Feeding/Diet Regimen & Hay types

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If anyone would be willing to share what they feed their mini. I have a yearling gelding and currently I am feeding - Triple crown lite, beet pulp, and a little bit of aloe, oil, and salt. I'm not sure if there are other options that I should be feeding him. If you could include the rate at which you feed what you are feeding that would be really helpful.

Also what are the pros and cons of different types of hay? I heard of a lady that was looking for alfalfa hay because she free feeds her yearlings on alfalfa, is alfalfa better than mixed grass or is it too strong for the miniature, let me know what you think.

I will attach a couple of pictures of my Dakota <3

Thank you in advance!!
------Also if there are any horse color experts out there, what color would you consider him? ---
1653587430383.png1653587468230.png
 

Marsha Cassada

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He looks good! You did not mention what kind of hay you are feeding. Since your state is next to mine, I suppose you have bermuda. Bermuda is a good hay. Alfalfa is good for many things, and I have heard of people who feed it exclusively, but I only use it as a supplement to my oat groats. I don't use a prepared feed, so my regimen is weird.
Your good prepared feed will have a balanced nutrition. But they do need hay for roughage. I would not choose alfalfa/grass mixed.
No help on color for your handsome boy!
 

MaryFlora

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Welcome alisun! Dakota is very pretty!

I feed a pelleted senior feed to all of my minis as they range in age from 15- 25. As Marsha states, commercial horse rations will have a balanced nutrition. Our hay is an upland grass hay with timothy and clover. I would not use alfalfa hay for my minis as it is a very rich hay and my horses don’t work hard enough to use up the calories.

In the warmer months they receive 1/2 pound senior feed twice a day plus hay.

You mentioned salt? If you are adding salt, have you considered a salt block? We have three 50# salt blocks in the barn area and it is always free choice. The salt stations are very popular even in the depth of winter!
 
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I add salt to help maintain hydration I use to use an electrolyte supplement but I was told by a nutritionist to only give the electrolyte supplement when he has worked up a sweat, otherwise supplement with a little bit of table salt to avoid the added sugars in the electrolyte. I may just go the salt block route in the future.
 

Silver City Heritage Farmstead

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Welcome to the forums! 🤗🥳

I agree, he's balanced and a nice mover. Hard to get a clear idea on color in moving shots. It also looks as if he's been clipped, which temporarily adds to the difficulty.

In the absence of distinguishable appaloosa characteristics, I'd say chestnut (red/strawberry) roan. If he came to you with papers, how do they have him, sire and dam listed?

Again, welcome and I hope you enjoying being part of our group.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I add salt to help maintain hydration I use to use an electrolyte supplement but I was told by a nutritionist to only give the electrolyte supplement when he has worked up a sweat, otherwise supplement with a little bit of table salt to avoid the added sugars in the electrolyte. I may just go the salt block route in the future.
I always top dress with pink himalyan salt. When I got my first horse 20 years ago, the vet suggested it to encourage drinking and I've done it ever since. 1/4 tsp. Also have a salt block.
 

betwys1

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Salt blocks are easy to find and attractively priced, and salt with added minerals are in the same league. There are also blocks which offer protein etc, at a considerably higher price. These tend to be gobbled up quickly, so I think of them as candy and avoid them. The others are normally provided for ad lib use, and last months.
 

Abby P

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Just know that the minerals that are in the "mineral" blocks are not helpful for horses. There is a lot of iron and not a lot else, they are made for cattle. So I would not rely on these blocks to actually fill any holes in a horse's diet (aside from salt), and would stick with the white blocks since they are just salt. It can be hard for a horse that isn't determined to get enough salt from a block though, so for some it might work better to offer loose salt or add it to feed.
 

