Prefer to listen to this post?
Scottie bucks a lot of the trends you would associate with a typical thoroughbred. He is an incredibly good doer and doesn’t really get fizzy on certain types of heating food. This makes my life pretty easy as I don’t need to worry too much about what I am putting in him, meaning I was free to experiment a bit to find the perfect feed for him.
Plenty of nutrition
I think a mistake lots of people make with good doers is to cut out hard feed and feed only forage. While this is a great option, unless you have really good quality hay, there is a good chance your horse might be missing out on vital nutrients. I have always loved the idea of feeding a balancer as the main part of your horse’s diet as then you know they are getting the building blocks of everything they need. You can add extra calories or supplements in if they need them.
Scottie has Baileys Lo Cal balancer. One of the best things about this being the main staple of his diet is that I don’t have to change his feed when his work load is dipping up and down with how his rehab is going. He can keep getting all the nutrients he needs without me worrying about him piling on the pounds.
Bulking out with forage
If you have ever seen a horse with choke it is pretty scary. I like to put a form of forage in Scottie’s feed to slow him down and encourage him to chew. If we eat too quickly or don’t chew our food we can choke or get belly ache. So it’s not surprising that the same thing can happen to our horses. So it is important to make sure they slow down and chew their food.
So while Scottie doesn’t need any extra calories, I like to add some chaff to his feed to slow him down. Plus it makes his feeds look bigger than just a cup of balancer! I’ve used a lot of different chaffs over the years from molasses free alfa a from HiFi lite. But now I feed Honeychop Plus Herbs. It is alfalfa free.
While I never thought Scottie had a problem with alfalfa, since cutting it out of his diet I have seen an improvement in him. He always used to get a runny tummy when the spring grass came through, what I put down to sugar. This is why I cut out as much sugar as I could from his diet but it never made much of an impact. But since removing alfalfa he has hardly had a bad stomach at all, nearly 3 years on!
Since Scottie’s injury and long rehab, I have dabbled with a few different joint supplements, hoping to keep him comfortable. I have a stash of bute for when he is sore, although I can’t remember the last time he needed some. But I have decided that joint supplements probably aren’t the way forward. I have instead started feeding him Devils Claw Root. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and is often referred to as a natural bute substitute. While it’s too hard to say whether it is making a difference or not, it’s cheap and shouldn’t do him any harm in the long run.
Last Updated on 03/07/2021