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?