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mistuarabians
Recently we have had a lot of questions on health and medical conditions. I guess this sparked a question in me. This is not meant to say one way is better than the other or you are doing it wrong, and I know I am right-
I am wondering if we (as humans) trying to take care of our horses in the best manner possible are really doing too much for them? Do you think that maybe we are causing these medical problems- whether how we feed- too much, to little- how we feed the mare while in foal, allowing horses to graze more or less- stalled too muc, too many supplements and special feeds ect? I think you all get the point-
I just wonder if we are the demise of the horses health-


I guess I have been very lucky as far as medical problems go- (knock on some serious wood) aside from getting a mare that had founder pretty seriously before (she is doing wonderful now- her feet look great and her new growth shows how well her body has been doing) I have been lucky not to have problems- I am wondering what I do differently that may make it less likely to have problems.
Some people get worried about me feeding free choice alfalfa (large square bales) to my pregnant broodmares during the winter time. But here the temp can get in the 20's to teens for many days (as it has)- and these horses HATE being inside- they would rather stay in the rain and snow then sit in a stall all day.... Also is is bad that I can rotate my pastures during the summer time and not feed half my herd and they can (live off the land) and actually look better than they do when I interveen with feedings.

I guess also I would like to see what others do and why you think it works well for your climate...


Thanks-
Jessica
Aimbri
Hi Jessica,

I keep most of my horses outside year round, and it gets COLD here (I live in Canada). I find I have a LOT less health problems than those who stall their horses almost all the time, or even those who stall theirs at night. For horses outside, I have NEVER had a case of pneumonia or any respiratory problems at all. I have several horses that are over 20, and have NEVER had a horse with heaves or anything similar.

Also, I do NOT immunize against West Nile. My horses were in the control group (not vaccinated) and all but one had aquired immunity, in fact their titres were increasing. I have only ever had 2 horses affected with West Nile. I recognized it right away. Both were treated and both survived. I have known several people locally who immunized for West Nile, and some of their horses still got ill and some of their horses still died!

I find that young horses (foals and yearlings) who are outside, on pasture most of the time ,develop stronger legs and feet. I provide free choice feed for them, and am feeding a lot less grain than I used to. They do fine with that. The only ones who get grain are the mares with foals at side, sometimes the young horses, and sometimes the stallions (usually during breeding season when they aren't eating as much as they should).

I agree with you that it is very possible that a lot of the current problems are feed and care related. We are caring for them TOO well, sometimes and it can be a detriment to them.

It has also been my experience that live cover is the best route to go with breeding, even though I am Certified as an Equine AI Technician. Mares who have a lot of problems conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy, often times produce daughters who also have problems. Of course, this does not include older mares, or ones who have problems for some man-made reasons.

My theory is that if we keep things as close to natural as possible, we have healthier and happier horses.

Jeannette
Nadj al Nur
I agree. We DO overfeed etc. I am also in Canada (where it has been -30 for the last few days) and my horses are out at least 14 hours a day. They would be out all the time, except for a predatory pck of dogs that never seems to get quite erradicated, so, at night, they are in. They get only grass mix hay, and very little grain. They do get a vitamin suppliment, because our soil here is deficient in calcium and selenium. I have never had health issues, except for one mare who is insulin resistant, and she is now doing very well too.
Cathy
Chiron
In my own mind, I am sure we are causing a lot of the problems now seen.
I remember very well the first "diabetic" horse...what we now call cushings/insulin resistent.....it was about 1971 in an older Standardbred mare belonging to a friend. The Vets themselves were surprised by the bloodwork because it was SO rare. Now is seems that everybody has or knows at least 1 Cushings horse unsure.gif
I'd had CMK horses (before the label) without "Club foot" problems. Then I started looking at sEs I'd remember seeing a yearliing then a year or two later there was a club foot.???? Bad trimming maybe. unsure.gif Finally got a sEmare of my own bred to s sE with good feet. Baby normal....until about 18 months the lo & behold starting to club. As I do my own farrier work I was aggressive at keeping the feet balbanced but.... Re-evaluated the feed/exercise progrem & voila....No more feet trying to go "clubby".
Our horses are, in most families, a bare 100 years from liviing in extreme conditions. The sE even less as Egypt as seen many ups & downs in the care of the horses. So, yes, I think we are overdoing the feed & suppliment & short changing them on the exercise. Raswan reported that it was not uncommon for a yearling to have traveled upwards of 3000 miles!!!! The Arab has developed a metabolism to handle that kindj of life style. Not the pampered poodle treatment they get today.
As always JMHO cool.gif

Edit to add: Sorry for the typos,,,It is COLD here & poor old fingers are getting confused blink.gif
HLM
Dear Jeanette and cathy

you are on the right track. We believe as you do and our horses are outside year round, except if in training. But even then they are turned out for the rest of the time.

I agree, too much new stuff is used, all sorts of inventions too, and it depends on the climate and soil one is in. We have limestone soil, our pastures never are higher than 9-10percent protein so we do feed twice daily grain and our youngsters and the other get between 10-12 lbs daily, some even more, But we watch what contents the feed has (we feed pallets) and we feed ONLY grass hay.In our climate alfalfa is not good, it ferments too quickly and gas colics then are common. Even the Tb industry changed to grass hay by and large years go. Lost too many horses on colic.

Ouers went through two taugh hurricans, temperatures which the od day went down to 19F, and during this summer for many weeks up to 112-114F , unbearable, yet they would lie in the hot sand enjoying it. they wont even take electrolites so we gave that up long ago. they also dont lick the salt/mineral blocks, but in the feed is enough on what they need, so we do not worry about it.

But we do innoculate against EW/E, West Nile ,Tet.and give flu shots, when horses are being shipped only.So far so good. We have some 500 different species of insects in Florida and strangely enough this year I hardly saw a mosquito or fly, which amazes me. We also have less song birds this year and geese and ducks which used to come in from the north on to our large lake have not shown up for 2-3 years either. We for some years no longer use weed killers or fertilizers on our pastures and the soil is now almost virgin again. But the hay we buy, which is very good, is fertilized.
This entire week was sunny and in the high eighties, unusual too for this time of the year. Horses dont have a winter coat either yet.

Each horse is different and we feed accordingly. But also our horses are healthy, develope their muscle and bone structur excellently and show so far no signs of any health problem whatsoever.

It is hard on horses to be in a stall most of the time, its boring and unhealthy.
But not everybody has the luxury of turning them out.

You are both so right, to stay as close as possible to what nature dictates. And I am a nature freeque. She has always been right.

Have a grand day
Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
BaileyArabians
I'm going to generalize but say that from the different stables that I have visited I'm seeing a lot of over/mis - management.

Even if everything were done perfectly, I still believe that the closer to how nature intended the better.

Scientifically, it just keeps being proven time and time again, we're just not as smart as we think we are.

Kathy
Marilee
Great discussion. Mine are outside too, and doing well. Not body shaved and not blanketed. Lots of feeds/supplements that are given can be harmful, eliminated with the excess, or even toxic in large amounts or when mixed with other feeds containing those same or related or opposite chemicals/minerals. Too much of one thing can produce a reduction in another ingredient.

Some friends in town lost several foals from pneumonia/respiratory problems over the years in inside barn/stalls with no/little turnout-- free exercise. I have gone into many a show barn and you can still smell the ammonia/chemicals from the urine/manure, no matter how much the stalls are cleaned out. So breathing all that day in and day out has got to be difficult and unhealthy.

My 2 boys (now passed on in their late 20s) were both raised on large pastures when they were young stallions, and I know it contributed greatly to their muscle development, strong tendons/ligaments/lung & heart capacity and effectiveness, not to mention their mental happiness. That is not what you see in stall raised horses.
Eyegor
I agree whole heartedly that we do pamper our horses into early demise.

Ours are outdoors 24-7. even the stallions, although technically in a stall even they still have a choice to walk under cover or walk into the wide open air. They all are barefoot and get fed on the ground, no fancy feeders etc.
That allows them to feed in a natural position and their nearly prehensile lips never pick up anything they do not want.
They do get trimmed since our ground is variably sandy and hard pan clay unles it rains then it is pure skating rink slippery. In general the trims are very light because the constant movement keeps the feet in shape pretty well.......

