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[RC] [RC] Adding Fat - Patti

It's a bermuda hay he gets couple flakes morning and night and is turned out

on grass for a few hours.

He also eats beet pulp twice a day about 3 dry cups before soaking it. The

hay is a bermuda cross not a coastal type hay.. is high in protein about 21

percent.. He has enough hay offered to him that at times there will stll be some there in the morning.

Not low on the totem pole only two horses and when it comes to food he is

top dog.


A high crude protein level doesn't always correlate with adequate energy (calorie) levels. And while high protein in itself isn't actually harmful, there is some cost to the metabolism in having to excrete the excess. 

Another factor could be that you have nice low sugar/starch hay and are also feeding a "controlled starch and sugar level" feed - he simply might not be getting enough carbohydrates to feed his work so is calling on his base for energy. (Dr. Kellon has often pointed out to us on the Cushings list that horses returning to intense work after a "low carb" rehab often hit an energy wall if their carbs continue to be restricted while working.)

As already pointed out, a "variety" of forage is a good place to start, but if you can't provide a hay smorgasbord, having the hay tested to identify how well (or poorly) it meets requirements is better than guessing that maybe more of this or that is needed (and usually cheaper in the long run - a pretty comprehensive hay analysis is only $29 at 


You can use the Nutrient Requirements of Horses 2007 computer model at http://nrc88.nas.edu/nrh/ for a guideline to your horse's requirements. 

If the math is a little daunting (though there are only two formulas you need to learn - one for "ppm" and one for "%"), the spreadsheets I use for ration balancing have always been free for the asking (and are also available in the Cushing's list files though you need to join to access them there.)

Also - check out all of Dr. Susan G's articles - 

http://shady-acres.com/susan/index.shtml , especially the "Beating the Metabolic Pull" series and the four above that.

Patti K

Vail AZ