How can I help with my Arabian's saddle fit and back tenderness?
Question: I have a 14yo Gelding in upstate New York. This is his current feed regimen broken into AM and PM feeds:
25.2oz beet pulp
15oz crimped oats
25.28oz chopped alfalfa
4.4oz ground flax seed
3.6oz salt - 2 years
15iu add’l vitamin E
1mg add’l selenium
1.3oz “Just add oats” multivitamin
In addition he gets free choice hay 24/7 as well as free choice mineral salts. From what I can tell the hay is a mix of timothy, alfalfa and orchard grass. He is mainly a trail riding and some long distance riding.
For about 9 months I have been taking lessons with a dressage trainer who is helping me correct how he carries himself - head high, short strided gaits. He is not really a high strung Arab. For about a year or better I have a rehab massage therapist work on him regularly as I have struggles with saddle fit and back tenderness. He is improving but I think I may need to change his nutrition to move him along faster. I am looking for any suggestions you may have regarding his nutrition.
Dr. Kellon: The Just Add Oats is not appropriate for what you are feeding him and is making a diet likely already high in calcium even higher. If you can tell me where his hay was grown I can suggest a better match. Roughly how much alfalfa is in it?