PDA

View Full Version : Feed balancer: TopSpec or BlueChip?



SpanishNeddy
01-02-12, 12:57 PM
I am trying to decide what feed balancer I should feed my Spanish boy and wondered what people recommend.

Am I right in thinking TopSpec and BlueChip are the leaders? If so what one do you prefer?

I was also considering Dengie HiFi Balancer and D&H Ultimate Balancer but only if they are as good/better than BlueChip or TopSpec otherwise it will be out of those two!!

Help appreciated.

Toast
01-02-12, 12:59 PM
Ive heard good things about both but id go for topspec as its cheaper. Bluechip feeds are wonderful but wonderfully overpriced!!

Oberon
01-02-12, 01:02 PM
Brand names and price mean nothing.

It depends on how suitable they are to compliment your forage.

I would suggest neither are.

Guignol
01-02-12, 01:03 PM
I would agree Top Spec...

PolarSkye
01-02-12, 01:06 PM
Brand names and price mean nothing.

It depends on how suitable they are to compliment your forage.

I would suggest neither are.

Really? Why? Genuine question, btw.

P

Amaranta
01-02-12, 01:15 PM
Really? Why? Genuine question, btw.

P

Yes me too!

Balancers are designed to complement forage, to me there is a world of difference between Blue Chip and TopSpec and would go TopSpec every time on spec alone. However, the Spillers Balancer is also very good.

OP if your horse is in hard work then TopSpec Comprehensive Balancer or Spillers Original, if, however he is in light-medium work (which most leisure horses are tbh) you could go for the lite versions of either. D&H Ultimate Balancer is nigh on identical in spec to TopSpec and also a little cheaper - don't be influenced by what other people are buying but rather what is best for your horse.

maggiesmum
01-02-12, 01:16 PM
Because they may well be balanced but what are they balanced too?
Is your forage perfectly balanced in vitamins and minerals to a horses daily requirements?

Most grass and hay/haylage is high in a few things and low in others so with a 'balancer' on top you'll be totally overloaded on some minerals and underfeeding on others.
If ones too high it will block the uptake of another... its a complex subject but IMHO balancers are a lot of money for a bag of uncertainty.

Oberon
01-02-12, 01:16 PM
Really? Why? Genuine question, btw.

P

Almost all commercial supplements are too high in iron and too low in copper, zinc and magnesium to be of full benefit.

They calculate their nutrient ration via computer software that doesn't appreciate the common inbalances in most of the UK's grazing or even mineral's absorption relationships to each other (save for calcium and phosphorous).

I am continuously amazed that horses are as healthy as they are, given the 'microwave dinners' of feeds and supplements we feed them:(

The fact that feral horses appear healthier than our domestic horses just embarasses me.

Oberon
01-02-12, 01:18 PM
Yes me too!

Balancers are designed to complement forage, to me there is a world of difference between Blue Chip and TopSpec and would go TopSpec every time on spec alone. However, the Spillers Balancer is also very good.

OP if your horse is in hard work then TopSpec Comprehensive Balancer or Spillers Original, if, however he is in light-medium work (which most leisure horses are tbh) you could go for the lite versions of either. D&H Ultimate Balancer is nigh on identical in spec to TopSpec and also a little cheaper - don't be influenced by what other people are buying but rather what is best for your horse.

But how do they know what's in the forage (which changes from area to area - including the water) without testing it prior?

Spyda
01-02-12, 01:19 PM
I am continuously amazed that horses are as healthy as they are, given the 'microwave dinners' of feeds and supplements we feed them:(

The fact that feral horses appear healthier than our domestic horses just embarasses me.

Interesting. How do you recommend the average horse is fed? Is there a supplement you recommend to compensate the general lack of minerals?

Spyda
01-02-12, 01:22 PM
I am trying to decide what feed balancer I should feed my Spanish boy and wondered what people recommend.

Am I right in thinking TopSpec and BlueChip are the leaders? If so what one do you prefer?

I was also considering Dengie HiFi Balancer and D&H Ultimate Balancer but only if they are as good/better than BlueChip or TopSpec otherwise it will be out of those two!!

Help appreciated.

Have you thought of Bailey's Lo Cal or Spillers Lite balancer instead of the expensive full-blown balancers? My WBxTB sports horse has been on one or the other of these and looks absolutely fabulous with just the addition of ad-lib grazing or hay (in winter). Lots of people use and recommend the Bailey's Lo Cal on here, and not just for fatty ponies needing their weight kept down! :)

SpanishNeddy
01-02-12, 01:27 PM
I would say he is light to medium work yes. He is only a baby and coming back into work from having an operation. But he does some showing and dressage. I currently feed him HiFi molasses free chaff and he gets a nutball (D&H High Fibre Nuts) plus supplements (garlic, MSN & Magnitude).

So how do you know TopSpec is better than BlueChip?

Did someone say D&H Ultimate Balancer is as good as TopSpec??? I like D&H products.

Daytona
01-02-12, 01:29 PM
I used to always use blue chip until I came across a website where someone had compared the ingredients if all the main balancers and topspec came up tops, it had the most of everything in it, and it's cheaper so I changed over and have noticed no difference in my horse, still looks lovely and shiny :-)

Amaranta
01-02-12, 01:29 PM
Almost all commercial supplements are too high in iron and too low in copper, zinc and magnesium to be of full benefit.

They calculate their nutrient ration via computer software that doesn't appreciate the common inbalances in most of the UK's grazing or even mineral's absorption relationships to each other (save for calcium and phosphorous).

I am continuously amazed that horses are as healthy as they are, given the 'microwave dinners' of feeds and supplements we feed them:(

The fact that feral horses appear healthier than our domestic horses just embarasses me.


Sorry but I have to disagree with you there, having checked the spec on many many commercial balancers.

We do not have a magnesium deficiency in this country, although parts of the country are low in copper.

Re the computer software comment, this begs the question why the major feed companies spend thousands on nutritionists! Blimey they could save themselves a fortune if they just used a computer. I also know several nutritionists personally who would be absolutely horrified by your suggestions. Nicola Tyler from TopSpec for instance works personally on every single product that company produces,

Amaranta
01-02-12, 01:36 PM
I would say he is light to medium work yes. He is only a baby and coming back into work from having an operation. But he does some showing and dressage. I currently feed him HiFi molasses free chaff and he gets a nutball (D&H High Fibre Nuts) plus supplements (garlic, MSN & Magnitude).

So how do you know TopSpec is better than BlueChip?

Did someone say D&H Ultimate Balancer is as good as TopSpec??? I like D&H products.

If you check the specs on TS and BC (label on the bag) you can see that the TopSpec has much more to it and it is also on a soya base so you get the added benefit of shine. D&H Ultimate has almost an identical spec to TS, the only difference is the base which I believe is, like BC, wheatfeed.

