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Adding Fiber To A Horses Diet?


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#1 dc848704

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 06:59 PM

My old guy has had the hershey squirts for a bit, and I was told that he may be not getting enough fiber. He is on safechoice which is 15%. He was on LMF Low Carb stage 1, which is 28%. He gets 2 flakes of Eastern Oregon Orchard grass a day. I know the hay is pretty rich, but he's been on it for a while without any problems. I switched to the safechoice because of cost, and lowered the amount once I got him onto it because it is a higher protein.

Any input on adding fiber to a horses diet? He's up to date on everything else, and also getting fastrack 2x a day.
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#2 Peggy Sue

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:06 PM

How much of all the above is he getting weight wise??

You can always add beet pulp or alfalfa cubes/pellets for extra fiber. But I would also start removing all grain products as well to see if that helps.

Why are you lowering his protien??


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#3 dc848704

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:32 PM

He was diagnosed 2 years ago as hyperglycemic. And the safe choice is actually a higher protein than the LMF. So thats why I am feeding a little less of the grain than I was before. His squirts actually started before I switched to the safechoice. I just now figured out how much lower the fiber is in the safechoice compared to the LMF. He'll be 23 this year, and is at a really good weight (he's always been a really hard keeper), and energy level so I'm at a loss on why he's not absorbing it as well. He's also getting back into a better exercise schedule than the past few months.

He gets 3/4 coffee can Safe choice 2x/day, 1 flake hay 2xday (good sized flakes), that he doesn't really clean up anyways.
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#4 ozland

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:00 PM

Hay is fiber. Feed more hay. He should be getting at least 20 pounds a day. Couple of flakes isn't even close, unless they are HUGE flakes.
You don't say how old he is, or what shape his teeth are in, or if he's getting any grass at all. Can he actually chew the hay? If not, you would be better off to switch to a good senior feed with soaked hay cubes for the fiber. I have a pretty much toothless 39 year old gelding. He's still doing well with this diet.

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#5 Peggy Sue

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:07 PM

Hyper glycemic and protien have no relation to each other . you need ot be lowering your sugars and starches and theere are much better way sto do it then Safechoice

With his Afe I would go with Triple Crown Senior at least 6lbs daily soaked for at least 45 minutes before feeding

if he is having problem with his hay add in some beet pulp or alfalfa pellets/cubes for extra calories and fiber


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#6 dc848704

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:42 PM

I did mention he'll be 23 this year. His teeth are that of an aged horse (have him checked every 6 months). These flakes are huge, the bales weigh about 140, even at 2 flakes a day, (1am/1pm) he does not clean this up. I have tried feeding beet pulp before and he won't eat it.

I've always been told with horses that have hyperglycemia/insulin resistence problems, you should really watch the protein levels in your grain, higher protein can cause a hot horse and lead to founder. Since he is not on a strenuous exercise program I don't need to feed high protein. His body condition is good (for him), he's always been a horse that you can see his ribs, (even at one point a long time ago a vet told me he was almost obese but could still see his ribs.)

I am going to put him back on the LMF Low Carb Stage 1. Also, he's not a horse that grazes, I can put him out on pasture and he'll munch a little bit, mostly just stands there and snoozes. If I throw a flake of hay out for him, he'll eat that. Right now he is mainly stalled, and I can't see any reason to put free choice hay in, when he'll just walk on it and waste it.
Daniell and my mini farm....
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A few chickens
A pair of pheasants

#7 Peggy Sue

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:56 PM

QUOTE (dc848704 @ Jan 26 2010, 08:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I did mention he'll be 23 this year. His teeth are that of an aged horse (have him checked every 6 months). These flakes are huge, the bales weigh about 140, even at 2 flakes a day, (1am/1pm) he does not clean this up. I have tried feeding beet pulp before and he won't eat it.