Most supplements are unnecessary and only when an imbalance is noted should an attempt to normalize be made. Over feeding causes more problems than it solves.

It is never wise to try and fool mother nature with growth hormones and steroids (halter horses) for in the end a horses life gets compromised.....
Razzmatazz
QUOTE (BaileyArabians @ Dec 9 2007, 02:26 PM)
Even if everything were done perfectly, I still believe that the closer to how nature intended the better.

Kathy
*


I heartily second that!

My horses all have water/salt/mineral/hay offered free choice year-round, 24/7. Other than when the pasture is too dry, they are pastured year round as well, or if they're off pasture, they are in a large turnout pen. Always they have shelter available, but it's rare they utilize it. The ONLY time I give feed/supplements is for pregnant mares and those under 2. (I have no elderly horses right now.) All are barefoot, and I trim them myself.

I do have a large stall available if needed; only once, for an early spring foal, have I needed to use it so far.

I have never had a sick horse in the 11 years we've been here on our acreage, where I can manage them as naturally as possible. Only twice have I had the vet out for an accident in that span of time. I am VERY fortunate, I realize that... and used to think it was luck. But I'm beginning to think more and more that it's because of them having the run of the pasture, with the "necessaries" given as free choice and the "extras" given sparingly, that they've been so healthy.

Granted, I don't have a huge herd, it's ranged from 3 - 7 in numbers.... but that's still numbers enough to have more than enough chance of things happening.

Please tell me I didn't just jinx myself for 2008 by posting this.... cool.gif
julieM
Great subject, I agree with you all, good management and treating a horse as a horse is the only true way to. Good pastures, clean water and freedom, should be the basis of any breeding program.
Ok you dont get a show horse that way, but you do give each horse the maximum possibility to mature correctly. I suppose you could call it long term breeding as opposed to short term quick results. Being a herbivore this is the only way a horse can pass 18 hours of every day eating and treating. Auto medication plays a big part in a horses life and to remove this possiblilty doesnt just take away the horses right to good health, it also eliminates a very important natural instinct.
Hard grain is also a necessity for young horses but I find that you realy have to take care when choosing a grain mix, because of the usage of industrial by products and bad proteins by many manufacturers. In the past I mixed my own grains but I find that certain milling practices have made it risky.
After saying that, I must admit that this last month has been hell with the bad weather and all the mud.
Yesterday I was trying to walk across the fields to check on the horses, with the wind almost blowing me over, struggling with the hood on my coat that I managed to tie tightly on to my head covering my eyes most of the time with my my eyebrows raised as high as possible to keep it on, it was not a pretty sight, but at least this time I didnt loose my boots in the mud. smile.gif

Juliem
julieM
Great subject, I agree with you all, good management and treating a horse as a horse is the only true way to. Good pastures, clean water and freedom, should be the basis of any breeding program.
Ok you dont get a show horse that way, but you do give each horse the maximum possibility to mature correctly. I suppose you could call it long term breeding as opposed to short term quick results. Being a herbivore this is the only way a horse can pass 18 hours of every day eating and treating. Auto medication plays a big part in a horses life and to remove this possiblilty doesnt just take away the horses right to good health, it also eliminates a very important natural instinct.
Hard grain is also a necessity for young horses but I find that you realy have to take care when choosing a grain mix, because of the usage of industrial by products and bad proteins by many manufacturers. In the past I mixed my own grains but I find that certain milling practices have made it risky.
After saying that, I must admit that this last month has been hell with the bad weather and all the mud.
Yesterday I was trying to walk across the fields to check on the horses, with the wind almost blowing me over, struggling with the hood on my coat that I managed to tie tightly on to my head covering my eyes most of the time with my my eyebrows raised as high as possible to keep it on, it was not a pretty sight, but at least this time I didnt loose my boots in the mud. smile.gif

Juliem
bterlaan
Our horses are healthier and become much older than horses living in the wild. No, we do not do much wrong, I think. Of course we make our mistakes, but nature is much, much harder on horses. The evolutionary theory of domestication is that the species as a whole is preserved more easily. Let somebody else look after you, let somebody else protect you against predators, see that you get protection against harsh weather end get enough to eat and drink also in winter or during droughts. Although I think we do make mistakes and yes, sometimes overdo it, on the whole I refuse to accept that feeling of guilt, of doing eveything wrong, that I know only too well from some circles in my home country (For the Dutch amongst you: I just finished reading Jan Wolkers: "De doodshoofdvlinder", where the oppressive atmosphere is very well described, as in "Terug naar Oegstgeest").
Echo1
I agree, horses are so much happier and healthier if they get to be outside. Our horses have stalls which open to pastures, so they can go in and out as they like. Most of the time, they choose to be outside.
Unless it's the first day of hunting season, or the ground is covered in ice, they are free to go outside.
As far as feed is concerned, good clean water, mineral salt block, and simple feed as well as good quality hay is what's essential. In the winter, I might give rice bran and warm water with corn oil, to give them a ' nice warm breakfast' with some extra calories but easily digested... or we'll do this around foaling time to broodmares after they've delivered a foal, but that's about as far out as we get in terms of creative feeding.
I think all these sweet feeds with tons of sugar or hay that is not cut right and has too much sugar is not good for a horse.
I agree with Chiron about the cushings. Not to mention some of these feeds and supplements with all the preservatives, you'd swear it gives a horse attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) ohmy.gif ohmy.gif
I prefer the " Keep It Simple" method. smile.gif
Mr Prospector
I agree that nature and nurture probably are the best way to raise horses and keep them healthy. But in the vein of the original question, I think that artificial breeding methods, pedigree breeding and closed breeding systems have been the main contributors to the genetic problems that are becoming more noticable. Then when the poor horse is compromised by being in a stall, then you start to develop serious problems.

I look here first to racehorses (TB's). They are susceptible to many of the strange things Arabians get (probably because they are based on Arabian breeding in the first place), but also you get people who breed broken down ex-racers to each other as well. (Okay, so I am probably guilty of this myself - lol).
Well, you justify it to youself as, it was a stress fracture that got the stallion out but he won group/grade races and the mare fell over and hurt herself, so that isn't her fault either. But sometimes a propensity for that sort of injury can be inherited as well. That is another kettle of fish we have not looked at either.
People in racing seriously believe that speed is genetic.

Then you have the breeders who have to breed every year, so raise the foal on a nurse mare. The baby may be getting mares milk, and may have got some immunity from its own mother before the change, however, I tend to believe that each mare produces milk as required by its own baby, not some other baby. Okay if the mare actually dies or rejects its foal, use another mare, but this artificial raising by another mare cannot be good. It may not cause the genetic problems, but it cannot help the baby completely for a long life. I understand that there are a few Arabian studs who do this as well. And in relation, I wont go into Embryo Transplant on that one either.

If a mare is not a good mother/producer, will her filly foals be any different? Apart from the genetics of that, she isn't setting them a good example - she teaches her daughters about being mothers. My own mare is a good mum when it comes to care and feeding from the udder, but in teaching them to eat food, she is a stealer. I have seen her take hay from her baby's mouth! Needless to say that once my babies are eating for themselves, they get fed separately to her.
(BTW this makes weaning very easy).

There is alot to consider in this question, and it is good that it has been raised. It doesn't hurt any of us to look at what we do, what we have done and think about what we will do in the future. Back to the books, back to the records, back to the drawingboard.

cheers
Karen
mistuarabians
Thank you for the response- it sounds like most of us are on the same page- it is good to know that- variations of care - do not = poor care. Just different.

I appreciate how you all take care of your horses per your area and need- it sounds like we all are learning what works best for our horses and climate. I just wish others wouldnt judge too quickly when someone doesnt do things the same way they do.

