Integrity Feeds – Frequently Asked Questions

Which feed is right for my horse?

I am considering using Integrity Rice Bran for my horse. Can you tell me the ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids in your rice bran?
A frequent question and not one that is relevant unless you are feeding very high (>10 lbs.) levels of a concentrate that is >15% fat. Integrity formulas do include whole ground flaxseed meal, best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and canola oil, a modest amount of ALA. Click here for a complete fact sheet on omega fatty acids.

The essential omega-3 (linolenic) and omega-6 (linoleic) requirements have NOT been established for horses. Therefore, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio for horses is NOT known. The ratio of omega-6 & omega-3 fatty acids for humans can NOT be applied to horses or any herbivore animal. For humans, the ratio is 1:1 to 4:1 (omega 6 to omega 3); most people think incorrectly that's the ratio is omega 3 to omega 6. Any material that implies/suggests benefits for horses are NOT base on substantive, quality research with horses and mostly the information one reads is anecdotal.

Feral horses grazing on pasture do consume the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) but two major points. Most forages are less than 3% fat and ALA is poorly converted to the omega-3 beneficial forms DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA are forms through human research that have demonstrated some benefits. Primary source of DHA is cold water fish.

Now does it make sense that biologically that linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) fatty acids are essential fatty acids of the horse. YES. But the low fat levels of their natural food sources and a gut system that is forage driven does NOT permit a leap to conclusions that have been discovered in humans whose diet is much higher fat and have gut systems that are shorter and different in compartment numbers and capacity; thus, a diet that is different in composition of fiber, protein, fat and primary energy source. Dog’s diets are higher fat and the research with dogs is even questionable. Point of interest - omega 6 fatty acid is the one that nourishes the skin, not omega 3.

Why are there no horse feeds without sugar and starch?
Horse feeds are made from plants and photosynthesis is how plants make their own food. The primary chemical energy from photosynthesis is sugar and starch that is made from light, water and carbon dioxide; thus, all plants have sugars and starch. Since hay/grass is the major portion of a horse’s diet then the major contributor of sugars/starch to their diet is the forage they consume daily.

The average sugar in hay is 7.6% and 1.9% for starch. Horses consume hay at approximately 1.5% of body weight, thus 15 pounds of hay for a 1,000 pound horse. The 15 pounds of hay contains 518 grams or 1.2 pounds of sugar and 130 grams or more than ¼ pound of starch.

Integrity Lite feed no molasses is 4.3% sugar and 5.9% starch; for one pound that’s 19 grams sugar and 27 grams starch. This grain-free formula contains modest protein, modest fat, and high fiber to promote digestive health.

I have a yearling colt that we want to fit up for lunge line. We handle him daily and he gets round pen or in-hand work 3-4 days a week. Would it be okay to feed him Performance instead of the Growth?
Your yearling is to young to be fed Integrity Performance.
While the differences between the two products appear minimal, the importance of those differences are in the relationships of nutrient-to-nutrient and nutrient-to-calorie relationships.

The feed sources of the nutrients are critical. While some commercial feeds primarily focus on the guaranteed analysis (GA), Integrity’s focus is not only on the GA but what ingredients are providing those nutrients and how they affect the two critical relationships mentioned above.

For example, gut health is a primary focus of Integrity which is why beet pulp is the first ingredient in both Growth and Performance. However for a growing youngster, protein and particularly the amino acid lysine are critical to the growth phase which is why soybean meal is the second ingredient in Growth. Granted working horses need protein to add & rebuild muscle fiber but that relationship in nutrient to nutrient and nutrient to calorie is different than a growing horse which is why soybean meal is the fifth ingredient in Performance.

In Performance, rice bran is the second ingredient because fat is a major fuel source for a working horse. Keep in mind you are working a yearling that is still growing and building the foundation from his genetic makeup; an adult performance horse has already reached his growth potential.

If you want higher fat during work sessions, you can add oil or Integrity Rice Bran to the meal prior to work. I would need to know more about your yearling and the type of work to recommend amounts. Usually feeding 1.5 hours prior to a work session will allow fatty acids to circulate and provide added fuel and dietary fat, reducing the lactic acid levels for moderate-to-intense work sessions.

