Re: Casteberry


I count hay cubes (ODTBC) in my horses' daily forage calculation. If I were feeding beet pulp, I'd include it too!

For new members, we need to emphasize slow and steady weight loss, no crash starvation diets, and yet none of the free-feeding baloney that's touted online as the key to weight loss and equine bliss. 

FWIW, with my super-easy keeper TWH Cayuse (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Cheryl's Jewel), I found that if my horse is overweight, I cannot  feed 1.5% of body weight and expect her to lose weight. After she is very close to her ideal weight, she maintains on 1.5% of body weight in hay. To actually lose weight, she needs to be on minimum maintenance levels of forage by NRC standards. That level ratchets down as she drops weight by body measurements.  I must  calculate her rations based on her caloric needs. And I count every single morsel that goes into her mouth. With a 9 year history, I know how many Mcals she needs in mild weather. Anything over that, and she packs it on. 

I think Dr Kellon said it best: feeding is as much art as science. There are many variables, not only from horse to horse, but in our estimates of their weight and how well we realistic we are in our assessment of  BCS.  It could very well be that my estimate of my horse's ideal weight remains too high to this day, and that explains the math. For years I operated on a false assumption by using the weight the vet gave during her repurchase exam at age 6 as her ideal weight. That was apparently at least 50 pounds higher than her actual weight at the time! 
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
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