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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All! I'm newer to horses and bought a 14 year old Tennessee walking horse gelding in April. He has been on 24/7 turn out(unless it is thunder storming, then he is stalled) and a grass/hay diet only. He is 15.1 hands and 980 pounds on the weight tape. I weigh 130 pounds and I ride him about 3-4x week for about a half an hour, just walk, gait, canter. He is a pleasure horse/pet for me. The barn owner has asked me to buy feed for him for the fall/winter because I live in southern Ontario, Canada so he will be stabled much more often now. She said he needs the feed in his stall to help get him to go in there. By January/February he is only turned out from 8am to 2pm and is stalled the rest of the time. I have no idea where to begin with choosing a feed for him, so I thought I would ask people in the know on here? Thanks for any input! I really appreciate it.
EDIT I should have specified the barn owner provides hay for him grown on their own farm 12 months of the year. She just told me he isn't the best at going into his stall when they bring all the horses in. She wanted me to buy feed as an incentive to get him better at coming in and going into his stall for them in the fall/winter. Prior to me owning him he was a pasture kept horse with one mare for 10 years.
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Start with what is readily available in your area brand wise and we can help. Best is forage first. Then add feed as necessary to maintain weight. If he is on a good feed then you feed to directions but not under the minimum so that your horse gets the nutrition that feed provides.
 

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Start with what is readily available in your area brand wise and we can help. Best is forage first. Then add feed as necessary to maintain weight. If he is on a good feed then you feed to directions but not under the minimum so that your horse gets the nutrition that feed provides.
Purina, Step Right and Rolling Acres are brands that I see on one website.
 

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FInd some Hay in your area to start with. Ask where your hay will be stored and figure out how many bales will fit. Then ask the barn owner where they get their hay ? Also look at ads in your area for horse hay for sale. It seems you should be able to find a good grass hay in your area. IF you are adding supplemental feed, I would get hay pellets that you could store in a metal trash can.
 

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Because it's forage (pasture) that he'll be missing this winter, that is what really needs to be replaced the most. Feed is fine for adding vitamins, minerals, pro/prebiotics, fat, and protein, but in terms of giving your horse what he'll be missing from the pasture...hay, hay, hay. Baled hay, bagged hay, hay cubes, hay pellets. Basically the more you can base his diet on some sort of forage/hay, the healthier and happier he will be. With a concentrated feed for the other necessities I mentioned, my main piece of advice is to look for something with low carbs (steer clear of corn and/or oats) and high fat and fiber with a good pre/probiotic package and decent protein. Depending on what kind of hay you feed, adding some alfalfa (baled, cubed, or pelleted...soak the last two) can also be beneficial.

Hay/forage should always be the foundation of your feeding program. Horses were designed to eat forage, not grain. But there are plenty of good commercial feeds on the market that are forage-based. Find one of those to add to your hay.

ETA: Cute horse. He looks well cared for. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Because it's forage (pasture) that he'll be missing this winter, that is what really needs to be replaced the most. Feed is fine for adding vitamins, minerals, pro/prebiotics, fat, and protein, but in terms of giving your horse what he'll be missing from the pasture...hay, hay, hay. Baled hay, bagged hay, hay cubes, hay pellets. Basically the more you can base his diet on some sort of forage/hay, the healthier and happier he will be. With a concentrated feed for the other necessities I mentioned, my main piece of advice is to look for something with low carbs (steer clear of corn and/or oats) and high fat and fiber with a good pre/probiotic package and decent protein. Depending on what kind of hay you feed, adding some alfalfa (baled, cubed, or pelleted...soak the last two) can also be beneficial.

Hay/forage should always be the foundation of your feeding program. Horses were designed to eat forage, not grain. But there are plenty of good commercial feeds on the market that are forage-based. Find one of those to add to your hay.