I have a yearling filly that I feed Orchard grass, alfalfa, and Integrity Adult/Senior. Her mother has been on Integrity her whole life (she is 10) she was fed Integrity Mare & Foal from 8 months on in her pregnancy through weaning. What do you recommend that I feed her now? She is an APHA mare and is pretty good size. How about my filly?
I pretty conservative in the amounts fed with stock-type horses. Studies suggest that some stock-type horses are predisposed to metabolic bone diseases such as OCD and epiphysitis. So without any history of an animal, I suggest feeding less of the balanced formula than usual and more hay initially.
You should feed Integrity Growth to the yearling. Growing horses should be active and alfalfa should not exceed more than 20% of the forage intake. West Coast Orchard grass is a good hay but the calcium and phosphorus content can vary and sometimes have an inverted ratio – that is, more phosphorus than calcium. So feeding a small amount of alfalfa with orchard is a good approach since West Coast alfalfa can have as much as 4 - 6 times more calcium than phosphorus.
The goal is for the youngster to grow at a moderate pace and not to be over fed.  Particularly do not feed excess protein, high starch feeds, trace minerals or high energy.
I have a 6 month old Connemara colt. He will probably mature to about 900+lbs, around 14H. Does the amount of feed recommended for Integrity Mare & Foal or Integrity Growth change for a pony breed? Would it still be 1/2 to 3/4 lb. per 100lb. weight?
For a 6 month old, their body weight is approximately 66% of mature body weight. If his expected mature body weight is 900 lbs. then his current weight may be about 600 lbs.

Was he creep fed? If not, you will need to introduce the feed slowly with ¼ lb. on the first day and adding ¼ lb. every other day. Once you reach 1 ½ lbs., start adding ¼ lb. every day until the goal is reached. I would suggest starting on the low end, so at ½ lb. per 100 lbs. body weight that would be 3 lbs. per day, split between two meals minimally but three meals would be better. Do not be in a rush. Once you reach 2 ½ lbs., monitor for a few days then make the adjustment to 3 lb. per day if needed. Keep in mind as the weanling gains weight he will need more hay as well. For a 6 month old, total feed intake should be 2.25 - 2.5% of body weight. That translates to 13 to 15 lbs. feed per day for a 600 lb. colt.

I am more conservative in pushing growth compared to others – particularly with pony breeds –so I suggest the hay intake should be 9 – 10 lbs. per day and Integrity Mare & Foal 3 lbs. per day. Please keep in mind these are general guidelines and since I am not familiar with the weanling’s management and BCS there may be adjustments needed for your specific youngster’s growth requirements. Several factors determine when to transition to Integrity Growth. I usually suggest around 12 months but not earlier than 10 months of age. The foals needs to have the molars to be able to thoroughly chew the beet pulp shreds in Growth.

I’m looking to switch my two horses to Integrity but I’m not sure to which feed. One of my horses is a Thoroughbred barrel horse who isn’t a hard keeper but does get slightly nervous and is a picky grain eater. The other is a mare who should be foaling in maybe 60 days. I’m feeding her a mare and foal from another brand but would love to get her on a better grain because she is really picky. What do you recommend?
If your barrel horse is working during the week, then feed Integrity Adult/Senior. For your mare that is due in approximately 60 days, feed Integrity Mare & Foal. Be sure to follow the advice in Feeding Guidelines for Horses.
I want to get my horses on a grain free, forage based diet. They have unlimited access to Timothy hay, and get alfalfa twice daily. These are performance horses but are super easy keepers!! Would the alfalfa molasses crumble be a good option for simply mixing supplements?
The alfalfa crumble is essentially an alfalfa pellet that has been broken (crumbled) into smaller pieces. As a carrier, will depend on the form(s) of the supplements, i.e. pellet, powder, liquids etc. Usually a texture feed works better as an all-purpose carrier. If you are just thinking about a small amount and just want a carrier you may also want to consider Integrity Lite no molasses which is a balanced formula that does not contain grains, no alfalfa, is high fiber (20%), first two ingredients are beet pulp and soy hulls and balanced for required vitamins and minerals.
What is the energy content of Integrity Adult/Senior without molasses?
Digestible Energy (DE) values expressed as Mcal Digestible Energy per pound for all the Integrity products is listed below in the table.

Integrity Product DE Mcal/lb
Adult/Senior 1.20
Adult/Senior No Molasses 1.20
Growth 1.27
Lite 1.15
Lite No Molasses 1.13
Mare & Foal 1.23
Performance 1.33
Rice Bran Meal 1.55
Rice Bran Nugget 1.55
Timothy 1.17
I have a Welsh Section B mare that I use in combined driving. She is insulin resistant and has had a few laminitic episodes. Which of your Integrity feeds would you recommend?
Integrity Lite no molasses is our lowest sugar and starch formula. You may want to view this product sheet for a comparison of the dietary components and nutrients in the various Integrity feeds. You should also be feeding a mature grass hay.
My horse is in the early stages of founder so we need to keep the sugars and starches to a minimum. Right now I feed her wheat bran mash so that she takes her powdered medicine, otherwise she will not take it in just her timothy pellets. My vet said that this feed has too much sugar, and I thought it was one of the lowest sugar feeds out there! Which product would you recommend?

