Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] Question for the Food buffs - Tracey Lomax

I’ve been reading through the posts on beet pulp and energy sources, and I have some questions that I’d like to put to the list, if you don’t mind helping out a non-endurance rider for a bit.


I have four OTT TBs, in varying degrees of work, and all in good condition, weight-wise.  My MO when it comes to feeding is to supply forage for weight and only to feed as much grain as is necessary for energy.  What I’m finding, though, is that two of my TBs (one a young horse who has done some small events and is doing low-level dressage and show-jumping in what is now our off season, and the other is Diceman, who is coming back slowly after horse sickness) don’t require ANY grain in order to have sufficient energy levels for their work.


Barney, when he’s in full work, is ridden five times per week for between 45 minutes and 2 hours.  I generally jump him once a week, and once a week we either go on a slow hack or I do road work.  The other days are schooling on the flat.  Dice is currently only working about three or four times a week for about half an hour, and no fast work’s involved.  Both Barney and Dice get 400g shredded beet pulp per day plus 800grams shandy chaff (chopped Lucerne / alfalfa and chopped oat hay) split over two meals.  They also get a flake of Lucerne each at night and two hay nets (our local hay is not the same as yours so I haven’t gone into detail about it but it is the best I can buy at any given time).  Diceman is positively obese and I had a choice between bringing him back into work earlier than I would have liked or dieting him (difficult, when you’re not feeding much!)  Dice is quite laid-back in his work, Barney is hotter and more fiery and sensitive, but neither is a “sluggard” and both are forward-going.


I worried about vitamin / mineral deficiencies so I add some kelp to their rations and I also feed a hoof supplement as they’re both currently barefoot.  And a joint supplement.  Both are 16hh on tippy-toes, and both are stocky.  Dice is a “typey” TB but Barney is built like a quarter-horse. When he was in full work (he’s currently having a month off as I’m not in the right “space” to be riding), Barney was getting 500g of a 14% Sports Mix grain concentrate spread over two meals (ie 250g morning and night).  Dice hasn’t been in what I consider “full work” by my standards (which are even lower than yours J)


So here’s my question : if these horses can both keep condition and energy levels on forage alone, is there any reason to feed grain?  And if so, can I get away with feeding just oats, considering that I feed it only for energy?  I’m just finding that our local rations aren’t of consistent quality and the imported ones are really expensive.  Roderick also says that it’s a total waste of time when I’m feeding so little.


My other two horses are relatively uncomplicated.  Toc is in light work (ticking over, basically) and he gets 500 grams of a maintenance ration added to his beet pulp and shandy chaff, plus some full fat soya, and Harry gets 1kg of Sports Mix, plus shandy chaff, sugar beet pulp and full fat soya, but he’s a big, still-growing horse who needs the additional energy. 


If I do decide to go the “no grain” route, is there anything I should be adding to the food by way of supplements, over and above what I am feeding?



(very unpopular with the local feed merchants)