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best diet for thoroughbred in your opinion


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#1 PatriotsDreamer

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 08:35 PM

In your openion, what would the best diet for a 9 year old thoroughbred gelding be to keep him in good weight but as calm as possible? and why?

#2 Tiz

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:04 PM

It depends on the horse, and what job it has.

#3 PatriotsDreamer

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:08 PM

Its for a horse im training, the owners asked me and i thought i would get several views. He is just a 9 year old pleasure horse, retired race horse( last race in octoberish) in very light work, high strung. currently on alfalfa grass mix and sweet feed 12 %.

#4 mare

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:14 PM

A nice local grass hay and an occasional treat.

He's already matured, so no growth issues.
A pleasure horse doesn't work more than my horses on pasture.
A good farmer can tell you what his hay tested at for protein and his soil for minerals.
A treat before and after working with the horse because they seem to remember those, it can make them easier to catch, and it makes us feel good giving it to them.

#5 PatriotsDreamer

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:16 PM

forgot to add he is a HARDkeeper

#6 Tiz

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:53 PM

He's skinny then? Is he turned out, or kept in a stall?

#7 PatriotsDreamer

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:59 PM

turned out 24-7 and utd on worming

#8 mare

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 10:00 PM

forgot to add he is a HARDkeeper


Oh!

Then I would add what we get here called C.O.B. Corn, oats, and barley. Don't have any on hand so don't have the nutrition info. Sorry. It doesn't have any additives or sweetners.

I've had good luck using it with horses I've bought while thin and with ones who are working hard to keep them in good flesh without either getting hot.

#9 MyMia

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 08:36 AM

I thought corn made horses hot?

Can he get free choice good quality hay? I always thought that was a good thing for weight gain.

Sorry I'm not more help!

#10 Peggy Sue

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 09:25 AM

FIrst off what is his feed environment?? Is he able to be pulled aside and fed alone?? What feed brands do you have access to there???

#11 natisha

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 11:59 AM

I've had good luck with frequent feedings (4xday) around the clock, of good hay at least 50% alfalfa, a pelleted 14% feed & a pelleted fat supplement. Treating for suspected ulcers also seemed to help.

#12 Tiz

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 01:41 PM

If the hay is good, and it's at least 50% alfalfa, like Natisha mentioned, I would guess he's skinny because he isn't getting enough.

#13 missdixie

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:11 PM

I don't know what's available in your area but my TB did well on timothy. Alfalfa, grain, corn, weight supplements all made him blasted out of his mind like a crack fiend. Any other type of grass hay made him drop weight. Honestly I emailed the biggest TB rescue in the U.S. and asked what other tips they had and they said Panacur Powerpak. I used that stuff and it put an extra 50 lbs on him lickety split. The best thing that I've found for weight gain for my paint mare and my old Quarab gelding was Nutrena Empower. It is a concentrate that you feed about a cup a day ( obviously in addition to hay ), and it has like everything in it that you would give a horse to gain weight, all rolled into one little pellet. It's got rice bran, flax, beet pulp, vegetable oil, etc. I have never tried it on a TB though but it might be worth a shot. Didn't make my horses hot at all but sure packed on the weight and made them glossy, and they loved the taste.

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#14 ImaBronsonBear

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 06:12 PM

The best results i've had are with 24/7 hay. Not a couple feedings a day, but hay in front of them at ALL TIMES, as much as they can eat. Grass, timothy or oat hay, as long as it's good quality. I've often found that "hard-keepers" are just horses that aren't getting enough food because they have a fast metabolism.

Case in point, this is a "hard-keeper", 11 y/o OTTB who is very herd sour. I stuck her in an iso pen by herself and gave her as much oat hay as she could eat. Even though she paced half the time when the herd left her, she still went from this:
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To this in about a month:
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She looks even better now, but i don't have those pics downloaded to my computer yet.
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#15 RipSpark

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 06:19 PM

His last race was around October? Of the past year? If so since he hasn't been off the track long and that will contriubte to him being hard to keep. Sometimes it takes horses several years to really turn around. The best thing is turnout and to find a good hay/grain mix that suits him. You can throw the hay to them but that isn't going to guarentee putting weight on him. Also I would stay away from alfalfa hays and sweet feeds. All that is going to do is make him more hot. They have large pellets that are good for them, or they do have a low energy feed(it is made by a company here but they ship all over). It is a sweet feed but it helps keep weight on them without adding the extra pow of energy. Also popular is a senior mix.

#16 offgridgirl

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 09:50 PM

The last TB, I had here was underweight and the owner rode the snout out him!! NEVER got a bath and his hip bones and ribs were showing
I gave him 14% pellet 4 qt am/pm, started him on corn oil( worked in slowly over 2 weeks to 2 C) and I added Barley2qt am/pm and phased out the oats completely. He got a bath and I kept him in stall to eat.

He got a 2hours to eat in the am, if he didn't finish, I brought him in at noon and let eat again in the stall. I left the feed bucket in the pm and kept him inside overnight I turned him out with hay during the day and he had grass grazing all day. At the end of three weeks, he had put on a 200lbs and the owners were astonished and gave me $$ for him care!:)
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#17 luvs2ride1979

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:50 PM

In your openion, what would the best diet for a 9 year old thoroughbred gelding be to keep him in good weight but as calm as possible? and why?


I have found that a grain-free diet works best for horses that tend to be "hot". And when I say grain free, I mean 100% grain free. No corn, oats, barley, wheat middlings, grain sweepings, or "grain byproducts" in any form, whole, textured, or pelleted. Also no molasses.

We currently have one TB, one TBxArab, and one TBxPaint at my barn (I own/run it). I feed free choice bermuda hay along with one meal a day of alfalfa pellets, 1/2 cup ground/milled flax, and a vitamin supplement. The TB and the TBxPaint get 3.5 lbs of alfalfa pellets a day (both in moderate work) and the TBxArab gets 2 lbs a day (in light work). They hold their weight beautifully, have great feet/coats, have a good work ethic, and are a lot less "spooky" than before.

I have also found that these horses hold their weight on a LOT less food than before. The TB and TBxPaint were getting free choice hay (not as good as our though) along with two meals a day of 2 scoops of Safechoice (3qt feed scoops) and 1 scoop of a 10% sweet feed. That's 18 quarts of food a DAY! They both hold their weight well now on only 3 qts of food (3.5 lbs of alfalfa pellets) and just 1/2 cup of flax. 18 qts vs. 3 qts, same weight, better health. It's hard to believe, I know, but it's true!

When I lived in San Diego, CA I owned one TB and cared for a couple of others. The barn I boarded at fed primarly Alfalfa hay (I didn't know much about nutrition at the time). All three TBs got two meals a day of Alfalfa (2 flakes each meal), plus lunch of Bermuda (one or two flakes). Their "grain" was a big bucket of beet pulp (one of those big flat back feed buckets, half full of BP after it was soaked), 1 lb of stabilized rice bran, and a vitamin supplement. Looking back, all three were probably a bit more "energetic" than they needed to be, but they didn't get any turnout, unless I turned them out and/or rode them. My boys had very good work ethics (lots of trainability), were sane at shows, and were calm enough to let kids ride them in the round pen. If I was there today, I would probably feed three meals of coastal hay or mountain meadow hay and a meal of alfalfa pellets and/or beet pulp, with flax or rice bran and vitamins.
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#18 jeezitsjacki

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 01:04 AM

I have a 9 yr old TB, and he gets Timothy gay 3 times a day (sorry dont know the exact pounds), and he is on cool calories for weight with oats in the morning and strategy. He also gets smarthoof, smart flex and pro bios but not for weight. Well the pro bios help his digestive system which help his weight. He has gained a lot on this combo, but what works for once horse may not work for another. oh and he is a pretty high energy horse and this works ok without him being crazy. I just do smartpak and they do the doses for me...he gets 2 cool calories and 1 of everything else every day
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#19 cowpuncher

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:02 PM

I dealt with this issue with my OTTB "Priest." Local grass hay, with a good protein content, supplemented with Senior Feed or Oats, and a cup of vegetable oil in his grain will do wonders for putting and keeping weight on him.

I was riding colts at the time, so he stood in the pen alot. It was still a struggle to put weight on him (he was 6, so largely past growth issues also). I'd ride him for an hour about twice a week. Occasionally, I'd ride him the eight miles to town and then back. Not a lot of work.

The sugar in corn is what makes horses get hot, just like sugar does to humans. That's the drawback to COB mixes. There are several really good reference books out there on feeding. Of course, mst of the ones I like also just happen to agree with what I said.
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