Horse ownership questions regarding feed/supplements and common health issues.?
Topic: Horse ownership questions regarding feed/supplements and common health issues.?
October 23, 2019 / By Cullen Question:
So I am probably going to get a horse within the next couple years. I have the time and experience and I am working on the money part. I have been riding/jumping/training/leasing horses for 6 years and all of my trainers think I am very ready to own a horse. I know how to ride and train a horse etc... The only thing that I am worried about is feed/supplements and health issues.
I know the basic grass hay v.s. alfalfa. I am not so good when it comes to supplements because all of my lease horses never had to have them.
I know about collic and basic hoof and coat infections such as dry/cracked hoofs, bow tendon, abcess, rain rot etc...
Before owning I want to know everything just in case an important situation. But it seems like horse owners don't study all of the health stuff before owning. It seems like they learn it along the way...?
Can you please list and describe common feed/supplements(amounts of each) and common health issues so that I can start learning?
Best Answers: Horse ownership questions regarding feed/supplements and common health issues.?
Asshur | 4 days ago
Most horses don't need Feed supplements. No sense in worrying about it unless the horse you ultimately get needs some kind of supplement. I'm convinced that most feed supplements do more for the feed supplement manufacturers than they do for the horses. Some horses need supplements for joints and a few other medical conditions, but all these weight building and muscle building supplements are bogus and are just a lazy substitute for good feed and horse management practices.
👍 136 | 👎 4
Did you like the answer? Horse ownership questions regarding feed/supplements and common health issues.?
Share with your friends
Originally Answered: Horse feed/ health questions?
1. Not really a whole helluva a lot you can do about that. I'd suggest just getting some good, clean, soft grass hay and keeping a lot of it in front of her. A nice soft grass hay isn't rich like some other hays and you really won't have any problems come from feeding her a lot of it, except maybe some weight gain and a bit of a hay belly (nothing that can't be fixed with some exercise later on).
2. Watering down chaff isn't going to slow her down. Dried chopped forages are generally wetted down to get more water in the horse's system. As with any dried forage (hay included) if the horse isn't drinking enough water you are running a risk of dehydration and impaction colic. Which reminds me...if you switch to a grass hay and/or increase the amount you are giving her put an extra water bucket in her stall. A salt block in the stall is also a good way to encourage drinking.
3. Horses can eat raw pumpkin with no ill effects. Some horses like it, some don't. I don't know about its effectiveness in preventing sand colic (not an issue in my part of the country) but I have heard arguments made that pumpkin seeds act as a natural dewormer. Flax is effective for sand colic as is psyllium, both are readily available and affordable.
Edited to add: I'm not suggesting pumpkin seeds are a substitute for a proper worming routine. I'd hope that goes without saying but you never know...
Also...do not use a hay net/bag in a stall. Way too easy for them to get a hoof caught in it especially if the horse paws. Hay nets and bags sag as they empty so even if you are tying it up high, it could still end up low enough for them to get a foot in it after they eat everything. If you're tying the bag up high enough to prevent it from even coming close to the ground when empty that can pose problems also, such as dust and debris getting into the eyes and nostrils. Also, when constantly being fed from a high net the horse can over-develop the muscles on the underside of the neck not only effecting appearance but the horse's overall carriage too. Hay nets and bags are a temporary feeding solution for situations like picket lines while camping.
no one can possible know what your future horse may or may not need in the way of supplements. Maybe your future horse will not need anything extra. Each horse is different and has different requirements in the food line. My advice is do not read too much about horse health, it will make you crazy. Too much information is not a good thing in this case. When you finally do get your horse, make sure that you have an experienced person on hand that can answer all of your questions as well as a vet, who can give you help. Most young and healthy horses live very well when out side 24/7 with access to grass, hay, fresh water and exercise. Those are the main ingredients for a happy, well fed and looked after horse. If and when your horse does require a supplement then between you and your vet you can then decide what is needed.
👍 50 | 👎 -5
Well, I find that there isn't a huge reason to worry about supplements until you reach that point that you require them. The more you begin wondering about supplements, the more you're going to want to put them in your horses food.
Yes, there is definately something to be said about supplements, but I also believe that a lot of them are overused and really don't do any good.
So, a few of the key ones I've used over the years (and I typically don't use supplements, since I make sure the grain is balanced):
Minerals/salt blocks/licks -- Minerals should always be fed free choice. This is something I actually think is a good necessity.
Yucca/glucosamine -- this mainly is for elderly horses with joint issues. In my personal opinion and experience, I've always found that straight yucca seems to work best on deteriorated joints. I had an older horse for 10 years and from the very begining he was arthritic. We tried a lot of different joint supplements that would do a decent job helping him along, but when we switched him to just straight yucca, we found him improve further than I could have believed possible. We gave the straight yucca pelets and a green, very potent smelling glucosomine powder. Soon, we took away the glucosomine and left him on yucca, and even later after that, we slowly took away the yucca, curious to what would happen.
He actually showed no arthritis symptons off the yucca for a whole year. He began to get stiff again so he plopped him back on the yucca and left him on it until the end of his days, and we've never seen a horse recover from arthritis so well. I can't say all horses will be like this, but it was miraculous what straight yucca pellets can do.
Weight gain powder (I also have Cool 100) for my emaciated horse that I rescued out of pity. He literally had hardly any muscle mass. His inner 'thighs' on his backlegs hardly touched at all almost all the way up his hindquarters. It was disgusting how skiny he was. It helped him immensely.
No-cough powder/antihistamine -- I can't remember it's exact name, to be honest, but we rescued an old mare we knew who was being starved to death and was dry-lotted, with heaves, so her heaves had become so bad she could hardly breath. It was a hideous, hot, dry summer and we did everything we could to make her comfortable. She unfortunately passed away a year after, but we did get her heaves to let up quite a bit with this...
I've also given my rescue horse children's benadril because he's allergic to flies, though I found that has gone away pretty well with fly sheet and some good food management.
Garlic added to feed can help get rid of flies and there is a good supplement that kills flies through the manure that should be fed starting in the winter in order to assure perfect results.
Really, though, you shouldn't have too much of a necessity for supplements. My swedish warmblood is the only horse getting anything right now, and he's on Amplify by Purina which is just a bit of extra calories + energy, since I've wanted him to gain some weight and have a bit of extra "oomph" under saddle.
👍 47 | 👎 -14
This can be a hard one to deal with if your horse is going to be outdoors a lot. Like my friend bought a horse that was in a stall most of the day so she never had the chance to learn that it was allergic to fly bites. This is very hard to deal with because they will itch and itch until there welts are now open cuts. Also my horse has this issue and when we have a show coming up we have to stall him for like a week to make the welts go away. The best thing to do is to use the SmartPak insect control supplements and or try other ones. Hope this helped.
👍 44 | 👎 -23
I would suggest this book to you http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Around-House... It is the most complete and easy to understand book I have encountered about horse purchasing, ownership, care, and common aliments.
there are so many supplements out there. . . I wouldn't really worry about them too much. Most horses don't need supplements, and for those that do you can ask the old owners what and why they are feeding.
👍 41 | 👎 -32
Originally Answered: What can I feed my 20 year old horse for joint supplements?
A great joint supplement is Cosequin. It's expensive, but works. ($60?? a month depening on what kind you get. The ASU is best for joints) I know ASU requires a prescription, not sure about the plain stuff- it may not.
You could also try a monthly injection of Adequan. ($40-45/month) Vet prescription required.
Or for something a little cheaper, there is a supplement called Next Level (pellets, not the syrup). It is alfalfa based (horses love it), contains shark cartilage, MSM, glucosamine, etc. $30-35/moth.