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Silver City Heritage Farmstead

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It could be that they're too hard and hurt his mouth. I soak mine to soften them.

Really, when you think about horses being grazers, it's not surprising they have challenges with hard feeds. Their teeth are designed for grinding grasses and leaves, not pelleted feedstuffs.

If he's only turning his nose up at one feed and otherwise fine, I wouldn't be concerned.
 

Willow Flats

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I agree with Silver City Heritage Farmstead. Those alfalfa pellets are rock hard, and if he has something else to choose from he will eat that instead. There is definitely an order for things around here. They will only leave one thing for something they like better and green grass reigns! 😂
 
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Kelly

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Yeah I can’t find the date on the bag 🙃

You might be right, maybe the alfalfa pellets are getting too hard for his little mouth. He did loose a tooth a while back… maybe he is teething 🤷🏻‍♀️ LOL LOL

I’ll try soaking them tonight and see if he eats them…. I’ll let ya know.
 

Kelly

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Nope, Stormy won’t touch the soaked alfalfa pellets and neither would Breezy. My biggie, Riffics, gobbled the leftovers right up 🤦🏻‍♀️

I gave both Stormy & Breezy a small portion of the ration balancer and they both gobbled it right up. So I will slowly start them back on that.
 

chandab

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You might try a different brand of alfalfa pellets, if you still want them in the diet, or perhaps a timothy alfalfa blend pellet. They definitely have preferences, my old man has a definite preference for feed and hay pellets; for alfalfa pellets his favorite is the local CoOp pellets, then Dumor, and last Standlee (only brands I have available).
 

Kelly

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Update: Stormy & Breezy are both doing great! They are still eating their ration balancer. I am almost up to their full serving size, we have been taking it very slowly. I have started to add the alfalfa pellets slowly back in as well and they are gobbling it right up. Same bag of pellets, go figure 🤷🏻‍♀️
Silly horses!
 

Kelly

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What do you think about Strategy Healthy Edge? It has outlast gastric support in it which I thought would be good for Stormy. He is just so hippy and I need to put weight on him. I asked the feed store lady about adding oil and she suggested the Strategy, so I thought I’d give it a try. He is out ALL day on the little grass we have left here in TX and unlimited hay (not bagged) during the day. I’ll let y’all know how it works, hopefully he won’t get ulcer like symptoms, but I will keep y’all updated. I will start with the minimum amount of feed and see how he likes it.

What do you think? Good idea or not? I am working him most days and trying to build up his muscles so we can do looooong trail drives come spring time…. I’m hoping 10+ mile trail drives.
 

Abby P

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Just make sure he's getting adequate protein - he might need a little more with the heavier workload he's in now. The Strategy only has 12.5% which might not really be enough at supplementation levels. Can you get Triple Crown where you are? Their regular ration balancer has 30% protein and also has pre- and probiotics in it. It just depends on the protein levels in your hay though - if you're feeding any alfalfa then you're probably fine but some grass hays can be really low protein. Purina makes a RB too but not sure about protein - I know the TC Gold one has a lot less than the regular one so they don't all have similar protein levels.

All that said, I've used Amplify in the past (if that's the stuff that sort of looks like cat food?) and it did help a lot to keep weight on a large warmblood cross with no teeth during the winter. Just depends on whether he's lacking in protein or not in addition to just needing weight.
 

chandab

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Fed at the appropriate amount the Strategy Healthy Edge might be enough, it might be a case of try it and see.
A ration balancer is often a good choice for these usually easy keepers; most are fed at about 1/4-1/3# daily for miniatures.
 

LostandFound

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I've never really been happy with Strategy anything, although I haven't tried the healthy edge. I'm feeding Omelene 200 right now which also has the outlast in it. I don't find it works in with the feed. If you get yourself a bag of outlast you can top dress as needed. So far every horse I have fed it to thinks it's the best treat they ever had. And I think it works. If I need to offer a treat for any reason I use a handful of it.
 

Kelly

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Nope!! Strategy HE didn’t work, Stormy decided he wasn’t going to be eating that anymore. So back on the ration balancer.

Stormy weighs about 140 and he is way too skinny!! What is the MAXIMUM amount of Purina Enrich Plus I can SAFELY feed him? And what is the MAXIMUM about of alfalfa hay I can SAFELY feed him?? I didn’t see Amplify at the store, but I did pick up some Manna Pro Senior Weight Accelerator that I just started him on. That stuff smells like candy, it makes me want to eat it! He is such a HARD keeper, HELP!
 

JFNM miniatures

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I haven’t had a very hard keeper mini so far, but I ‘d say to maybe get his teeth checked. One of my mares wouldn’t gain weight ( although she didn’t loose much) because her teeth needed to be floated, though it was not dramatic… once the vet had it fixed, she was good for the winter. maybe you already checked that, it’s just an idea I had.

I did have another horse that was a terrible hard keeper, due to his age… and the fact that he was loosing his teeth ( i mean, he was 30 years old) though not a mini. Some things that worked well was a soaked beet pulp mush, with 2 spoons of vegetable oil… I’d give him that with soaked alfafa/ timothy hay pellets… but that may not be necessary if Stormy already has enough hay…

Definitely ask your vet or horse nutritionist his/ her opinion though for quantities etc. before you try it, go gradual to avoid digestive problems.


And ditto to what the others said, ration balancer is like the basic thing after hay…

Maybe I’m off here, but for some reason, whenever I gave my horses ( minis) grain that was sugar high and starchy, they would have more energy and loose weight from being too active and burn too many calories in cold weather , which is why I just give ration balancer… But then it all depends on the situation.

