Like most horse owners, I want my horses to be in good weight, sound, and healthy. Unlike most horse owners that I know, I'm starting to obsess over what I feed the boys.
Where we were...
First off, Saga has been sort of a "hard keeper" since I got him. He came to me maybe 100 pounds under weight. When we boarded, he got 2 scoops of 12% pellets 2x per day, plus 2 cups of rice bran 2x per day. I estimate that he got about 13 lbs of concentrates per day, plus hay. When the horses were in due to inclement weather, I think they got about 3 flakes (maybe 9 lbs) of hay per day. When they were out, they had access to a round bale as well as a little bit of grazing.
Red, on the other hand, has always been a butterball. Even though he was on pasture board, he was boss, so he would happily eat his scoop of 10% pellets and then whatever else he could steal. He always had access to a round bale, and as a result, he highly resembled one of the Thelwell ponies.
Where we are now...
We've gone through a number of changes since we got them home. First, we had round bales, but so much ended up wasted and Red was so fat, we switched to square bales. I should note that Saga was actually in fairly good weight at that time. The boys were on Safe-and-Sound when we had the round bales - Saga got about 1 scoop 2x/day, and Red got a cupful or so since he was so fat.
And, since Red was so fat, about the time we moved to square bales, I switched him to Nutrena Lite Balance. He's been doing well on that until recently - more on that later. Saga I switched to Purina Ultium, since it had significantly more fat, and I added rice bran (2 cups 2x/day) back to his diet, as well as some black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) for even more fat.
To compound issues, we pulled their shoes in April, when I realized how horribly dished Saga's feet were and decided I wanted them to have a chance to grow out into a more natural angle. Red was fine within weeks of pulling his shoes, but Saga's been "footy" somewhat on-and-off ever since then.
To be continued...
Twelve weeks to grow some new hooves
2 days ago