Personally I would go for either TS Leisure Time or Spillers Lite as your chap does not need the level of vit/mins a horse in harder work would. If you do however feed too many vits etc, don't worry, these will be excreted naturally and harmlessly in the horse's urine.

I did forget about Lo-cal, but this is also a good option.

Spyda
01-02-12, 01:39 PM
I am trying to decide what feed balancer I should feed my Spanish boy and wondered what people recommend.

Am I right in thinking TopSpec and BlueChip are the leaders? If so what one do you prefer?

I was also considering Dengie HiFi Balancer and D&H Ultimate Balancer but only if they are as good/better than BlueChip or TopSpec otherwise it will be out of those two!!

Help appreciated.

You might find this link informative http://www.freewebs.com/higgyleiko/Balancer - per 500kg horse new(1).xls

Oberon
01-02-12, 01:42 PM
Sorry but I have to disagree with you there, having checked the spec on many many commercial balancers.

We do not have a magnesium deficiency in this country, although parts of the country are low in copper.

Re the computer software comment, this begs the question why the major feed companies spend thousands on nutritionists! Blimey they could save themselves a fortune if they just used a computer. I also know several nutritionists personally who would be absolutely horrified by your suggestions. Nicola Tyler from TopSpec for instance works personally on every single product that company produces,

We don't have a magnesium deficiency - we have too much calcium and/or phosphorous which blocks and limits absorption of magnesium.

Most 'calmers' are magnesium based due to the chronic deficiencies in some horses (which can cause aggitation).

I can't speak for the nutritionists - but they work on the NRC's advice for nutrients. The NRC works on how much you feed of the minerals to avoid a deficiency. Avoiding a deficiency is not the same as adding enough to keep a healthy horse.

Using 150% - 200% of the NRC of nutrients often yields much better results....but only when they are in balance. Which they are often not.

I really don't understand why feed companies pay nutritionists - and yet still come out with crap that contributes to behavioural problems/ulcers/hoof problems.....

Oberon
01-02-12, 01:44 PM
Interesting. How do you recommend the average horse is fed? Is there a supplement you recommend to compensate the general lack of minerals?

There are currently two commercial mineral supplements that I will agree with, but after another poster huffed at me and accused me of 'stealth marketing' recently, I am not going to say what they are.

BlairandAzria
01-02-12, 01:55 PM
Can't quote as on the phone but the link spyda provided is out if date.

I did a lot of research when I got My new horse as he was undernourished, I googled and rang around nearly every feed company trying to get a list of ingredients in their balancers -I'm a geek at heart and have an excel spreadsheet with a breakdown of the informatIon I got. I was very surprised by the reaction from the lady I spoke to at topspec who would not, point blank refused-to provide me with an ingredients list or quantities, although I do believe this info is on the bag, although I may be mistaken . Blue chip recommended I feed their balancer plus supplement with msm and oil.

In any case, if you're interested im more than happy to pass you across the info I have.

I currently feed GWFs equilibra 500, and have fed d&h ultimate balancer. IME there are a couple I wouldn't feed and i couple i really like but put of the others they're all very similar, so it totally depends on personal preference.

As you have a youngster have you looked at d&h suregrow? Might be worth giving a coupe of companies a call to see what they recommend?

BlairandAzria
01-02-12, 01:57 PM
Oberon can you pm me the supplements you recommend? I'm very interested, and have found a lot of your barefoot posts extremely helpful over the last few months, I'd value your info!

Amaranta
01-02-12, 01:57 PM
We don't have a magnesium deficiency - we have too much calcium and/or phosphorous which blocks and limits absorption of magnesium.

Most 'calmers' are magnesium based due to the chronic deficiencies in some horses (which can cause aggitation).

I can't speak for the nutritionists - but they work on the NRC's advice for nutrients. The NRC works on how much you feed of the minerals to avoid a deficiency. Avoiding a deficiency is not the same as adding enough to keep a healthy horse.

Using 150% - 200% of the NRC of nutrients often yields much better results....but only when they are in balance. Which they are often not.

I really don't understand why feed companies pay nutritionists - and yet still come out with crap that contributes to behavioural problems/ulcers/hoof problems.....

I agree that phosphorous can inhibit the absorbtion of magnesium, which is one of the reasons that magnesium can be beneficial to laminitics. The only other group of horses to benefit from magnesium are racehorses and horses who do not get enough fibre in the form of forage.

Re magnesium calmers, personally I do not find them very effective as the vast majority of horses in the UK are not deficient (aside from the two groups mentioned above). A triptophan based product is much more likely to bring results, as can cutting out starch and feeding a probiotic.

The majority the problems you mention are not caused by nutritionists bringing out 'crap' products, rather they are caused by owners overfeeding their horses, the majority of leisure horses in this country do not need 'hard' feed, they simply do not work hard enough, most would do well on fibre and a vit/min supplement or a balancer.

The behavioural problems/ulcers/hoof problems we are experiencing are not because the vit/min content is out of balance, it is simply a fact of feeding too much starch and not enough fibre.

Cupcakes and Horses
01-02-12, 01:58 PM
I used to always use blue chip until I came across a website where someone had compared the ingredients if all the main balancers and topspec came up tops, it had the most of everything in it, and it's cheaper so I changed over and have noticed no difference in my horse, still looks lovely and shiny :-)

That's very interesting I am blue chip fan as have been using if for years with good results so I haven't bothered looking into anything else.....why fix what isn't broken....but that has got me thinking some research might be in order :)

maggiesmum
01-02-12, 01:58 PM
I'm with Oberon on this and Ive fed blue chip (good results), top spec (never again! I have no wish to die!), lo-cal (noticed no difference) and D&H Ultimate balancer (again noticed no real difference) but my horses have never looked better than they do now without all the expensive feeds.
It just doesn't add up how 1 bag of feed expects to balance the forage over the entire country to meet a horses daily requirements! How can it possibly balance both a wild flower meadow (and yes there are still a few here and there) AND a field of grass that was sown and has been treated for years to be suitable for dairy cows (lots of diversification going on!)?

Amaranta
01-02-12, 02:00 PM
Can't quote as on the phone but the link spyda provided is out if date.

I did a lot of research when I got My new horse as he was undernourished, I googled and rang around nearly every feed company trying to get a list of ingredients in their balancers -I'm a geek at heart and have an excel spreadsheet with a breakdown of the informatIon I got. I was very surprised by the reaction from the lady I spoke to at topspec who would not, point blank refused-to provide me with an ingredients list or quantities, although I do believe this info is on the bag, although I may be mistaken . Blue chip recommended I feed their balancer plus supplement with msm and oil.

In any case, if you're interested im more than happy to pass you across the info I have.

I currently feed GWFs equilibra 500, and have fed d&h ultimate balancer. IME there are a couple I wouldn't feed and i couple i really like but put of the others they're all very similar, so it totally depends on personal preference.

