Kachina is currently on that basic diet. She lives outside. In the winter/spring she is in a pen with a round bale of hay in a slow feed net, so she can eat small amounts throughout the day. In the summer she lives in a huge pasture of about 120 acres of mixed native grasses. In either place she has constant access to water through heated automatic waterers. She also gets free choice salt/minerals, though that can be a little less regular at times. The final part of the puzzle is treats. I use treats as positive reinforcement so she gets a couple good handfuls during grooming, tacking up, putting away etc.
Her diet is working for her, she maintains a good, steady weight, and she has good quality hair and feet, with no health problems. However, I am considering adding something else to her diet to help ensure she is getting complete nutrition, and also to help support muscle growth. Correct work and saddle fit have been developing her topline a bit, but it has been slow and I want to ensure that it isn't being held back by diet-related reasons.
What would you suggest I add? I would welcome both specific product suggestions, links to useful nutrition articles, or general advice about re: carbs/fat/protein etc.
|Early summer grazing|
One important note is that my barn does not feed any grain or supplements. This gives me a lot of flexibility in what I buy, and I can mix things to whatever proportion; however, since I will be feeding myself, it needs to be something that only requires once a day feeding, and that can be missed on days I can't make it out to the barn.
Some additional information:
- She is currently on a general mixed hay. It is mostly grasses with a little bit of alfalfa within it. I'm not sure exactly how that compares to some of the other types of hay available throughout north america, but I do know that Alberta hay is generally considered to be good quality hay (the only issue is when droughts mean there isn't enough of it). The pasture is all grasses (and weeds), no alfalfa.
- She is in light work, only being ridden 2-5 hours/week and nothing terribly strenuous
- She doesn't need any more energy. I would say her energy levels are pretty good right now, but tending towards high, so something calming wouldn't be a bad thing
- Kachina is going to be 15 years old this year, but she doesn't act like a senior horse in most ways. I haven't ever seen even a hint of any joint stiffness etc.
- I can fix her salt/minerals separately if need be, but I wouldn't be opposed to an all-in-one type of solution.
- Her haircoat is good, but it could probably be better
- I'm in Canada, so SmartPaks is out. Whatever I get needs to be available in Canada. If it is stocked by Peavey Mart, UFA, or Co-op Agro that would be ideal, but I'm also open to ordering online.
Please help :-)
Please help :-)