Senior everywhere I go from Colorado to Montana. It's been a consistent product over the years. I was prepared to dislike it, when I first tried it, but horses have done well with it.

Horses that need more specialized feeds... I probably can't use and wouldn't work for anything we need around here.
 

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Oats in the summer, 1 lb per day if the horses are idle and I may add 1 lb of senior feed or alfalfa pellets to the oats in winter depending on hay quality. Pretty basic feeing and my horses do well on it.
 

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I avoid anything with the number one ingredient being Soy. Soy is nothing but a filler that horses can't break down.

I like things as basic as possible. I feed soaked timothy/alfalfa cubes and a senior pellet to my adult horses. My yearling is on soaked cubes and a basic mare and foal feed.

I like things simple and basic and my entire herd does very well on a diet this way. I feed minerals and biotic 8(a pre and pro biotic with digestive enzymes) to balance everything out.
 

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1. Start by looking for products that are labeled to be fed to a horse of the same age, reproductive status and level of work as your horse. You don't want to buy a performance feed for a gelding that spends most of his time standing in a pasture or for a growing horse.

2. Read the label instructions for feeding and calculate the cost to feed it on a daily basis. Make sure you can afford it continuously.

3. Ask the clerk if they ever have problems getting the product. It also doesn't hurt to make sure at least one other store in the area carries it. This way there is less risk of running out and not being able to get it, thus having to make a sudden change in diet.
 

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I avoid anything with the number one ingredient being Soy. Soy is nothing but a filler that horses can't break down.
I've never heard this before. Can you provide some links to some resources on this?

I know some horses are allergic to soy and the source of the soy comes into play...but I've never heard anything to suggest that soy is just a filler...
 

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I've never heard this before. Can you provide some links to some resources on this?

I know some horses are allergic to soy and the source of the soy comes into play...but I've never heard anything to suggest that soy is just a filler...
Soy is the protein source in nearly all of the horse feeds, ration balancers, and condensed vit/supplements.

Soy hulls are often added (read ingredients list) as a filler in feeds and some ration balancers.

Soy Safety: Depends on the Source, Nutritionists Say | TheHorse.com

Where it says in part:
There are some inherent problems with feeding soybean protein, according to Jack Grogan, CN, vice president of research and development at Uckele Health & Nutrition in Blissfield, Mich. "Soy protein by itself can directly interfere with hormonal balance and be pro-inflammatory, increasing the metabolic stress load and affecting immune function," he said. "We feel feed enhancers that use soy protein are not in the horse's best interest."
Soy is also not good for horses with PSSM.

I have a horse that is grain and soy sensitive, with soy being the worst at making a nutcase out of him.

I also have a horse tha is insulin resistant. I order a condensed vit/min supplement that is soy-free, grain-free and no added iron from Horse Tech.

You can also Google "is soy bad for horses?" And get more hits than you can read. Many are credible veterinary or university articles, others are from horse owners:)
 

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I just use whatever the horse was eating when I bought it and then decide how their body and attitude do and how the amount of feed given is necessary based on what forage they're getting. Eventually I'll take suggestions from trusted friends based on what kind of exercise my horse will be doing, and change. And then watch them again. Sooner or later something perfect sticks.
 

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Actually, I don't really have issues when it comes to buying feed. I feed whole oats and I just have to find a good mill that supplies me with quality oats. Now, when it comes to vit/min supplements, it IS a struggle to find stuff that is soy free, sugar free and also free from any other useless stuff... I can mix straight minerals, but that is, honestly, a chore and very hard to balance your own mix.
 

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I am trying to start a separate discussion on this, so will not go into it here, but I do not think it is the SOY that is the problem.
 
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