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Author Topic: Ration Balancers  (Read 1837 times)

riding the sun

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 04:46:36 pm »

I agree about the Enrich 32.  there is also a Nutrena product called Empower Balance which is a supplement to be used with hay only diets.  It is a vitamin mineral mixture with protein added.  Most horses need no grain at all according to the most recent research.

Judy
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melissah

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 04:48:10 pm »

DOH! Just looked up grains....yep, I feed grains. No difference in my horses.
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loneelk

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 06:49:43 pm »

Bermuda is a big no no out here. Causes a lot of impaction colic.
When our vet basically insisted that our boys needed to be transitioned to grass hay, I was concerned because I've seen this discussed a lot, by folks in various parts of the country.  The HUGE advantage of the Porta-grazer feeding system is that it encourages small bites and LOTS of chewing.  Skeeter's old feeding habit was HUGE mouthfuls that he crammed down as fast as he could tear them out of the feeder.  Over past several/many years at different times we've used a big pasture type feeder, open barrel type feeders, and most recently before the portagrazers, we used manger type wall mounted feeders.  Our boys are drinking about twice as much water as they used to w/ our previous feeding routine.  They have hay in front of them about 16 hours of every day, and for the first time ever, I see Skeet leaving hay to have a nap or play with Ghost.  We see lovely moist poops--the horse owners happiest moment.  We feed a commercial psyllium for 7 days in a row once a month.  And about every three months, per our vet's suggestion because our run-in sheds are sand based, we double dose the psyllium.
Skeeter used to colic once or twice a year.  Since we started using Porta-grazers, knock on wood, not so much as a tiny little bellyache. 
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countrygirl

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 07:19:49 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

Excuse me???  You need to jump back. 

You post said ..."where I board it is stall boarding only ..." and "The hay that we get is not the best hay, sometimes downright stinks which is why we grain our horses."  You said nothing about turn-out and it sounded like the horses were kept solely in stalls and fed bad hay to boot.  I'm certainly glad to hear that's not the case.  But I stand by my statement that it's a cruelty to keep a horse in a stall 24x7 feeding it bad hay.  If it doesn't apply to your situation, fine.  But no, I will not "...take it somewhere else."  You came here asking for advice and I gave it, based on the best information available to me.  It's not my fault that you didn't clearly explain your situation.

If you don't want honest reactions to your posts, then don't post.
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pasolucy

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 08:17:50 pm »

I second the opinion that most horses do not need any grain at all unless they are in heavy work and most riders do not work there horses hard at all.  I give all of my horses just a tiny bit of grain mixed with a tiny bit of beet pulp just so I can give them the supplements that I want them to have.   They are all overweight and I would rather not give them any more calories but I do not want to quit what I am giving them.   We feed plain old grass hay that is a little over ripe and not of the highest quality but we do not have to measure it out to so many pounds a day,  they can pretty much have all the hay that they want and not develop bad habits in the barn lot or stall.   They are never stalled for more than a few minutes a day but are kept in a dry lot to keep them off of the pasture especially in the spring when the grass is too rich.  You could do the same, instead of feeding so much grain, feed a very small amount and give them a vitamin supplement. 
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Willamette Valley, Oregon

stablemind

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2014, 05:18:43 am »

Renee, could you describe the hay quality for me in a little more detail? Hay can be poor quality, as in moldy, yet still be high in sugar and fairly nutritious. Or, the grass part could be ideal but the bales have lots of weeds. Or it could be hay that was put up past maturity, stemmy and tough and not very high in nutrients. The best hay for my easy-keepers is post mature, fairly coarse and stemmy. Sad to say, if I'm an experienced in anything, it's the frustrations of having only poor quality, stinky hay to feed my horses.

Most of our gaited horses do not have the metabolism to eat the recommended amount on the feed bag. If I fed even the "lightest" grain or concentrate at the recommended amount, my horses would be lumpy lardos. My horses get their hay in slow-feed nets and once a day they about 3/4 lb of Enrich Plus, a ration balancer, which is basically a vitamin/mineral supplement formulated to complement average to low quality hay. It adds very few calories to their diet.

Anyway, it's good that you're evaluating the feed program, but you may need to consider other reasons for your mare's behavior. Is she freaking out when she in her stall, in the company of other horses, with all human handlers or just with certain people. Maybe there are other things she's not adapting to other than the change in feed.

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PAWalker

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2014, 05:48:08 am »

You have the option of either feeding a condensed vit/min supplement, that only requires one to two ounces daily, and mixing with some timothy pellets or soaked hay cubes or:

1.  EquiPride which only requires 10 ounces daily.  It is both grain and soy free but many horses don't like the taste, it's hard to get and the last I knew it cost $60 for a 50 lb bag :o     http://equilix.com/equipride.html

2.  I feed McCauley's M-10 Balancer to my severely IR horse and also my horse with grain and soy allergies, as the M-10 is also grain and soy-free.  It's around $24/50 lb bag.  http://www.mccauleybros.com/supplements/products/m10.aspx?catID=m10

To my knowledge, these are the only two RB-type products that are grain-free and also have the added benefit of being soy-free.