Jessica
Marilee
I agree. I have heard that having a show barn means that one's horses are happier and healthier. I don't think so. They need freedom and exercise. I know how I would feel cooped up in a stall. Mental health and physical health are so connected.
clearcreekarabians
Excellent subject! I too believe in letting horses be horses. They are so much healthier outside. Iím in the middle of an ice storm here in Oklahoma. The pasture horses can get into the barn but prefer to be outside on the round bales. They stay fat on pasture in the warm months, good fertilized grass hay in the winter and wormers. They havenít needed grain in several years even though they are being worked. When I first moved here 9 years ago, the pasture was baked clay and grass with little nutritional value. Kept dumping manure/bedding on it and running a plow over it 3-4 times a year. Now the soil is better and the grass is great. I put a weed-n-feed on it in the spring then bale it in July for their winter feed. They have a free choice mineral block which lasts 10-12 horses about 3 months. They just donít need it. The youngsters and the stallions are all out with access to sheds too. They are on a pellet feed (alfalfa hay is an ingredient for the higher fiber content) and grass hay. I also feed the broodmares and babies. My 26-year-old stallion is on Equine Senior and still bucks and dashes around like a youngster. The weanlings and yearlings are on the long pasture with the hills. Itís great to watch them run and play--knowing that itís great for their legs and lungs.
I do stall some when they are showing but they always get turned out for playtime. As soon as the shows are finished for the year, they get kicked out too. I am a fanatic about worming but I donít give a lot of vaccinations. When West Nile appeared that first year here, I had three with it. Got them in to the vet at the first sign of a problem. This was before I knew what to look for. They just didnít look right. Sure enough, it was the Nile. All three recovered without problems. The second year, I lost two-one warmblood cross and one who HAD been vaccinated. I havenít vaccinated since. One, because I donít have (literally) hundreds of dead blackbirds drowned in the water tanks (that was one tell tale sign) and, two, because horses do develop an immunity to these things. Of the 3 who survived, one is my favorite broodmare who was in foal and produced a healthy baby the following year, her full brother is running endurance and the old gelding is still ĎKing of the Pastureí.
I do stall the old horses and the pregnant mares when itís really snowy/icy. I donít want to risk a fall. They probably think Iím just being overprotective but when they get to 20+ they deserve a little extra pampering. Fortunately we donít get that much nasty winter weather. I think they are more content to be outside because it is natural for them. I wouldnít want to stand in a stall and stare at the walls 24/7, why should I force it on them?
Barbara
Marilee
Yes. It was down to the 30s this morning here (which is nothing compared to many of your areas) and my 31 year old Fadjur daughter who I keep out front in the big arena was racing around yelling and jumping up and down when I went out to feed. That exercise is sure better for her than being stuck in a barn or stall. She is barefoot and has very little arthritis for her age. I only wish I had gotten her when I first saw her at 3.
BasiliskBelka
A large Arabian stud was one of the first establishments here in the UK to have an 'American barn'. Once they had the barn, they *perpetually* had some respiratory infection or other doing the rounds of their stock.

Personally, I would never have an 'American barn' - they may make sense in the more extreme climates in the US, but here in the UK, IMO, they are more for the benefit of the humans than of the horses. You may get wet mucking out traditional British stables, but the horses in them get fresh air all the time they're indoors, plus the opportunity to see whatever's going on around the property, both of which are major benefits.

Our horses have always spent as much time outside as possible - 24 hours a day in the summer, and usually around 8-10 hours in the winter (depending on weather). Our black youngster does NOT like being stabled - or even rugged - so this year he has a field shelter so he can come and go as he wants and we'll see how he goes on with that.

Generally speaking, American show horse husbandry is a LOT more 'interventionist' than it is here in the UK, and IMO, most of it has little to do with the welfare of the horse (mental or physical). Performance horses here though do live very highly regulated regimes - and that DOES cause problems: I was told by someone from an eventing yard that even a minor change in diet or feeding schedule was likely to trigger colic.

Let them get on with being horses, I say - I'd rather have them hairy, dirty and happy than polished and conditioned like a diva and miserable with it.

Keren
BaileyArabians
Can someone post a couple of pictures:

1) American Barn

2) British Stables


so I can understand please.

Kathy
Georgia
Absolutely,
My horses are out 24/7.. rain, sleet, snow and ICE. They live on the side of a few large hills and very little flat land. There have been times when have gotten home from work and can't wait to get to the barn to see if any are still standing and they always are. They know how to take care of themselves. I believe the ones that get hurt the most, broken legs, injured etc are the ones that don't have the opportunity to learn to take care of themselves under different conditions.

The ones that get turned out for a few hours a day and race around like idiots, stalled in bad weather and I'm talking sprinkles will keep them in for days. Let alone snow, wind, ice.
The ones that can't wait for their owners to bring them in when it's hot or buggy, as they have never learned to tolerate such thing and as soon as one of those big black bull flys land on them they are off .. through the fence and being put down because they broke that leg. Sad as it maybe, it is true.

I have barbed wire fence and run in tin barns .. none of it safe. Yet, I can't remember having a serious injury or anything other than a scratch. Most of the edges of the barn are rubbed smooth where they scratch themselves on it, they just know how to do it with out hurting themselves.. I guess.

I've had a couple mild colics over the last 30 years or better and it was my older mares out on grass. and one colt many years ago that drug that moldy bale of hay from 20 foot from his stall and ate the whole thing.. still not sure how he got that thing..that was a bad colic. But, recovered. He was my one that would get hurt too, as he would lay down and slide under the fences and do all kinds of crazy things. Once he stood up on a ledge, got the board loose and his leg between the ledge and the board. he was standing there the next morning.. waiting on me to get him out. If I leave him out of the equation. nada! Not much biggrin.gif
Moses will be 30 in February, I sent him to a trainer when he was 4-5.. he
foundered while there, brought him home not to much trouble getting him better and has always been sound.. never a sick day in his life until a vet talked me into vaccinating for Strangles when we were stabled in a barn with strangles.
Moses had a bladder infection at about 25 years old.. gave some buca, and Apple cider Vinegar in his water from time to time now, Senior feed. Grass hay in the winter, all he wants.. and Grass in the summer (he still gets his senior feed in the summer too). He comes and goes as he pleases.

They won't lick on mineral salts, but they will and always have White block salt. Moses goes thought several a year.

I feed a complete feed to my mares and they only get a cup once a day, 2 cups in the winter (bad weather) once a day. more a treat than anything else.
They shed out slick and glossy, with good solid feet in the spring, so that's all I can hope for.

I had trouble with one older mare getting heavy cresty neck, witht he rich grass one spring/summer. I fed magnesium product and it went away.

I agree Jessica and all.. some are babied way to much and feed way to well.
I do believe, Arabians genetics lean them more to less.. just think of what they ate out on that desert and we feed WAY to well, even our grass pasture horses.

I saw my first wild horse in LasVegas area, she had meat on her bones, sleek and shining.. same with her foal.. & she was nursing too! She was nibbling on brush and I don't know what she ate. laugh.gif out there. But, she was very healthy.
No hay, no grain, no grass. ohmy.gif

Take care, great reading.

Georgia
diane
Great topic.

Hansi Ė you are on limestone soil... per your previous declarations, no wonder you donít have problems with bones ie legs etc!

QUOTE
Scientifically, it just keeps being proven time and time again, we're just not as smart as we think we are.
very quotable smile.gif

There is one view which I donít think has been raised but may have been hinted at... the state of the soils, how food/fodder is grown ie if fertilizer is used and what kind of fertilizer was used. In my own situation, I rely on bore water for the horses (and us when the rain tanks are dry) and the bore water is the result of water filtering through with everybody elseís fertilizer-over-use! Though, thankfully the natural filtering system, with ours at least, all is ok so far... I just hope that it remains that way.

QUOTE
Study Reveals that Nitrogen Fertilizers Deplete Soil Organic Carbon
Published: Oct. 29, 2007
Source: Saeed Khan (217-244-7592; s-ahmad1@uiuc.edu)
URBANA - The common practice of adding nitrogen fertilizer is believed to benefit the soil by building organic carbon, but four University of Illinois soil scientists dispute this view based on analyses of soil samples from the Morrow Plots that date back to before the current practice began.
The research, also drawing upon data from other long-term trials throughout the world, was conducted by U of I soil scientists Saeed Khan, Richard Mulvaney, Tim Ellsworth, and Charlie Boast. Their paper "The Myth of Nitrogen Fertilization for Soil Carbon Sequestration" is published in the November/December 2007 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.
"It is truly fortunate that researchers over the past 100 years have been diligent in collecting and storing samples from the U of I Morrow Plots in order to check how management practices have affected soil properties," said Khan. The Morrow Plots are America's oldest experimental field. "We were intrigued that corn growth and yields had been about 20 percent lower during the past 50 years for the north (continuous corn) than for the south (corn-oats-hay) end of the Morrow Plots, despite considerably greater inputs of fertilizer nitrogen and residues."

