I’ve learned so much about equine nutrition recently, but I’m having trouble sorting through what works for my horse and what doesn’t. I’d love input, especially in trying to decider between what’s turnout/stress related and what’s hay/feed!
Context: 10yo OTTB gelding, I’ve had him 7 years, 1100 lbs ish, waffles between hard and easy keeper. I board, and have moved around for work a lot, so he’s seen the spectrum of management styles and feeds. Currently he’s on stall rest and handwalking for a suspensory strain, just moved him to a rehab barn. The barn manager says he’s losing topline, which makes sense due to restrictions on turnout BUT he wasn’t doing anything before. My goal is to support him and make sure he can hold as much muscle and good weight as possible.
He’s on currently and was on before the rehab barn:
TC Senior (5lbsish)
TC balancer (1lb ish)
4000IU natural E, Cu/Zn, and MSM.
Nexium protocol for ulcers.
As much grass hay as he will clean up. Some hand grazing. Currently handwalking 2x daily.
Here’s what he was eating a year or two ago when he looked AMAZING, in the same level of work:
24/7 turnout on grass pasture and round bale
3lb Empower Boost fat
2lb alfalfa pellets
4000-5000 IU E
Could the lack of turnout/rehab stress be the sole reason he’s dropping muscle and weight? Or is there some glaring difference between the feeding programs that I’m missing? I know his old diet was high in fat but also high in NSC, and I think at one point much higher in E as well. I’m willing to go back to the old diet but he doesn’t really like the Boost and it was a fight to get him to eat it at first. He likes the Senior.