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  1. #1

    Question Experienced but NEW horse owner

    Hi there, this is the first time I have used a forum for help.
    Basically, I am buying my first horse in summer and wanted to know the best feeds out there. I know it all depends on what horse I get but I plan on compeating..I know that much. I was going to go with Haygates, what are thoughts on Haygates and in your opinion what are the best branded feeds out there?

    J x

  2. #2
    Veteran
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    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    So many horses, so many feeds, so many opinions!

    Until you buy, you won't know, in outline, what the horse needs. Lots of calories? Minus calories? What sort of competing will you be doing, and how quickly? Which brands do you have access to? What are your own personal preferences?

    Personally I prefer fibre, with fat/oil when more calories are required. I like Saracen, Dengie and Baileys for different products and reasons. But there are soooo many opinions, and options, you'll really just have to try a few for yourself and see what you think. Feeding, and working out what's suits your horse, is fascinating.

  3. #3
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    Each horse has its own requirements. In over 30 years of horse owning and having never used a particular brand of chaff I have literally just switched because they offer the correct formulation for the horse I have in front of me. (And I am not feed faithful - its just that brand had never been the best match before.)

    There are lots of reasons why we choose a particular feed. Why is it you want to go with Haygates? Is it local? Or particularly cost effective? From a pure nutritional perspective it isn't the scientifically best feed company - in fact quite away from it - but it isn't "bad". There are certainly worse!

    Understanding what your new horse (or any horse new or not!) needs feed wise is a challenge for all of us. It is easy to stick to one particular brand - and even to become evangelical about that brand (my preferred brand is A&P - just had to get that out there.)

    The first step is what the horse is currently on. You'll have to keep to that for 3 - 4 weeks anyway. Ask the owner - why have they chosen that feed. there might be no particular reason, or no reason that applies to you like it is available or it is cheap. But they might have done a lot of research and experimentation for that horse and have something of value to share.

    Then - feed the "home" feed for a month and see what happens once you bring them home and adjust the workload. Then - back to the rules of feeding. Does that feed suit type workload and condition?

    There is no easy answer. To do the best by any horse keep an open mind. "That" feed company you have always found best - might not actually work for where you are now. Experiment slowly. Always leave enough time to change smoothly and to appreciate the impact of any chnage. If you want a scientific basis for your choices Futurelearn offers an online equine nutrition course from time to time which is free of charge and very helpful.

    Good luck. Most people find a suitable feed fairly quickly. It might not be the best - but it works. Only a minority struggle with feed issues. But never be afraid to consider feed as an issue - I suspect it is more prevalent than many realize.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    Morning,

    Thank you both I appreciate it. I was only going with Haygates because it has been recommended to me. I will keep an open mind when it comes to feeding because I am not too well educated on it so I will need some help. I just don't want to get him home and he has nothing.

    Thank you both again x

  5. #5
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    You won't get him home with nothing. You'll have to keep the same feed for a bit anyway so either buy a bag of whatever he is currently on or ask the old owner if you can buy half a bag off them - depending on what he eats and how much. Don't bring a new horse home to new feed - it puts them at risk of digestive disturbance if not an all out colic.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    Quote Originally Posted by Josie666 View Post
    Morning,

    Thank you both I appreciate it. I was only going with Haygates because it has been recommended to me. I will keep an open mind when it comes to feeding because I am not too well educated on it so I will need some help. I just don't want to get him home and he has nothing.

    Thank you both again x
    I use Heygates Horse and pony nuts as they’re cheap but he only has a handful. Also use their balancer at the moment. Lots of people I know use them. They’re probably not top notch and perfectly balanced but ok.

    I don’t think you can go wrong with a new horse by feeding a simple but tasty unmolassed Alfalfa free chaff eg Thunderbrooks healthy herbal chaff and a basic vit and min balancer to start. Then adjust as is necessary.

    I don’t think you necessarily need to keep a horse on exactly the same feed if you just feed hi-fibre forage based nut or chaff type ones, they’re all pretty similar. It would be nice for the horse to have something it is familiar with and likes though while it settles.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    Ok so by these replies I’m clearly overthinking and worrying when there is nothing to worry about really. Just see what the horse is on get him home keep it on him for 3-4 weeks then change it as and when decide what kind of work I will be doing with him. I’m really excited finally got there at 26! Haha

  8. #8
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    I would just carry on feeding him the same then if you feel he needs something more or a change look into what is going to work for you.

  9. #9
    Veteran FestiveFuzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    Before my current yard I've always just kept them on whatever they were previously fed, and only made adjustments/additions to that if their needs changed.

    The yard I'm now on follows the fodder solutions system so the majority of the horses are fed hydroponically grown sprouting barley mats. The only addition my boy gets is joint and probiotic supplements as he came to me with ulcers, but he's really thrived on the mats and looks fab.

  10. #10
    Veteran tankgirl1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Experienced but NEW horse owner

    I would say the big thing is ad lib forage, never leave a horse stood without. As for bucket feeds, I have a cob and a shettie, they just get a token feed of pink mash and chop when they come in at night over winter, they don't really need it but all the other horses in the barn get a bucket and it just makes life easier
    Dolly & Hercs

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