Special Grain Recipe for your Curly Horse
For the average healthy adult Curly Horse, grain is usually not necessary if you are feeding a top quality hay, offering loose trace minerals, white salt block and fresh water. However on occassion the need for a supplimental concentrate (grain) is necessary. Take for example my curly geldings: I found the need to investigate a good working grain for my curly horses because I started riding much more (up to 100 miles per month consistently) and I noticed Reese in particular was losing weight. I also needed a way to get additional suppliments in him that were necessary for a moderately/heavy exercise program.
The following recipe has worked extremely well with my curly boys for the past 2 years. I adjust the amounts depending on amount of exercise from 2-4 cups each. In the dead of winter, I omit the grain and up my horse's hay portions to best utilize their bodies natural ability to generate the most heat possible. I once read an article by John Lyons that horses in the wild survive on the simplest of feeds in the winter - this is the way God designed them. If we overdo grains & sweet feeds during the harsh winter months, we can actually cause their bodies to run less efficiently.
In my opinion, grain should only be added to adjust /correct the weight or condition of your curly horse OR used in moderation when his/her exercise program has increased. Again, careful monitoring and evaluation is vital.
Feeding your Curly Horse grain can sometimes be frustrating. Reason being that some curlies tend to get a bit jumpy by the typical sweet feeds, molasses feeds, corn mixed grains and pelleted grains. My experience over the past 11 years with Curlies is the best way to feed them is to keep it natural and simple. Don't fed grain if your curly horse is doing well on high quality hay, water and loose trace minerals & salt. (see my article on feeding your curly horse for recommendations) In most cases, this is all a healthy adult curly horse needs.
CONROY MIX: Based on 100 lbs:
48 lbs of lightly Rolled Oats
26 lbs of Barley - great for weight gain
21 lbs of horse charge concentrate - which is a vitamin pellet
5 lbs of Bran
I feed my adult curly geldings 2-4 cups per day.
NOTE: I have received many emails asking how and where to find a feed store that will mix grains for you.
If you can't find one and don't mind paying the shipping, my feed store says they can mix it and ship it out to you.
Here is their information:
Pickford Feed - (906) 647-3251 (Michigan)
(Be sure to ask for the CONROY MIX without molasses. They can mix in Coca Soya oil for you instead if you wish)
I top dress it with 1/3 cup-1/2 cup of Coca Soya oil, 1/2 ounce of Sel/E (check your area) and for Reese he gets a hoof supplement called Grand Hoof pellets. In addition, this winter I have added 1-2 oz of soybean meal for added digestible protein to help build muscle for our upcoming CTR rides.
Consult your vet for recommended requirements for your horse.
Reese is 1,200 lbs and 15.1h. He is 7 years old this year (2008).
His daily feeding program is:
2.5% of body weight or 30 lbs. of top quality hay in the winter, divided in 4 feedings per day. (normal winter days)
Loose Trace Minerals offered Free Choice + a White salt block is available.
As spring approaches, and riding increases he gets 2 cups of grain per day.
Which is adjusted as summer approaches to 4 cups as needed.
Reese is on some pasture in the summer time, so his hay is reduced to 1 to 1.5% of his body weight.
If you have any questions on this article, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org