Blog Post 8: What I feed my horses and Why?
Someone asked me today: ''What do you feed your own two horses and why?''. It was the first time I got asked about my own horses quite outright. I much appreciated the question but it did take me aback a little.
Firstly, I am not saying that what I fed my horses is suited for everyone, even those in a similar position. Each horse is different and so, I recommend different products for each individual catered to their needs/issues. What I feed is based on the evolution and evaluation of my two private horses. (They also model for the shop!)
My youngest (3yrs); he can be very easily stressed, gut-wise. He is a very laid back horse but one ''odd'' bit of food, even a treat and he has the brown rain, in large quantities. Ew! He currently stands at 16hh bum high, PSL on no work. His body score would indicate a current ideal weight of 400kg.
My oldest (5yrs); he is very laid back, gut-wise and yet can be the more stressy one out of the two. Funny isn't it? He stands at 15.2hh not bum high. PRE in medium work.. His body score indicates a current ideal weight of 450kg.
I had previously tried: Forequus Mix, Care4Life Pavo, Hoof and Healthy Equilibrium, Unlabelled Spanish Mixes including Mashed Corn (!!!UNLABBELED!)). All these feeds are in a time space of 2yrs, DIY and Full Livery.
The below pictures show you what they looked like on those feeds. They looked a sorry state :(
Conditioning Mix by Spillers 20kg: The one I started with, my top priority was condition. We don't have moutains on our yard but around them, so their main movement was flat land. I needed weight and topline as both looked skinny, scrawny and ''flat''.
Soya Oil is ideal for the weight without the fizz, this also provides quality protein for the muscle tone. The Soya Oil also gives a gorgeous shine to the coat whilst improving the condition. Starch levels are very specifically controlled to also avoid and fizz. I fed both at 1kg per day, with some homemade Flaxseed Oil for lubricant.
What did I notice? My oldest gained around 40kg in a controlled manner (not lost it either) in around 2 months. It does say you will see results in over 14 days but, I wasn't wanting it to be so quick. I wanted him less stressy and less tucked up which required a much slower intro to the feed. (Photos to Follow). My youngest benefited from the small amount of fibre and also gained weight (a little too much) so, we cut him down to half what his brother was getting.
Dengie Alfa Beet 20kg: I added the AlfaBeet mainly for the oldest. I wanted a little bit more weight without feeding extra Conditioning Mix plus I wanted a lubricant anyway as Flaxseed is a bit hit and miss to buy by the seed, so I decided to find a mash which was also low in sugar and energy. I added 1kg dry and soaked overnight (Hot soaks in 15min but I didn't have a kettle available) and distributed what is there with 2 small scoops each split between 4 feeds.
It is fab for those with teeth problems or those whom are cutting teeth, highly digestible fibre with a prebiotic effect, promotes condition and weight, energy level equal to a Cool Mix. Also ideal, due to low sugar levels for those with Laminitis prone or diagnosed horses.
Did I notice a difference? Yes, we achieved the desired weight in around 3 months total. We got the ideal condition and weight for both of them with very little effort and cost. Even myself, doesn't want to be spending fortunes on feed every month just to watch the poor groom clean up what it produces! :D
Happy Hoof Chaff Spillers 20kg: These bags last ages! I added it purely and simply as a treat. It is a low sugar Laminitis approved chaff which only does good. It contains and absolute Powerhouse of Vits and Mins. It aids hoof health (mine have always been barefoot and never any issues with either but prevention is better than cure!). Low Calorie, low sugar and starch with added magnesium for that metabilism. Plus it is short chopped so I gained an extra (albeit small) amount of prolonged feeding time. The fibre was also going to be good for more gut movement especially the youngster and it did just even his gut out to a perfect stool.
They hit at about 1kg approx, per hard feed, twice a day. Constant supply of hay as much as I can, so they could spend around 12hrs eating hay and hard feed.
What do I spend monthly? €22.37 per horse, per calendar month.
Pictures, before and after:
Youngest, 6 months apart.
Oldest, 6 months apart.