Integrity Lite No Molasses is a low starch, low sugar, no grains, and highly soluble fiber-balanced formula. The starch and sugar (ESC) content in Integrity feeds can be found on this Integrity product comparison sheet. The starch content of Integrity Lite No Molasses averages less than 4.3% starch and 5.9% sugar (ESC).

My rescue horse is about 20 years-old and has Cushing’s disease. I have been feeding him about four cups a day of Integrity no sugar. He’s about 16 hands, underweight and probably some kind of draft mix. Is this product okay for a Cushing’s horse?
I’m not sure which product you are feeding. The Integrity Lite no molasses and Integrity Adult/Senior are both low starch and low sugar formulas. The Integrity Lite, as you will note in the table below, is the lowest of these two Integrity formulas and one of the lowest, if not the lowest balanced formula on the market. If your 20 year-old is not being worked on a daily basis, I would suggest the Integrity Lite no molasses.

In the equine industry, there is quite a bit of confusion in defining starch content. Please take a look at the article in Dr. Bray’s Corner titled, “Nutrition Fundamental Series: Nonstructural Carbohydrates,” to gain a better understanding of nonstructural carbohydrates and the appropriate terminology. Unfortunately, some of the descriptions for starch and sugar content used in the industry are inaccurate and don’t represent the facts. The following information for the Integrity products, however, is factual.

Feed and Form % ESC % Starch % Starch + % ESC
Integrity Senior, no molasses, textured 5.5 3.6 9.1
Integrity Lite, no molasses, textured 5.7 1.6 7.3

*Values reported on as sampled or as fed basis. ESC is ethanol soluble carbohydrates.

I am confused about which product to feed my mares. One is 7, the other is 12. The 7-year old is in good shape, she trains approximately 3-4 days per week, for about an hour, (her color is bright when fed dark feeds). The 12-year old is in good shape also, works about 3-4 days per week, but is ridden by a 10-year old so has a mild workload also. They are currently being fed alfalfa am and pm, and they are boarded at a stable. They have salt blocks, clean water etc., which Integrity feed do you recommend?
It’s important to note that feed color does not influence coat color, but oil or fat will contribute to a shiny or bright coat. Also, during the winter season, the horse’s hair coat is longer and usually appears darker.

For working adult horses, you have three choices in the Integrity product line: Integrity Adult/Senior, a textured feed that is available with and without molasses; Integrity Timothy, a pellet feed; or our new product, Integrity Performance. Integrity performance is 10% fat and contains oats and Integrity Rice Bran as fuel sources, but DOES NOT contain corn or barley. All three are balanced formulas that complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. The amount fed daily will vary for each horse based on their body weight, body condition score and workload.

Finally, I do not recommend 100% alfalfa as the forage source. In Dr. Bray’s Corner at starmilling.com, there is a fact sheet titled “What to Feed your Horse,” which may be useful. Also, I will encourage you to take a look at the fact sheet “Feeding Guidelines for Horses.

The feed store here in Flagstaff, AZ offers your Integrity products both with and without Molasses. Would you kindly speak to the pros and cons of having this ingredient in my horses’ feed?
Molasses has two fundamental contributions to feed mixes: It binds the small feed particles to reduce the dustiness of the feed when handled or consumed by the horse. It adds a sweet flavor to the feed. Horses like sweetness. The horse industry is currently in overdrive with concerns regarding the sugar and starch makeup in horse feeds, thus molasses has been negatively targeted. Some commercial feeds have higher levels of molasses than others. Please read my example in Dr. Bray’s Corner about Nonstructural Carbohydrates . It covers sugar content in a feed containing molasses and may help with keeping molasses concerns in perspective.

Example: A 1,100 lb. Quarter Horse is consuming 4 lbs. per day of a popular sweet feed that contains 6% molasses in addition to 18 lbs. of grass hay. The horse owner is concerned with feeding molasses, which contains sugar. So, how much sugar is the horse actually receiving from the 4 lbs. of sweet feed?

Solution:

  • 4 lbs. feed X 0.06 (6% molasses) = 0.24 lb. or 3.84 oz. of molasses in the 4 lbs. of feed
    6% is the same as 0.06; companies will share the % molasses added to a feed; it is not a trade secret
  • 3.84 oz. X 0.40 (40% sugar in molasses) = 1.54 oz. of sugar from molasses
    40% is the same as 0.40; commercial molasses is approximately 40% sugar

Answer: The horse is consuming 1½ oz. of sugar each day from the 4 lbs. of sweet feed. Do you think that 1½ oz. of sugar will be an issue with an 1100 lb. Quarter Horse?

