> I had been giving my horse the 'normal' grain (corn, oat, barley,
> molasses) for over a year. I had heard of something called 'Purina 12-12'
> or something from this group (supposed to be a free choice vitamin thing).
> Well, I decided that I wanted to try that, so up to the local feed store I
> Well, they said that they didn't have that, but since I wanted the
> vitamins and to get my horses coat nice 'n shiny, (and also drop a
> *little* weight), they said, "Here. Try this." It was Omolene 100; buy
> two bags get two free. So I said, "Well, okay."
> Now a few days ago, after about 2 weeks of being on Omolene, a friend of
> mine said, "He shouldn't be getting that. That's a hot grain. Makes 'em
> hot." Now today, there's a huge question mark over my head.
> Why would Omolene be a hot feed, and should I save it for cold nights and
> the winter? Should I go ahead and switch back to my original grain? I
> got a weight tape with the grain, but my horse is very big and sort of
> went off the tape. (He's a quarter horse, but people think he's part
> Percheron). Right now he isn't on pasture, but will be in about two
> weeks, if that matters at all.
> Thank you for any answers you may give.
> California Cruisin'
> Kalah B
What your friend meant by "hot" was that this feed will give your horse
a lot of energy - possibly too much - so he becomes high strung - sort
of like what happens to people when they get a boost from eating
chocolate or drinking soft drinks (Mountain Dew is the worst).
Many people feel that horses require a very high amount of protein in
their feed. I don't know how much Omolene has but for most mature horses
10% protein is plenty. You can get this by feeding oats along with good
quality mixed hay (forage testing is fairly inexpensive and usually a
good idea so you know what you're feeding). I always cringe when I see
people feeding 16-18% protein rations because so much of that protein is
being broken down into energy, stored as fat, excreted as nitrogen -
anything but going towards what it's meant to do - muscle maintenance
Now in growing horses, especially foals, and to a lesser extent for
pregnant mares, a higher amount of protein is OK.
I've found from experience that when I have a horse that's too "hot" I
usually get more mileage out of reducing protein in the diet than
energy. Energy requirements can be kept pretty close to ideal by
observing body condition - eyeballing. I used to feed very high quality
alfalfa hay and have been much happier when I switched to grass hay for
my mature horses, saving the alfalfa for the babies and mares w/foals or
in their last trimester.
Generally I try to keep my sweat feed (I have it mixed) at 10% and add
soybean oil meal when I need protein.
Also, I gather from your post that your horse is too fat. Try this to
check - run your hand along his side, firmly but gently. You should be
able to feel his ribs. If you can't he's probably too fat. If you can
SEE his ribs (with a short or summer haircoat) then he's probably too
thin. It's a very rough check - but I don't want to get into body
condition scoring here - but it's also maybe the best one I know of to
tell if your horse is too fat.