If you want to go the condensed vit/min supplement route, Valley Vet has a big choice but read the on-line labels.

If the boarding barn does not want to be bothered soaking hay cubes (they need soaked to prevent possible choke), buy a bag of Standlees straight timothy pellets at Tractor Supply and feed her one pound in the AM and one pound in the PM, during the cold months, to get her vit/min in her.

You can double that amount but I have noticed with my horses, they are not enthused about eating more than two pounds of wet pellets at one feeding.  They will eat the soaked hay cubes until their hooves point to the sky, but the pellets aren't that attractive to any of them.

If she were to start losing some weight, equine rice bran should put the weight back on without upsetting her tummy.

I don't know what your weather is like but ours stinks right now.  Try to get her as much turn out time as possible, until she gets used to the idea of being in a stall part of the day :)

Hope this helps:)
Judy
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Reneej

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2014, 06:22:38 am »

Lots of times the hay is dusty, so we hose it down. I have never had it analyzed, so I really don't know how much sugar content is in there. She is really calm in the stall..she had no problem adjusting to the situation and we do our own turn out, so she gets out about a hour a day right now because of the snow and ice but when the weather is nicer, she will be getting out about 4-5 hours a day. I mentioned stalled only because we do not have the option of pasture boarding.

I can get Tribute and I do believe they have a vitamin/mineral supplement so I will give that a try along with a little bit of timothy pellets. I think there is a kit where you can send off hay samples to get analyzed but, doesn't hay vary from cutting to cutting as far as the sugar content?
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PAWalker

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2014, 07:13:36 am »

I think there is a kit where you can send off hay samples to get analyzed but, doesn't hay vary from cutting to cutting as far as the sugar content?

Yes it does and it can vary from one end of the farm to the other on the same cut, if the farm is big enough:)
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oncidium

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2014, 07:27:36 am »

Paso Lucy, I pretty much do the same thing you do.

This year there will be more dry lotting, than last year.  I hate to do that, but it is a must.

I have a RM, and she is an easy keeper for sure.
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kckc

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2014, 09:26:20 am »

I think I read...probably on this group,  that even if a horse has cushings, ir etc they need to eat on & off all day - stomach acids etc.   so even on a dry lot they need something... am I correct?
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ClaudiaIN

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2014, 09:55:58 am »

We have never used the recommended feedings on any grain.   I think unless you are really in training, endurance or riding every day - it's way too much--IMO

Ours are on a Nutrena calm and easy and they get 2 "cups"  -measuring cups - of feed a day.  It's more to bring them in that anything.

That being said-- I was concerned about them not getting the vitamins/minerals they need-- so they all get daily Vita Plus .

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loneelk

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2014, 10:06:18 am »

I think I read...probably on this group,  that even if a horse has cushings, ir etc they need to eat on & off all day - stomach acids etc.   so even on a dry lot they need something... am I correct?

YES--the very worst thing you can do w/ an I/R horse is restrict access to hay or feed in one or two big feeds a day.  Slow feed hay, being sure it's low sugar if that's a concern.  Think about how much better it is for a diabetic person to have constant low-sugar energy rather than bursts of sugar through the day.
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generallee

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2014, 10:30:48 am »

if you feel you have to feed grain, I would have only started with 1/4 cup at a feeding and work my way up to what works, that is way too much grain for a horse that has not eaten grain. I would do that over a course of at least 2 weeks, and I NEVER give the rations that are on the back of grain labels way too much grain for a horse that is idle right now. If it was my horse, I would just give a vit./min supplement and if you feel she needs something more when you start to ride her more, then you can add a grain. The grain rations are set mostly for horses in HEAVY work every day. Where they need the calories that they are burning off.
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pasolucy

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Re: Questions on Easy Keeper Fox Trotter mare
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2014, 10:42:16 am »

  Do what ever you have to do to keep them something in front of them to nibble on thoughout most of the day.   We raise our own hay and it is cut past its prime so does not have as much "kick" to it as a lot of the highest quality hay that could be bought.   This is our choice, it gives the horse something to nibble on without putting too much sugar or fat onto their bodies.   The feeders are covered in a hockey net to slow them down, I do what I can to keep them happy and healthy without them binking off the walls with excess energy and getting so fat that they can hardly waddle.   It is easier in the summer when the grass is dry and brown and when I can put more miles on them to burn some of the fat.   I have one young mare here that just looks at any food and puts on a pound or two.  I read about people that are trying to put weight on a horse and I can only wonder what that would be like.   I have had rescue horses that were severely underweight and used beet pulp and oil to get them back in shape but it does not take long with all of the grass that we have in the spring and summer where I live.   The grass is going to start growing here in a week or two and then the horses will have to spend even more time in dry lot than they are now.   Just before haying time they will probably be in dry lot all of the time,  after hay is cut, the grass is not nearly as rich and we can let them back out on the fields again.,
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