Read more from this article here
along with Wikipedia's notes on fertilizer use - scroll down to Risks

Whatís the betting that the nutritional statement on any yields from over fertilized ground isnít readily revised!

Iíd champion that feeding grain is not a necessity for young horses Ė or older ones. Non of my youngsters (or any other horse for that matter) has any form of grain with the exception of corn oil during the colder months. At a couple of mls of corn oil a day each during the colder days, this is minimal. They still bounce around biggrin.gif The drought has also seen us reduce the lucerne (alfalfa) hay / chaff. I feed no lucerne chaff and they get, on a good day, a huge handful of prime lucerne hay with their varied grass (cereals and grass) supplementation. There are many that highlight that for horses, lucerne is like candy for children... its got a high sugar content. Then add to this the often used sweetener Ė molasses (in pre-mixed feeds, blocks etc) as well as just pouring it on as well.

I do ad-lib kelp powder (the younger the age, the more they eat) in their shelters. The horses which need additional copper and/or sulphur, well they get this too. Those with FPSS you can see the difference it makes to their skin with these supplements. Calcium via dolomite and rock salt are also offered ad-lib as well ~ itís their choice - chomp, lick, muzzle etc or ignore. I remember reading in a couple of books/articles how nomadic Bedouin fed dates or date pulp to their horses. Dates (pulped) would have similar vitamin and mineral values as kelp powder. It really does depend on where you are living as to whether the soil is suitable (not over grazed, over produced, over fertilized compared with being able to produce anything etc) as to how beneficial it is to your horse and therefore what should be in their diet.

ohmy.gif, biggrin.gif Karen, good points. I know of someone who justifies a lot of circumspect breedings with his TBs as well smile.gif Even to the point of performing the same operation on the foals as he did for their dam! Not good. Along with the perception that bigger is better Ė regardless of the fact that bigger breaks down before achieving the intended discipline goal and is bred from blink.gif
Embyro Transfer? Latest release locally... from collected semen (not sure if it was frozen) an embryo was produced, collected, frozen, thawed and successfully implanted (in another mare because donnor mare was too busy) for a foal. It wonít be imp or iid anymore but also FET! laugh.gif

Keren Ė thanks for the tip re barn styles smile.gif
Mr Prospector
The unfortunate thing with many TB breeders, especially those breeding racehorses, is that they see $$$ before they see sense mad.gif

Your points on soil are well taken. the only fertiliser our soils get are horses manure biggrin.gif because underneath our soil are rocks and stones. It cannot be ploughed. We mow it and eventually, if we stayed long enough, we would build a good organic topsoil, however, we are thinking of finally buying our own place at the end of next year and will be careful about those soils in regard to our horses. We are very into sustainability, and try to use natural methods of soil improvement rather than fossil fuels and other chemicals.

Meanwhile to make up for those deficiencies we use a suppliment with a little extra biotin in it for feeding the mare. The reason for that is in regard to what I wrote, our farrier said TB's have shelly hooves until they are about 12 years old, much of it caused because of the taking off and putting on of shoes. Although the colt also had shelley hooves and never wore a shoe in his life.

Thanks, everyone for sharing on this topic.

cheers
Karen
Liz Salmon
The difference between American barns and British stables is that American barns are completely closed in and the stalls open into an under cover aisleway, although many have windows at the back of each stall, which can be opened. There are usually very wide openings at each end, which can be closed up, so it means that very little air can circulate.

British stables have 2 half doors which open to the outside, the top one can be left open all the time and closed if the rain is driving in that direction. Horses can have fresh air all the time.
caasius
I totally agree with living out(i have always had mine in until last 2yrs but now they let me know if they need to be in), my horses are all out inc my se stallion, some are clipped too though rugged nice and warm, they cant wait to be out even when come in for exercise

I have stables ready but at the min all mine are out and appear happier than they have ever been in, i even show mine from the field, they come in to be bathed day before we set off and prepped and again out when back, this method means a team of v relaxed horses

As prev mentioned the ammazing thing is no mud vever or ailments yet out daily one of mine gets mud fever
Desert Tag Arabians
This is interesting, because for years I've kept my horses out 24/7 in all sorts of weather. This winter I started stalling the mares some, in cold rains. Now one of them has a cold and is on antibiotics, and I haven't had anyone with a cold here for years.

My barn is more a British style barn I guess smile.gif. It's a partly enclosed shedrow, with stalls facing the outside and the horses can put their heads out over the doors.

My stallion is out 24/7 with a shelter, and he enjoys it. The problem is that now he detests being stalled, which can be a problem at shows (takes him a little while to settle down in a stall). But he sure is happy at home.

I do agree that the more natural setting for horses the better. My only problem with me personally is that I don't have a lot of acreage and the paddocks get muddy in the winter. Summertime always brings beautiful grass, so we try to consider it an annual temporary annoyance.
HLM
Dear Karen

Yes, our pastures only see horse manure, as we drag the pastures when needed.
We have to mowe our pastures down during the summer time every 2-3 weeks, because horses cant eat tall grass. this means weeds are cut down as well and no weed killer is needed.

Strangely enough the horses love to eat some weeds and according to our Agri people many weeds are very healthy and nutricious for horses.

Our stables have shed rows and the stalls have wire front and back and most of them a big run out. you will hardly ever smell amonia (urine) and of course we pick daily the droppings.Therefore, excellent circulation
But everything is climate oriented. We still are in the eighties (Fahrenheit) here
and the maintence of our farm and horses is much easier than in areas with harsh climate. It was different for us in Canada with often 8 months winter. But there we had heated stables and three indoor arenas in which we could daily turn the horses out for exercise. Most of them were under saddle anyway, so exercise was never a problem.

Fresh air and exercise are so important to grow up healthy horses. I feel so bad about our people living through those fires, floods, draughts and ice storms.
And there is little they can do about it other than praying.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
Nadj al Nur
My barn is of the centre aisle variety, however, it has the split doors which open into the paddocks. The tops are left open till it gets to about -5 F.
Cathy

PS.... HANSI.......LOL..... Don't make the weather in Canada worse than it is.........we only get FOUR months of winter, with a month of mud on either side.........
BaileyArabians
Thank you Liz,

so are the british like a shed-row type design? opening to the outside?

Kathy

QUOTE (Liz Salmon @ Dec 13 2007, 06:05 AM)
The difference between American barns and British stables is that American barns are completely closed in and the stalls open into an under cover aisleway, although many have windows at the back of each stall, which can be opened. There are usually very wide openings at each end, which can be closed up, so it means that very little air can circulate.

British stables have 2 half doors which open to the outside, the top one can be left open all the time and closed if the rain is driving in that direction. Horses can have fresh air all the time.
*
Andante1
ok - from a person who buys geldings as riding horses perspective.

I'm going to say - if you want to create a market for your unwanted colts that doesn't involve them feeding other people's puppies - I Implore you - performance test your breeding stock.

Saddle them up and get them 12 month's training undersaddle.

many breeders will say - but I'm not a good rider.

I'm not asking you to train them to FEI level dressage, I'm asking you to prove that your horses will accept a saddle, will happily stay sound trail riding, that your horses are actually horses YOU the breeder feel safe riding.

Why?

I've owned a couple of arabians - and am currently leasing one. I've had to destroy two of my purebreds because of inherent back soundness problems, and I'm looking at getting a vet to assess the back soundness of my current 3/4 arabian for the same problem.

