Considering Adding Supplements to Diet…

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  LazyL 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • jess_n_jazz Original Poster
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 15

    I will be moving my horse to a new barn in the next couple of weeks. I feed him Safe Choice Performance and haven’t really included any supplements into his diet because he’s never needed any and is perfectly healthy and has never been lame (knock on wood). His diet will be changing slightly, right now he eats from a round bale all day and there isn’t much grass in the paddock he is in. At the new barn we probably wont be giving round bales again, just flakes of hay as needed and there is grass for him to graze on. Just wondering if I should consider adding any supplements as needed, I’ve been thinking about it but haven’t made up my mind yet.

    Suggestions and opinions welcome.

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Will he be staying on the same grain?

    Will he be out on graze 8-10 hrs/day or more? He might fare best if weaned (a couple weeks, give or take) onto constant graze if he has had meager or less over the summer.. More lush the graze, the slower the wean.

    Look closely at the quality of new hay as this is likely where any need for supplementation will stem from, if any. The amount of hay should be sufficient to feed/sustain his weight and activity level, then supplemented with grain or a ration balancer (more nutrient dense than a vitamin-mineral supp yet less substance than a grain) but generally, most grass type hay is nutritionally a fiber source and can be rather non-descript but for protein and some sugar. As long as he keeps his weight, energy and bloom, I might hold off on supps just to see where he goes with the new plan as is (grain/hay/graze), give it a couple months before forming a hard opinion. Addressing the obvious, of course : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    jess_n_jazz Original Poster
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 15

    yes I’m keeping him on the Safe Choice and he will be practically living outside, he has a stall to run in and out of if he needs or wants during bad weather. the hay is usually 1st or 2nd cut and isn’t TOO green which is what I like. he’ll most likely be balancing grass and hay all throughout the day so I’m not worried about it 🙂

    thanks for the advice 🙂

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by  jess_n_jazz.
    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Welcome, Jess_n_Jazz : ) Where you say he is the picture of health and the changes he will experience are relatively minimal (other than the move itself, new hay, new routine, new friends… ok: not so relative, not so minimal but sure sounds like a nice arrangement!), I am missing the point of supplementation (pretty normal for me to miss the point the first time : ). Did/do you have a specific supplement in mind?

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    Hi jess_and_jazz! Safe Choice is a great feed – I have friends who use it. Those are a lot of changes, and I would not add anything new until you are sure none of the location/hay changes have an adverse effect. (If your horse is ADR, you will have less possible culprits.) Once you are sure things are going as well as possible, you might consider assessing for supplements based on observed areas where your horse might need some boosting.

    For example, I have a paso whose feet were chippy when he came to me; could not hold a shoe at one point and we had to put him in a hoof cast. He gets SmartHoofUltra and we no longer have any problem with his shoes or feet. (I have also used Farrier’s Choice if you prefer another commercial brand. But I like the SmartHoof.)

    My vet is concerned that my mare might develop PPID (we’re having her tested) so he recommended Omega3 supplement to help her with that. He recommends it anyway to older horses. So I’d ask my vet if he/she recommends anything.

    Additionally, I feed that mare SmartFlexRehab as she is coming back from a tendon injury last fall and I want all the benefits and support I can give her for at least two years following an injury.

    It largely depends on the needs of the individual horse, but you should not feel you MUST supplement to do all you can for your horse – it could be that what you have being doing is all you need to do. Don’t fix what isn’t broke.

    If you do have a concern, the smartpak wizard will help you find something to address it.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    jess_n_jazz Original Poster
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 15

    thanks for the advice everyone 🙂

    pheets- thanks for the input! I didn’t have any specifically in mind except Calm n Cool, but that was only gonna be used on a “as needed basis” if we go to more shows and whatnot. I’ve just been researching and looking more into different types of supplements. the barn he’s at currently (ill be moving him next week) they’re very old school and don’t believe in any natural remedies or supplements unless a horse is seriously injured which I don’t necessarily agree with. I’m primarily a barrel racer and wasn’t sure if I should consider putting him on something that could boost his joint health since I’m going to consider running at more a more competitive level next season. I’m going to give it some time first to ensure he gets settled into his new home first and then maybe consider supplements in the spring.

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    There is good and bad in both schools of horsemanship, old and new. I am not quick to supplement, believing better breeding and training to be the basis of any better, overall, long-term plan. Life long fan of long-lasting and cheap to keep : ) I AM grateful tho that the option is there if needed and the tools with which to keep my horses in better condition, longer with a more comfortable retirement ARE available. Best plan for general joint health is good conditioning BEFORE you compete, then just try not to hammer them too hard or for too long. Give ’em a break now and then ; )

    Good luck with the move, hope all goes well and safely!!

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    richie_bernardjr
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I would not immediately do anything different with the horse other than start giving him 12 12 horse minerals 3-5 times per week. The minerals will make up for what he misses in grazing & hay and what your feed may lack. Just because he will be grazing and on hay does not mean he will be getting all the minerals his body requires. Once the minerals start taking affect you will notice that he will be easier to maintain with less feed and hay while retaining his proper weight. Sometime grazing and hay is not enough depending on the quality of the grass and hay the horse is eating. Green lush grass and beautifully cured hay does not mean that it contains the proper amounts of nutrition the horse requires to maintain a healthy appearance. Minerals are always a great supplement to have on hand.

    patricia
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Always my first line of information is the quality of hay.. Although some hays look wonderful on the outside, many can be lacking in primary nutrients.. Winter brings lack of vitamin A. Some hays are too high in other minerals such as selenium. It is good to have a base nutritional factor to begin. A hay analysis will give you concrete needs of supplements… testing can be done at your local co op or extension agency or most feed stores know where to test hay.
    My preference for supplements is Platinum Performance.. they also have supplements for micronutrients and probiotics,,, another good thing to add to feed.
    Patricia
    Spirit Rock Ranch
    Durango, Co

    deequeue
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Hi–I’m a great believer in supplementation when it’s needed. Unless he’s having some kind of problem or he’s over 9 or 10 years old and in moderate work, he probably doesn’t need any supplements. It sounds like you’ll be doing some barrels with him, and I would strongly recommend a joint supplement, you can use the wizard to help you figure out which one. Heavy work is hard on the joints, and any help you can provide to keep them in good shape is, in my opinion, always a good idea.

    LazyL
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    The most accurate way of determining nutritional needs is to analyze both your previous hay and the new hay/rations. Equi-Analytics does this for $25 and it’s a fantastic way to know exactly what your horse is getting. What looks like “good” hay may be unbalanced in something specific that you might want to address. For example, in Wyoming we have very good hay nutritionally but it is high in selenium naturally; thus, adding selenium (a necessary nutrient) to our horses’ diets could do great harm instead of good. (Disclaimer: I am not employed by or associated with Equi-Analytics as anything than a satisfied customer of theirs.)

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