As you have a youngster have you looked at d&h suregrow? Might be worth giving a coupe of companies a call to see what they recommend?

Very surprised at the lady from TopSpecs reation tbh, I picked up a detailed list of ingedients from my merchant just the other day, they publish it readily :confused:

There are vast differences in all of the balancers and you really do need to check the labels.

maggiesmum
01-02-12, 02:02 PM
The only other group of horses to benefit from magnesium are racehorses and horses who do not get enough fibre in the form of forage.

Actually barefoot horses benefit massively too.



most would do well on fibre and a vit/min supplement or a balancer.


Neither of which are balanced to each other or the grazing and hay that the horse is also consuming - which is the whole point!

BlairandAzria
01-02-12, 02:07 PM
Amaranta sorry can't quote, I was very surprised too. I explained it was purely for personal research and all I wanted was a basic ingredient breakdown, such as can be found on most other feed company websites ... Maybe she was new?

Oberon
01-02-12, 02:08 PM
I agree that phosphorous can inhibit the absorbtion of magnesium, which is one of the reasons that magnesium can be beneficial to laminitics. The only other group of horses to benefit from magnesium are racehorses and horses who do not get enough fibre in the form of forage.

Re magnesium calmers, personally I do not find them very effective as the vast majority of horses in the UK are not deficient (aside from the two groups mentioned above). A triptophan based product is much more likely to bring results, as can cutting out starch and feeding a probiotic.

The majority the problems you mention are not caused by nutritionists bringing out 'crap' products, rather they are caused by owners overfeeding their horses, the majority of leisure horses in this country do not need 'hard' feed, they simply do not work hard enough, most would do well on fibre and a vit/min supplement or a balancer.

The behavioural problems/ulcers/hoof problems we are experiencing are not because the vit/min content is out of balance, it is simply a fact of feeding too much starch and not enough fibre.

I do agree with you - but I do feel feed companies should shoulder some of the blame. They market inappropriate feeds to horse owners and blag some science to sell it.

The owners never know where to turn half the time...YOs and feed store owners are often the points of contact and advice!

Molasses in the guise of mogolo in lamintic feeds. Wheatfeed in laminitic feeds....I could go on and on.

I don't think the prevalence of ulcers is only dietary - but grains and conditioning feeds really won't be helping the situation.

I had a forage analysis done by Dodson and Horrell - who highlighted the problems with my forage and then on the next page tried to flog me some of their feeds that were totally inappropriate!

I really can't take the word of any nutritionist who is paid by a feed company. I would only consider using an independent with a good reputation.

Amaranta
01-02-12, 02:09 PM
I'm with Oberon on this and Ive fed blue chip (good results), top spec (never again! I have no wish to die!), lo-cal (noticed no difference) and D&H Ultimate balancer (again noticed no real difference) but my horses have never looked better than they do now without all the expensive feeds.
It just doesn't add up how 1 bag of feed expects to balance the forage over the entire country to meet a horses daily requirements! How can it possibly balance both a wild flower meadow (and yes there are still a few here and there) AND a field of grass that was sown and has been treated for years to be suitable for dairy cows (lots of diversification going on!)?

I must admit that I had one react to TopSpec, only one out of 15 but react she did, and like you I had not wish to die so now feed Spillers.

Unless we all en masse have our pastures analysed and then get bespoke supplements made (all the feed companies do this btw) there will always be a need for 'blanket' type supplements which cover the majority of a horses needs. As I said before, anything the horse does not use is harmlessly excreted.

This applies to ANY off the shelf supplement and/or balancer.

Oberon
01-02-12, 02:18 PM
I must admit that I had one react to TopSpec, only one out of 15 but react she did, and like you I had not wish to die so now feed Spillers.

Unless we all en masse have our pastures analysed and then get bespoke supplements made (all the feed companies do this btw) there will always be a need for 'blanket' type supplements which cover the majority of a horses needs. As I said before, anything the horse does not use is harmlessly excreted.

This applies to ANY off the shelf supplement and/or balancer.

Iron is a big problem - they can't easily excrete that. Too much Vit C will also enhance iron absorption - robbing zinc....

Other excretion ability isn't the problem - it's the imbalances they cause while they're in there.

It would be lovely if we all got our forage analysed - or refused to buy hay/haylage unless it was already done by the seller (I believe this is the norm in the dairy industry in the US).

Until then - we need to demand better and more balanced. Equimins has listened to us and brought out a specific product - as has another company.

Hopefully it won't be long until the other companies catch on.

I saw amazing improvements in my elderly boy (who was already healthy and had a 'good diet') when I balanced my minerals - I've had more compliments about how well he look this year than ever before too.

maggiesmum
01-02-12, 02:19 PM
As I said before, anything the horse does not use is harmlessly excreted.

Which is fine if theres too much of something but what about when that mineral is blocking uptake something else, then theres a deficiency problem.

I agree its a very difficult situation, far too many people buy something because of the marketing hype rather than because its right for their horse and lots of people i've come across really have no idea whats in their feed bag or the reason they're feeding it!
For me I just feel that balancers are horrendously expensive and very unnecessary.

Amaranta
01-02-12, 02:23 PM
I do agree with you - but I do feel feed companies should shoulder some of the blame. They market inappropriate feeds to horse owners and blag some science to sell it.

The owners never know where to turn half the time...YOs and feed store owners are often the points of contact and advice!

Molasses in the guise of mogolo in lamintic feeds. Wheatfeed in laminitic feeds....I could go on and on.

I don't think the prevalence of ulcers is only dietary - but grains and conditioning feeds really won't be helping the situation.

I had a forage analysis done by Dodson and Horrell - who highlighted the problems with my forage and then on the next page tried to flog me some of their feeds that were totally inappropriate!

I really can't take the word of any nutritionist who is paid by a feed company. I would only consider using an independent with a good reputation.

I do agree, the feed companies should shoulder some of the blame but they are in the business of supply and demand and as long as people fail to grasp the basic concepts of feeding they will continue to supply them with what they ask for. There is one company who markets a best selling fibre feed for laminitics, it bears the Laminitis Trust's logo (don't start me on that one!), if you check the spec, there is NO probiotic and there is not enough biotin for even maintenance levels, absolutely drives me mad, this feed can be seen in every feed shop in the land and is a best seller! People think that feeding it will prevent and treat laminitis no matter what kind of grazing they have the poor unfortunate pony on and are always surprised when it goes down with laminitis.

I also agree that independent nutritionists are far less likely to give unbiased options, although a good company nutritionist should give advice that is not detrimental to your horse, there are good and bad within the industry I have no doubt.

SpanishNeddy
01-02-12, 02:24 PM
what do you all mean when you say you stopped feeding the balancer as you didnt wish to die??? what do you mean. Does it supply lots of energy or something??

