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Re: Endurance heavyweight (horse)
> food). How much can I safely cut back the food intake for a horse that is
> in training for one more 100 mile ride this month? This horse is turned
> out 24/7 on an 8 acre grassy pasture with three other horses. He gets
> occasional hay to snack on and for a week or two pre-ride, and 2 pounds
You can start by cutting out the equine senior, the sweet feed and the hay
snacks. Good pasture is providing all the nutrition he needs (and
apparently then some), but you should still provide free choice salt (I
prefer loose, plain white salt). If he's still a tub o' guts and it's
really becoming an issue, you can slow down his grazing by either confining
him in a stall or drylot for part of the day/night; or if that's not
feasible, there are some grazing muzzles around that work pretty well to
slow down their grazing without preventing it entirely. If you do that,
consider using a breakaway halter so if he gets hung up, he won't
For anyone else with the same problem who's horse is on hay instead of
pasture, the basic rule of thumb is that a horse should ALWAYS get a bare
minimum of 1% of his body weight per day in forage dryweight to maintain gut
integrity. Allowing for water content, assume a bare minimum of about 12-13
lbs of hay for a 1000-lb horse. 1.5% is probably safer, which is roughly
16-18 lbs of hay for a 1000-lb horse.
Hope this helps.
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