How Do You Feed a Senior OTTB Horse

In Nutrition & Diet by HorseMom MaryLeave a Comment

Q & A

Q~ Hello Mary, I have and OTTB.
He will be 15 on FEB 12th. I’ve had him for 10 years.
He has had many health problems.

Can you suggest what I should be feeding him and what supplements are best.
He currently is fed Purina Senior.
I also give him soaked Alfalfa/Timothy pellets and hay.
But is this good for him?
He is also a cribber.
What do you feed your horses?

A~ You mention he has many health problems and one of the best ways for him to have less health problems is having a diet that is more natural and less processed.

So for your first question to be…
“what should I be feeding him”
is absolutely the best place to start

Because there is no consistency as to the ingredients they put into grains, it’s constantly changing.

The way you can tell is when you look at the ingredient tag on the bag.

You’ll notice that they DON’T say things like corn, oats, barley, alfalfa, etc. whole food terms…

But you’ll see forage products or forage by products, grain products or grain by products, etc.

By using these by-products, it allows them to:

~have more room to put in less costly ingredients
(what is available at the time when ordering product for the manufacturing of the grain)

~they don’t have to be consistent with the formula

~and you as the consumer don’t know exactly what you are feeding every time you buy a bag of Purina grain.

I’m not singling them out any one, commercial grain company since many of them all do the very same thing

The best thing to do
is go to feed store and ask to go in the back and look at the tags of all of the grains they offer and see which ones come close to having whole natural grains listed on the tags, it can be either a pelleted grain or textured feed.

I find some of the smaller local grain companies have the better ingredients which are listed as corn, oats, barley, alfalfa, etc.

Watch for these 4 ingredients:

1 – Forage Products, 2 – Grain Products,
3 – Processed Grain, 4 – Roughage Products AND “may include one or more”

“Any of these 4 ingredients mean they don’t have to be consistent with the formula and you as the consumer don’t know exactly what you are feeding every time you buy a bag of commercial grain”

You will see some of the ingredients  on these feed tags and other commercial grains:

1 – Forage Products

may include one or more of the following
listed below

1.Alfalfa Meal, Dehydrated or Pellets
2. Alfalfa Hay, Ground
3. Alfalfa Meal, Suncured or Pellets
4.Coastal Bermudagrass Hay
5.Corn Plant, Dehydrated
6.Dehydrated Silage (Ensilage pellets)
7.Flax Plant Product
8.Ground Grass
9.Lespedeza Meal
10.Lespedeza Stem Meal
11.Soybean Hay, Ground

2 – Grain Products

may include one or more of the following
listed below

1. **Barley
2. Brown Rice, Ground
3. **Corn
4. Grain Sorghum
5. Mixed Feed Oats
6. **Oats
7. Rice, Brewers
8. Rice, Broken or Chipped
9. Rough Rice, Ground Paddy or Ground Rough
**No official definition for the grain product

3 – Processed Grain By-Products

may include one or more of the following
listed below

1.Aspirated Grain Fractions
2.Brewers Dried Grains
3.Buckwheat Middlings
4.Condensed Distillers Solubles
5.Condensed Fermented Corn Extractives
6.Corn Bran
7.Corn Flour
8.Corn Germ Meal
9.Corn Gluten Feed
10.Corn Gluten Meal
11.Corn Grits
12. Grain Sorghum Germ Cake
13. Grain Sorghum Germ Meal
14. Grain Sorghum Grits
15. Grain Sorghum Mill Feed
16. Hominy Feed
17. Malt Sprouts
18. Oat Groats
19. Oat Meal, Feeding
20. Peanut Skins
21. Pearl Barley By-Product
22. Rice Bran
23. Rice Polishings
24. Rye Middlings
25. Sorghum Grain Flour, Gelatinized
26. Sorghum Grain Flour, Partially Aspirated
27. Wheat Bran
28. Wheat Flour
29.Wheat Shorts
30. Wheat Germ Meal
31. Wheat Germ Meal, Defatted
32. Wheat Middlings
33. Wheat Mill Run
34. Wheat Red Dog
35. _______ Distillers Dried Grains
36. _______ Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles
37. _______ Distillers Dried Solubles
38. ****_______ flour
****Should designate type of grain with flour

4 – Roughage Products

may include one or more of the following
listed below

1.Almond Hulls
2.Apple Pectin Pulp, Dried
3.Apple Pomace, Dried
5.Barley Hulls
6.Barley Mill By-Product
7.Beet Pulp, Dried Plain
8.Buckwheat Hulls
9.Citrus Meal, Dried
10.Citrus Pulp, Dried
11.Citrus Seed Meal
12.Clipped Oat By-Product
13. Corn Cob Fractions
14.Corn Cob, Ground
15. Cottonseed Hulls
16. Flax Straw By-Product
17. Malt Hulls
18. Oat Hulls
19. Oat Mill By-Products
20.Peanut Hulls
21.Psyllium Seed Husk
22. Rice Hulls
23. Rice Mill By-Product
24. Rice Mill Run
25. Soybean Hulls
26. Soybean Mill Feed
27. Soybean Mill Run
28. Sunflower Hulls
29. Straw, Ground
30. Tomato Pomace, Dried

That means any of the items included under each listing can and will change so you never know exactly what they are getting.


What to do

I would try to feed a grain that has whole ingredients that are either ground and pelleted or are left whole. Depends on whether your horse can chew the whole grains enough to get the nutrients out of them.

My horses get pellets because they don’t chew the whole grains enough so they can digest the nutrients in them. They pass them whole in their manure.

Logo-HM-Approved_stamp300X300As for the alfalfa/timothy pellets and hay you are feeding, if you don’t have to soak them in order for him to eat them you could leave them dry so he can have a longer chewing to help with the cribbing.

He will get more satisfaction out chewing his pellets and hay than the cribbing.

For the supplements I would again look at the ingredients in them and pick the ones that have natural ingredients and ingredients that you can identify.

The better grains and hay you can feed the better your horse will feel.

I feed my horses a good quality hay, our supplement and small amount of grain made from mostly from forage and I don’t have to feed the high amounts that the commercial grain companies tell you to feed.

penny n bella

penny n bella

I’m feeding my horses for maintenance right now because in Connecticut with the snow they aren’t being worked.

I feed them (1.5%) of their body weight per day for forage (hay).

Then I feed them (.17%) of their body weight per day for grain.

My horse Bella weighs 1200 lbs x 1.5% = 18 lbs of hay a day and 1200 lbs x .17%= 2 lbs of grain a day.

My horse Penny is a very easier keeper and weighs less so she gets lower amounts of hay and grain a day.

If you’d like to see the chart of how much hay and grain to feed your horse per day by the NRC I can forward that to you.

You’re on the right track questioning his diet to help with his help problems.
It all starts with nutrition.

For our supplements you could feed him the senior horse supplement “Young Again”

If you have any other concerns or questions, by all means please let me know.


About the Author

HorseMom Mary

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I'm a Horse Mom and proud of it!  You can also find me incorporating natures process into the 1st pelleted organic and natural horse supplements in the world.

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