Friday, July 9, 2010

Practice what you teach...

Another week come and gone, lots of interesting questions from horse owners this week on feeding a variety of horses, from weanlings to senior horses. This morning at the Davison Ranch (Really we have a ranchette since it is 40 acres, seems like you really need at least three digits of acreage to have a ranch, most "ranches" in my area of Texas are at least 4 digits, 1000 acres or more. Anyway, I digress...back to the original blog...) my husband left to go judge a cutting horse show for two days. I worked in the office all day; talked to a few horse owners, a couple great Purina dealers and a couple Purina sales reps...not a bad gig when most days you get to talk to horse people about horses. The young lady that works for my husband fed this morning but was off this afternoon, so I closed up shop in the office at 5 PM and went out to practice what I teach all day, every day....feed horses.

I loaded up the Ranger and drove around the place looking at hungry faces of all ages and activity levels; our weanling, Texie, who is growing beautifully; a yearling we hope will grow up to be a nice barrel horse; the two-year olds here to be started under saddle; the three-year olds in cutting training; several geldings between 4 and 10 years old under various levels of activity; a nice 6 year-old mare and a 7 year-old stallion, both in cutting training; and our 17 year-old broodmare, Texie's mother who is in foal again to Freckled Leo Lena, Texie's sire.

So, what do we feed? Well, since we have such a variety of horses and have our help feed some of the time so we need it to not be too complicated, but we are of course, very particular about providing excellent nutrition, Purina Strategy GX Professional Formula is the very best choice for our horses and our operation. I fed from 3.5 lbs per day to the less active, mature horses to 5 - 7 lbs per day to the young growing horses and horses in training. We also feed both Bermudagrass hay and alfalfa hay, for most a 50:50 blend but for some geldings not doing much, we feed straight Bermudagrass hay and when our broodmare was still nursing, we fed her straight alfalfa hay. We adjust the amount of Strategy and the amount and type of hay based on age, activity level and individual body condition. The goal is to keep all horses between a body condition score of 5 - 6 (See the Body Condition Score Chart on if you aren't familiar with it). When Purina has taken care of all the nutrition research and provides the proper balance and ratios of nutrients in Strategy, there is no more guess work, all we have to do is adjust the amounts according to body condition of each horse. Don't really need a Ph.D. for that do you? Pretty simple but very effective.

Now, I'm going to go load the trailer and be ready to go to a barrel race tomorrow. I hope everyone has a great weekend and gets to enjoy your horse in whatever activity you love.

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