I just spoke to TopSpec and she was very helpful, she is sending me the ingredient list and comp chart in today's post.

But you can see from that spreadsheet TopSpec does have more in it than BC (albeit it is out of date).

I think I am liking TS at the moment.

Oberon
01-02-12, 02:26 PM
I do agree, the feed companies should shoulder some of the blame but they are in the business of supply and demand and as long as people fail to grasp the basic concepts of feeding they will continue to supply them with what they ask for. There is one company who markets a best selling fibre feed for laminitics, it bears the Laminitis Trust's logo (don't start me on that one!), if you check the spec, there is NO probiotic and there is not enough biotin for even maintenance levels, absolutely drives me mad, this feed can be seen in every feed shop in the land and is a best seller! People think that feeding it will prevent and treat laminitis no matter what kind of grazing they have the poor unfortunate pony on and are always surprised when it goes down with laminitis.

I also agree that independent nutritionists are far less likely to give unbiased options, although a good company nutritionist should give advice that is not detrimental to your horse, there are good and bad within the industry I have no doubt.

I can see us going out for a drink and ending up crank calling all the feed companies http://www.runemasterstudios.com/graemlins/images/lol.gif

........and I used to feed Mollichop and Bran http://www.runemasterstudios.com/graemlins/images/naughty.gif

Amaranta
01-02-12, 02:29 PM
Iron is a big problem - they can't easily excrete that. Too much Vit C will also enhance iron absorption - robbing zinc....

Other excretion ability isn't the problem - it's the imbalances they cause while they're in there.

It would be lovely if we all got our forage analysed - or refused to buy hay/haylage unless it was already done by the seller (I believe this is the norm in the dairy industry in the US).

Until then - we need to demand better and more balanced. Equimins has listened to us and brought out a specific product - as has another company.

Hopefully it won't be long until the other companies catch on.

I saw amazing improvements in my elderly boy (who was already healthy and had a 'good diet') when I balanced my minerals - I've had more compliments about how well he look this year than ever before too.

Interesting, have not come across the Equimins supplement, is it bespoke? The other one I believe is Feedmark but it is very expensive and I don't think the uptake was brilliant.

Oberon
01-02-12, 02:31 PM
Interesting, have not come across the Equimins supplement, is it bespoke? The other one I believe is Feedmark but it is very expensive and I don't think the uptake was brilliant.

The Equimins one is by telephone order only so far. A bunch of barefooters brow beat him until he formulated it - but it's gaining in popularity so it might end up on the website eventually.

Amaranta
01-02-12, 02:31 PM
I can see us going out for a drink and ending up crank calling all the feed companies http://www.runemasterstudios.com/graemlins/images/lol.gif

........and I used to feed Mollichop and Bran http://www.runemasterstudios.com/graemlins/images/naughty.gif

EEEk! Mollichop and bran!

maggiesmum
01-02-12, 02:34 PM
what do you all mean when you say you stopped feeding the balancer as you didnt wish to die??? what do you mean. Does it supply lots of energy or something??

I had 5 horses and I put them all on TS, about 5 days later my yearling took to trying to box with anyone who went near him, my old tb mare had always suffered from separation anxiety (but only if left totally alone) went berserk if I took just 1 horse out of the field, the broodmare barged through the gate every time it opened and the 2 TB's did unspeakable things which resulted in me meeting the ground in various unpleasant ways!

I stopped feeding it and they all returned back to normal, the sceptic in me had to try it again few weeks later just to be sure..... it was definitely the top spec!!! :-O

Amaranta
01-02-12, 02:35 PM
what do you all mean when you say you stopped feeding the balancer as you didnt wish to die??? what do you mean. Does it supply lots of energy or something??

I just spoke to TopSpec and she was very helpful, she is sending me the ingredient list and comp chart in today's post.

But you can see from that spreadsheet TopSpec does have more in it than BC (albeit it is out of date).

I think I am liking TS at the moment.


On paper, it is not heating as it contains no cereal grains, but I have deff had one get too excited on it. I believe that it possibly makes some feel a little too well and thus have a little too much energy :)

Nocturnal
01-02-12, 02:42 PM
After reading all the hype on the TopSpec balancer I decided to try it on my TB. Got through a few bags, and if anything his condition and general health deteriorated. Was not at all impressed! Now he's on one of the supplements Oberon spoke of, and I'm much happier with his condition, though he was better on no supplement at all than on the TopSpec.

SpanishNeddy
01-02-12, 02:43 PM
Ah ok thanks.

I am now changing my mind! my horses problem is that he is too tense/highly strung/hot and a bit mad to ride (in an anxious/nervy way NOT excitable!). So I do not want him to get worse!!!!!!!!!!

ahhhhh confused now :confused:

Amaranta
01-02-12, 02:53 PM
Ah ok thanks.

I am now changing my mind! my horses problem is that he is too tense/highly strung/hot and a bit mad to ride (in an anxious/nervy way NOT excitable!). So I do not want him to get worse!!!!!!!!!!

ahhhhh confused now :confused:

Ahh sorry to be the cause of confusion, TS do a supplement version of the balancer which is much less likely to heat them up, it was called Comprehensive but I think it is now called All In One, it is less palatable than the balancer but may be an option. Other than that Spiller Original or D&H Ultimate will do a decent job. The other option is either TS Leisure Time or Spillers Lite. BC would be at the very bottom of my list tbh but their marketing machine is fabulous ;)

Spanish horses can indeed be very tense, I have one mare here who is typical, a sweetie but incredibly tense, I have spent months working her long and low and gaining her trust, she is 200% better now. Singing helps! She is the only one in the world who thinks I am the next Rhiana :D The other thing I do is make sure no cereal ever passes her lips!

AshTay
01-02-12, 03:01 PM
TopSpec now do a cool balancer. This is designed to be fed along a product such as their cool condition cubes which provide energy but not the full vit and minerals spectrum.

I find it hard to really judge what works and what doesn't. Our weather and, consequently grass quality within a field, is so variable that any increase/decrease in condition could as easily be attributable to other factors as it could be the balancer being used at the time.

Take my horse, when I got him he was on cool mix and chaff. He was a stresshead, prone to weight loss but always shiney and glossy looking (helped by being black!). I changed him over to a cereal and starch-free diet supplemented with oil and he's less of a stresshead, still prone to weight loss and shiney and glossy. At the same time as he's changed feeds, he's settled into his new home and done lots of de-spooking and confidence building work with me.

I don't know what role the feed played but if/when he's stressy now, I know it's not due to too much starch/cereal. He's on a balancer which he may not need but I can;t forumlate a balancer specifically for him because a) I don't know how and b) it would need to change with the seasons and whenever he moves fields.

I don't know how much truth there is about too much of one thing blocking uptake of another - can anyone give a real example? But it's highly unlikely that he's getting too much of any one thing I believe.

maggiesmum
01-02-12, 03:02 PM
The other thing I do is make sure no cereal ever passes her lips!

