Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Variety is the Spice of Life

Like many founder-prone horses Tonka is an "easy keeper", meaning that it doesn't take much to meet his caloric needs. Here he gets free-choice, low-carb hay with a little alfalfa, whole oats, sunflower meats, whole flax or carrot mixed in on any given day. These bonus items are mostly to ensure that he's got some variety in his diet while keeping it as natural as possible -- I try to steer away from processed/engineered horse feed.

Raven, on the other hand, is a typical thoroughbred. She's that girl who can eat anything and everything without gaining any weight, and who sometimes has the audacity to *lose* weight. This is the only way in which I fear that Tonka and Raven are incompatible. Raven's former owner sent me a list of her daily feed today, and it goes like this:
  • 4-6 flakes of hay (she will free feed on Tonka's low-carb stuff here)
  • 4 scoops beet pulp
  • 4 scoops of high-fat Phase 3
  • 4 scoops of oats
  • 4 mini-scoops of Cool Calories
  • 4 scoops of alfalfa cubes

That's a lot of food for a horse. Raven is currently underweight because the pregnant mare she lives with has been stealing her food, but here I will feed her all of this separate from Tonka, who would probably keel over in heart failure if he dared to glance at it. I think we'll replace the Phase 3 with sunflower seeds and I'll avoid the Cool Calories if possible. There will be a period of trial and error, I'm sure, but we'll figure it out. Any suggestions?

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