My 13 yr old OTTB has lost a lot of weight on a new rice bran diet
Question: Recently began a new feeding program for our 13 yr. old OTTB mare (hunter jumper) based on recommendation by a holistic specialist working on the horses's muscular/structural issues (SI, shoulder & pole). She has me feeding her rice bran meal only (I used a meal & pellet mix) 2x/day & recently added the Uckele Sport Horse Grass as a supplement (she was on Uckele GUT & magnesium with another multi-vitalmin prior). But she has lost about 40 lbs. in a month (we are in Michigan, so I do expect some winter weight loss). And her diet of only the rice bran is severely deficient in calcium I have learned. And she is not liking the Sport Horse Grass powder & seems to be leaving it with the rice bran meal in her feed bucket in the morning, so very concerned she is lacking severely in her diet. Going to start giving her soaked beet pulp & put the supplement in there hoping she will eat it. If not, what is your recommendation on another Uckele product to give for her? We will be removing the rice bran & going back to a fortified grain of some sort.
Dr. Kellon: If you are using an equine rice bran product it probably has calcium added to balance it, but I do not recommend feeding large amounts of rice bran on a regular basis because it often contains excessive amounts of arsenic. Many horses object to powders. I would switch her to the Sport Horse pellets. All equine diets should be based on generous amounts of forage/hay but as a Tb, especially if in work, she should do fine on reasonable amounts of a high quality grain.