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Re: RC: Help! Feed question

>The barn where I keep my horse wants to put all the horses on Strategy,
>a pelleted feed by Purina.
I can't remember if you said *why* the barn owner wants to have all of the
horses on the same thing.  Is this included in your monthly board?

We have a big TB gelding in our barn that came to us billed as a "hard
keeper" -- he had been at another private barn for several months and had
been on a fairly large amount of extruded feed along with his hay.  (Also a
situation where the barn owner insisted that all of the horses be on the
same stuff -- each horse owner buying their share.)  

The horse was on the thin side when he arrived, but nothing that would
catch your attention on a glance and bring thoughts of calling authorities
to mind.  Since we didn't want to change his diet very quickly, we kept him
on the proportions that he had been on, watch him, and reassessed the
situation in a month.  During that month, he spent 2 weeks quarantined in
his stall (could go out to his small, attached paddock during the daytime)
and then 2 weeks of herd acclimation in an intermediate paddock that is
surrounded by pastures...not a LOT of exercise and only a very little bit
of grazing in the bigger paddock.  (His owner rode him very regularly but
not hard -- he was fairly fresh off the track and pretty psychotic -- he
had no desire to win but he was an incredible athlete so they would cattle
prod him or whip him to get him moving!  A rather high-strung young lad!

At the end of the first month at our place, he had gained well over 100#!
We kept the same feeding schedule for the next month to see how he'd do
with more activity since he would be out in the pasture with other
geldings...he gained another 100#!!  Turns out the barn owner wanted to
have everyone on the same stuff that she used because that way she didn't
have to buy any...and the owners thought they had "hard keepers".  I'd hate
to see what would have happened to Cowboy if I had *increased* his rations
right away!!  As it was, I was suddenly, unwittingly giving him more than
he was used to.

I'm not saying that this is the situation where you are just
brought to mind this one particular barn where everyone had to be on the
same thing.  I've heard some real schmucky things that have done by barn
owners and each time I'm pretty amazed.  You learn to pick up cues -- this
time it was the combo of "same food, large quantities, "hard keeper"" that
I learned.


PS  BTW...Cowboy's been here for several years now.  He is no longer
psychotic and he's every bit the talented athlete we thought he was.  He's
been trained dressage and western and is now learning sliding stops and
roll backs.  And he holds his weight on a very average amount of food.
Tyee Farm
Marysville, Wa.

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