Minimor

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Hay--free choice. I like grass hay, preferably brome, but currently am feeding a mixed meadow hay. I like some alfalfa for youngsters (weanings/yearlings) and pregnant/nursing mares. Oats is what mine get. I feed pellets only when I have a horse that needs a little something extra to put on a bit of weight. I use salt blocks and Equest mineral blocks. Equest is a made for horses block that is quite porous and they can bite off pieces rather than just lick it.
 

amyjoy85

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So, with the feed, triple crown has told me that the lite is not complete for smaller minis and to add their ration balancer. I decided (with the help of the TC rep) to feed mine their senior feed (even my yearling). It's very low sugars and nutritionally complete. I feed my puffball mini the balancer because she doesn't need more calories, just the vitamins and minerals. Other than that, I feed 1.5%-2% of their body weight in orchard grass hay.
 

Walt's Fault

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My mini gets 24/7 Tifton 44, he grazes on the little bit of grass and in the morning about 1/3 cup of Timothy pellets only because he OTTB brother get a morning bucket with supplements. He is almost 3 and has been on this diet for 2 years. All his lab work is always good and the vet said he is perfect and not to change a thing. He is VERY active running and playing and the only treats are baby carrots when he is training.
 

chandab

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So, with the feed, triple crown has told me that the lite is not complete for smaller minis and to add their ration balancer. Other than that, I feed 1.5%-2% of their body weight in orchard grass hay.
That doesn't make sense. TC Lite is absolutely appropriate for easy keeping adult minis, it is not a complete diet, but it is a fortified, low carb feed to be fed with forage. A lot of minis are fed TC Lite and do just fine when it's fed at the correct amount. TC Lite would not be enough nutrients for a yearling, so the ration balancer or senior would be better for a growing horse.
 

amyjoy85

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That doesn't make sense. TC Lite is absolutely appropriate for easy keeping adult minis, it is not a complete diet, but it is a fortified, low carb feed to be fed with forage. A lot of minis are fed TC Lite and do just fine when it's fed at the correct amount. TC Lite would not be enough nutrients for a yearling, so the ration balancer or senior would be better for a growing horse.
It didn't make sense to me either since it is marketed for minis too, but I have had 2 different reps on the phone tell me this. Was something about because of the weight of my minis they were not getting the full nutritional values listed per serving based on what I would have needed to feed them. Because of that they said to add the balancer along with the lite. My puffball gained on lite by itself (without added balancer) though, so just the balancer is great for her. I actually like the results of how mine look and act better than when they were on lite. I had fed it for quite a while before I switched.
 

chandab

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It didn't make sense to me either since it is marketed for minis too, but I have had 2 different reps on the phone tell me this. Was something about because of the weight of my minis they were not getting the full nutritional values listed per serving based on what I would have needed to feed them. Because of that they said to add the balancer along with the lite. My puffball gained on lite by itself (without added balancer) though, so just the balancer is great for her. I actually like the results of how mine look and act better than when they were on lite. I had fed it for quite a while before I switched.
So, the amount they needed for nutrients was too many calories; now that makes sense. TC Lite has a feeding rate of at least double that of the balancer, so the correct serving for size could be too many calories. For example; a 250# mini would get 1/4# of balancer, but Lite would be 1/2#, so could be too many calories, but if you reduce to meet calories, you are short on nutrients, so the balancer is a better choice on a calorie stand point for the same nutrients.
 

charlottein

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My 2 year old and 15 year old both get grass hay - they eat that best. I don't do alfalfa because they gain too much weight. For ration balancer they are on 1/2 cup Buckeye Grow and Win, which I like because of the low sugar/calorie content, but annoyingly I can only get from Chewy. They also get 1/2 a Majesty's Omega Wafer per day to help their coats (this is the first year I have been doing the Omega). They have a Himalayan salt lick - I get that type because it comes on a rope which is easiest for me to hang in their barn.
 

Walt's Fault

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In all my years with the full size versions I have found the healthiest horses were the ones treated like "horse". There are always exceptions but a horse is a horse and for the most part know haw to take care of them selves. Trust you gut, ask your vet and ferrier but most of all listen to your horse!
 

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