What do you feed your natives?

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Hi,

I am potentially moving to DIY from part livery and realised I don't really take much notice of what my mare is being fed. At the moment she's on two token feeds a day just so she doesn't kick off when the others are fed and so she can have her supplements. But now that she is potentially going to be out 24/7 I was thinking I might go down to just 1 feed a day. She's a connemara and keeps her weight well.

So my question is, what do you have them on and do you do 1 or 2 smaller feeds? I would say we do between light and moderate work, I ride 5-6 times a week with a mixture of hacking (hill work and some lateral work) for an hour and schooling usually for 45 mins. We then do clinics maybe once or twice a month.

Thanks! I didn't even realise all these different feeds existed until I just had a browse of my nearby tack shop.
 

milliepops

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What are her supplements? And what is she currently getting? You shouldn't make changes too quickly.

I feed all mine a base of soaked grass nuts and often a balancer. Cheap and cheerful and just a few nuts swells into a decent volume for adding any powders etc.
My Welsh d who is competing regularly and working at a high level also has oats and linseed otherwise she doesn't have enough pizzazz and she drops condition.

Number of feeds would depend on yard routine for me, if they're just tokens.
E.g. everything gets fed together at my yard so while I would only feed the welshie twice a day normally as she's the only one who needs it, I put up another token for the other so she isn't left out.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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Well, if you are happy with her shape and way of going, get your current YO to write down what feed she is on and how much. Much easier than making changes to ponys diet.

Mine have differing needs, so 3 chubbers are on a tiny feed once a day, one of those has necessary additions for allergies.
The 4th has 2 or 3 daily monstrous feeds, all high fibre and filling stuff as she needs to get weight on.
 
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What are her supplements? And what is she currently getting? You shouldn't make changes too quickly.

She's on hi-fi lite and hi fi pony nuts then has garlic (in the summer) biotin and oestress in spring/summer. She gets probably about 2 scoops of both twice a day. I'm a novice owner so don't know much about feeding but I had a big new forest on loan a couple of years ago who didn't have a feed at all! So this seems like an awful lot to me now I really think about it.

Well, if you are happy with her shape and way of going, get your current YO to write down what feed she is on and how much. Much easier than making changes to ponys diet.
The only difference is she'll be going from little turnout (about 4-6 hours) with poor grass to 24/7 with actual grass! I'm concerned she'll balloon and won't need all that extra feed on top.
 

Leo Walker

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I'd stop the garlic and biotin immediately. Garlic is not very good for horses at all and they make biotin themselves unless seriously compromised. if shes doing ok on her current diet I'd keep the hifi light so you can give her a token handful after shes worked, and I always feed a mineral balancer, but thats personal preference! I cant see a native with her workload needing feed with access to decent grazing 24/7
 
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I'd stop the garlic and biotin immediately. Garlic is not very good for horses at all and they make biotin themselves unless seriously compromised.
I didn’t know that! Why is garlic bad for them? I’d always been told it helps the flies stay away (not that I’ve ever noticed a difference!) and I must admit I was always a little sceptical of how much difference biotin was making. Her feet are ok, bit flakey at times but no cracks and never lost a shoe.
 
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Mine is on reasonable grazing 24/7 and she gets a very small feed once a day (balancer and a small handful of chaff, plus her supplements).

I agree with Leo Walker about ditching the garlic, I am not a fan (if you do a search on Google, you can find articles that explain why).
 

be positive

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I'd stop the garlic and biotin immediately. Garlic is not very good for horses at all and they make biotin themselves unless seriously compromised. if shes doing ok on her current diet I'd keep the hifi light so you can give her a token handful after shes worked, and I always feed a mineral balancer, but thats personal preference! I cant see a native with her workload needing feed with access to decent grazing 24/7
She will definitely need the feed cutting back, if she is on next to no grass at the moment she is likely to gorge herself and you may need to increase the work/ restrict the grass if she gains weight too quickly, do not underestimate how well natives do on grass. Garlic and biotin have no place in the diet, garlic can upset the gut balance and the help it gives to keep flies away is debatable, I certainly noticed no difference when I used it in the past.
 
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Thanks for all your advice! Good point re gorging on grass, will bear that in mind.

I think I will gradually reduce her to just the one feed and bin the garlic and biotin! Will keep an eye on her weight too, we can do what we like with the field so I can restrict her access as required.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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She's on hi-fi lite and hi fi pony nuts then has garlic (in the summer) biotin and oestress in spring/summer. She gets probably about 2 scoops of both twice a day. I'm a novice owner so don't know much about feeding but I had a big new forest on loan a couple of years ago who didn't have a feed at all! So this seems like an awful lot to me now I really think about it.



The only difference is she'll be going from little turnout (about 4-6 hours) with poor grass to 24/7 with actual grass! I'm concerned she'll balloon and won't need all that extra feed on top.
That's a lot, I'd def just give a small token feed as per others suggestions above, handful of hifi and a drizzle of nuts.
 

Nudibranch

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Mine are on a 400m track 24/7. Old pasture, never fertilised and cross grazed with sheep. They have a handful of nuts with linseed, mag ox (our grazing is deficient) and salt. I fed hay once this winter!
 
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she might not need anything....my step-kids sec C gets a supplement scoop of chaff (literally a pinch!) just so he doesn't kick off when my sec B gets his marginally bigger feed of half a scoop chaff, a mug of oats, and a drizzle of corn oil.

the B is an average doer, tends to hold a steady weight all year round on ad lib hay, and un-restricted rough grass plus the above feed twice a day.

the C is a monstrously good doer, has to have very restricted poor grazing and soaked hay dished out in rationed intervals. despite working 6/7 days a week too he is still far fatter than i am comfortable with but dont know what else i can do!
 

conniegirl

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My section C is on good grazing and gets 2scoops of outshine a day and then some fibre beet to stop him from eating too fast!
Mine is in medium work but looks great and never a hint of lammi.
 
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