Easy Keepers

Did you catch our Facebook Live today at Victory Therapy Center Kaylan talks about feeding “easy keepers” and body condition scores for your horses. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Hi! My name is Kaylan Herbst and I am with Argyle Feed Store and Purina, I am an LPS over there. We are here today at Victory Therapy Center. We are here with two of their horses and we are going to talk about easy keepers.

This is Chochy. Chochy is obviously one of their ponies in their therapeutic riding program. He tends to have a different lifestyle in the easy keeper than this guy. This guy is Axel. He’s used in the program as well for therapeutic centers. So we can talk a little bit about these two horses and how different our feeding program can be for two of the same, what we consider can be easy keepers. So, we’re going to talk about Axel. This is just a little something that we do here at the therapeutic center to help with everybody. For feeding morning and night, so no one can get confused with what these guys need. Anybody can kind of come in and help feed and know that these horses are getting what they need without overfeeding them or underfeeding them.

So, Axel gets a quarter pound twice a day as well as turnout and grass and hay daily. And so, he is a body conditioned score of a six. He could push a six and a half, depending on the levels of the grass, the nutrition going on day to day, how much he’s getting worked each week. He gets used pretty regularly in the program. He gets a quarter-pound a day. The Enrich is great. He doesn’t need the extra calories, he really needs vitamins and minerals but he also stays well on pasture. He’s not ready to go to the dry lot, he’s not at that level yet.

Where Chochy, we’re going to talk about a little bit, as a whole is what I call an easy keeper but is actually a hard keeper for management levels. So, with him, he is probably about a seven-and-a-half or an eight because managing him is much harder for this guy. The last time I weighed him, he weighed about 950 pounds. So, he may be little but he is big. So, feeding him appropriately and we don’t have to feed him to that whole 950 pounds as we’re trying to lose that weight, drop that weight off of him. He is on a dry lot, he is actually on what we call Impact Hay Starcher. That is a bigger pallet, it has all of this forage in it, he does get Coastal, a small bit a night just to kind of give him that extra bit of forage, but he’s not going to a pasture, he’s not getting all of those extra calories that he needs, he’s getting them here and then he’s getting them from extra forage.

So, that’s a little bit with Axel that we didn’t talk about. We have to make sure these guys don’t get any fatter. These ponies are getting used in lessons eight times a week depending on what’s going on. Obviously, he’s not getting used at a heavy workload, but he’s getting used at a good workload, at least eight times a week. So, we have to be careful about what calories and what’s going through so he doesn’t founder. So, this will help drop his weight. He is on a little bit on a strict weight loss program compared to some of these other guys. We want to make sure he is still getting those vitamins and minerals and is not worrying so much about the calories as long as we can contain them well. Sometimes with these easy keeper horses, we really have to worry about everything that’s going into them. Whether that be completely feeding them from a grain standpoint but with a complete diet with forage included in that diet, so that you will know everything that will go in and go out so you’re properly using these guys. If you look at the outside, sometimes they’ve been grazing all day long and they’re filling up. It’s like us eating chips and stuff like that. It’s not the most nutrient, it’s just filling up that whole space. Guys like this will do that. So, we actually need to restrict them from the dry lot in the stall and make sure they’re getting what they need.

So, that’s a little bit about easy keepers. We do have several different products, we have Enrich, Impact Hay Stretcher as well, we also have WellSolve LS for these easy keepers that we have a lot of issues that we have to work with, he could easily be one of those if we’re not monitoring him or watching him. We have a pretty close eye on him all the time. So, that’s something to look at. We also have a WellSolve Weight Control that we can look at adding. Every horse, even though they may be an easy keeper, feed and filled, they need pasture, that’s it, otherwise, they may need some vitamin and mineral supplement because every horse is not going to have those nutrients in the meal.

So, thank you for tuning in today. So, if you have any more questions or want to learn more about the Victory Therapeutic Riding Program here, you are more than welcome to come out. Talk to Laura, get in touch with Stephanie. They’re always looking for volunteers, for helpers, and these are just a few of the horses that we work with here today. Thank you so much!