Saturday, 26 January 2013

Feeding conundrums

I have always kept my horses on a pretty low sugar, high fibre diet and like to keep up to date with the latest feeds out there. I used to keep my old horse, Legend, on Simple System feeds but had to move away from it when I changed yards and could no longer store in bulk. As we haven't moved back somewhere that has plenty of storage I've stuck to commercial feeds that are easily accessible and that I can buy from my local feed merchants which I think is an issue many horse owners face.

However, I didn't realise how much sugar formed the basis of the commercial chaffs and mixes that I was using so my barefoot education has sent me on a nutritional journey as well. Nic at Rockley Farm states that diet and exercise are the foundation of  having a successful barefoot horse (you can find Nic's hoofcare essentials here) and as I want Buddy to succeed I want him on the best diet out there. For me, that has meant moving away from commercial nuts, mixes, chaffs and balancers and onto 'old school' straights. 

The upside is that I know 100% what is going into Buddy's feeds and I'm in complete control - those feed companies won't be sneaking anything in without me knowing about it! The downside is that it is a far more expensive way to feed, unless you can buy in bulk... Which I can't. But I'm hoping that when Buddy is stabled for part of his day, and it gets warmer, he won't need quite as much to be added.

I'm still waiting for Nic to send me Buddy's feed plan in detail so I may do another feed post later down the line but he will be getting the following (approx):
  • 1kg (dry weight) unmollassed sugar beet (I will be using equibeet or speedibeet)
  • 1kg (dry weight) Coolstance Copra
  • 1kg Dengie Alfalfa pellets
  • 1kg Crushed Oats
  • Linseed (amount TBC but I imagine around 200g)
  • 10g salt
  • 40g brewers yeast
  • 50g pro balance
  • 25-50g cal mag
Which is a fair amount I think you'll agree! I've done all my research and have found the best prices either online or at my local feed merchants so I know I'm getting the best deal possible. I'm looking forward to taking the lorry out next weekend and buying all my feed and shavings ready for Buddy to come home. In the meantime I have the best job ever (!) of cleaning my mats and sorting my stable ready for the big return and I can't wait!

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