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Author Topic: Ration Balancers  (Read 1634 times)

Reneej

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Ration Balancers
« on: January 28, 2014, 01:30:07 pm »

I have acquired a fox trotter mare that is apparently an easy keeper, was told she has never been on grain, only 24/7 turn out grass and hay. I have had her a month and where I board it is stall boarding only, so that alone is a change. The hay that we get is not the best hay, sometimes downright stinks which is why we grain our horses. I have been using Tribute Kalm n Ez at 4lbs a day and she has totally changed her personality, it's like she is freaked out about everything, very skittish..NOT the laid back easy going mare that I bought.

I was told to take her completely off grain and just strictly give her hay, but if the hay is not that wonderful..then she won't be getting the nutrients that she needs or is she? Or should I give her another form of forage to go along with the hay?

I know there are grass, hay balancers out there as well as Ration balancers..are they the same or are they totally different?

Thanks for any input!

Renee
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 03:38:05 pm by KysaSD »
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KysaSD

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 02:02:56 pm »

At 4 pounds a day and stalled, I am not surprised.  Yes there are mineral and vitamin balancers that are NOT grain based.  I cannot help you with that.  I mix my own, as I have not found what is right for my hay.  But they do exist.  Most horses do not do well on high grain diets unless they are in HEAVY work.  And some horses are really sensitive to too much sugar/starch.  I would say your new mare is sensitive to too much sugar/starch.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

Reneej

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 02:13:41 pm »

We use the Kalm n Ez for that reason, low starch and low carbs. I'm used to my gelding, Bo, being an endless pit of a stomach and trying to keep weight him.  Since our hay is not the best, should I just go with a vitamin/mineral supplement instead of a ration balancer?
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countrygirl

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 02:25:48 pm »

IMO, you need to move her to a different barn.  It's a cruelty to keep her confined to a stall 24x7 when she's accustomed to turnout.  No wonder her personality has changed.  her environment has been turned upside down.  She went from being a free, happy mare to a prisoner in a jail cell.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but constant stall confinement isn't good horsekeeping.
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Liz from Texas

abbypeaches

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 02:27:01 pm »

Go to ECIRhorse.org. Instructions are on that website as to how to get a trained person to help you get your horse's feed balanced correctly. I did and it made a HUGE positive difference!  Marilyn
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Reneej

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 02:43:53 pm »

Countrygirl...she gets turned out, just not 24/7 and honestly, she is at a better home and how do you know just how happy she was before I got her? Before you tell me that I need to move her to a different barn, well...there are NO barns local that offer 24/7 turn out, otherwise I WOULD BE THERE! Horses are stalled all the time, that is not new but to tell me that I'm being cruel for doing so? I think you went overboard on that one.

 I am asking opinions about whether or not she needs a ration balancer to complement the not so good hay or just a vitamin mineral supplement. If you feel the need to bash me and about how I am being so cruel by keeping her stalled..take is somewhere else
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 02:55:45 pm by Reneej »
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Reneej

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 02:45:01 pm »

Thanks Marilyn! Great link and I will check it out

KysaSD- I'm not overfeeding her the Kalm n EZ..actually I'm feeding the recommended amount, actually less. You are supposed to feed 3-5 lbs..so she gets 2 in the morning and 2 at night..I don't think 4lbs of the grain is too much and that is going by the "idle" measurements for her weight. But by the looks of it, that is more than her body can handle. I'm so used to Bo being a eating machine with an endless pit and being a hard keeper that I did not think about how the grain would be on her.. so going to no grain would be a better choice for her. Just not sure about the ration balancer.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 02:57:01 pm by Reneej »
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loneelk

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 02:58:41 pm »

Anyone who reads any of my posts on this topic already knows what I'm about to say--porta-grazer w/ grass hay, no grain or other concentrated feeds.  We use AZ Copper Complete, an arbitrary decision based on where our Bermuda grass hay comes from, and offer that supplement free feed mixed w/ equal part loose salt--I put out about a week's worth per horse at one time, and replenish it weekly or sooner if needed--since she's in a stall by herself, you can just put it in a bucket or similar feeder attached to the wall (we actually keep flat rubber feed pans in each horse's run-in shed, just in case it ever rains here again).  I'm sure that there are vitamin mineral supplements that may also be good, but ideally these should be based on the nutrient content of the hay, which means testing a LOT of bales using a core sampler--probably not practical in your situation.  My friend who buys her grass hay where we get ours tried to convince them to test their hay--absolutely NOT--they wouldn't even discuss it.  Grrrr  So we just give it our best guess.
I come from a background of alfalfa hay twice a day, accompanied by a 1 lb. coffee can of sweet feed once a day if the horse is in work.  I've realized in recent years that a person can learn a lot by keeping an open mind.  People in our area probably think we're stupid, but we swear by our Porta-grazers, which we've been using for about 9 months.
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melissah

