Best feed for my horse?

Last post 06-08-2012 6:01 AM by Carlag61. 6 replies.
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  • 12-11-2011 5:29 PM

    Best feed for my horse?

    What is the best feed for a horse that is prone to founder, but has never had it? My gelding is in moderate work, and is on pasture 24/7. I do not want a feed that will make him have more energy. I just want a feed that is healthy for my horse! What feed do you use or recommend?


    Thank you! :)

    My horse is the wings I never had :)
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  • 12-11-2011 8:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Best feed for my horse?

    How do you know he's prone to founder if he's never foundered? What does you vet say about his grass intake? I would talk to my vet, for sure, before I'd count on advice from a forum. We don't know you or your horse, and your vet does.

    Anyway, the best food for horses is hay, but if you feel he's prone to founder you should monitor the type and amount of hay he eats. Twenty-four/seven pasture sounds like too much for a founder-prone horse unless it is sparse, low-quality grass. Rich, sugary spring grass is a definite no-no. I would suggest taking him off 24/7 pasture and putting him in a dry lot, then feeding him the proper amount of hay in at least 3 meals a day. It is hard to evaluate the amount of grass he's eating if he's in a pasture.

    HORSE JOURNAL says to determine the proper amount of hay you give to a horse by taking 2% of his weight as a starting point for the TOTAL amount of hay fed per day. In other words, if he weighs #1000, taking 2% of that, #20, and divide that by the number of meals per day. I feed my mares more at dinner time--b/c it's longer from dinner to breakfast than breakfast to lunch--so at #20 I'd feed #5 at breakfast, #5 at lunch and #10 at dinner. Depending upon his work level, add or subtract from the day allowance: maybe go down to #18 total per day if he's getting chubby or #21 if he needs more weight.

    Runs this past your vet before you change your horse's feed. He/she can suggest the type of hay to feed, based on your horse's metabolism. Good luck.

    "The horse you get off is not the horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better."


  • 12-12-2011 7:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Best feed for my horse?

     The best feed for a horse is the one that provides all the nutrients and minerals he needs -- which is to say there are many roads to Rome and no one thing that is THE BEST.  Good hay is important, but accessibility, quality levels, expense, work loads of horse may vary.  Brand preference DEFINITELY varies.  Each horse is unique -- your best course of action is to talk to your vet about what your horse needs.  If your horse holds his weight well with grass, he may only need a ration balancer to make sure he gets all his nutrients.  

    Solaris -- 16 hh Appendix Quarter Horse = MY DREAM COME TRUE!
    We Are Flying Solo
  • 12-12-2011 7:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Best feed for my horse?

    Throughout the years of trying to figure out what's best to feed (or what we can afford to feed), the only constant has been lots of good water. 

    Oops that blew up ... go figure!!
  • 02-06-2012 7:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Best feed for my horse?

    hi im new so  i hope this works. our 8 year old quater horse has IR.and tends to  show founder syptoms. we bought in a nutirtionist after talking with our vet who changed his diet to the following( dry lot ,hay testing and grain changes,low starch). The nutrionist  put him on a good timithy hay which we buy from the same supplier off the same hay fields and is tested, he is also on a timithy hay balancer cube with vit. and minerals added to ensure nutrition.We have seen a major improvment in his health. We pulled his shoes a year and a half ago and he is doing fine bearfoot,he is clamer and seems to be much more comfortable.good luck i hope you find the right combination of feed for your baby. I know it takes a while to figure them out somrtimes.




  • 02-08-2012 8:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Best feed for my horse?

    I agree with Solaris and AKDay. I've done a lot of research lately about feed/grain and what is best for the horse's system because I have a problem child.   I'm in the process of switching to no grain.  Only beet pulp with no molasses, alfalfa pellets and/or Timothy pellets, local grass hay, probiotic, and vitamins - that's the diet of my horses.
  • 06-08-2012 6:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Best feed for my horse?

    I feed my 23 year old mare SafeChoice. She is in a stall, but I go out ever two or three days to ride and let her graze. We live in a sandy area so sand colic is what I worry about. I feed her about two cups once day. She gets grass hay in mornings and alphafa in evenings. We cut back some on the alphafa because too much of it can founder and colic them. I've always heard that grain is not all that good for them, but SafeChoice has ingredients in it that are pretty safe for them. 

    Hope this helps and good luck!

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