Lastly if possible I’d definitely have a horse nutritionist come and determine what’s going on, and test your hay, recommend portions etc. My feed store has one and she comes every year to test my hay and adjust my horse’s diet for their current needs… one less worry for me.

Hope it helps :)
 

chandab

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Stormy weighs about 140 and he is way too skinny!! What is the MAXIMUM amount of Purina Enrich Plus I can SAFELY feed him? And what is the MAXIMUM about of alfalfa hay I can SAFELY feed him?? I didn’t see Amplify at the store, but I did pick up some Manna Pro Senior Weight Accelerator that I just started him on. That stuff smells like candy, it makes me want to eat it! He is such a HARD keeper, HELP!
Enrich is a ration balancer, so concentrated source of protein, vit/min, not meant to be fed in large quantities nor for weight gain. At only 140#, max he should probably get is like 1/4#; feeding directions are for .1-.2# per 100# body weight (so, .14#-.28# daily, or 2.24-4.48oz); Enrich is more dense than most pelleted feeds, so that's only like 1/2 cup max daily (standard dry measure kitchen cup). How much alfalfa does he get now, and is it baled hay or a processed form? If all he gets is alfalfa hay and no grass hay, he should probably be moved over to an alfalfa formula ration balancer for the minerals to be better balanced. If he still gets at least 1/2 grass hay, then the Enrich should be ok.
 

MaryFlora

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Lots of good ideas already on deck!

JFNM‘s thoughts on dental issues resonate due to my experiences with Buddy.

Buddy was elderly but also had molars removed (by vet) due to deep cracks and inflammation. The single biggest help in his weight gain were alfalfa pellets. He received 7# a day, two feedings.

Even if Stormy has healthy teeth, is it possible he isn’t able to chew properly to absorb the hay as needed, if that makes sense?
 

Kelly

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Yes, I do have his teeth floated every year. His next float is in March. So I wouldn’t think it would be his teeth??

He isn’t a huge fan of the alfalfa pellets which is why I switched to baled alfalfa hay. You gave Buddy 7 pounds of pellets a day?! WOW! I am only giving Stormy 1 pound a of baled alfalfa hay a day (half pound AM & half pound PM). He loves the alfalfa hay and gobbles it right up. Do y’all think it would be safe to increase his alfalfa? I think I had read somewhere that a horse shouldn’t get more than 50% of their hay ration in alfalfa hay. How much do you think I should give him? He also gets unlimited coastal hay, free choice during the day.

I know the ration balancer is a concentrate and you aren’t suppose to feed very much, but I am really trying to get weight on him. Right now we are working our way back up to .3 pounds daily. I was hoping I could increase that??

Stormy & Breezy run around like CRAZY horses all day playing. Stormy has always been very playful and now that Breezy is growing up, he too is becoming very playful!! Maybe I should separate them and lock them in a 4x4 stall so they can’t move and so they stop burning calories 🤣🤣🤣 😜😜 haha! JK!!! I don’t even have a 4x4 stall 🤣🤣

Also, I am really trying to avoid anything, pellets or beet pulp, that I would have to soak. 😝
 

JFNM miniatures

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Yes, I do have his teeth floated every year. His next float is in March. So I wouldn’t think it would be his teeth??

He isn’t a huge fan of the alfalfa pellets which is why I switched to baled alfalfa hay. You gave Buddy 7 pounds of pellets a day?! WOW! I am only giving Stormy 1 pound a of baled alfalfa hay a day (half pound AM & half pound PM). He loves the alfalfa hay and gobbles it right up. Do y’all think it would be safe to increase his alfalfa? I think I had read somewhere that a horse shouldn’t get more than 50% of their hay ration in alfalfa hay. How much do you think I should give him? He also gets unlimited coastal hay, free choice during the day.

I know the ration balancer is a concentrate and you aren’t suppose to feed very much, but I am really trying to get weight on him. Right now we are working our way back up to .3 pounds daily. I was hoping I could increase that??

Stormy & Breezy run around like CRAZY horses all day playing. Stormy has always been very playful and now that Breezy is growing up, he too is becoming very playful!! Maybe I should separate them and lock them in a 4x4 stall so they can’t move and so they stop burning calories 🤣🤣🤣 😜😜 haha! JK!!! I don’t even have a 4x4 stall 🤣🤣

Also, I am really trying to avoid anything, pellets or beet pulp, that I would have to soak. 😝

Well, I usually try to get their teeth floated before or at the start of winter, since that’s the time they need them the most.

I understand you don’t want to soak, I agree, it’s extra work, but in the end, it was worth it. I would put the beet to soak first thing when I got to the barn, and it takes about 30 minutes to soak with warm water and 60 minutes if cold water. By the time I was done with cleaning the stalls, paddocks etc, it was ready and I just put it in the feed box

Here is a very interesting article about feeding the healthy hard keeper:


I like it because it gives you steps to follow to help them put on pounds, according to the level of importance.

BTW, picture shows a VERY thin horse, but it’s an article for any horse that needs more weight, even just for a few extra pounds ;)

Come on Stormy!!! You can do it!
 

Cayuse

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I forget, have you treated him for ulcers? Those could make him picky about his food and unthrifty. Wait, I think you did treat him now that I think back. Did you treat for hindgut issues?
It might not hurt to get dental xrays just in case. I agree with JFNM and Mary Flora about that. I just had an experience with one of mine where his dental exams were fine but he kept going off his feed (and had other issues too) we finally had his head x-rayed and he had a mass in his sinus probably due to some prior dental issue.
 
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