What do you feed your big horses?

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Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2002
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Soxy is comeing home tommorow!
I am not overly fond of what they are feeding her so want to change it a bit. All she currently gets is half a bale of hay a day and some grass(working back out on it). She doesnt get any grain and the hay is just grass hay.

Cant wait to get her home. OF coarse the weather isnt the nicest. but I have a nice dry area for her should she want it. We have all the tack, new halter and lead for her. All we have to get is a saddle but I want to take her in and get fitted for it.
I have three saddle horses and 7 minis. Two saddle horses are on free choice grass hay and pasture plus loose minerals or supplement tub. The third saddle horse and my minis are all on Progressive Nutrition ProAdvantage grass formula (ration balancer) and grass hay. [The broodmares get mare/foal feed in addition to their ration balancer.]
ALL of our horses...... 2 QH's and our miniatures get fed Purina Strategy. We feed orchard grass hay. We also, feed daily Strongid C.

We are lucky that 6 months of the year, the big horses exist entirely on pasture. What I didn't realize, however, is that while they looked nice and fat and shiny, there were some nutritional deficiencies that showed up in one horse's hoof health. My vet recommended a supplement that was developed for our geographic area (Northwest Supplement for you NW folks) and I have seen an amazing improvement in the strength of his feet and his feathers (he's a clydesdale) grow like crazy now too, even though the farrier makes me trim them.

When they're not on pasture, they get grass hay equivalent to about 2% of their body weight, and a little beet pulp as a carrier for the supplement. My horses are all on the chubby side, but if one looked like it needed it, I would certainly up the hay and add more beet pulp and/or appropriate grain based feed.

Your new horse looks wonderful! I'm sure you'll have a great time getting to know her and what she likes to eat. Oh yeah, mine all eat about 10 pounds of carrots a week too (all together, not each!). Nah, they're not spoiled.

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Our saddle horses, (1 Arabian, 1 Quarter & 1 Thoroughbred) and Belgian Draft Horses are on grass/alfalfa mixed hay and oats that we add loose mineral, Vit E, selenium and a pinch of extruded soy bean meal. Luckily the pastures are starting to provide some nutrition also.
If she is in good health then I would just keep her on good hay and pasture w/ a salt/mineral block. Our horses large and small stay very healthy on grass and good hay. I wouldn't add grain unless you see there is a need.
I love Miniature Horses, but my true love and passion is with the full size horses. I have experience with numerous breeds, sizes and ages.

For thoughts. I love the Triple Crown line of feeds along with the Blue Seal feeds. Triple Crown is my most favorite when considering a SR feed.

A horse of Soxy's age I would recommend an overall good quality SR feed.. to start, work her way up to grain and the recommended lbs. as per label.

Something to consider.. All of my full size horses have always gotten a mix of a grain, beet pulp, BOSS and depending on the horse alfalfa cubes (soaked) - I had a FULL SIZE horse choke!- or alfalfa pellets.. Vitamin/Mineral supplements as needed.

I have had easy keepers and hard keepers and I can tell just by the pictures of Soxy she is on the easy keeper side.. though remember as with minis the older ones; when they drop weight, they drop weight and it is harder to bring them back as quick.. so stick with a simple and all around balanced diet..

A good grain, quality hay (if she needs 'extra' throw in some alfalfa)! A vitamin/mineral supplement and maybe, if needed in winter or if she is being ridden often, beet pulp..

Remember, it's the same for minis, just in larger amounts.

Good luck and congrats.

My partner is also interested in owning a riding horse of her own one day.. I can't wait till she gets to ride along with me!
Soxy is 17. I would like to get her on something now to keep her from loseing weight. Yes she is an easy keeper. I do know about horses her age. I have to minis that are older. One is a easy keeper the other is not. Soxy will have fence buddies with the neighbors two big horses who are around 25 and 27.
We have 5 riding horses. For part of the year they do great on pasture with a supplement, but during the winter months we feed them AT LEAST 2 flakes each twice a day, orchard grass. We had one of them start looking a little lean, so we pulled him for graining. He's been getting 6 cups of complete senior grain 2x a day with the 2 flakes......and he's looking great now. In a few weeks our pastures should be good enough that we can start pulling back on their hay.

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