When I first bought my mare a field of good grass sent her weight up and her mind slightly crazy. While on good grass she really didn’t need much extra for energy, by that I mean, she had loads of it and I struggled to contain the crazy!
After moving her in 2015 to the next yard, I brought her into work and found that she really didn’t need much more feed to cope with the work that she was in. Therefore she was on the basics of a light balancer and chaff and she was quite happy on that. For a horse in reasonably light work that is all she needed.
After moving her at the beginning of this year her work has been stepped up, I have slowly come round to the fact that I will have to feed her more in order for her to keep up with the work. As a friend put it when she rode her “Its like theres no petrol in the engine”, so I needed to do something but I wasn’t wanting to invest in a big bag of feed and for it to not work or work too much. Plus I was in denial and I didn’t want to go back to the head on the floor bucking Eva that I had before.
Being very aware of the craziness that came before, I wanted to increase the energy slowly without sending her … well … yup you guessed it! Crazy!
Shortly after deciding that I would have to change up/add more to the feed, we went to Blair so I took full advantage of the feed stands that would be there and spoke to a few of the stands. I ended up giving a supplement a try that would support red blood cell production which would in turn increase stamina and recovery times, it sounded exactly what I was looking for.
So after giving this to her, I did notice a very small increase in energy but in order to get the increase in energy that I was wanting I would of had to doubled the dose. If I had done that it would of been very expensive to keep up.
Therefore I thought I would be better off going down a different route.
I decided to just go for it.
I bought a bag of mix.
I was ready.
My plan was to start adding it very slowly . I normally would do this with any other feed but I would be keeping an extra close eye on her while adding this to ensure I could manage any changes quickly before there was any explosion.
After feeding it for about a week, by no means have I been giving her a large amount – a small half scoop per feed. I had a lesson with my usual instructor, at the start I mentioned that I had changed the feed up.
He laughed and said I was brave while I warmed up a rather twitchy/spooky Eva, but this wasn’t a bad thing. While it was slightly difficult to handle when warming up, as she is quite sharp, once we got going she worked very well. At the end of the lesson we were tired but not as much as usual.
Even the canter felt better like it wasnt going to collapse on me, but this may be because it has been our focus recently. We had one half of the large school, our half was clear of jumps but the other half had jumps everywhere, at one point during our lesson we were cantering a 20m circle and while crossing the centre line Evas head came up locking on to a jump just outside of our half of the school. Quick evasive action from me and we just managed to stay in our half and complete our circle with our instructor calmly saying “No we are not jumping today Eva!”. 😂🙈
I am definitely going to keep her on it and might considering increasing after a while but for now I will keep her on the tiny portion she is on.
She is certainly feeling a lot more opinionated than usual.
Have you ever changed your horses feed up? Why did you decide to make the change?