I think you are probably going to have to add fat to a low starch grain and there’s probably no way around that, for a hard-keeper in moderate work. I have an Appy and Paint with lots of QH in their blood so have done a lot of research on this topic and feed low starch diets as a preventative. There are several excellent options in grain and supplements. They may not all be available where you’re at, but you should at least be able to find one or two options. You indicated you weren’t satisfied with Triple Crown or Purina, but is this because you were looking for adequate fat levels without having to supplement? Because both brands have high quality choices in low starch grains. Triple Crown in particular is just high quality all the way around with their fixed formulations and top grade ingredients. I would recommend you consider Triple Crown Low Starch, McCauley’s Alam, or KER Re-Leve, then add oil as necessary. I’ve used Triple Crown’s Rice Bran Oil Plus, which is highly palatable and gives great results. However, if you are looking for something that’s higher in Omega 3’s you’ll want to go with a flaxseed oil such as Nutramax Welactin, or Kauffmans Fish Oil. I haven’t tried the fish oil because I’ve heard it is more likely to be rejected by picky horses and I have a senior gelding hard keeper that is extremely picky so figured no sense throwing that money down the drain. Also you’ll want to pay attention to electrolytes and minerals to prevent imbalances and dehydration. Deficiencies and imbalances in calcium and magnesium can also contribute to muscular irritability and cramping. Excessive high calcium may be worse than too low since it interferes with the body’s ability to rapidly mobilize calcium from bone when needed during exercise. For days when your horse is in hard work, I would add 1 to 2 oz. of salt, plus an electrolyte balanced to sweat losses. For added control with tying up, consider Tie Free 24 by Peak Performance, which covers the major nutritional bases. There are several excellent articles on this subject by Horse Journal, you may be able to download some digital copies of the articles if you’re interested. Sorry for the long post but there’s a lot to cover on this topic. Good luck!
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