Why feed a different grain in the summer v.s the winter?

Yesterday I was at the feed store picking up my grain and I over heard a lady asking for advice about grain and the sales associate recommended senior. I stopped to hear her reasoning why an 8 year old should be on senior she had good points it’s a good grain I’ve fed it for many years but it can be quite sweet due to molasses so some horses might get hot on it. The lady asked if she can feed it all year the sales associate said yes and they ended up getting the bag of grain. All well and good but there’s so much more to choosing a grain and a diet for your horse all factors need to be added into it. What breed of horse? Certain breeds are hotter on sweeter feeds like Arabians, Morgan’s and thoroughbred horse’s for example. Those breeds do best on rice bran, beat pulp and low sugar grains. Age played a big role, high proteins are a must for growing horses but too much protein can hurt them. How often are they worked? If not ridden hard consistently than look for more of a low energy feed. I love high fat feeds personally, all horse’s benefit from high fat feeds in moderation. Makes their coats shine and they skin is healthy not dry just make sure you’re not feeding high fat feeds with high sugar hay… that is too much for them and can cause founder. Also take in consideration the horse’s living situation, is it a pasture? Lots of fresh spring grass? Probably not feed much of anything except a mineral block at their own discretion. Is it winter? Are they cold? Feed higher protein and fat to keep them warm. Most supplement with a flake of alfalfa in the winter to keep the horse from dropping weight. Then there’s the vitamins, how to choose the right one?! There’s the basic maintenance vitamin, the biotin and hoof growth supplement, the ulcer guard, the cough free, the fat supplement, the probiotic the joint supplement it’s no different than a human vitamin isle just very expensive. Consult your vet for their professional opinion of course but also seek out people who have horse’s similar to yours and ask their opinions and what they found works. Just know if you’re feeding a pelleted, dry grain please soak it. Horse’s get pretty excited about grain and will choke if it’s too dry. Supplements I prefer are wheat germ oil, to help promote smooth digestion and colic prevention, probiotic to utilize the maximum absorption of my supplement that I feed each horse, basic selenium and vitamin supplement along with aloe juice for moody mares or gas colic prone horse’s. I also like to feed a loose mineral salt in their grain to be sure they are getting enough water in extreme hot and cold temps. You’ll find what works for you but I suggest at every change of seasons you recalculate you’re horse’s individual needs as the weather changes.

Published by Jillian

I specialize in problem horses, youngsters, horse rehabilitation and achieving softness and a better relationship between horse and their rider. I not only train horses but humans as well. Not your typical riding lesson but I can, if you so choose, teach you to train your horse! I’m always available to help answer questions or share photos or videos upon request to better illustrate my advice. I’ve mastered the “don’t break the bank” way of keeping your horse healthy and cared for while on a budget. If you walk into almost any large barn in Oregon you’re bound to meet a horse I trained or sold! I’ve trained over 623 horses and counting! I post updates as I receive them from clients and buyers. Thank you for taking the time to browse and hopefully learn something new!

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