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I am looking for advice on feeding a yearling. We have raised a colt that we are going to keep as a stud. Now the question is growing him into everything that he could possibly be. If anyone has any advice as far as nutrition or anything else that would help, it will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Good pasture, hay when needed, and fresh water. Balance your legumes with grasses for plenty of protein and vitamin A. I am not a strong believer in much grain and supplements, as long as your colt has a balanced diet. I have worked for 2 TWH breeding farms, and saw lots of health issues from "overfeeding". These colts were feed high percentage grains, had very limited turn out time, and were generally 'nuts' when they did get out. Two actually broke their legs and were euthanised. They need lots of exercise for good bone growth.
I agree with keeping them on good pasture but I always fed my young horses a good 14% sweet feed up until they were about 2 yr old because they are growing rapidly still as yearlings and they need more than just pasture. I don't believe in giving lots of vitamins or supplements, just a higher protein grain than a normal pleasure horse would get while they are still in their growing stages.........seen lots of young horses who have been stunted in their growth by being on just pasture and not properly fed. Also make sure you worm regularly.
if there's some legume in the pasture very little extra feed would be needed, red clover is one of the best growers, (my horses will go around and eat all the clover before the grass)

Also sence horse values are so low, make sure he's a really exceptional colt, actually worth keeping as a stallion. I've heard those in the business say there's way too many substandard stallions around that should be gelded.
If you analize how much value in feed and expenses it takes to raise a horse, to actually realize a reasonable profit from the process they need to be worth a minimum of $2,000 at 2 years old. Otherwise it's a loosing business. More profitable to make hay out of the grass and sell it. I decided not to raise them for that reason. I can buy the kind of horse I want much cheaper than it takes to raise them, let someone else do the loosing.
I studied the system for awile and decided there were too many breeders (in general) and not enough good trainers, so I studied training.
15-20 years ago at the local horse auction I remember a few horses selling below $100, average was maybe $250, many were $3-400, and a few in the $6-800 range. (I sold a half TWH pony for $360) My neighbor went to the same auction reciently, (I havn't been there for several years) and told me the prices were running less than half that, starting at $20 with a whole lot of them under $100. very few going over $200.
It takes a real consistant show winner or some other really exceptional trait that's highly desirable to get a decent price out of a horse now. I know about a certain line of gaited horses that's still selling for several thousand, and it's because there arn't a lot of them and they're exceptional in their speed and smoothness of gait, very simular to a speed racker but from a different background.
Good thoughts Reuben on the stallion issue.......I agree most stallions would be much better off & live happier lives as geldings. It amazes me to see what some will promote as a stallion and expect people to really want to breed to it, many can't even gait properly. Unless he's exceptional, I like Reuben says would consider making him a gelding. It makes keeping him a lot easier, & safer.


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