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 03:10:41 pm »

here we get ours tried to convince them to test their hay--absolutely NOT--they wouldn't even discuss it.  Grrrr  So we just give it our best guess.
I come from a background of alfalfa hay twice a day, accompanied by a 1 lb. coffee can of sweet feed once a day if the horse is in work.  I've realized in recent years that a person can learn a lot by keeping an open mind.  People in our area probably think we're stupid, but we swear by our Porta-grazers, which we've been using for about 9 months.

Wow! I've never heard of porta grazers! Those are great.

Out west we have similar boarding situations. Dry out this way, no grass pastures unless you head up to Northern Cali. Our horses get fed twice a day and then we feed them extra's after we ride.

My MFT mare came about 3 weeks ago and she has just started to acclimate somewhat. Maybe yours is still getting use to the new surroundings.
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kckc

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 03:17:54 pm »

I saw someone on here trying Thrive feed which looks to be a non-grain food & it sounds great.  haven't been able to get it here in nc or I would be trying it.
if she never had grain before then I'd say that would be the first thing I would edit out of her day -- there are timothy pellets (to be soaked), there is baled hay from standlee (standee?) that you could supplement her with.   and even if the hay she's getting is poor I'd say just make sure she has something to nibble on all the time so that if she gets bored she doesn't develop any issues.
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KysaSD

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 03:34:26 pm »

Renee, I did not mean to sound quite like that.  But 4 pounds IS a lot for a horse not used to it, and a horse not in heavy training. 
As many of the other posters have stated, we are managing easy keeper or IR horses.  I have had to educate myself, and what I learned as a kid growing up with all kinds of animals just wasn't good enough information.

And even some of the supposed to be low carb feeds are pretty high in carbs.  Some horses just cannot take that, just like a little sugar sends some kids up to the ceiling.
Because that is something new for her, and now you see a personality change, I would be cutting back and stopping that as quickly as you can.

I have never fed grain to my horses, but I do have good quality hay.  The prairie does grow grass.  supplementing with vitamins and minerals is very different from supplementing with something that has calories.  Val's suggestion of AZ copper complete is a good suggestion.  The same company has a few other vitamin mineral mixes.  And the suggestion of timothy pellets instead of grain is a very good one.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

melissah

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 03:50:06 pm »

What are considered grains? I often hear about not feeding grains to horses.
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kathypa

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 04:25:23 pm »

Boy I think Liz /countrygirl made an honest mistake. I almost said the same thing.
Something is not working for this mare for sure.
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NoBite

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 04:35:07 pm »

My KMSH gelding gets fat looking at grain. No grain for him (or any of our horses for that matter). We feed Bermuda hay and Purina's Enrich Plus (formerly called Enrich 32). This is a mineral balancer to supplement poor or average grass hay. Not cheap by the bag. But, we feed such a small amount twice a day that one bag goes a long way.
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melissah

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 04:45:46 pm »

Bermuda is a big no no out here. Causes a lot of impaction colic. Vet came out to check on a horse and we got to talking. Bermuda on the east coast is much different than ours out west. It's very dry here he said and moist out there because of the rain etc. Alfalfa is a big no no on the east coast but we feed it here.

Ours get a 3-way out here (oat, wheat and barley) and alfalfa. Also the horses were a bit ribby and needed a little more fat in their diet and vet suggested rice/bran which they get when we ride.

My mare, a MFT went from 100% Bermuda (one of the only hays she was able to get out there) to the above. It was transitioned very slowly and let me tell you. Wasn't long the bermuda was being used as bedding in her stall. lol. No change to her personality. No change in energy. She has actually calmed down most likely because she is starting to feel like she is home now.
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Melissa, Southern California.....hitting the trails with Jex my Tennessee Walking Horse...soon.
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