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Thread: Feed & Soaking

  1. #1
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    196

    Default Feed & Soaking

    So I have a 14.1hh Welsh X, he's looking extremely well for this time of year considering is v little grass about.

    Was getting a handful of D&H Safe & Sound in the morning, then 2 haynet's in the eve as comes in around 4 till 8 in morning, nets soaked for an hour also.

    However he has not dropped any weight, and he is around 420kg to much really, and he is quite a handful to ride lately, spooking at anything & everything, jogging no end, if halt or half halt will buck, or threaten to !! If in school he now just squeals all the time like a fool.

    YO says to cut out the D&H Safe & Sound plus only feed 1 soaked net an soak overnight also.

    Whats everyone's thoughts/opinions ? Yes tack etc all checked too as always.

  2. #2
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,757

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    420 Kgs for a 14.1 isn't that heavy? I have a 13.1 cob who weighs in at 410kgs and is pretty much bang on - but may well have more bone than yours depending on what your welsh is crossed with. (Cob is hunting fit.) What is his condition score? And how much do your haynets weigh?

  3. #3
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    Not 100% sure what he is X with, on a score of 0-5 would say he prob ranks v close to the 4 if I am brutally honest with myself, when got him was literally obese HUGE, had been in a field for near on a year no work and v v lush grass, could not get a saddle to fit, now has a K&M with XW bar in it :-(
    So I am aware he's got a fat covering, obviously cant see ribs or anything & not an easy feel either. The 420kg is via a weigh tape also, and am sure people say whatever that says put on 50kg to be more exact a figure.

  4. #4
    Sport horse
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    1 hour isn't a massive length of time to soak the hay. Could you soak for longer to remove more sugars? Alternatively mix his nets with hay and straw so he still has plenty of forage to go at but less sugars.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    I'm not sure how warm it is where you are, but for me in the winter I definitely need to soak for longer than a few hours to get the sugars down enough. Currently overnight is working well for me, but have had hay ice-lollies quite a lot of late!

  6. #6
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    W. Yorks
    Posts
    19,727

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    I would give up the S&S, give a small amount of hay and offer big trugs of plain oat straw chaff. I got *a lot* of weight, at least 150kg off a massively obese Draft horse, who was off the weight tape when I got her by using that regime. I didn't bother soaking the hay, imo that is more bother than it's worth in this weather, when there is a perfectly viable alternative.

    ETA, if they are hungry they will eat the chaff, if they refuse it, they aren't hungry.
    "Don't LET him do that"

  7. #7
    Schoolmaster
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    664

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    The handful of Safe and Sound is peanuts in the grand scheme of things. By all means, leave it out, but it won't be the reason for keeping the weight on. The vast majority of his calories will come from forage. Even if it doesn't look like there's much in the fields yet, the grass is growing. The reason you don't see it is because it ends up in the horse's stomach!
    Have you weighed your haynets (before soaking)? It might be helpful if you had a better idea how much of his daily forage requirement he's currently getting as hay. For example, I can fit an entire day's worth of hay for my 14.1h/400kg good doer pony into a single Shires haynet (8kg). Maybe you're already feeding close to his daily requirements with hay alone, and he's getting grass on top of that. You could aim to feed no more than 2/3 of his requirement as hay (to match the fact that he's spending 2/3 of his time stabled), or if you already feed less than this, reduce further or swap part of the hay for something less calorific (as above).
    The other thing you could try is keep an eye on the number of droppings he produces. Might be difficult if he's turned out in a group (though sometimes you can still tell by size or texture whose it is), but at least in the stable it's possible. That is a very good measure of how much fibre you have going through the horse, even when you can't monitor how much grass they are eating. As you reduce the amount of forage you feed, the number of his droppings should go down as well. You can make sure you feed enough fibre to have a minimum of droppings per day (each horse is different, but I look out for at least 8 during spring time, when mine is out 24/7 on very restricted grazing, "looks like there's nothing there to eat" pasture).

  8. #8
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    Well I was giving him 2 soaked nets a night, which I weighed and are 5kg a net, so to much there already, so have cut out the S&S and will now give one 6kg net soaked overnight from now on, as realize he was getting far to many calories from forage.

  9. #9
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    Have been doing it for a week and I have a completely different horse, for the better I may add.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Feed & Soaking

    Glad to hear it's made a positive difference.
    It's also given me a kick up the bum to get weighing my nets again, so thank you!

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