Feed for mares

(10 Posts)
SilkScarf Thu 15-Sep-16 15:02:45

Hi All,

Got a quirky mare, had her for nearly a year. She is not really naughty just very forward and wants to go go go...
She is an Irish sport, fairly small just about 15.2 hands. I'm feeding her Top Spec cool balancer and molasses free chaff as well as hay. She also goes out a few hours during the day. When I first had her she got basic pony nuts and regular chaff. She almost demolished her stable hence the change. The change in diet seems to have made a difference but she will probably never be mellow.. I have also tried oestress but didn't notice any difference at all. We are happy with how she is in terms of riding just wished she was a bit nicer to geldings in the field. Anyone tried any supplements to mellow a hot headed mare? She is 6 by the way.
Would be interested to hear what others feed temperamental mares.
Thank you :-)

My first suggestion would be to get her out more - a few hours a day isn't really ideal. How much exercise is she getting? If my horse were stabled almost full time he would need to be out doing something for a good couple of hours each day. When I got him he was stabled 24/7 (hunted hard 3 days a week and exercised on his off days) and he was so stressy - as soon as I got him I moved him to out all day and in at night for a week and then out 24/7 except the night before hunting. He's a transformed character and so much more chilled.

Apart from the physical benefits of being outside it is much better for their mental health. If there's any way you could improve her environment I'd be looking at that before fiddling about with her diet. I'm no diet expert as mine is mostly grass fed with oats, nuts and a rough mix so there are probably changes you could make. You're best off contacting a couple of people from the big feed companies and seeing what they say.

SilkScarf Sat 17-Sep-16 21:44:21

She is normally out 10am to 5pm and works about an hour a day, mix of jumping, flatwork and hacking.

Thanks

Well that's a fair amount I'd have said. Perhaps try one of the manufacturers helplines and see what they suggest. I've not much experience with them but could it be ulcers?

elastamum Sun 18-Sep-16 11:59:54

We have a very stressful TB mare and have found magic makes a big difference to her. I also keep my horses out as much as I can and feed very high fibre low calorie feed

bouncydog Sun 18-Sep-16 15:23:12

Sounds exactly like ours (15 2 irish sports) who is inclined to exhibit stallion tendencies towards anything else that approaches until the pecking order is established and the others give in! She's now 17 and still has her moments!

Over the years my daughter has tried all different sorts of feed - but she is much better with plenty of time out in the field - feed is usually nuts and high fibre low calorie feed with unlimited hay. On a professional yard where she was kept the feed was nuts and chaff with quantities adjusted up or down depending on the amount of work undertaken.

SilkScarf Mon 19-Sep-16 13:51:03

I don’t think I want to increase her field time to be honest. She is an obsessive grazer and she has definitely put on a few pounds over the summer. I’m not worried about it for now as we are getting towards the end of summer so hopefully grass growth will start to slow down and less leisurely hacks in the woods because it is too baking hot to do any other work so I’m hoping she will shed her flab without extra measures. If she still looks like this in the middle of winter then yes I will be worried… very worried. Her hay is double netted to slow her down a bit but not sure if it is working as she is very crafty.

I have been contemplating adding “magic” to her feed. I have read some very good reviews online but I don’t know anyone at our stables or any of my other horsy friends who have tried it before. Glad it made a difference to your horse Elastamum, think I will give it a go.

Bouncydog, sounds like you are writing about my horse!! I tend to adjust her feed depending on how much work she has done as well.

I’m reluctant to get advice from manufacturers, they are likely to advise to try their products me thinks, why shouldn’t they?
Also the “ Top Spec Cool Balancer” was recommended to me by a supplier. I think it has made some difference, however the yard manager where we are stabled seems to be doubtful that it is the product that is making the difference. I have researched the Top Spec product online and again seems opinions as the the benefits of the product vary widely. What a maze!!

ProseccoBitch Mon 19-Sep-16 14:25:21

I had a mare who never calmed down (well I still do but she's retired now). The only thing that worked at all was valerian, but I don't know if you can compete on it.

DraughtyWindow Mon 19-Sep-16 15:52:39

Try pure magnesium. Available from ForagePlus. It works for our mare.

Whenwillitrain Tue 20-Sep-16 12:40:15

I soak my hay for 24 hours, so my fatty can have a huge hay net (trickle) when stabled. I feed balancer, plain chaff and also magnitude which seems to work for me.

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