From Endurance to Dressage
I wish we could just settle on one feed program and stick with it. I eat the same breakfast and lunch virtually every day. Why can't my boys get on board? Because they can't, that's why. With changes in the weather, their fitness, and about a million other things, it becomes necessary to reevaluate with some frequency.
After our vet visit last week, I dragged out my scale and started re-weighing stuff. Speedy's low carb senior feed comes in at 1.5 pounds a can, the same as the last check. He gets 4 cans a day, two in the morning and two at night. This week, I also put him back on a quarter cup of Horse Guard's Flaxen Flow, a flaxseed oil, as we move into the cooler months. He's also now getting a daily 2 ounce scoop of Horse Guard's Vitamin mix. And of course he gets as much alfalfa as he'll eat, usually two hefty flakes a day.
I changed Izzy's feed scoop a few months back and hadn't actually weighed how much beet pulp it holds. I was just guessing. When I put his loaded scoop on the scale, it came in at just over a pound, but only barely. That didn't seem like enough now that we're trying to put weight back on. I reloaded the scoop and was much happier with what the scale showed - 1.75 pounds.
As my vet directed, I am putting him back on rice bran, a feed that he's done quite well with in the past. That adds another 1.5 pounds of calorie dense feed.
On top of that, he's also getting a quarter cup of flaxseed oil as well as a scoop of the same vitamins that Speedy's getting. His daily ration now includes 1 flake of alfalfa, 3 flakes of grass hay, 1.75 pounds of beet pulp, 1.5 pounds of rice bran, ¼ cup of flaxseed oil, and a scoop of vitamins. The boy is eating better than I do.
Fortunately, both horses liked the vitamins and scarfed them right down. They come in a really interesting bag that has a sort of velcro closure. Pretty smart packaging. Even with the closure, I worried about the bag tipping over though, so I'm storing it in a bucket for now.
So what does feeding my two horses now look like?
All of that feed now adds up to quite a complicated list. Here's what it boils down to:
I am not sure what else I could possibly add. Scratch that. There's plenty more I could toss in; I just don't want to! I think this menu is sufficient. We'll see how they do as we move into winter.
10/4/2019 09:06:17 am
Flakes must look different where you live. LOL
10/4/2019 09:08:43 am
I should have added that they can't eat all that we feed them. Yesterday I scooped up mounds of Izzy's grass hay and shoved it back in his feeder. That was at 5:00 p.m., an hour or two before dinner. Speedy had less alfalfa strewn about, but there was plenty still there for him to nibble on. The problem is that they just can't eat enough hay to fuel themselves. Both needed denser calories with less volume.
10/4/2019 03:22:29 pm
It's probably really geeky of me to say this, but I love equine nutrition blog posts, especially seeing photos of the feeds and supplements. I actually find it really helpful when considering my own horses' diets. I'm currently trying to put weight on one of my older horses, and my vet and I have discussed increasing senior feed and alfalfa. I hope the new diets keep working for your horses! :)
10/7/2019 10:31:15 am
I'm also a nutrition nerd and am fascinated to learn what she does in California with such different-needs horses.
11/23/2019 07:43:58 am
It's working now, but of course I'll have to adjust it as the weather continues to change. I am with you: I love reading about what other riders do. Unfortunately products that are described on the east coast aren't necessarily available here in the west, especially if it's something really brand specific.
I hope the increased calories works for the boys. I like feed posts as well, although, since I'm in Canada, I can't get most of the feeds/supplements that people list. Although I'm going to look for a pelleted rice bran - seems like a good weight gain option.
11/23/2019 07:42:23 am
So far, so good. You must have similar products in Canada though? I would think that there must be at least one Canadian company looking to make money on soft hearted horse girls? LOL
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: