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Feed Suggestions

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I know there are probably many topics on this, but would like some feeding suggestions for my gelding as I haven't gotten too technical with his feeding in the past. He used to be basically an air fern and didn't need any more than good hay/pasture and water to be sleek, fat, and shiny.

So! Some background info...Rev is an almost 14 year old QH gelding that I use as mostly just a trail horse. He doesn't get worked excessively, just fun, relaxing trail rides and every once in a while we will dink around in the arena. He is up to date on worming, and gets his teeth floated at least once a year (just had them done today actually). He does have one tooth that has been giving him problems, dentist said she hasn't seen anything like it before, almost like he fractured it somehow. Anyway, for the past year or so she has been trying to get a hold of it to try to pull it since it was packing food and causing problems, but it was sort of tricky and we could never quite get it. Today we were able to get most of it out, there may be a small piece left, but we wont know for sure until we get x-rays done. He seemed relieved to have it out, the dentist thinks that possible pain from the tooth and the terrible winter we had may be the culprit to his recent weight loss.

I'm sure having the bad tooth gone (mostly) will help him pick up weight a bit, but I'm wondering what feeding possibilities might be best for him to help it along some more and get him back to his normal sleek and shiny self. He's not terribly thin, just came out of winter a bit ribby and "dull" looking, and it is just becoming more apparent now that he sheds out.

Starting today I am having the BO bring him in for a daily feeding, but she only offers beet pulp and rolled oats. I'm thinking that this is not really sufficient for what he needs. I like feeding the beet pulp, but would like to try to find a good ration balancer as well. Would love to feed the Triple Crown 30%, but it is not available here, only one that is would be Purina Enrich Plus, but the feed store won't get anymore for a couple weeks. So! Is there anything else that I could add to his beet pulp that would help to round him out and fill in some of the holes in his diet? I should also add that the horses have free choice grass hay (round bales), and pasture when it comes in, but he is lower on the pecking order and occasionally gets chased off although it has been better since BO has put multiple bales out.

I think even just coming in to get fed and handled every day will be good for him. Rev is a "one on one" type horse that I feel tends to get lost in the shuffle with so many other horses, he will be happy to get a little extra TLC. I just want to make sure that he is getting the right nutrition to go along with it!

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I've seen great results with rice bran. The stuff I get is a stabilized pellet and it's high fat so you don't have to feed a ton of it to get results.

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Thank you Toledo! I was curious about the rice bran to help add some fat.

I just got off the phone with Tractor Supply, they carry two different ration balancers, Purina Enrich Plus and Nutrena Empower Balance. They are out of the Nutrena for at least another week, so I may go pick up some of the Purina Enrich tomorrow.

So, as a possible feeding plan how does this combination sound...I'd keep him on the beet pulp, then add the Purina Enrich Plus to fill in some of the holes as far as vitamins/nutrients, and also add the rice bran pellets to up the fat content a bit and get the weight on.

Yay or nay? And if yay, how much of each would you recommend feeding a horse that is (or should be anyways) right around 1,000 lbs?

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Best scenario is usually to follow the recommendations on the bags. Then, depending on results, adjust as needed.

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Thanks Oz. I'm working him up to the low recommended amount over the next week (1 lb Purina Enrich .5 lb of the Max E Glo) and will reassess in a couple weeks to see if it needs to be increased.

I did find out that I can get the Triple Crown 30% ration balancer, but it will be $10+ more per bag than the Enrich. So for now we will see how he does on this bag of Enrich, if we don't see good results I may switch him to the TC though.

He does seem to be in better spirits already though, seemed a bit peppier when I went to see him yesterday. He's been moved to another pasture with only 6 other horses (a couple of yearlings, older mares, and one other gelding) so I think he's more mid range in the pecking order now. His other pasture had 15+ other horses so he seems much happier with this arrangement.

Edited by ohNine

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I'm confused, what's all good? Him being moved and such? I'm very happy with that, yes, I think he does much better in a smaller herd. I had him by himself for a few years when I first got him and he was quite content to just have me around as company.

If that's not what you were talking about I'm sorry, it hard to decipher some things through text!

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I don't want to hijack this thread but have a related question. I just switched my mares from a sweet pellet to TC Senior. One of the mares is young and I wanted her on a better quality feed. We live in Florida so the pasture just isn't good enough to sustain, even with the good hay we get.

BUT, she is a picky eater and is leaving quite a bit. Any suggestions? Or should I just be patient and let her get used to it? Hate to waste that expensive stuff!

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^^^

Give her some time to adjust but prepared (if she refuses to adjust) to accept she is telling you she doesn't like that feed. Feed it to the others and feed picky what she will eat.

The best food in the world doesn't do any good if it isn't eaten. *shrugs*

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If a horse is not getting enough calories from forage, then you need to add calories, either hot or cool. Hot calories are concentrated in grains (oats, barley , corn, wheat )

Cool calories come from fats. I'm not a fan of rice bran, as it has an inverted Calcium to phosphorus ratio

Flax is a good choice for horses, as it has the correct omega 3 to 6 ratio. Canola oil is also acceptable. Beet pulp is used a lot to help horse gain weight for two main reasons

As afood , it falls between grains and forage as a source of calories, but it is digested as a forage, and since it is a fiber that is easy to digest, also helps with total digestion efficacy

Cool calories do not hav the associated risks of hot calories, that being the risk of laminitis, colic, , mood changes, goes up with amounts fed.

I don't feed pre packaged or complete feeds for tow reasons-first , I apply the KISS principle

Second, forage should always be the main part of any horse';s diet, and without knowing what it contains, impossible to know what to supply that is missing

Feeds are divided into three main groups for horses, based on what they most contain. It is surprising as to how many horse owners can't really read a feed label

Energy feed (calories, cool and hot )

Protein feed-calf mana is a good example

Fiber- forage, either hay or pasture

Horses need a % of long fiber for normal digestion, thus id feeding pre packaged feed, one must remember this fact. Complete feeds and their analysis is just for that complete feed and is no indication whether the horse is meeting his daily requirements of protein, fiber and calories, unless you only feed that complete feed. You can have a complete feed with a protein level of 14%, but if your forage is only around 5%, then the daily requirements are still not met

You need to learn to balance a diet, starting with the forage, and not some feed label

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