And yet - I can go ride other breeds of horses and not have the same problem.

there is a reason why buyers of geldings will not look at arabians - its because they have a dreadful reputation as being unrideable. And honestly, with the run I'm having with soundness problems with arabians, I've decided that if this current horse proves to have an unfixable problem, he's the last arabian I'll ever own.

You cannot tell back problems and training problems when all the horse has to do is be nice to you at feed time. You can only tell rideability problems when you break them to saddle and WORK them. The market for your geldings is as family horses, the horse that people can do a little of everything with. I've been a huge believer in the breed, but because it is proving so difficult to find a sound trainable arabian that will hold up to light work, I am seriously looking at walking away from the breed.

As breeders - the future of the breed is in your hands - and if you don't start performance testing your breeding stock, you're going to create a horse that has lost the genetic characteristics it needs to be riding stock, so your horses will be condemned to be pets on the ends of strings and then meat for puppies.
Nadj al Nur
Anddante.......three for three sounds like pretty bad luck........did you get all these horses from the same place??? Have a vet check before you bought them ????
Cathy
Marilee
Yikes.

I have had sound horses with solid, non-dropped backs with all my bloodlines. My Ansata Ibn Sudan son, my El Hilal son, AK El Maleek daughter, Fadjur daughter (still sound here at 31) all lived to be into their late 20s with great backs. Perhaps there is a problem with the bloodlines you have??. blink.gif
Rebecca Davis
I agree that outdoor kept horses are not only happier but healthier. Of all the studies done on feral horses, they are overall healthier and the internal and external parasites even are on a very controlled level. They tend to stay sound and have wonderfully naturally flat hooves at the right angle. Stalled horses tend to create those bad habits like cribbing and even so far as self mutilation not really seen in the wild. We have never had any issues with any bad habits and all of our horses are able to run in free as they please. Yes I am sure there are lame horses in the wild but unfortunately they dont last long enough to really pass whatever lameness on that may have been inherited. There are other issues to touch base on, but overall they are healthier and happier, in all ways just being themselves.IMO biggrin.gif
The Messenger
YES WE ALL ARE INTERFERING WITH OUR HORSES HEALTH AS WE ARE WITH THE EARTH. IT WAS A PERFECT PLACE TO LIVE FOR ALL ANIMALS UNTIL MAN EVOLVED. IT IS SPECULATED BY SOME THAT UNTIL 100,000 YEARS AGO,ONLY ABOUT 10,000 HUMANS LIVED WE ALMOST DIED OUT. I PERSONALLY DO NOT BELIEVE IN DIVINE INTERVENTION, BUT SOMEHOW WE DID MULTIPLY AND NOW LOOK WHAT WE HAVE DONE. THE ARABIAN WAS SEPARATED FROM THE PRZEWALSKI'S HORSE AND BECAME THE PERFECT ANIMAL IT WAS AND THEN THE BEDU BEGAN TO TAME AND SELECTIVELY BREED IT. THEY DID A VERY GOOD JOB AS THEY BRED IT AS A 'USEFUL' ANIMAL AND ONE THAT COULD SURVIVE AND FLOURISH IN THE HARSHEST CONDITIONS. THEY ALSO BRED 'IN THE STRAIN', OR 'LINE BRED', SOMETHING THE MODERN BREEDER HAS FORGOTTEN TO DO. BUT MOST OF ALL, THEY KNEW HOW TO CULL. THEREFORE, WE HAVE BROUGHT SOME OF THE MEDICAL PROBLEMS TO OUR HORSES, YOU SPEAK OF FOUNDER AND THE FIRST THING I HAVE TO SAY, IS YOUR USE OF ALFALFA. I AM SURE YOU MUST KNOW OF THE HIGH CONTENT AND CONCENTRATION OF PROTEIN IN ALFALFA. IT MAKE A VERY HIGH FERMENTATION IN THE HORSES GUT, AND IT IS VERY HARD ON THE KIDNEYS AND PARTICULARLY IN THE WINTER, WHEN HORSES ARE NOT PRONE TO DRINK AS MUCH WATER AS THEY SHOULD, THIS HIGH PROTEIN CAN CAUSE KETOSIS WHICH IS ONE OF THE CAUSES OF FOUNDER. IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO ALFALFA THEN YOU MUST HAVE ACCESS TO TIMOTHY/ALFALFA MIX WHICH IS A MUCH BETTER CHOICE. LIVING IN FLORIDA HAS BEEN A REAL EDUCATION ABOUT ALFALFA. I HAVE SPOKEN TO MANY VETS OFF THE CUFF ABOUT THE HORRORS OF THE THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY AND THEIR USE OF ALFALFA. FLORIDA IN ITSELF IS THE WORST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO RAISE HORSES, IT'S JUST CONVENIENT FOR THE OWNERS. ALFALFA IS SO MISUSED HERE THAT IT IS 90% THE CAUSE OF FOUNDER AND COLIC.....AND OFTEN FURTHER RESULTS IN DEATH BECAUSE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR VET SERVICES IN TIME TO PREVENT A SURGERY WHICH CAN COST UP T0 $10,000, OR THE CARE FOR A NO LONGER USEFUL FOUNDERED HORSE. I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL THOROUGHBRED MARE I RESCUED. FOUNDERED, ROTATED 5degrees IN BOTH FRONT FEET, AND I HAVE TO PAY $145 EVERY 4-5 WEEKS FOR SPECIAL SHOES AND FLOW-IN PADS, AND SHE HAS TO HAVE CIMETEDINE, FOR HER ULCERS, AND SPECIAL SPILLERS COOL MIX FEED, AND EXPENSIVE JOINT FLUID BECAUSE MY BLACKSMITH IS SO GOOD THAT WE HAVE KEEP HER COMFORTABLE AND SOUND ENOUGH THAT SHE CAN RUN AROUND MY 5 ACRE FRONT YARD FOR GOING ON 8 YEARS NOW, BUT ONLY WHEN IT DOESN'T RAIN, BECAUSE IF SHE GETS HER FEET TOO WET, HER WHITE LINE WILL GET OUT OF CONTROL AND WE HAVE TO TREAT THAT TWICE A DAY. JEN IS NOW GOING ON 18 AND SHE IS A BEAUTIFUL LIVER CHESTNUT LAWN ORNAMENT. HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU THINK WOULD BE WILLING TO KEEP HER ALIVE AT THAT COST? THAT MY DEAR IS BECAUSE OF TOO MUCH ALFALFA. THAT IS HOW I SAVED HER FROM THE KILLER. I ONLY WANT TO MAKE A POINT THAT OTHER THAN YOUR HAY, YOUR TURN OUT OF YOUR HORSES IS GRAND. THEY ONLY NEED A COVERED AREA TO SEEK SHELTER FROM THE RAIN AND WIND AS THEY WOULD SEEK OUT IF THEY WERE IN THE WILD. IT SHOULD BE THEIR CHOICE. AND YES, WE HAVE INTERFERED WITH THEIR IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH THE WORMERS. WE ALL THOUGHT THE IVERMECTIN WAS A GODSEND, BUT THEN THE WHITE LINE STARTED SHOWING UP IN THE FEET. IT GOT RID OF THE PARASITES, BUT THEN THE HORSES IMMUNE SYSTEM WAS NO LONGER IN HIGH GEAR AND THEN THEY EYE SCRATCHES TURNED INTO EYE FUNGUSES, AND THEN THE SUMMER SORES TAKE FOREVER TO HEAL AND SO ON AND ON. SO ROTATE YOUR PASTURES, LEAVE SOME CHOICE WEEDS FOR MINERALS, AND PLEASE, GIVE UP THAT ALFALFA HAY. IT MAY BE CONVENIENT BUT I HAVE SEEN TOO MANY HORSES DIE FROM IT. THE MESSENGER
HLM
WOW, dear Messenger, you sound like I am talking. I always say :if God intended to grow Alfalfa in a sub tropical or tropical climate, he would grow it".

Yes, it is a killer, we never feed it, it is also so hard on the kidneys.
A mixture is okay sometimes.

