I own a 10-year-old, 17-hand (172 cm) Warmblood mare that works moderately, three or four days each week. She’s an easy keeper, and her weight has been maintained at a steady 5 on the body condition scorecard for the last year. She spends about 8 hours at pasture and the remainder of the time in a stall. Her current ration includes grass hay, less than 1 lb (0.45 kg) of a senior feed, 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) of a ration balancer, and a supplement containing magnesium, selenium, and chromium. The mare experiences some muscle tightness and soreness in her lower back, as well as reluctance to move, as the show season progresses. She has been tested for PSSM, and the test came back negative. In addition to that, I would like to manage her transition from pasture to hay better to decrease these problems.
I am feeding barren and lactating mares a “competition cube” feed at the rate of 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) a day along with 3 lb (1.3 kg) of soy hulls for filler, along with free-fed haylage. The mares were hard to get in foal last year, and I am wondering if the soy hulls were the cause of that. Could this be a problem?
I am employed at a local feed store. When a customer inquires about this feed or that, one of the first questions she will ask is how much protein it contains. When I ask the customer to describe the horse for which the feed is intended, it invariably turns out to be an adult horse in light work. Can you refresh my memory as to why protein content shouldn’t be the primary consideration when selecting a feed for such a horse?
I have the chance to purchase some mature tall fescue hay for a reasonable price. Though I’ve only seen photographs, it looks greenish-brown, and the producer assures me there is no dust or other contaminants. Would this be acceptable forage for a broodmare, from late pregnancy through weaning of the foal?
Eight days after foaling, my mare suffered from recumbency, listlessness, intermittent seizures, and the inability to urinate and defecate. She was diagnosed with “milk fever” and administered intravenous calcium. She quickly perked up and seems normal now. Did my mare lack calcium in her diet? I’d like to continue to use her as a broodmare but not if she is susceptible to this again. Your thoughts?
My old horse is in good weight. He’s allowed time on pasture (16 hours a day), and he’s fed a commercial senior feed (3.3 lb or 1.5 kg daily), a trace mineral supplement, and free-choice alfalfa cubes. He’s given medicine for Cushing’s and gastric ulcers daily. I ride him once or twice a week. I recently switched from a ration balancer to the senior feed, and now his tail seems to be falling out and his coat has become dull and brittle. Help!
I have a 21-year-old gelding that has been diagnosed with navicular disease and other soundness issues, including arthritis and laminitis episodes. He receives plenty of good-quality hay twice a day and a balancer pellet. I provide him a glucosamine-based joint supplement and a hoof-health product as well as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for his lameness. We moved him to a new barn a few weeks ago and he recently developed hives. The hives came about right after a dose of antibiotics were given for an open skin wound. We treated the hives with dexamethasone. The hives recurred several times, and dexamethasone has always worked. The vet suggested allergies as a cause for the hives, possibly triggered by the changes in his environment. We are interested in any suggestions you may have for keeping the hives away, taking care of any potential hindgut issues, and providing relief for the ongoing lameness issues.
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