Re: Feed for a VERY Picky PPID/IR Horse (CANADA)
Hi, Emma, and thanks for your post! Did you get a chance to see Bonnie's response to your post on the Outreach group? https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/message/241404 Picky eaters seem to be a part of life when dealing with IR, partly because we have taken them off the cookies and ice cream ("normal" balancers that are high in starch and sugar) and are asking them to eat broccoli. (acceptable balancers or custom mixes, without the "ice cream" factor).
There are really only 3 off-the-shelf ration balancers in Canada: The two from Mad Barn, and one from Le Cheval au Naturel: http://lechevalaunaturel.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_13.html
Mad Barn also has a Trace Mineral Pak: https://www.madbarn.com/ca/product/madbarn-trace-mineral-pak/ which is cheap like borscht; $0.55 per dose per 1,000 lb horse. It has no magnesium or vitamin E, but these are easily available from the feed store (magnesium oxide should be about $50 for a 50 lb bag, which will last about forever) and online (I get my vitamin E capsules from National Nutrition https://www.nationalnutrition.ca/ The Natural Factors 400 IU capsules are often on sale, and contain the pinch of oil needed for optimal absorption of the E. The one downside of the Trace Mineral Pak is that there may be too much manganese for your hay, depending on where you are in Canada. However, it is an inexpensive way to start adding a pinch of minerals to the feed (soy hulls or whatever) in order to get your horse used to the weird taste. Horses are a lot like toddlers: you have to allow them many days of a faint taste of something suspicious, and then can slowly increase.
The fourth option is often the very best, and least expensive in the long run: getting a custom mix from Mad Barn. To do this, get your hay analyzed; I send mine to Nutrilytical in Calgary, because they are affiliated with Dairy One/Equilanalytical in New York. https://sites.google.com/nutrilytical.ca/home/forage-testing?authuser=0 I get the Trainer # 603 test. Then, go to the Diet Balancing folder, and click on the file for HAY BALANCING: https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/files/6%20Diet%20Balancing These folks are all in the US, but it doesn't matter - hay balancing is hay balancing. There will be a fee for this, which varies from person to person, but it is quite reasonable.
My custom mixes vary from $0.89 per dose per 1,000 lb horse to $1.44 per dose per 1,000 lb horse, depending on what is in them. I add Vitamin E and flax separately.
I hope this helps. I have copied and posted this onto the Outreach group as well, so that Bonnie's excellent information and this post are on the same thread.
Merlin and Maggie (over the bridge), Gypsy, Ranger
ECIR mod/support, Smithers, BC 09