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[RC] Nutrition questions & feeding fat - Marlene Moss

I have a couple nutrition questions.? I am helping several people in my barn get started with endurance this year and while I have some opinions on nutrition and haven’t had any issues, I do want to make sure I’m passing on good information as well as continue learning myself.


My basic philosophy has been to keep it simple and not add “stuff” just cuz someone else is using it, but rather see a need and find a solution.? I primarily feed some good quality grass hay and add a little alfalfa (like a handful or half slice) just in case my hay is deficient in calcium.? No, I haven’t had it tested because we don’t have a consistent source during a year or from year to year.


I don’t feed huge amounts of grain, usually a pound or so of Strategy and provide a free choice mineral block, which takes them a long time to go through, so I think I must not be missing too much.? When we have horses come into our facility they usually charge through a couple blocks and then slow down dramatically.


During rides I offer a lot more alfalfa, feed beet pulp with lots more Strategy and Equine Sr. (probably a couple pounds of each for each feeding before the ride, at each vet check and after the ride).? I have not always been thrilled by the amount of food a couple of my horses eat during rides, but that’s been isolated to one horse that I think has ulcers and I no longer compete and keep on Neighlox and the other has only done one ride, so I don’t feel I have enough information on him yet.


So my first questions are 1)? during active conditioning and the ride season, should I be feeding a lot more than a pound of Strategy?? 2) should I be adding anything else to their general diet w/o a clear problem?? 3) should I be feeding more Strategy and Sr during the rides?? 4) should I be feeding other grains/supplements during the rides?? 5)? I know it is recommended to not feed a heavy grain meal within 4 hours of the start of the ride – what is the definition of a heavy grain meal?? 6) Is my beet pulp mix with Strategy and Sr too much “grain” for a couple hours before a ride?


The next subject is feeding fat.? I haven’t done this intentionally in the past, but it is one of the things I think I should be doing.? As I understand it, I should supplement fat on a general basis and then withdraw during a ride.? So my questions here are 1) is that protocol correct?? 2) how much fat are we talking about?? 3) what fat sources have people found generally affordable and available in rural areas?? We do have rice bran at our feed store and I’ve been adding a half cup to a couple horses.? If that amount isn’t sufficient to “make a difference” then I should probably increase or else I’m just wasting money!


Just for more background information, we will be starting the season with 25’s to get the newbies up to speed and then working toward a couple slow 50’s by the end of the season for a few of us.? Next year I want to do primarily 50’s, getting into the range of 6-7 hours or maybe a little faster depending upon the terrain and the particular horse by the end of the season.


Thank you in advance for any advice!!!!



Marlene Moss

www.LosPinos-CO.com - Boarding, Sales and More

www.KineticEquineAnalysis.com - Saddle Fitting


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