I have hot Tb's and I follow that rule too!!

OP - just be careful with the balancers, some are on a cereal base and you might not be feeding much but to an already hot horse it can be all the difference!

What are you currently feeding and why do you feel you need to change?
Genuine question - maybe theres something else that will do the job. :)

Amaranta
01-02-12, 03:08 PM
Those not on a soya base are generally on either a wheatfeed or an oatfeed base. There is no starch carrying grain in either wheatfeed or oatfeed, both are made from the husks that are left over after the grain has been extracted (bran by any other name) and are in fact a good source of extra fibre, most, if not all fibre/conditioning/pony nuts have these as a base, only grass and/or alfalfa nuts don't contain them. There should not be a problem with calcium take up as the feed they become will be balanced to rectify this.

Spyda
01-02-12, 03:51 PM
There are currently two commercial mineral supplements that I will agree with, but after another poster huffed at me and accused me of 'stealth marketing' recently, I am not going to say what they are.

PM me. I would be interested to know. :)

Lowen Ki
01-02-12, 03:52 PM
I've had a very positive experience with TopSpec in the past - my old eventing mare just did so well on it! She kept weight a lot better, seemed calmer and easier to 'communicate' with out XC (!) and just looked super. No other feed had made her that well. I swapped her to Baileys once to see if I could get away without such a big cost, but she was clearly not as good on it.

Honestly, all you can do it try one -and see if it works! If you're happy with it, stick!

My new chap is a bit of a tubby tubster and he's on the Spillers lite balancer while I try and get his weight issues under control and get him fit enough to be in full work. After this I may have to switch him to something with a bit more to it - or I might stay put! I don't feed him anything else alongside it - bar lots of soaked forage.

:)

m1stify
01-02-12, 04:02 PM
Top spec balancer that I use is leisure time and it is cereal free as my mare is allergic to cereals so I did a lot of research before picking this one! Never fizzed her up and she is doing very well on it. Also a bag lasts over 2 mths so dosent work out that expensive

Cupcakes and Horses
01-02-12, 04:19 PM
I had 5 horses and I put them all on TS, about 5 days later my yearling took to trying to box with anyone who went near him, my old tb mare had always suffered from separation anxiety (but only if left totally alone) went berserk if I took just 1 horse out of the field, the broodmare barged through the gate every time it opened and the 2 TB's did unspeakable things which resulted in me meeting the ground in various unpleasant ways!

I stopped feeding it and they all returned back to normal, the sceptic in me had to try it again few weeks later just to be sure..... it was definitely the top spec!!! :-O

That has well and truly put me off trying anything else!

sbloom
01-02-12, 05:21 PM
If you do want to feed a regular balance TS does seem to suit a lot of horses, obviously not all, but not many go off their rockers on it. Blue Chip is really high in starch so I'd not touch it personally. I do think cutting out starch is the single best thing you can do for your horse's diet.

Cupcakes and Horses
01-02-12, 05:41 PM
Not sure that's right they advertise that they are low starch low sugar cereal and molasses free.

AFlapjack
01-02-12, 05:57 PM
Really interesting to read this.

My boy is on TS lite balancer.

He gets very nervy/spooky and runs off (not quite bolting) but he used to be such a laidback lad :(

I now wonder if the TS isn't helping him....

Cupcakes and Horses
01-02-12, 06:02 PM
I also find BC calming I ran out once for 3 weeks when my old boy was young and then realised how much calmer he was on it!

Guignol
01-02-12, 07:13 PM
I am reading this post with such interest. I must say I am a feed merchants 'dream buyer' as I buy into all of their marketing.

Oberon, you mentioned on my post regarding my pony about the feed and the more you are saying the more I think how ignorant I am which is very scary.

Oberon, I know you probably cannot say too much, but not sure if you minded either pm'ing me or post if you can regarding what feed you would suggest as I am worried I have got it all wrong. :confused:

maisie06
01-02-12, 07:13 PM
Topspec all the way!!

JustKickOn
01-02-12, 07:18 PM
TopSpec.

MrsMozart
01-02-12, 07:45 PM
I use TopSpec for a somewhat excitable stress head DWB mare, and a very sensitive, sugar intolerant, IDxTB mare. Both are doing well on it. They get only that and a handful of Hi Fibre Lite (as it holds the Devils Claw and Milk Thistle better).

The ponies have Baileys Lo Cal Balancer, as need to keep an eye on their weight.

No other feed, other than grass (out 24/7 majority of the time), and ad lib decent hay when they're in.

stoneybroke
01-02-12, 08:04 PM
TOPSPEC ...25% off on Mole Valley Farmers website and TopSpec supps half price :)

Oberon
01-02-12, 08:40 PM
I am reading this post with such interest. I must say I am a feed merchants 'dream buyer' as I buy into all of their marketing.

Oberon, you mentioned on my post regarding my pony about the feed and the more you are saying the more I think how ignorant I am which is very scary.

Oberon, I know you probably cannot say too much, but not sure if you minded either pm'ing me or post if you can regarding what feed you would suggest as I am worried I have got it all wrong. :confused:

If you have a look at your other thread...it's all there;)

TigerTail
01-02-12, 08:52 PM
Question for y'all - What EXACTLY are you trying to achieve by paying money for a balancer? What are you balancing exactly?

sbloom
02-02-12, 07:46 AM
I don't think the name balancer is anything to do with why people buy it (and at least in the States where they started I think, they were aimed at least at hay or alfalfa based diets so they did balance the diet to a certain extent). People feed them because they are effectivley a pelleted multi vitamin in a protein base - the big benefit I think most of us find is that they can be fed year round, with the added energy/condition component of the diet being varied with less risk of underfeeding certains nutrients if decreasing rations, the big issue with feeding "one bag" feeds. They are not the solution to all ills, but they do make feeding more logical than simply choosing a bag of feed and adding a chaff, which is how many of us used to feed in the not so distant past.

Nocturnal
02-02-12, 08:45 AM
But the thing I don't understand about most 'balancers' is that they shove everything in there, regardless of whether the horse needs it or not, and in weird quantities too. They seem to rely on people to think 'ooh, that's got everything in it' and just buy it so they don't have to think about what they're feeding.

TigerTail
02-02-12, 08:52 AM
Thats exactly my point Nocturnal - how does the tub of stuff you've bought balance what you're feeding, when someone else is feeding it but with a different diet.

The levels have to be so low so as not to cause a problem no matter what its mixed with that its totally pointless!

Also what EXACTLY are you balancing? Your bucket feed? Your forage? If your forage have you had it analysed to know what its high or low in? If not than you're guessing and could well be making some levels higher that are already too high!

Massive waste of money!

Daytona
02-02-12, 08:56 AM
So I am a balancer fan more through clever marketing rather than actual knowledge on my part, please please correct me if I am wrong as I dont want to be wasting my money.

I thought a balancer was basically like a all round vitamin type supplement a bit like how I take a multivitamin every day for myself to make sure I getting vitamins as my diet is not the best.

Is that not what it gives the horse, all the vitamins it requires..???

Daytona
02-02-12, 08:59 AM
I want to add:

So if I am wrong how can I
Make sure my boy is getting what he needs in his food, he is a growing 17hh Oldenburg who still needs to fill out lots and currently gets TS balancer, TS conditioning cubes , spillers conditioning fibre and speedy beat. what should I be giving him, any suggestions welcome please.

Amaranta
02-02-12, 09:33 AM
I want to add:

So if I am wrong how can I
Make sure my boy is getting what he needs in his food, he is a growing 17hh Oldenburg who still needs to fill out lots and currently gets TS balancer, TS conditioning cubes , spillers conditioning fibre and speedy beat. what should I be giving him, any suggestions welcome please.

I would say that there is nothing wrong with this diet, he seems to be getting a good level of the important fibre from it. The TS cubes contain a good level of calories with no vit and mins, these are supplied by the balancer, there may or may not be some vits you do not need (he may be getting a certain amount from his forage etc) but they will most def not be dangerous in any way to your horse, he is also getting good protein and calcium levels, although if I were being very picky I would prefer an alfalfa chop to give him a better quality protein.

Someone mentioned Vit C earlier in the post, VitC is one of the vits that cannot be manufactured within the body, therefore it does need to be added, anything not used, like all vits is excreted harmlessly. I have yet to see any non anecdotal evidence that VitC interferes with the uptake of any other Vit/Min.

Balancers have a very useful function and I do not believe it is all market hype, just make sure you read the labels as not all balancers are the same.

Nocturnal
02-02-12, 09:34 AM
So I am a balancer fan more through clever marketing rather than actual knowledge on my part, please please correct me if I am wrong as I dont want to be wasting my money.

I thought a balancer was basically like a all round vitamin type supplement a bit like how I take a multivitamin every day for myself to make sure I getting vitamins as my diet is not the best.

Is that not what it gives the horse, all the vitamins it requires..???

I think the problem is that horses require certain minerals in specific ratios, as excesses in some can interfere with the absorption of others. As far as I can tell, feed companies seem to blatantly disregard this fact, other than the well-known calcium: phosphorus ratio. I guess they feel that they can safely ignore anything which isn't common knowledge :rolleyes:.

The most effective way of ensuring you are feeding correctly is to have an analysis done on your forage (grass/hay/haylage) and have a feed plan made up for you. But at the moment I'm using a supplement called pro-hoof, which was designed to balance typical UK forage by someone who doesn't have their head buried in the sand ;). It's working well enough for the moment, but no off the shelf supplement will ever be ideal, I'm afraid.

Oberon
02-02-12, 10:52 AM
I think people under estimate the efficiency of horses to utilize the nutrients in their grass and hay/haylage.

A healthy horse up to moderate work should be fully capable of fulfilling their needs with only the addition of what is missing or out of balance in the forage they are getting.

Feeding horses is more art than science as most research is either non-existent or from the 1970s and 1980s!

I just think going in 'all guns blazing' with 10 different bags of stuff (full of grains and sugar) will often do more harm than good.

Horses in moderate to heavy work may require quick access sources of glucose - but there are ways of providing that easily, more cheaply and more holistically than 'Conditioning this and that'.

sonjafoers
02-02-12, 06:18 PM
On paper, it is not heating as it contains no cereal grains, but I have deff had one get too excited on it. I believe that it possibly makes some feel a little too well and thus have a little too much energy :)

Hee hee, try adding their Performance Cubes to it too - still no cereal & low starch/sugar etc but it's ROCKET FUEL :D

Bluechip1
03-02-12, 09:26 AM
In order to help this discussion we thought it would be useful to present some of the facts:

At Blue Chip we are fully aware that our products are some of the most expensive on the market, but we are also aware that they are the most cost-effective, as they contain only the highest quality ingredients and the highest levels of active ingredients... so your horse is getting the benefits that you pay for.

All Blue Chip feed balancers are whole cereal and molasses free (since November 2011), meaning they have very low levels of sugar and starch.

Blue Chip feed balancers are the only feed balancers available in the UK to include the revolutionary new ingredient, nucleotides. Nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA and RNA
and are essential for cell replication. More information about these revolutionary ingredients can be found at www.bluechipfeed.com/nucleotides.

Blue Chip feed balancers are the only top selling balancers to include a natural, fruit derived form of Vitamin E in all the balancers, which is 4-6 times more bio-available to the horse than the synthetic form found in other feed balancers. So whilst other label declarations may show higher levels of Vitamin E the horse is getting less benefit from it. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant and is the cells first line of defence.

Comparing feed balancers on a chart can be useful when trying to decide which balancer to use, but it is important to understand why certain levels of vitamins and minerals have been included and in what form. Horses can only absorb a certain level of various vitamins and minerals and if you provide excess they will just be excreted. Hence it can look like a product is better as it has a higher level of a certain vitamin or mineral, but if it is above the level a horse can absorb, it will just get flushed out the other end! Some manufacturers fill their products with high levels of certain vitamins or minerals to look more impressive on the statutory label declaration, but this is of no benefit to the horse, so we decided it was a game that we did not want to play!

Vitamins and minerals also come in various forms of bio-availability to the horse, making certain ones, such as the organic, chelated forms the most available to the horse. So it is not just the numbers you need to look at, but the type of ingredient used - again, we formulate our products for the benefits of the horse, not to make a label look good!

If anybody would like any help or advice please call Blue Chip on 0114 2666200 or email info@bluechipfeed.com



NOTE TO FORUM ADMINISTRATOR: We are aware that sometimes administrators delete comments that are seen as blatant advertising. We hope that you do not see this as an ad, we just want to help put the record straight for the benefit of the discussion group.

trina1982
03-02-12, 10:33 AM
Hi Bluechip. Good to see that you are willing to enter the discussion! There are some valuable pieces of information in this thread already, but for me the million dollar question still is...

'what is the balancer actually balanced to'

I'm interested to know now (even though i have no need to really, i don't actually own my own horse to feed, but i'm still following this thread with interest).

Thanks in advance
Trina x

Nocturnal
03-02-12, 11:32 AM
Hi Bluechip. Good to see that you are willing to enter the discussion! There are some valuable pieces of information in this thread already, but for me the million dollar question still is...

'what is the balancer actually balanced to'

I would also be interested in the answer to this.

Faithkat
03-02-12, 11:39 AM
I have a very good do-er pure Arab and she's on Bailey's Lo-Cal (recommended amount) + Biotin as her feet aren't as good as they could be + carrots and that's all, no chaff, no nothing and now she's out 24/7 not even hay (although she will get haylage if the threatened snow arrives ;) )and she looks wonderful :)

Bluechip1
03-02-12, 11:49 AM
Blue Chip are continually assessing their formulations as we recognise that feeding trends change. This is why we have just re-formulated all of our products and for example Blue Chip Lami-light now has increased levels of nutrients, as we understand that horses and ponies that are prone to laminitis or those that are good doers, are usually on a restricted diet and will therefore be lacking in these essential vitamins and minerals.

It is impossible to create a balancer that is perfect for every individual horse, as they are all fed different qualities of fibre (hay, haylage, grass) and their individual existing vitamin, mineral and nutrients levels will be specific for each horse.

Based on this information we have designed our balancers to ‘balance’ out the diet of different ‘groups’ horses and ponies i.e. horses that are in light to medium work usually will have a good fibre diet but may be getting little or no hard feed, Blue Chip Original is designed for this type of horse. Older horses or ponies or those that are in a higher level of work require a higher level of vitamins and minerals, which is why Blue Chip Pro has an elevated level of these essential vitamins and minerals and also includes a prebiotic and a blood building formula; all designed to assist the requirements of this type of horse.

In an ideal world all horses and ponies would be blood tested, forage and grazing analyzed and constant assessments would be made; a feed programme could then be designed to ‘balance’ out their individual diet. Unfortunately this is not practical or possible for the majority of horse owners, which is why we have researched a wide range of the various types of horses and ponies and have designed balancers to help the majority of these horses. You will never get a perfectly balanced diet unless you can take all the above mentioned measures but by feeding a balancer, such as Blue Chip you will be nearer to imperfection than without!

I hope this is helpful

TigerTail
03-02-12, 11:59 AM
But your groups dont take into account whether the individuals in that group are on which brand of nut, which brand of chaff, and what each of those levels are.

Therefore a horse owners money is better spent on forage analysis so you KNOW you are actually getting it right.

Bluechip - you said that excess levels of minerals will be excreted - what you didnt mention is that if the forage is high in something like calcium this then inhibits the absorption of other minerals that the forage is lower in. So if your balancers have calcium in and up that level again, everything else is wasted.

foxy1
03-02-12, 12:01 PM
Unless we all en masse have our pastures analysed and then get bespoke supplements made



This is exactly what I have done and now feed only the minerals my horses need. It was not a hardship.

Angelz
03-02-12, 12:22 PM
I fed Blue Chip for a year with great results, I took him off it in Oct as he was gaining too much weight with the extended summer we had. I bought Global Herbs vit and mineral powder, just because it has less calories but I have to feed twice as much Hifi to get him to eat it as he doesnt like it, whereas he used to have a small handfull of HIfi with his cup of BC and love it. Shame because I would like to put him back on BC but he seems to be too much f a good doer to have hard feed.

Bluechip1
03-02-12, 12:46 PM
Hi Angelz

Blue Chip Lami-light would be the ideal feed balancer for your horse, as it is a low calorie, low sugar, low starch (whole cereal and molasses free) balancer which will not encourage weight gain, whilst still ensuring a balanced diet.

foxy1
03-02-12, 12:57 PM
Hi Angelz

Blue Chip Lami-light would be the ideal feed balancer for your horse, as it is a low calorie, low sugar, low starch (whole cereal and molasses free) balancer which will not encourage weight gain, whilst still ensuring a balanced diet.

I'm not sure how you know this Bluechip when you presumably have no idea what Angelz's forage contains......

Cupcakes and Horses
03-02-12, 01:22 PM
I agree with many things on this tread, I think a lot of horses are overfed and there are in fact very few that need hard feed I also think horses very rarely need the amount of feed suggested on the packets of feeds which is why I think people look to vitamin sups because it usually states they only get the right amounts of them if they are fed the suggested amount.

I can only comment on my own experiences, my horses are mainly grass fed as I am in the lucky position of having unlimited amount of grazing all year round.
Many moons ago I just gave dengie and sugar beat and only in the winter then I added a multivitamin and mineral sup just to be sure much like me taking one. Then I added a bit of this and a bit of that and apart from costing a fortune and taking an age to mix up one feed his tea was more powder than food!

That's when I changed to BC and the difference was plain to see (and feel as he was calmer).

I don't have a degree in equine nutrition so am no expert but what I do know is all four of mine look well and apart from one of the old ones having cushings they are fit and healthy so I cant be going too wrong.

They have the appropriate Dengie product - at the moment either Hi-fi lite or alfa a oil
speedi-beat
the appropriate Bluechip - either Pro or Lami-lite
and when their in home grown hay

I have fed 8 different horses and ponies like this and without a doubt all have improved in condition within weeks of being with me to no ill effects or going off their rocker :D and when bloods were taken when we were investigating the old chap to see if he was lacking in anything all his levels were good.

onemoretime
03-02-12, 01:35 PM
What do people think of Pink Powder - just to throw another balancer into the pot.

trina1982
03-02-12, 01:36 PM
I'm just still a bit surprised that we are in the dark ages with feeding when compared with dairy farmers, where forage analysis and bespoke mineral supplementation is now becoming popular. It's all very interesting. Mind you, ultimately there is little monetary profit from horses like there is from cows.

Thanks for your response Bluechip.

Trina x

Gilbey
03-02-12, 01:57 PM
Can't be bothered to read ALL the threads :( but I use Blue Chip everytime. They were by far the most helpful on the phone and all my competition horses are on it, plus my two fatties are on lamilite and its made a miraculous :) difference to them. I do feed Think Pink daily and the horses' coats are fab.:).

Amaranta
03-02-12, 02:12 PM
What do people think of Pink Powder - just to throw another balancer into the pot.

Pink Powder is not technically a balancer, it is a powdered supplement, the reason you cannot call it a balancer is because it does not have the protein levels to be a true balancer. The reason some horses seem to gain condition on Pink Powder is because it also contains a probiotic which allows the horse to utilise his feed more efficiently.

Oberon
03-02-12, 09:54 PM
What do people think of Pink Powder - just to throw another balancer into the pot.

It's an expensive way to feed Brewer's Yeast and Magnesium.

Oberon
03-02-12, 09:57 PM
I'm so honoured Blue Chip has come to HHO to teach all about their marvellous and complicated products.

With the science I have just read, I am feeling inspired to go out and buy their products immediately http://www.runemasterstudios.com/graemlins/images/spin.gif

trina1982
03-02-12, 11:05 PM
I'm so honoured Blue Chip has come to HHO to teach all about their marvellous and complicated products.

With the science I have just read, I am feeling inspired to go out and buy their products immediately http://www.runemasterstudios.com/graemlins/images/spin.gif

:D:D

summerguest
04-02-12, 01:36 AM
I was recommended equilibra feed balancer for my youngster and he did so well on it Ive dropped out all hard feed this winter for my other horses and just feed haylage/ alfa or molly chaff , with the feed balancer and drop of oil.