I've always been told with horses that have hyperglycemia/insulin resistence problems, you should really watch the protein levels in your grain, higher protein can cause a hot horse and lead to founder. Since he is not on a strenuous exercise program I don't need to feed high protein. His body condition is good (for him), he's always been a horse that you can see his ribs, (even at one point a long time ago a vet told me he was almost obese but could still see his ribs.)

I am going to put him back on the LMF Low Carb Stage 1. Also, he's not a horse that grazes, I can put him out on pasture and he'll munch a little bit, mostly just stands there and snoozes. If I throw a flake of hay out for him, he'll eat that. Right now he is mainly stalled, and I can't see any reason to put free choice hay in, when he'll just walk on it and waste it.



Protien does not cause a horse to be hot that is a myth, sugars and starches cause a horse to be hot and lead to founder :)

Avoid Grains at all cost. I would look into Triple Crown Senior you should be able to find it if not send me your zip andI can try to help

You might also try soaking any and all feed stuff for him since you are saying he has an aged horses teeth.

If he won't eat beet pulp soak some alfalfa cubes for him.


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#8 Peggy Sue

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:58 PM

OK went and looked at hte LMF Low Carb Stage 1 it seems to be a good feed but without ingredient list hard to say :)

I would put him on the Max amount of that and go from there ... of course build up to that slowly


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#9 dc848704

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:14 PM

I'm pretty sure that it has rice bran, beet pulp, and a few others added into it. He did well on it, I wanted to try something and if it worked I could save a little money (never works that way....) He's always been a hard keeper, and a very picky eater, which has made keeping him at a decent weight even harder as he has aged. He's due to have his teeth checked and we have a call into the dentist but haven't heard back yet.

Oh, the Triple Crown feed, the only place that I know of that carries it, sells it for over $20 a bag. Don't know if thats how much its sold for elsewhere, but I think its a bit much...

Thanks for input all
Daniell and my mini farm....
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A few chickens
A pair of pheasants

#10 Peggy Sue

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:18 PM

the LMF is actually a better choice for you since it is formated in the west for the west where as Triple Crown is more of a East Coast feed therefore balanced to their specs.

I would work him up slowly. I don't have LMG aval here if I send you my snail mail will you send me TAGS!!! LOL I collect them and have a folder for each company so when threads like this come up I have them on hand to refer too


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#11 dc848704

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:05 PM

I can definetly send some your way! I think there is even a flyer floating around that has more about the different options they have available (I'll keep an eye out for it).
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#12 Peggy Sue

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:32 PM

I am looking for ingredient list, I emailed them at one point and they sent me back a bunch of info just not what I asked for because it is a bit different in each state .. they try to balance for the area it is made in which is GREAT!!




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#13 dc848704

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:06 AM

I know I have a empty bag at home, and I almost want to say that the ingredients are listed on the bag, not on the tag. I'll check it and let ya know tomorrow what I find!

Edited by dc848704, 27 January 2010 - 12:13 AM.

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#14 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:05 AM

I would also add a good probiotic. If he has had a loose stool for some time, his microbe level in his gut will be in terrible shape. This is a self-perpetuating problem. I would give him a probiotic daily (Probios comes in a paste and there are also probiotics available in granular form. Some horses will not eat them). Another method of adding beneficial microbes is to leave a fresh pile of manure in his pen every day. Make sure it comes from a healthy, parasite free fat easy keeping horse. They have the best profile of good bacteria in their gut and horses needing it will usually eat their manure like candy. It might be distasteful to people, but horses absolutely need to have plenty of 'good' bacteria in their gut. They produce all of the enzymes that horses need for proper digestion.

You might also try feeding a pellet that has 'wheat middlings' in it. Wheat midds are high in soluble fiber and very low in starch.