Also we believe in nature. Example. two days ago we had about 82degreeF. Yesterday and today it went down for a few hours during the night to 17F.
did we blanket, hell no. Our horses, like others, went through two tough hurricans, and did not even get a scratch, while dozen of huge trees fell down, 10hour sheet rain, roofs torn off, etc.etc. 7days later 6 were on a tenthousand mile trip to the UAE, the mares were infoal and all had their foal in the UAE.Talk about being taugh, or intelligent to stay away from trees,you can leave it to these Arabs. Not only this, those 6 had never travelled before either, foaled outside and grew up outside with of course proper daily care. and talk about our stallions keeping their cool, and we had a dozen then. while I thought I be seeing hamburger the next day,fences broken and all mingled, instead I saw georgeous snow white horses, no bath could have accomplished, and brilliant chestnuts waiting for thei breakfast in their designated paddocks/area.. You see out of the bad comes something good, we saved shampoo but most of all learned how these horses behaved under these horrendous circumstances.. Fortunately when it rains here, it instantly sinks into the soil, and some runs into the lake,so no puddles either. I guess we are blessed. I guess our horses kept a cooler head than I, going bananas worrying over them. So there was another test, eh.

Cant remember ever they having a cold a snooty nose or any thing of illness. But we do worm and innoculate as necessary. To many insect species which transmit all sorts of thing. But I disagree with you, that Florida is no good for horses.
I think it is very good, espcially here in Northcentral Florida, because of its limestone. We also have such excellent water, and plenty of it, in all paddocks,pastures, stalls, etc.And if that would become a problem, we have a 180 acre clear lake,springfed by two springs 80 feet away from our house, which lies some 20feet above the lake.Pretty good fishing too, water skiing,boating ,swimming and whatever and total privacy and peace.

But it is also a matter of management and knowing the horse as a horse.This we all had to learn, some even the hard way, including myself.

Take good care whoever you are and come and visit some day.sure like to meet you.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms.
Eyegor
QUOTE (The Messenger @ Jan 4 2008, 03:07 AM)
YES WE ALL ARE INTERFERING WITH OUR HORSES HEALTH AS WE ARE WITH THE EARTH. IT WAS A PERFECT PLACE TO LIVE FOR ALL ANIMALS UNTIL MAN EVOLVED. IT IS SPECULATED BY SOME THAT UNTIL 100,000 YEARS AGO,ONLY ABOUT 10,000 HUMANS LIVED WE ALMOST DIED OUT. I PERSONALLY DO NOT BELIEVE IN DIVINE INTERVENTION, BUT SOMEHOW WE DID MULTIPLY AND NOW LOOK WHAT WE HAVE DONE. THE ARABIAN WAS SEPARATED FROM THE PRZEWALSKI'S HORSE AND BECAME THE PERFECT ANIMAL IT WAS AND THEN THE BEDU BEGAN TO TAME AND SELECTIVELY BREED IT. THEY DID A VERY GOOD JOB AS THEY BRED IT AS A 'USEFUL' ANIMAL AND ONE THAT COULD SURVIVE AND FLOURISH IN THE HARSHEST CONDITIONS. THEY ALSO BRED 'IN THE STRAIN', OR 'LINE BRED', SOMETHING THE MODERN BREEDER HAS FORGOTTEN TO DO. BUT MOST OF ALL, THEY KNEW HOW TO CULL. THEREFORE, WE HAVE BROUGHT SOME OF THE MEDICAL PROBLEMS TO OUR HORSES,  YOU SPEAK OF FOUNDER AND THE FIRST THING I HAVE TO SAY, IS YOUR USE OF ALFALFA.  I AM SURE YOU MUST KNOW OF THE HIGH CONTENT AND CONCENTRATION OF PROTEIN IN ALFALFA.  IT MAKE A VERY HIGH FERMENTATION IN THE HORSES GUT, AND IT IS VERY HARD ON THE KIDNEYS AND PARTICULARLY IN THE WINTER, WHEN HORSES ARE NOT PRONE TO DRINK AS MUCH WATER AS THEY SHOULD, THIS HIGH PROTEIN CAN CAUSE KETOSIS WHICH IS ONE OF THE CAUSES OF FOUNDER. IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO ALFALFA THEN YOU MUST HAVE ACCESS TO TIMOTHY/ALFALFA MIX WHICH IS A MUCH BETTER CHOICE. LIVING IN FLORIDA HAS BEEN A REAL EDUCATION ABOUT ALFALFA. I HAVE SPOKEN TO MANY VETS OFF THE CUFF ABOUT THE HORRORS OF THE THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY AND THEIR USE OF ALFALFA.  FLORIDA IN ITSELF IS THE WORST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO RAISE HORSES, IT'S JUST CONVENIENT FOR THE OWNERS.  ALFALFA IS SO MISUSED HERE THAT IT IS 90% THE CAUSE OF FOUNDER AND COLIC.....AND OFTEN FURTHER RESULTS IN DEATH BECAUSE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR VET SERVICES IN TIME TO PREVENT A SURGERY WHICH CAN COST UP T0  $10,000, OR THE CARE FOR A NO LONGER USEFUL FOUNDERED HORSE.  I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL THOROUGHBRED MARE I RESCUED. FOUNDERED, ROTATED 5degrees IN BOTH FRONT FEET, AND I HAVE TO PAY $145 EVERY 4-5 WEEKS FOR SPECIAL SHOES AND FLOW-IN PADS, AND SHE HAS TO HAVE CIMETEDINE, FOR HER ULCERS, AND SPECIAL SPILLERS COOL MIX FEED, AND EXPENSIVE JOINT FLUID BECAUSE MY BLACKSMITH IS SO GOOD THAT WE HAVE KEEP HER COMFORTABLE AND SOUND ENOUGH THAT SHE CAN RUN AROUND MY 5 ACRE FRONT YARD FOR GOING ON 8 YEARS NOW, BUT ONLY WHEN IT DOESN'T RAIN, BECAUSE IF SHE GETS HER FEET TOO WET, HER WHITE LINE WILL GET OUT OF CONTROL AND WE HAVE TO TREAT THAT TWICE A DAY.  JEN IS NOW GOING ON 18 AND SHE IS A BEAUTIFUL LIVER CHESTNUT LAWN ORNAMENT. HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU THINK WOULD BE WILLING TO KEEP HER ALIVE AT THAT COST? THAT MY DEAR IS BECAUSE OF TOO MUCH ALFALFA. THAT IS HOW I SAVED HER FROM THE KILLER. I ONLY WANT TO MAKE A POINT THAT  OTHER THAN YOUR HAY, YOUR TURN OUT OF YOUR HORSES IS GRAND. THEY ONLY NEED A COVERED AREA TO SEEK SHELTER FROM THE RAIN AND WIND AS THEY WOULD SEEK OUT IF THEY WERE IN THE WILD. IT SHOULD BE THEIR CHOICE. AND YES, WE HAVE INTERFERED WITH THEIR IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH THE WORMERS. WE ALL THOUGHT THE IVERMECTIN WAS A GODSEND, BUT THEN THE WHITE LINE STARTED SHOWING UP IN THE FEET.  IT GOT RID OF THE PARASITES, BUT THEN THE HORSES IMMUNE SYSTEM WAS NO LONGER IN HIGH GEAR AND THEN THEY EYE SCRATCHES TURNED INTO EYE FUNGUSES, AND THEN THE SUMMER SORES TAKE FOREVER TO HEAL AND SO ON AND ON.  SO ROTATE YOUR PASTURES, LEAVE SOME CHOICE WEEDS FOR MINERALS, AND PLEASE, GIVE UP THAT ALFALFA HAY. IT MAY BE CONVENIENT BUT I HAVE SEEN TOO MANY HORSES DIE FROM IT.  THE MESSENGER
*



Ah the evils of it all..........however, protein doesn't cause founder..... it is carbohydrates.....
kidneys are not damaged by protein unless they are already bad healthy kidneys are doing what they are supposed to do........what is the problem with alfalfa is the over feeding of it...in other words feeding too much of it......an equivalent flake of grass contains only about 30 percent of the total digestable nutrition/energy as an equivalent flake of alfalfa......thus feeding equal amounts of one and the other you are feeding too much alfalfa......So stay away from alfalfa, stay away from ivermectin......but feed all sorts of homeopathic stuff that has absolutely no scientific basis of efficacy and is based on hearsay and old wives tales and go back to what they did in the middle ages and your horses will be healthy and live well into their teens........while ours live into their late 20s and early 30s.......
By the way...thoroughbreds are generally not fed all that much alfalfa.....but high rations of grains and Timothy grass hays and some Sudan grasses...alll high carbohydrate feeds........in popular parlance...lots of empty calories.......
But I will not tell you what to feed since they are your horses, however it is not apprpriate to give advice without scientific evidence......at least that is my humble opinion.......
they used to fire splints....bleed for infections and fevers and on and on and on, guess they knew what they were doing back then.......
mistuarabians
First- I think you (Thee Messanger) needs to reread what I posted- ----
I got a mare (from someone else) that had foundered in the past- I did not make her founder....... second as you stated - you live in FLA and I live in Michigan - where at the moment is 0 degrees...for the last 2 days..so- when horses choose to stay outside (some of them I cannot get to stay in a stall without stressing out) feeding alfalfa MIX hay is a great way to keep the protein levels up= keeping them warm and happy!

