Thursday, March 20, 2014

what's in your bucket blog hop

More blog hop from L at Viva Carlos!

So, What supplements and other feeds does your horse vacuum down everyday? 

Shyloh is a Haflinger and needs minimal calories to maintain her weight. I think I have said before how Jaime is just amazed at the little bit of hay she eats and still stays plump. Of course, if Shy could talk and you were to ask her, she would say she needs ALL the hay! But we know that is not true.  This blog hop was timed perfectly, as we just had Shy's hay tested at the MSU Stallion Expo.
Hay snack
Shy gets two flakes of hay in the morning and one to two flakes at night, depending on if she got an afternoon snack or has been on the round bale. The flakes also depend one weight, if the flake feels light, another one will be given to her.  Her flakes are grass hay. 

The breakdown of her hay is:
8.8% Crude Protein, which is considered average
34.7% Acid Detergent Fiber which is considered low (which is good)
56.5% Neutral Detergent Fiber, with is considered average (low is good)
809 kcal/lb or Equine Digestible Energy, which is on the low end, but perfect for a Haflinger in no work.
My hay!
I am going to break it down a little further, since acid and detergents sound like something you never want your horse to eat. 

Crude Protein is simple, it is the amount of protein concentration in the hay. Grass hays have the least amount of protein, legume hays have the most.

Acid Detergent Fiber is made up of components that are poorly digested. So if your horse has a lot of hay pieces in the poop, this number is probably high. The lower the ADF number is, the more digestible the nutrients in the hay will be.

Neutral Detergent Fiber is made of of insoluble fiber. These give the hay the bulk and make it filling to the horse. You also want a lower number for this.

Equine Digestible Energy is how much energy is takes to digest the hay, self explanatory. 
Free treats!
That is the Shy hay breakdown. Since she needs so little hay to survive, she must make up the rest of her nutrients by a ration balancer. Shy used to get a vitamin crumble, but I have not been overly pleased with it. It did the job, and we just finished the bag, but now we are switching. Shy is getting ADM Stay Strong. It is a metabolic mineral pellet (has the vitamins and minerals, plus pre and probiotics) and if formulated for easy keepers and starch sensitive horses. So no extra calories and no oats, corn, molasses, or alfalfa. I am interested to see how she does on this.

Shy also gets loose salt, just because when she was pasture boarded I bought a 50 lb bag of salt for her to make sure she was getting enough and she will eat all 50 lbs of this bag, dammit! In 20- years, when that bag is gone, Shy can just get a salt lick in her stall. 

In addition to the salt, Shy gets Magnesium. I started her with Magnesium and B vitamins when I first got her. I had done some research and  because she was so jumpy I wanted to try something.  Later, I took her off the B vitamins and continued to keep her on the Magnesium because there is some research that claims it helps prevent laminitis.  It's not a high dose, so it can't hurt her. Plus, it is banana flavored and she likes it. 

Shy also used to get raspberry leaf from a local herb store for her nasty squirting issues. Either it lost its effect or just being around Isaac is more that the raspberry leaf can handle. . .I ended up taking her off that. 

A little before show season, I start to feed Shy Healthy Glo, also from ADM. It is a fat supplement (I do not give her a full serving), but it adds a little shine to her coat.
Shiny pony
So to recap: grass hay, ration balancer (vitamin, mineral, pre and probiotics), loose salt, Magnesium. I buy it all in bulk (it is cheaper that way) and bag it up myself. Fun! Oh yeah. . .and whatever dropped grain that she vacuums up for me when we clean stalls. But I don't count that. And treats, but those don't count either.

What does your horse eat?


  1. I am so distracted by the summer photos and the sun and the short shiny coat and the warm looking everything........I'm really ready for warmth now haha.

  2. Loved your nutrient breakdown of the hay! Which lab did you use? And excited to see another horse on ADM products - I'm in the process of switching Lily over to their Healthy Glo nuggets and GroStrong Ultra Fiber. So we'll see how she does with their products too. :)

    1. The Healthy Glo made Shy soo shiny last year! And she was on the Ultra Fiber when I first go her, but I only took her off to keep the weight down. The Stay Strong has the Gro Strong minerals in it, which is nice. The drafts at my barn are on the Ultra Fiber. I like ADM and their reps have been super helpful. Hope Lily does well on their products.
      For the hay analysis, there was a booth at the expo that ran it for us.

  3. I think the magnesium is a good idea. That is the one thing that I consider putting my horse on, but haven't made that move yet.

    I am working a theory and pulling through more research about in-utero nutrition causing mineral imbalances (ie magnesium) and creating a more jumpy, reactive horse. A few people with horses helped by magnesium I have talked to have had similar circumstances about how/where their horses were bred. Interesting...

    1. Interesting! I would love to read it when you are done :)

  4. Replies
    1. I figure, if she eats it, good. If not, she dumps her bucket. She knows what she needs so at least it is there for her. Plus, a 50 lb bag is soooo cheap. Well worth it.


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