#15 Smilie

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 01:13 PM

I see the misconception concerning protein and laminitis coming up again and again
Look up articles such as Truths and myths about feeding horses, by people like equine nutritionist Dr Lori Warren
NSC cause laminitis in susceptable horses, not protein
That is why it is so important to have hay (forage ) tested in the few laboratories aimed towards horses and not cattle. Labs where NSC levels are given, along with the protein, mineral and vit and fiber levels
Often, high nsc levels go hand in hand with high protein levels, but not always
If you wish to add more calories, to metabolic horses, you add fats, not more grain. Fats like falx add cool calories that are not associated with an increase risk of metabolic problems
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#16 dc848704

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 02:49 AM

Cheri- I have put him on Fastrack, its a probiotic, he gets 1oz twice a day in his grain, its kind of a powder. He's been on that, for, at least 3 weeks. I went to a local feed/tack store to get Probios, I thought it might be good to hit him with that also, but they were out of it.

Smilie- I did have him on the Cool 40, when the vet tested him. He said that I shouldn't be giving him any "fat additives", so I pulled him off of it. Thats been 2 years, he's had the squirts for about a month or so...kind of goes back and forth with it.

Also, in talking with a herbalist/nutritionist she asked about the hay, which is Eastern Oregon Orchard Grass. She thinks it may be way to much sugars for him. I'm going to do a different hay and see if it helps.

Thanks again!!
Daniell and my mini farm....
A couple dogs
A couple horses
A few chickens
A pair of pheasants

#17 Peggy Sue

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:41 AM

You can also soak and rinse the hay to lower the sugars.


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#18 ozland

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:50 AM

With that much hay, fiber is obviously not the problem. Do you have sandy soil? Has he been checked for sand in the gut?

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#19 Peggy Sue

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 11:00 AM

Actually I have seen a couple cases on the west coast where the hay was too rich and causing issues. WHich by going with the LMF feed will help balance PART of that issu e

I would change the feed and add a probio first. I would also add the Probios BEFORE changing the feed.

Checking for Sand is pretty easy ... take a poo ball add in water and let sit




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#20 dc848704

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 06:12 PM

Peggy- I have the ingredient list for you, but I left it at work......


So I got a pack of herbs from the herbalist, a custom Metabolic Support combination of things. I forgot to note off the package what all is in it, this gal is an equine herbalist. She has a website, I'll have to make a not of it at some point. I started him on that, going to put him on Valley (not near as rich as Eastern) Orchard grass, and see how he does. It's been suggested to try just a plain old grass hay, but the valley hay here really lacks in nutrients, hence why we always have to add things. I'm might try and see if he'll eat it.

I'll keep you all posted on his progress. I really appreciate the input, I am really trying to make him happy and healthy, he's my first horse and we've been together 13 years. My other horse....she doesn't care what you put in front of her, as long as she can eat it (we almost had a real good talk about my hair the other day).

Oh, and dont' know about the sand. I will try the turd in water test. Regular should just dissolve? Sandy, would, leave sand at the bottom? Let ya know what I find! Thanks again all !


Daniell and my mini farm....
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A couple horses
A few chickens
A pair of pheasants

#21 ozland

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:57 PM

Poop floats, sand settles. Put a couple balls in a baggie, and fill it half full of water and shake it up (gently) til the manure falls apart. Then just see what settles out.

S'cuse me, gotta go iron my birthday suit.

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#22 dc848704

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:54 AM

Wow, lots going on in my world, so I haven't had a chance to update on my old fella.


So, I did dose him with Probios, and switched to Valley Timothy Hay. It has also been 2 weeks since he started on the Herbs (I am shocked at how he is looking). I also added 1 quart twice a day of Alfalfa Pellets (soaked), because he is finicky with the hay. He has come around so nicely!

I am already seeing a change in his body, his cresty neck has actually gone down, and the hollow under his withers is filling out. I know I have changed a lot in his diet, so not sure what to contribute what too. But I am very pleased with how he is doing/looking! The website for the herbalist (if I can post it here?) is www.halfmoonequineherbals.com

Maybe I can figure out how to post a picture of him so all can see.


Daniell and my mini farm....
A couple dogs
A couple horses
A few chickens
A pair of pheasants