I own two Quarter Horse mares, aged three and four years old. They both have body condition scores of five to six, so maintaining weight is the objective. The pasture is beginning to get eaten down, so I would like to put out a round bale so they will give the grass a break. My question: is beardless wheat hay safe to free-feed?
I own a 15-year-old easy keeper that spends all of his time turned out. In addition to pasture, he receives about three-quarters of a scoop of a low-carb senior feed. He is worked little. Though he is a little chubby, I am OK with that. The feed contains alfalfa and soy-based ingredients. Could this be the cause of the recurrent dermatitis and cellulitis that my gelding suffers from? What else can I do for him nutritionally?
My seven-year-old Thoroughbred hunter, Tally, is a little too fleshy right now. I just purchased him, so we’re at ground zero as far as a diet plan. Right now, he’s getting a combination of grass and alfalfa hay, about 12 lb (5.5 kg) a day, but I know I need to start him on a well-balanced feed as soon as possible. He’s in a paddock for 4 hours each day and in a stall the remainder of the time. What kind of supplements should I look into?
I started my three-year-old last fall, and he seemed to have plenty of energy under saddle at that time. Over the past several months, he has become lethargic. Other than some trimming issues with his hind hooves, neither vets nor farriers can offer a reason for this lack of energy. He suffers from some allergies that cause him to itch, and he has a propensity for gastric ulcers. He is turned out all day with access to a stall if he chooses. He maintains moderate weight (1,230 lb or 560 kg) on a diet of grass hay, and 2 cups of a ration balancer. I feed him soaked alfalfa pellets in the morning to soothe his stomach. I would rather not feed him grain, as I think it will accelerate the formation of ulcers. Can you make heads or tails of this?
My teenage mare is entirely too fat, hanging somewhere near an 8 on the body condition scorecard. She’s not a big mare, and a weight tape puts her at about 1,300 lb (590 kg). Right now, she’s on stall rest due to a suspensory ligament injury and white line disease. We are going to move her from the riding program and into the broodmare band once she’s healed, but I think we need to get her weight under control. She is allowed as much hay as she chooses, and she receives one-half scoop of senior feed twice a day. How can I help her lose weight?
My 13-year-old Miniature Horse gelding eats a diet consisting primarily of timothy, plus an hour or so of grazing each day during the growing season. He receives about 3 lb (1.4 kg) of timothy hay and 1 lb (0.45 kg) of soaked timothy pellets daily. He weighs about 300 lb (136 kg) and is exercised lightly twice a week. He also have a mineral salt block. Right now, he’s moderately fleshy, a score of 6 on the body condition scale, so I know he needs to lose weight. Would I.R. Pellet be appropriate for my gelding and, if so, how much should I feed?
My 17-hand (172-cm) Hanoverian gelding, Potash, weighs about 1,000 lb (450 kg), and he looks far too skinny. He’d be a score of 3 on the body condition scorecard. His current ration includes grass during 23 hours of turnout, one flake of grass hay, 8 lb (3.6 kg) of a low-starch concentrate, 2/3 cup (5-6 oz) of corn oil, 1 cup flaxseed, electrolytes, and a joint supplement. His hooves are brittle, but his coat looks amazing. Potash is a hard-working horse, showing every weekend with only one day off a week.
I recently switched my cattle feed to a medicated formula that contains monensin. Though my horses and cattle are fed separately, the horses have access to the empty cattle troughs after feeding. Today, I found my horses licking the cattle trough, and I panicked. How can I make sure my horses didn’t ingest any monensin? What steps should I take next?
I own an 18-year-old gelding that is kept primarily in a stall and small run. I ride only on the weekends. I feed him 20 lb (9 kg) of fortified forage pellets each day, divided into two meals. He seems to stay the same weight at all times, no matter the season. Is this too much feed, though?
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