Another thing as I first stated in the post- this was not meant to "bash" others and how they take care of horses- so you talking of how I feed is a little dishearting- I respect that you would like to give your opinion- however as you stated in another post- maybe we should lighten up on eachother and listen to what we all have to say. As I know we all have a difference of opinion on how horses are raised, bred, taken care of ect......

I think also if you choose to start CAPITALIZING on your words then you should also choose to let others know who you are. No great man or women ever hid behind great words...... JMHO-

Jessica
HLM
I do disagree, with TBs not getting much alfalfa. I guess it depends on the area.
Alfalfa ferments quickly and has created lots of gas colic. Urin is milky with a strong odor, which grass hay does not give. Tests showed that kidney stones were found more readily in those horses fed with Alfalfa than not.Exceptions to all rules. I am speaking for our climate in Florida and experiences told by many TBs etc breeders. Last week the company picking up dead horses, had 14 dead horses of colic to be picked up in one day down here. According to them, all were on alfalfa, sand colic was not the case.
furthermore grass hay can be better controlled with regard to mold ,than alfalfa.
It also does not contain those deadly beatles, on which Al Mareekh died on.
the protein contents of each also varies from area to area, i.e. Mexico,Kansas,Ontario, east cost. I guess it is trial and error all the way. Florida does not grow Alfalfa naturally, and where it is shipped from, is often irrigated and highly fertilized.
Save Alfalfa is when you can see the little blue flower "brown" when harvested. That is the right time to cut, as we did in Canada. There we had about 15percent of alfalfa in our Hay, the rest was Timothy,Orchard,clover, Broem.Such alfalfa also never grew higher than 24 inches, had less protein contents too, whereas the grass hay often over five feet in hight, had to be crimped to allow a faster drying time. I usually harvested 20,000 bales per year, about 200 45lbs bales per acre,first cut. We never used a second cut, it was too strong.

Eskimos need blubber for heat. Southernes eat pasta. It depends on the climate and area. Personally I can not generalize, because I dont know all areas.
With about onethousand farms in Ocala/Gainesvielle area, one gets to hear a lot.

We feed grass hay, Bermuda,Bahia, about 9percent protetin contents.
Some people feed alfalfa, but superwise this well. Horses like to eat and nibble all the times. Cant give them that much alfalfa to accomodate. With grass hay, its free choice we give, such as huge round bales in the pastures and
enough in their stalls to munch on around the clock. this prevents chewing on the walls, plus a lot of other things.

These are just my experiences .

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
HLM
DEar Jessica

Hope you had a wonderful New Year and pray it is a good one.
Still see you riding that mechanic bull, ha.

Jessica, I dont think the messenger meant to offend. I dont know who it is.the person mentions the east coast, but also Florida, and stated being here and there and everywhere. However, the poster did mention certain things only he/she could know having been there.

you see, looking back and then comparing nowadays is like day and night. that bothers us old timers seeing and or experiencing the dangers. May be we also are a bit more blunt and dead on, so try to have patience and understanding.We mean well.

You have read post which had such utter crudeness, rudeness and insults towards some of our people,including myself. We did not blast back in the same manner, although we took a stand..

By the way have you ever looked at the Hughes arabian horses? They appear to have some good ones, many are black too.

Cant wait to see you again, Tulsa I guess, and take good care

Send you hugs
Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
Ralph
I agree with THE MESSENGER and with Hansi on this one. They make a lot of sense. I believe that we overprotein our horses and cause many of the metabolic disturbances that the modern horse experiences. I always am worried about what we do to the kidneys and the liver with so much protein.

I was intrigued with something that THE MESSENGER posted about wormers, white line and the immune system and am hoping that you will write more about this subject. I am interested. smile.gif
paelmchen
The Tbīs here in germany only get grass hay, no alfalfa.
We know a lot about feeding TB`s, because one of our best friends is this years trainerchampion in hurdles and flat racing Christian Freiherr von der Recke: www.rennstall-recke.de

The energy they need in racing they get through a great deal of oats, and special feed.

Anyway, especially too much protein causes many problems, the TBīs often have stomach ulcers and liver problems.

The main problem for Arabians in feeding too much protein is laminitis !!!

ciao Roland Palm
Nadj al Nur
Ralph, about the wormers.......I have a mare who is insulin resistant, and so, is prone to bouts of mild laminitis anyhow, but we (the vets and I ) realized that EVERY time she was wormed, she would have another little bout, so I did a ton of research and of course discovered that wormers not only kill worms, they kill off most of the bacteria in the gut as well, and therefor, untill the bacteria have a chance to build up again, food is not being properly digested. In a normal horse this would not be quite so much of a problem, but with her, it is.She now gets probiotics for ten days, after every time she is wormed, and that, coupled with NO alfalfa, and low protein, low carb diet, have kept her sound for nearly a year.
She is, of course, an exception, but it makes you wonder what the wormers do to "normal" horses as well, doesn't it????
Cathy
The Messenger
Dear Forum,

I meant no offense what-so-ever. Far from that! My hope is to "Educate" based on many, many years experience.

I also will refrain from using all caps as it appears to be "Screaming" which I do not wish to convey.

I am here, there and everywhere..and use my lap top often in travels. Therefore, I have used all Caps at times as it is easier for ME to read..sorry to offend the eyes if I have done so.

I will be on the Forum tonight. So tune in for more.."Messages" and Pearls of Wisdom in 40+ years of hands on horse care!

The Messenger.. ph34r.gif
Ralph
QUOTE
they kill off most of the bacteria in the gut as well, and therefor, untill the bacteria have a chance to build up again, food is not being properly digested. In a normal horse this would not be quite so much of a problem, but with her, it is.She now gets probiotics for ten days, after every time she is wormed


Hi Cathy:

I have been using Probios for a while now, for the same reason regarding the bacteria but I give my horses only a tube of Probios, after I worm them, to re-establish the bacteria in the stomach. Your comments made me think about prolonging the use of Probios, beyond the one dose. Thanks. smile.gif

On a seperate note, it is great to get together with like-minded people and share horse management practices, so thanks to all. smile.gif

Ralph
Nadj al Nur
Wormers can stay in the system for up to a week, so I figure ten days of probiotics is reasonable. I use the powdered ones that I can mix in a bit of beet pulp.( washed, after it's soaked, for that particular mare, LOL )
Cathy
mistuarabians
Messanger- I do believe that you are trying to be helpfull and I thank you for taking it easy on the caps.....just remember that the way things come across on typing isnt always the way we would say it verbally.....

As far as the 40 years of wisdom- I do respect knowledge learned over the years-and do respect the help from those who have learned good and bad-it is good to get new information from those who have had experience over the years. I do understand that you are trying to help....

and yes to an extent I do believe that alfalfa is much much overused.... as not all of my horses get alfalfa- Most of them are on a grass mix and most do not need grain either. I have had blood work done on some to make sure all levels are looking good- ie kidneys, liver ect... I do understand on feeding too much of something or doing too much- as this is why I originally started this topic- As a vet tech I have noticed over the years on overfed animals, (foot stool looking dogs) overmedicated, over dewormed (or dewormed incorrectly), over vaccinated ect.... sometimes I think we try too hard to help our animal friends and cause more problems....

Hansi- thank you- I do think as you say "you 'old timers' have a lot of knowledge- as I think we do need to listen to those who have learned before us....sometimes as we all are guilty of giving advice we need to realize that though spoken most people take things, think and stew on it awhile before reacting. And sometimes there are some who do not agree- which is fine also.

Jessica
HLM
Dear Cathy, Ralph and all

I always shreek when I hear that people feeding that feed which contains daily worming medication. this is the surest way for getting imune. another feed I am afraid of is calf manner.

As said before, men has changed, horse has not. In the wild they travel to areas of feeding what their body requires, and of course climate oriented.

Clean water, hay and grain and a clean stall-area, are the essentials to keep a horse healthy. We are careful with inoculations,worming etc, and also look at the time of year. We have no insects during the winter, so to speak, and each insect is seasonal by and large. The producers of all sorts of gimmicks are making fortunes and ignorance keeps many in fear. While some horses have no problems with nothing, others do.therefore common sense applies.

For example. A coggins test is good for 6-12 month. that is a joke of course, because the day after it was taken, a horse can be effected, Some horses are carriers of all sorts of things, transmit it, but never themselves show a sign. We have been fortunate, blessed, that we ever had a serious case, other than colic and operations thereof. The only foundered horse we ever had was a year or so ago after a colic surgery. But there are many things which can founder, new fresh grass, overeating whatever, trauma through travel or other fears. Actually a hrose is more sensitive than a chicken, and they knew decades ago more about the welfare of a chicken than a horse.the oltimers had their own remedies, and they usually worked well. I learned a lot from espcially those oldtimer racing guyes, trotters and flat.then there is a problem with some blacksmith. Boy can some ever mess things up.And their charges for shoes etc are outragous.

We used to have our feed mixed in Canada. It worked. But downm here with all the sand we use pallets. When we fed grain some went into the sand. Birds would pick it up. But they also eat the berries of the poisenous night shade, then poopo it out and new plants grow, some horses, when hungry, will eat it. Or at least the very young ones try it. The next thing you know, you have a sick horse.
this cant happen with pallets. Also you can buy what your need, either 10,12,14,16 percent or senior feed etc. There is a price difference also between them.

the strangest thing we found is, that although we put salt blocks out, during our immense heat this summer going up to 114F, not one horse licked on it.
But the pallets contain actually all they need. Therefore, we do not feed vitamins either but do ever so often ad some corn oil, when needed.And our horses look good, are in excellent flesh too.

I am a stickler when it comes to hay, and know it well. Some people feed that beet pulp. I am afraid of it, unless it is properly and long enough soaked. Otherwise it continous bloating in their stomach, and that is bad.
If you do things yourself, you will do it right. Wenn you leave it to some employess all sorts of things can happen. This is why Mr von Neindorf to his last day never,ever gave feeding out of his hands, fed personally all horses, but had an assistant at side to help. We do the same, feed our selves, and each horse is different. Ours are seperated in portable stalls in the paddocks/pastures,go in to feed, let out when finished and we can control everything. This includes if they eat it all or not. Otherwise you have muscial chairs and no control. Again, use common sense. It also gives us a chance to examaine them morning and afternoon at feeding time, leave them in for the vet or farrier, which makes it easy.

There are many ways to make it efficient and easy on us, and again it depends where you all are.

Take care
hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
Tous crins
QUOTE (Eyegor @ Jan 4 2008, 06:06 AM)
Ah the evils of it all..........however, protein doesn't cause founder..... it is carbohydrates.....
kidneys are not damaged by protein unless they are already bad  healthy kidneys  are doing what they are supposed to do........what is the problem with alfalfa is the over feeding of it...in other words feeding too much of it......an equivalent flake of grass contains only about 30 percent of the total digestable nutrition/energy as an equivalent flake of alfalfa......thus feeding equal amounts of one and the other you are feeding too much alfalfa......So stay away from alfalfa, stay away from ivermectin......but feed all sorts of homeopathic stuff that has absolutely no scientific basis of efficacy and is based on hearsay and old wives tales and go back to what they did in the middle ages and your horses will be healthy and live well into their teens........while ours live into their late 20s and early 30s.......
By the way...thoroughbreds are generally not fed all that much alfalfa.....but high rations of grains and Timothy grass hays and some Sudan grasses...alll high carbohydrate feeds........in popular parlance...lots of empty calories.......
But I will not tell you what to feed since they are your horses, however it is not apprpriate to give advice without scientific evidence......at least that is my humble opinion.......
they used to fire splints....bleed for infections and fevers and on and on and on, guess they knew what they were doing back then.......
*


Here in S California,

Many horses are fed pure alfalfa. They don't seem to have problems.

I heard though that it can cause enterolyths. It also too high in CA relative to P.
And of course there is the high %proteins. I can't see the problems in the horse I know fed that way. They look healthy and shiny...

No mold or beetle problem here.


I myself feed 1/3 alfalfa, 1/3 bermuda and 1/3 3way hay, but the main reason is fear for enterolyth...
A lot of the hay is very dusty though, because grown with overhead irrigation and highwinds bring dust on wet leaves... then sand paddocks....I aslo give psyllium, ground flax seed and blackoil sunflower seeds..


What are horses fed in Egypt? I remember reading many times about "bursam?"(sp?), being a type of alfalfa.

Christine
lynnbrook
Some may want to read this article in the magazine " The Horse ".this magazine is put out by the same folks who publish The BloodHorse

Study Suggests Alfalfa Might Buffer Gastric Acid Production, Prevent Ulcers
by: Agricultural Communications, Texas A&M University System
December 19 2007, Article # 11008

Research from Texas A&M University showed that feeding alfalfa to horses either prevented or was therapeutic in treating stomach ulcers.

"Something in alfalfa hay tends to buffer acid production," said Pete Gibbs, PhD, Extension horse specialist.

According to Gibbs, 30% of the one million horses in Texas are used in racing, showing, and competitive performance. Of these, up to 90% of racehorses and more than 50% of arena performance horses have ulcers of varying severity.

Feeding grain, confinement, exercise, and overall environmental stress factors are thought to cause ulcers, he said. It's commonly thought that horses turned out on pastures are better off than those that are confined. However, if grass hay is the only hay they are fed, this research suggests that the horses might be more likely to get gastric ulcers, Gibbs said.

for the complete article go to http://www.thehorse.com/
Eyegor
That is exactly my point,
we listen to supposed experts in all pahses of horse keeping when in actual fact there really is no such thing. We all are constantly learning and expanding our knowledge base and my only concern is basing conclusions on very limited observational expertise with very small samples.....
I personally have taken several college courses and equine nutrition, UC Davis and several clinics around the country and invariably the current fad is to get away from alfalfa is not at all based on actually scientific proof. A well balanced feeding program with alfalfa as the bulk fiber feed when balanced with adequate supplements to adjust the Calcium ratio is a very safe way to keep horses healthy.
Enteroliths are thought to be due to alfalfa when current info actually points away from that fact since acidity was thought to be a factor and in actuality that is not the case......
I do not advocate anyone feeding any particular way but I find it objectionable when someone points to a regimen that is harmful without any sort of empirical study to prove that in fact.......
We have had two colics based on a twisted intestine, and two because of a mesentary arterial occlusion because of scar tissue due to improper worming as a foal. Necropsies all proved that feed was not the issue. All four horses were purchased as adults. The stallion we had who was afflicted with enteroliths was also purchased as a sub-adult and fed very little alfalfa at the breeders farm.
So based on my observation I would say that husbandry is the biggest issue with colics and enteroliths and I cannot place blame on a single feedstuff nor will I advocate that anyone else should follow my advice. We all love our horses and any issuance of clinical advice is for me unethical. Specifically because none of us have degrees in equine nutrition as the continuing discoveries continue to remind us......Ther is no such thing as a perfect diet just as there is no snakeoil magic potion for all that ails us......Horses are individuals and what is good for one can be fatal for another.....
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