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QH Body, TB Brain

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Joe-Joe Joe-Joe 1 year, 12 months ago.

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  • JNB Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0

    I’ve been working with a 9yo chestnut QH mare. Very scopey and athletic with a wonderful amount of bravery! However… I run into the “red-headed mare” struggle where she decides her opinion is more important than mine. I’ve tried the “wear her down” method for weeks and it just takes longer than any other horse I’ve worked with, and believe me she is neither in shape nor fit! We’re talking bolting into the trot or canter and grabbing the bit to get her way. She’s got so much potential, it’s just difficult to get it out of her when she’s go so much energy to fight.
    Anyways, I recently realized that her owner has her on 1lb of pure oats morning and night. She’s also on FULL pasture from 8am to 9pm every day. I’m wondering if this diet isn’t affecting her energy and attitude for the worse. Any ideas or insight would be greatly appreciated! I’ve done a good amount of reading on the subject, but I like to get input from others who may have seen or dealt with similar issues.

    Thanks!

    NinaJD NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    If she’s on just plain oats, it shouldn’t have any effect on her. Now if it’s rolled in molasses it could. My aunt’s saddlebred gets CRAZY hyper when he has grain with sugar in it. but the oats never affected him.
    the pasture thing shouldn’t be bothering her any…but who knows every horse is different.
    She could just be a hyper, hard headed horse. How is she on the ground, still fighting? Maybe she needs more ground work and working on respect?

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    Noxx Noxx
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 8

    Oats may just be the problem.

    NSC [Non-Structural Carbohydrates] is a fancy term for the starch & sugar content of a grain, ingredient, etc. When it comes to oats, the NSC is usually around 54%, most of that starch and only 5% sugars. Starch is needed to build muscle glycogen stores and provide the explosive energy needed during training and competitions. While oat starch is digested mostly in the foregut, so hindgut ulcers due to fermentation aren’t a high risk, it is still energy.

    Only getting 2lbs a day may also be an issue. Oats aren’t a ‘complete feed’, meaning they don’t contain 100% of a horse’s daily vitamin and mineral requirements. Oats are high in protein, calories, fiber, carbohydrates, and contain quanitites of iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and manganese. They are nearly deficet in Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, The Vitamin B group, and Calcium. This causes a number of problems to arise, though very simply put your horse could have deficiencies in more than one category.

    The easiest way to correct this would be to add a quality vitamin & mineral supplement. Though if you’re experiencing hot or behavior issues, it might be best to reevaluate her oat diet. There is a type of grian called a ration balancers, which are concentrated pellets designed to be fed at 1-3lbs a day. This contains the horse’s daily recommendations of vitamins & minerals while still being low sugar and low starch. The best ration balancers would be Tribute Essential K or Triple Crown 30%. Purina Enrich and Nutrena Empower Balance are also ration balancers, but aren’t as good as Triple Crown or Tribute.

    I hope this makes sense for you (: Oats are the best cereal grain for a horse, far better than corn or barley. Though if your equine is an easy keeper, seems hyper, and isn’t getting a vitamin & mineral supplement then it may be time for a change.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Feed may be affecting her energy level, but should not be a factor in her manners. I rode Thoroughbreds for years (in training for racing and as hunters), and they were none of them unmanageable or particularly hotheaded as compared to other horse breeds. Yes, they had a lot of energy, but if it was a day for jogging, they jogged. In addition to reevaluating what she eats, I would go back to kindergarten with her, and work on manners. You might need to shorten your training schedule, and quit after she has done something correct. When she learns that stopping is her reward for listening and obeying, she should improve (one would hope). How long have you been working with her, and what was she like before you started? Is this new behavior for her or an ongoing issue? Do you do more or less the same things in the same order? Try changing, and confuse her. If she doesn’t know (or think she knows) what you want to do next, she will have to listen and think. Work on long lines, ask for collection, etc. I’m sure you know all this, but sometimes we all need to be reminded of things from one horse to another.

    It is never the horse's fault

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