They all look healthy and glossy and sane.

foxy1
04-02-12, 05:30 AM
I'm not sure how you know this Bluechip when you presumably have no idea what Angelz's forage contains......


???? Bluechip???

sonjafoers
04-02-12, 01:07 PM
I doubt you'll get a response from Blue Chip until after the weekend as I guess they won't be working on a Saturday.

I do think there's a place for balancers but maybe the terminology isn't helping anything as they probably don't 'balance' forage diets as already stated. However having been recently looking into what I feed my horses I contacted ForagePlus re doing an analysis on the grazing at our yard. I'm at livery on roughly 20 acres which includes varied grazing, 2 separate woods, natural hedging and a river full of river weed etc. Due to the size and variation ForagePlus advised any analysis would only be a snapshot of what my horses are eating and could be useful as a ballpark figure but would not be accurate.

In view of the fact using a general purpose supplement or a balancer is also only a guestimation of my horses requirements it would be cheaper and easier for me just to buy such a product.

I guess those in a similar situation to me wanting to provide a full range of vitamins & minerals alongside some protein for muscle development would turn to a 'balancer'.

Maybe the key is not to think of it as balancing anything but just to think of it as a way of providing much of what our horses need, a bit like us taking a multi vitamin supplement.

OscarandPenny
12-01-13, 05:13 PM
Oberon can you pm me the supplements you recommend? I'm very interested, and have found a lot of your barefoot posts extremely helpful over the last few months, I'd value your info!
Oberon follow your info a lot and would appreciate your view. Please can you PM which ones you think are worth looking at

Shysmum
12-01-13, 05:35 PM
Very interesting thread ! Shy has tried Baileys (no difference), Spillers (same) and is currently on Topspec Lite (£25), which he is doing really well on. Am always interested in advice and info on other products though. It's a huge learning curve for me.

I do have to say though that I would not consider Blue Chip as I cannot see beyond the price tag - even if it was the most wonderful balancer on earth, I cannot afford it, so won't even look at it as an option nutritionally.

zaminda
12-01-13, 05:41 PM
I have feed both Blue Chip and Top Spec, but got on best with Equilbra, which is what I still feed.
I have found I don't have to feed anywhere near as much alongside it as I did on either of the others,and they look better, and are calmer.

Lacantus
16-02-13, 12:31 PM
I know this page is all about BlueChip vrs TopSpec buuut has anyone thought about trusting your horses instinct in what and when they need a supplement? In the end horses are designed to look for herbs themselves when they need it. I feed Hilton Herbs All Year Power Mix. I give it in a separate bucket alongside her chaff etc and she eats it almost every time even though I give her more then it says on the tub. Some days she wont eat it meaning she doesn't need it. This saves you money and no fizz from your horse as its just herbs( no starch sugar or similar). It's much more natural and available to your horses gut too. Also your horse will listen to their instinct and needs more. I recommend to have a blood test done to check if your horse needs extras. So all in all your still saving cash even after blood test and herbs as this will be no where near the costs of BlueChip or TopSpec every month!

muffinino
16-02-13, 12:44 PM
I'm fairly sure my cobs would eat the extra bucket of feed whether they needed it or not :D

FWIW I had a discounted bag of Topspec as a trial and was pretty impressed with it. Even feeding one horse 500g/day and another 250g/day it lasted around 7 weeks, which isn't too bad. I then moved them on to Redmills balancer, which is pretty much exactly the same stuff but almost exactly half the price. I must say I have been pleased with the results of both feeds. Redmills is an Irish company and I'm lucky that my local feed merchant stocks it. I also use their conditioning mix, which is very good and cheaper than 'branded' ones. Well worth checking out.

Lacantus
16-02-13, 12:47 PM
Ahh cool I shall google that and see if I can get a sample. Do you know if the ratio of supplements in the redmills is the same as TopSpec???:confused:

dominobrown
16-02-13, 12:49 PM
I feed Blue Chip, buy direct from them, use the over 50 or over 100 discount, and keep the loyalty card thing too. It works out cheaper than top-spec this way.
Also it is molasses free and my barefoot horse, in fact all my horses, do very well off it. I haven't got any feet/ coat/ behavioural issues (runs off and touches some wood!).

Lacantus
16-02-13, 12:51 PM
in my first post I meant to put the herb supplement in a separate bucket and see if they eat it

Lacantus
16-02-13, 01:11 PM
I'm checking on BlueChip more in detail now as Redmills is full of soya and that is free radical polyunsaturated and is unstable.

MasterBenedict
16-02-13, 02:50 PM
Ah ok thanks.

I am now changing my mind! my horses problem is that he is too tense/highly strung/hot and a bit mad to ride (in an anxious/nervy way NOT excitable!). So I do not want him to get worse!!!!!!!!!!

ahhhhh confused now :confused:

I wouldn't worry too mush Spanish Neddy - each horse is individual and you will just have to try it to see.

I have my yearling on Top Spec Leisure Time and certainly hasn't gone to his head - in fact I think he thinks he's a donkey ;)

I think TS leisure time might be a good place to start if your Neddy a a bit hot headed, but lots of very interesting views on here to consider also. Bit of a minefield if you ask me.....

muffinino
16-02-13, 08:02 PM
I'm checking on BlueChip more in detail now as Redmills is full of soya and that is free radical polyunsaturated and is unstable.

I didn't understand that :/ Sorry, I'm a bit thick :D
I did a comparison (as best as my uneducated, non-scientific brain could) of Topspec Complete Balancer and Redmills GroCare Balancer and they seemed pretty much the same. It wasn't very scientific, mind, so I'm probably wrong. Mine seem to do well on both.

I know you meant putting the herb supplement in a different bucket lol. I guarantee both my cobs would eat anything vaguely palitable put in front of them :D

lovinyourwork
16-02-13, 08:34 PM
I was feeding spillers lite but thought I would compare to horse and pony direct balancer, pleased with it and its delivered to your door and around 3p per meal cheaper which i found humerous, ridiculous maths for 3p. (no trip to feed merchant
though).
Highly recommend some of their supplements though .

muffinino
16-02-13, 08:47 PM
I thought Soya bean is commonly used as a cheap source of protein in a lot of human and animal food btw. I didn't realise there was something wrong with it.

nich
16-02-13, 08:54 PM
I fed TS for years, plus alfalfa products, but after a dreadful time with abscesses I changed to Pure balance plus bespoke minerals for our three. I add speedibeet and linseed oil only. Their feet are so much better - tighter white lines and less chipping and footiness. One is a sensitive Spanish mare, one an older I'd x with Cushings, and one fairly straightforward 3/4 tb. If you have consistency in your forage supply it is the most scientific approach and it is working.