Just for Kicks: Feeding programs

Here’s something I’ve been pondering for a while, and that is Foster’s feeding regimen. He’s the hardest keeper I’ve had to deal with, which doesn’t mean he’s really much of a hard keeper really, just that the majority of the horses I’ve dealt with have been of the drafty (or Draught-y) type.

Ivan at his leanest

Ivan at his leanest. Also my face here is somewhat hilarious

He did lose considerable weight at the last barn, which I attribute to the hard winter, in addition to the crap nutrition of the feed at that facility. His current feed is still nothing fancy, but considerably better than before, and for a while he was looking quite the chunky monkey and we had to decrease the amount he was getting.

This was *not* ok.

This was *not* ok.

Now I feel like his weight is just where it should be, but I wonder if there are things I can do to improve his energy level without making him ‘hot’. Keeping in mind that my horse is somewhat unusual in that he gets a little more spicy in the summer and gets a bit quieter in the winter.. Weird, I know.

Are you guys sick of seeing these photos yet? (most recent good photo of Foster I have)

Are you guys sick of seeing these photos yet? (most recent good photo of Foster I have)

For the Novice level, I feel like his energy/fitness is fine. We come in under time, and he still feels good to go at the end of my cross country course. I wonder, though, if that energy will be enough for Training, where I will need a bit more ‘oomph’ to get through more complicated combinations and get over larger fences.

What do you guys feed? Any supplements that you truly believe in for giving your horse that extra edge? Any feeds/supplements to stay away from?

15 thoughts on “Just for Kicks: Feeding programs

  1. Carlos was a harder keeper when he was younger, he was eating 5 flakes of Alf for Breakfast and 5 for dinner and it still just melted off his body. Eventually I put him on Purina Ultium (not much) and SmartCombo Pellets + Omegas. I thought they really helped him stay a good weight.

    Ramone came to be not starved but no real consideration to feed since he was out in a pasture. He’s currently eating straight Alfalfa 3lbs of Purina Ultium, 1lb of Renew Gold (rice bran + coconut oil/flax) and SmartCombo Ultra. He looks really good and is the same horse personality wise.

  2. Does he have access to turnout? A bit of fresh grass usually perks my boys up – must be the sugar content! I’d just avoid anything with a fair bit of magnesium in it!
    Not sure if you have Prydes over there? An Australian feed that have an amazing range and the quality and freshness of their feed is second to none!

    • Thanks for your feedback! He does have turnout, but in the winter the grass gets pretty minimal. Interesting you mention magnesium- I put him on a magnesium supplement for his summer sillies, so its something I’m somewhat aware of.. will check any supplement though for the magnesium content!

      I don’t think we have Prydes- I haven’t heard of it at least!

  3. adding more Fat to their diet is a good way to increase energy without increasing “hotness”. I try to stay away from processed grain for my guys b/c they don’t do that great on it. I feel like I’m feeding to much grain and not enough forage if I stuff them full of processed grain or it makes them to hot. Plus 3 out of my 4 are chunky and Marley is your typical TB. For Marley I give her soaked hay pellets, whole oats, barley, sunflower seeds (great source for Omega 3’s- better than flax!) Cool Stance (a coconut hull grain- have had great results with this!) and for winter to keep all fat on Marley I’ve been adding Coconut oil. I tweak it based on work load and weather, but good hay is a must in winter since they don’t have grass 🙂

    Oh and I make sure their digestive tract is in good working order with a QUALITY pro-biotic (lots of not so great ones that don’t have enough variety in the probiotics)- Fast Track has helped Chimi sooooo much and I’ve noticed a HUGE decrease in his cribbing- he doesn’t even try now when he has his collar on

  4. Pingback: The New Diet Plan | A House on a Hill

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