Monday, September 22, 2014

My Mare's Diet

Howdy Friends

Recently a few friends asked about my feeding protocol for Kessy. I'm a simple fellow, and as in everything I do I like to keep feeding simple too. Sure years ago when I played in the Competitive and Endurance world I bought into feeding all this, and lots of that, all kind of seeds, grain, beet pulp, supplements, and on and on. But I soon realized what I reasoned to be the many problems with all that.

 As I said last week in our Coffee Clutch, "Practices For A Healthy Happy Horse," – "Horses are designed to be forage eaters." It is my belief that, just as with we humans, most health issues can be traced to diet and exercise. The epidemic of ulcers in horses is just one ready example. My personal rule for all things equine is, "No shoes, no stalls, no grain, limited grass, and seeing everything from the horse's point of view."

Kessy's feeding protocol is very simple, and part of that protocol is housing. Exercise is key to good health and I include it in diet discussion. Kessy enjoys a Paddock Paradise habitat in the trees, no grass, a run-in, no stall.

We use the one inch slow hay feed nets located at several locations in her paradise to encourage movement. We feed tested hay and I weigh each bag. Kessy weighs 925 pounds; she gets a total of 20 pounds a day in her nets. I fill the bags morning and evening, exactly 5 pounds in each of 2 bags – the one inch nets keep her happily busy for the day and night. I hang the bags so they just touch the ground so she is eating in the grazing potion.
Kessy and her pals enjoying the day
Morning she also gets exactly half of pound of soaked timothy cubes. In that I mix, 1 teaspoon sea salt, her enzymes and vitamins ... I have used Advanced Biological Concepts for 15 years, they are totally organic and gmo free, and I'm happy to recommend them, and their support team. I feed their ABC-Plus Enzymes, their A and B mix vitamins and Rush Creek minerals. Minerals are free choice as well as Redmond salt. Water of course is always available and tub kept spotless.

Evenings Kessy gets exactly half a pound of soaked timothy cubes with her enzymes and one teaspoon iodine salt. Bedtime she gets a handful of fresh vegetables, and a slice of apple.

That's it, simple. I see no need for costly and crazy supplements that can confuse the digestion system and even the immune system. Kessy looks great, hoofs rock crushing hard, coat as glossy as a new penny, eyes glistening, attitude sharp. She's a happy girl, and that makes me happy.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry

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