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Re: Proper nourishment

Kathy, a lot depends on the quality of the pasture your mare is getting,
and also on what the composition is of the pellets she's currently
supplemented with.  Are they primarily alfalfa with some grain added, or
are they mostly grain?  How many pounds is in a "scoop"?  Are you sure
she's getting her fair share, and isn't getting chased away by
established members of the herd, or are the horses put into stalls to be
fed?  Is the pasture green, or is it just dried up brown stuff?  Is the
pasture irrigated or maintained in any way, or do the horses just eat
whatever happens to grow?

Without knowing a little more, my guess is that she deficient primarily
in energy.  80-90% of the food a horse eats on a daily basis is utilized
for energy production in one way or another, so if she seems lackluster
and tires quickly, she's probably just not getting enough. Does she just
seem to be lacking energy, or is she also losing weight?  Or have you
not been there long enough to notice a difference yet?

If you can give me more specific details, I can make some specific

In the meantime, the first thing you absolutely need to do is provide
her with free-choice TM salt.  If this means putting out a block that
everyone else licks at as well, so be it.

Talk to ya soon (and welcome to ridecamp),

Susan Garlinghouse, MS
Equine Research Center
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Kathryn Zuckweiler wrote:
> Hello!  I am a new subscriber to ridecamp, and for that matter, new to
> endurance riding.  My 5-year-old Arab/QH mare and I have a background
> in lower-level dressage and pleasure trail riding.  We really want to
> spend more time outdoors and less time in the ring, and would be
> grateful for any advice on conditioning for novice-level endurance
> rides.
> Also, we have just moved (last month) from Iowa City, Iowa to Houston,
> Texas.  In Iowa, she was pastured on rich green grass and thrived (she
> did not get any grain).  In Texas, she is pastured, but the pasture
> has minimal nutritional value and she receives one scoop of an oats,
> corn, alfalfa mixture twice daily.  There are no salt licks available
> to any of the horses in the barn where we board (this is foreign to me
> - all our horses in Iowa had 24-hour access to trace-mineralized salt
> licks).  I am concerned that my mare is undernourished as she has
> considerably less-than-normal energy and tires quickly.  Her temp and
> other vital signs are normal, she is eating well (and actually seems
> hungry often to me), she is alert (I really don't believe she is
> depressed - she has made friends with two of the horses she is
> pastured with and meets me at the gate like normal). Obviously I need
> to supplement her diet and would like any input anybody may be able to
> offer.  I have considered alfalfa pellets (more than what is in the
> grain she already gets) and perhaps a vitamin supplement.  I am
> unfamiliar with feeding for proper nutrition in this climate, and I
> also am unfamiliar with any nutritional needs specific to endurance
> riding.
> Any input would be welcome.  You may respond to me privately at
>  Thanks very much!
> Kathy and Bala Fire
> _________________________________________________________
> Get your free address at

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