Re: Feed 1.5% or 2% of body weight?
It is/was confusing to me also.... I think the ECIR recommendation is to feed whichever amount(1.5% or 2%) is Greater to ensure horse is getting enough forage.
So yes in some cases you would be feeding more......The Key I think is ECIR wants to ensure horse is getting adequate forage, so the way I interpret it is 2% is really the baseline to feed unless you are wanting weight loss and 1.5% calcs out to be greater than 2%. Once you get him to his target weight feed 2% and adjust if needed.
Someone else here can confirm or correct me.
Fwiw our vet actually recommended we feed our obese/IR mustang an amount slightly less than 1.5% of target weight along with ration balancer in order to get him from over 1100+ lbs down to his target weight of 900. For him, it worked but he was fed small amounts frequently 24 hours per day via some 'automatic' hay feeders I built and no he had ill effects such as colic or ulcer symptoms. His weight loss was stubborn and slow at first but once he got to a certain point he lost a lot of weight rapidly(~250 lbs in about 8 months on dry lot with soaked hay and ration balancer only) . We have ramped up his ration a bit now and monitoring to ensure we keep his weight around 900. Hoping some day he can have access to some pasture time again - not there yet. YMMV.
Joe S. in TX 2020