Veteran conditioning

Lost when it comes to horse feed, forage and supplements? What works for your horse? Join the discussion
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:16 am

Veteran conditioning

Postby Kaliska » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:23 am

Because of the awful weather we have had this winter and my horse being out of work, he has dropped a lot of condition. Obviously quite a bit of this is muscle, but is there anything extra I can feed to help put condition back on. He's been getting good quality haylage all winter, but I was thinking about putting him on build up with some oil?

I dont want to give him anything that might make him fizzy - any suggestions or experiences?

Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:55 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby greyhorse » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:58 pm

I find nothing beats spring grass for condition, and my whole feeding strategy centers around keeping condition away. Most of the good feed companies have nutritionists on hand to offer advice, and some will even come and visit you and your horse to condition score and work with you on a diet. You have to be so careful with horse's, especially veterans, I'd get in touch with one of them if you are worried.

Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:14 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby Harriet » Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:40 pm

I agree with the spring grass thing, though a sudden change to it can make horses 'squitty' which defeats the object somewhat. Oil is good, too, I think - traditional horsemen used to feed their horses boiled linseed to make them well-covered and shiny, and I know showing diva Lynn Russell used to feed her show horses it, too. There are lots of conditioning feeds with oil - worth investigating.

Posts: 336
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby pukkapony » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:35 pm

I feed my old boy the following:

1kg = Saracen Veteran Mix
300g = Dengie Alfa-A Oil
20g = Global Herbs 'GloVite'
2.5kg (dry weight) hay, dampened but not soaked (keeps the calories in & the spores out)

1.5kg = Saracen Veteran Mix
500g = Dengie Alfa-A Oil
30g = Global Herbs 'GloVite'
3.5kg (dry weight) hay, dampened but not soaked (keeps the calories in & the spores out)

His grazing isnt great at the moment so I have upped his hay, normally I would feed around 4-5kg hay with fair autumn grazing, changing as per weather and conditions etc.

I hope this helps, I have a 21yr old TBxWB 15.1hh gelding, he's a little underweight and has recently come back from injury. For muscle try adding Globlal Herbs 'MuscleUp' but use in conjunction with 'GloVite'.

Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby hessy » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:00 pm

I would advice keeping it simple - less hassle!! And Ive had enough hassle lol!

So basically STUFF your horse with hay/haylage and/or grass - AD LIB!

Sugar beet is great too for an extra fibre boost. You could feed straights - but the total cost of balancing them out might come to more than it would be to buy a bag of conditioning mix. Probably more complicated too to figure out - eek!

I would feed any sort of conditioning mix. something along the lines of 'cool and condition' - you get the idea. Read the bag and contact the feed companies.
Alternatively you could feed a dengie chaffy feed which wouldnt have cereals in it to fire him up. Again contact them.

Oil is great to add to feed - linseed is great for skin and coat condition and shine and general condition. Cod liver oil is recommended for joints.

I think at lot of supplements have been far too hyped up which is why im recommending keeping it simple and old fashioned - you just dont know what is in all those different supplements.

My advice would be to add supplements if there is a specific purpose, such as stiffness or dull coat etc.

I found baileys no1 was good - it went into a porridgey mixture.

Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:38 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby lemmethink » Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:46 pm

The only thing about ad lib anything and oldies is their teeth might not be up to chewing through enough hay to give them enough nutrition. Oil is a great way to sneak extra condition on without exerting too much chewing effort. Your vet might have some other ideas to help, too.

Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:21 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby Anna » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:56 pm

i would like to find out anymore i can do for my veteran too... i own a 38yr old shetland who lives out all year around with a walk in stable. she has always kept a good weight all year around with just grass alone, or a handful of pony nuts in winter. this year, she came out of winter a bit too thin for my liking, and despite good grass all spring and summer and getting fed twice a day she didn't get much better. then we noticed that she had been quidding and not getting enough of the grass fibre/forage down her and so mainly relying on the veteran mix and sugarbeet we had been giving her. thus causing a real imbalance. unfortunately we realised how little grass she was actually eating a bit too late and she had a bout of laminitus, but not a serious bout thankfully. we got the dentist out to her and her teeth got fixed(was a couple starting to fall out) and her quidding improved a lot. changed her feed to ready fibre mash extra, and speedi-beet. at least this means she is getting enough fibre and not imbalanced. she is getting an MSM and glucosamine supplement also. she still isn't putting on a lot of condition though, and feeding her molassed sugar-beet or alpha-beet makes her a bit fizzy, but not in a good way. she hurries everywhere and then tends to trip up a lot. what kind of oil would be best for conditioning? or has anyone had any good experiences with a certain product?

Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby hessy » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:42 pm

Id say now her teeth are starting to fall out, you would need to think about fibre mashes etc. But still offer her forage - i would suggest haylage as its softer and has more energy, which will help with condition. A small pile/net strapped to fence/gate or tied up in her stable twice a day would be beneficial. However, think about whether a net would put her off - perhaps a rack or manger or just a pile in the field would be better?

I would make sure your worming programme for her is up to date and working. You can take a sample of her dung and send it off and it will tell you what her worm count is - however, it doesnt show redworm or tapeworm so you still need to worm for them. Worms might cause them to drop weight. Westgate Labs provide this service

Make sure she has plenty of water.

When was the last time you got her teeth checked? Its recommended you get them looked at every 6 months or every 12 months.

Another thing to think about would be her field companions - sometimes bullying can cause them to drop weight.

Finally, illness or pain can cause them to drop weight so make sure shes healthy and fit, inside and outside.

The above things are really common sense and youve probably already thought of them! :)

Slow release energies are fibre and oil so i would feed her a mash as well as the grass and haylage. Dodson and Horrell Safe and Sound is suitable for laminitics and can be made into a mash/sloppy mess! ... sound.html - my RI used this on her 40yo pony. Its a complete feed - you can add oil to this as well.
Another option would be to buy veteran cubes and soak them into a nice mash. You could team this with a dengie fibre feed such as hi fi senior or even just regular unmollassed chaff to give a fibre boost. You can add her glucosamine supplement to this (although some veteran concentrates have glucosamine already in them) and oil.

Linseed oil is excellent for coat and condition - 15ml - 25ml per day for ponies.

If you feed along the guidelines for the cubes/safe and sound she will be getting all her required nutrients. Im not sure how much chaff you should give, investigate this - perhaps only a quarter to half a round scoop per day?

Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby princesslucy » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:06 pm

Allen Page do a great conditioning food ( i can't remember what it's called) and when made up it's almost like a mash. It is best feed in the winter as it keeps the weight on and you can add warm water to it to make it nice for your horse to eat.
My pony was very well and just ate :
dengie healthy hooves
clop vitamin supplement
sunflower oil
joint supplement

( i know there is a lot of supplements in there but we were given the joint one)
we were lucky though as the grass my pony was on was very good.

Big Brown Horses
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:02 pm

Re: Veteran conditioning

Postby Big Brown Horses » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:16 pm

The Allen & Page feed is Fast Fiber and it's brilliant. My old boys teeth are shocking, I feed him Fast Fiber, Alfa Beet and Alfa A Oil from Dengie. He absolutely loves it and looks great too!

Return to “Feed, forage and supplements”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest