<< If a horse is eating, we usually let them eat what they want. Usually they
choose hay. Is it better to try and get them to eat grain first, before
giving hay? >
Yes, I would prefer to see the carbs go in as a priority on the day of the
> I've had other riders much more experienced than I am tell me
that my horse is eating hay because that is what he needs, that it's the
best thing for him.>
This is an area of controversy--you've seen the free-choice mineral boxes,
etc. The actual studies I've seen indicate that the horse does not
spontaneously take in what he needs. With racehorses, a horse that doesn't eat
much grain is usually body sore. Also, horses won't be happy to eat what they
haven't seen much of lately. The only exception seems to be carrots.
>Forget bran mash during the event--wet or cook your grain.
>I think most people mix in a little bran to help get their horses to eat
the grain. I have cut back to almost no bran in the last year or so...the
horses seem to like plain soaked crimped oats and barley by itself. They
don't like corn soaked though. Still, they'll only eat a few bites here
and there. I doubt more than a pound or two all day during a 50 and maybe
2-4 pounds on a 100 in a 24 hour period. (after the finish they'll eat
That's where a more concentrated carbohydrate form might come in handy. With
racehorses that are nervous on raceday, we mix the carbo powder with water and
dose it to the back of the tongue.
>What other types of grains are other people feeding?
> How would you cook your grain?
We just mix it with hot water.
>I have to be careful at rides where it is warm with soaking the oats and
barley ahead of time. It only takes on afternoon in the warm temperatures
for the stuff to start to smell pretty rank.>
Yes, be very careful. Again, the concentrated powders or a drink like Gatorade
might be a better solution than grain. Vitaflex has a new carbo-loader that
is very inexpensive compared to the one we use with racehorses.
>& Dream Weaver...1025 miles
& Rocky...350 miles