Diet Change

Rodney is fat and exuberant. A little too f&e. We have finally admitted that we need to cut his feed. His joie-de-vivre is not the toxins-boiling-out-the-ears that he had when he was first here [Square One]. This is more the natural result of green grass and a digestive supplement [Tiger Whistle]. He gets more calories and absorbs them better.

We’ve been resisting this change because he was getting so little food. You know the sploosh sound that grain makes when dumped into a feed bucket? Rodney’s meals just go sploo. And that was before the current rationing. Now, my over-sized Thoroughbred gets less feed than a founder-prone pony. It’s a good thing he likes his yeast. It is now 20% of his dinner. He doesn’t get that much yeast; he gets that little dinner.

Easy-keeper stories, go.

Categories: Grazing, Horse Care, Horses, Physiology

4 replies »

  1. I have also come to the realization that TBone is extremely overweight and needs his rations cut severely! He couldn’t get his rear end around the ring last night without struggling.

  2. With the exception of one horse and two (now deceased) seniors, we’ve always had easy keepers. Seniors, as you know, are a whole ‘nuther ballgame. We feed so little grain, especially in the summer when the horses have (moderate) access to green grass a few hours a day. So I switch them over to oats. I use a supplement additive with the oats (Smartpac’s Easy Keeper) to make up for the nutrients lacking in our hay. (Local orchard/Timothy grass mix.) Even though I ride almost daily during the good season, we don’t “work” our horses hard to justify feeding the heavily “fortified” commercial grain. Good grief, even a horse “in training” seldom gets worked more than an hour a day. Think about it. Twenty three hours of standing around doing a lot of nothing is a buttload of inactivity for an animal that’s designed to be constantly on the move. Obviously, there are conditions and times in their life when a horse might need additional calories and supplementation, but IMO, the average horse is WAY over-fed and under used.

    A lot of people will tell you oats make a horse “hot,” but I’ve lived with three very sensitive Arabs who eat/ate oats and none of them exhibited any change in their demeanor. Much of what I’ve read seems to indicate oats are actually a good choice for many horses. Not that oats are cheap. I also think we just like spending money on our animals … it makes us think we’re doing right by them or something. So we like buying all the “souped-up” extra-special goodies and products. But that doesn’t always mean it’s the best thing for them. I remember when I was a kid all the horse people I knew fed oats. Just pain old oats. Maybe a little sweet feed if we had a hard keeper or a young horse that was getting a LOT of work. One old-timer I knew used to log with his team of Belgians and I can still close my eyes and see them standing in their stalls after a hard days work, wolfing down their oats. Today, there’s a gazillion different types of grain and feed choices to be made, yet we’re diagnosing and treating equine ulcers like they’re the equivalent of the common cold? Something that makes you go “hmmmm.”

    Just my .02 cents!

  3. Remember Priney? She literally got a handful of grain, plus some hay and all the grass she could eat. Her barrel really was a barrel. Sitting on her bareback was like sitting on an overstuffed easy chair. But put a saddle on her back and the old campaigner came out.
    There was that one time we were cantering around the top field; the grass next to the track was quite high. Priney somehow was able to turn her head and grab some, and chewed it as we cantered on without missing a beat.

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