ETA: Cute horse. He looks well cared for. :)
Thanks! I do love him a lot. I should have specified the barn owner provides hay for him grown on their own farm 12 months of the year. She just told me he isn't the best at going into his stall when they bring all the horses in. She wanted me to buy feed as an incentive to get him better at coming in and going into his stall for them in the fall/winter. Prior to me owning him he was a pasture kept horse with one mare for 10 years.
 

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FInd some Hay in your area to start with. Ask where your hay will be stored and figure out how many bales will fit. Then ask the barn owner where they get their hay ? Also look at ads in your area for horse hay for sale. It seems you should be able to find a good grass hay in your area. IF you are adding supplemental feed, I would get hay pellets that you could store in a metal trash can.
FInd some Hay in your area to start with. Ask where your hay will be stored and figure out how many bales will fit. Then ask the barn owner where they get their hay ? Also look at ads in your area for horse hay for sale. It seems you should be able to find a good grass hay in your area. IF you are adding supplemental feed, I would get hay pellets that you could store in a metal trash can.
I should have specified the barn owner provides hay for him grown on their own farm 12 months of the year. She just told me he isn't the best at going into his stall when they bring all the horses in. She wanted me to buy feed as an incentive to get him better at coming in and going into his stall for them in the fall/winter. Prior to me owning him he was a pasture kept horse with one mare for 10 years.
 

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I understand where you/BO are coming from as I have 2 Rocky Mountain mares that hate to be penned in. But they will “sell their souls” for some sweet feed. I’ve used it for years to get them to come into the corral in the morning. I don’t give them very much (2 cups) but it’s become a habit for them to get their morning treat. I’m in the process of switching them over to some soaked alfalfa pellets because I think it is better for them. They both still come running. My point is, it needs to be something of high value to the horse to entice him into the stall. Find out what he will “sell his soul” for and then if it’s not that good for him hopefully you can mix it and begin converting him over to something better (more nutritious) for him.
 

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If all you're trying to do is to motivate him to go into his stall, then you don't need much in the way of feed, so even if it's not the healthiest stuff it probably won't matter IMO. I'd start with alfalfa pellets and see if that's motivating enough. Something like 2-4 cups (I mean like measuring cups) of it. If that doesn't motivate him, then 1-2 cups of whatever feed the barn provides should be fine, I would think.
 
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Since you are new to horses, I am going to be the sweet feed naysayer:)

1. There are much more nutritional feeds to lure him into the stall than sweet feed.

2. That segways into the fact that Tennessee Walkers are at the top of the list for being predisposed to insulin resistance. He is 14 so that means he is "right there" at prime age to develop it. I know because I have had two TWH's with metabolic issues and the one that is still alive, nearly died when he foundered in 2012.

3. In this day and age, horses that eat mostly hay during the off-season can really benefit from extra Vitamin E. It wouldn't hurt to buy him some pure (no selenium added) Vitamin E to add to his feed pan.

3.1 If you can get Purina, buy their senior feed. It will have a higher amount of needed vitamins/minerals. He doesn't look thin, so feeding him the minimum one pound daily to assure he gets his correct vit/min, should be sufficient.

4. Also, I enlarged your foto of the sweet fella. Is it the cameral angle or is his backbone protuding? He doesn't look thin but if his back bone is protruding, he has muscle loss. A few health issues can cause muscle loss.

If that is the case (protruding backbone), my bad news is to please try and get a vet out to draw blood to check for Cushings (PPID, aka Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction). He is not too young for that either. They will do an ACTH test to check his cortisol level. I see you are in Canada so I know how difficult it might be for you to schedule a vet but please schedule one. The ACTH test is not expensive and maybe the vet's trip fee can be split with someone else at the barn, whose horse could stand to see a vet:)
 
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I see that you're in Canada. Madbarn makes a nice line of vitamin/mineral supplements up there. You could feed Omneity pellets and kill 2 birds with 1 stone - The pellets will lure him in and give him balanced nutrition!
 
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