Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The following is my OPINION. Don't be mean if you feel different.

I thought I'd talk about diet today in horses. It's such a crazy thing if you think about it, how little things added to the diet can help make or break a horse. I'm still only a year and a half into horse ownership, and honestly only about 11 months into realizing HOW important diet and supplements are for a horse. I know that some horses live their whole lives on a few flakes of hay a day and they're super healthy and happy.

Thoroughbreds are fed a diet of alfalfa on the track, it goes through them quickly and gives them the energy they need to perform the way that they do. I'm still not sure who to believe in the "hot" issue. Some research I've read said there's no change, and others say that it makes them hot. I lean towards the it makes them "hot" and puts extra water weight on. (Again this is my experience and my opinion only!!)

Denali is on a diet of Timothy/Orchard grass. She gets around 6 flakes a day, two in the morning and four at night. They're huge flakes. In addition to this she gets about three pounds of grain in the morning, and two pounds at night. In her grain she gets vitamins, Trifecta supplement, mare magic, and a probiotic (when I remember to buy it.) The BO also throws in corn oil for some more fat content. Since her bout of EPM, I am going to add Vitamin E to her diet to up her daily ration over 5000 IU. The vet is getting back to me about how much I should be giving her. I've seen good things about adding extra Vitamin E to horses with nerological problems, the vet wasn't so sure. I am going to also add Cocosoya oil to her diet. (Thanks for the tip!)

Any ideas? What do you feed your horse?


Frizzle said...

Good for you for doing your research! So many horse owners just give their horses whatever grain everyone else feeds -- bad idea!
I have personally done a lot of research on the subject and have settled on Triple Crown feeds. Unlike companies like Purina and Nutrena, they keep with a consistent "recipe" for their grains. Other companies switch around the amounts and types of ingredients -- they only guarantee that the nutritional analysis stays the same (fat, protein, carbs, etc). TC also supplements all their grains with probiotics. Yes, it's about $2 more per bag and I have to pay the difference, but it's worth it!
I'm working with a 5 year old TB gelding right now and he gets 3 quarts of Triple Crown Senior twice a day, with 2 cups of rice bran pellets and a few ounces of Cocosoya oil added. The barn provides 5 flakes of Timothy/Alfalfa hay (2 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon, 2 @ night) and I supplement that with 1-2 BIG flakes of Timothy that has been tested for protein, sugars, etc. He also gets about twelve hours of turnout a day, so he does get some grass (although our pastures are a bit overgrazed).

SprinklerBandit said...

I'm exploring different parts of horse management slowly, and this is one I haven't really hit yet. Izzy gets 3 flakes of grass/alfalfa mix morning and evening and half a scoop of grain with vitamins in the morning. I've thought about adding supplements, but they're expensive, she's doing well, and she's simply not working that hard. She doesn't need any fattening up or slimming down. I've thought about doing a hoof supplement, but my farrier assures me her feet are good.

whisper_the_wind said...

My nine (Dee, Raven, Tillie, Classy, Copey, Taki, Boo, Popcorn and Moe) get timothy pellets, Pennwoods vitamins, ground Flax seeds, Aloe Vera juice, and an amino acid/probiotic from SmartPak. If I need to add oil/Vitamin E, I use olive or corn to keep the Omega 3/6/9 ratios stable. I use an alfalfa/orchard mix when I can get it, but around here, fescue is easier to get (at least I'm not breeding).

In the summer they only get hay, but winter time I feed more (probably more for me than them).

Denali said...

Now to look into flax seed and aloe vera juice! Thanks for sharing!! What breed are your nine?

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Huge fan of the boy has been on it for a year, (since I got him)..if you look on my blog, I have a video (I know it's sideways..couldn't figure out how to turn it!)..he basically makes love to the cocosoya remains that collect in the large tubs. mmm