I have two barrel and two rope horses. Since it’s winter, I’ve transitioned all of them from Integrity Performance to Integrity Lite until competition starts up again in spring. Also, one of my barrel racing horses is slightly anemic. The local feed store told me to take him off all other supplements and feed my horses 3 pounds a day to start with, and after a month or so, change the feed amounts per the results I am seeing. The instructions say to feed 2/3 lb. of feed per every 100 lbs. That would be 7 pounds a day for my barrel horse. Would he get the necessary nutrition if I only feed 3 pounds instead of 7? Should I continue with the iron supplement even though Integrity has iron? When should I switch back to Integrity Performance?

I would need information such as workload, weight, and body condition score to offer a precise answer, but will assume the following so I can provide an answer:

  • Body weight around 1050 lbs
  • Body condition score of 5
  • 17.5 lbs hay fed daily to each horse (predominantly a grass forage, not more than 50% alfalfa)
  • Light work 3 – 4 days a week

With those assumptions, 3- 4 lbs per day of Integrity Adult/Senior should work. Integrity Adult/Senior is a bit higher in protein and fat than Integrity Lite—oats are the 6th ingredient on the label. Performance horses during the offseason need a higher protein and fuel source, even though clearly there will be some loss of muscle and conditioning in the offseason.

If you campaign hard, start blending Performance into the Adult/Senior while elevating work leading into the competitive season. Add more Performance as more energy is needed for competing and maintaining body condition.

As far as iron supplements, I can only provide my thoughts as a nutritionist and cannot speak to any clinical recommendations that have been provided. There are rarely nutritional situations that require singling out a specific nutrient that needs to be added. Data supports feeding a balanced diet and not supplementing with nutrients.

For example, if one is concerned with RBC and hemoglobin concentrations, then not only iron is considered but also copper, pyridoxine, B12 and folic acid. Minerals in particular have relationships with other minerals and dietary components—if one mineral is added then you are probably altering its balance with the other nutrients. That is why the data supports feeding balanced diets and not supplementing with over-the-counter products that are marketed with little research to support their claims.

How does your feed compare nutritionally to the National Research Council (NRC) 2007 Nutrient Requirements of Horses?
The Integrity formulas are based on the Nutrient Requirements of Horses published by the NRC and on my years of experience as an equine nutritionist, horseman, and University professor in Animal & Veterinary Sciences. My approach is to provide a balance formula to complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. There are a plethora of factors that influence a horse’s energy and nutrient requirements besides the two fundamental factors of body weight and production stage which are listed in the 2007 NRC Nutrient Requirements for Horses. The NRC publication is not and should not be consider as an absolute for energy and nutrient values but is actually a guideline for minimum requirements. Nutritional management is the key to a successful feeding program and unfortunately too much emphasis is often placed by contemporary marketing schemes on one or two of the 50+ nutrients required by the horse.
How are poor feed source deficiencies such as vitamin E addressed in horse feeds? How does your feed compare nutritionally to National Research Council (NRC) 2007 Nutrient Requirements of Horses?
The Integrity formulas are based on my years of experience as an equine nutritionist, horseman, and University professor in Animal & Veterinary Sciences. My approach is to provide a balance formula to complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. There are a plethora of factors that influence a horse’s energy and nutrient requirements besides the two fundamental factors of body weight and production stage which are listed in the 2007 NRC Nutrient Requirements for Horses. The NRC publication is not and should not be consider as an absolute for energy and nutrient values but is actually a guideline for minimum requirements.

Nutritional management is the key to a successful feeding program and unfortunately too much emphasis is sometimes placed on one or two of the nutrients required by the horse instead of a balance formula approach. The relationship of nutrient to nutrient and the relationship of nutrient to energy are important factors that must be considered in formulating a balanced feed for horses.

I have a mare that is 15 yrs. old and two 10-hand ponies, 5 and 8 yrs. old. I noticed my ponies’ coats were not as shining as last summer when I was feeding alfalfa hay. My horse started urinating a lot so I changed my hay this spring to Bermuda then I heard that feeding Bermuda can cause an impaction. I feel Bermuda grass seems more natural for my horses to eat than Alfalfa. I want to add Integrity to their daily feed but I am not sure which type of Integrity I should feed with their Bermuda grass. What would you recommend? Can my horse and ponies eat the same type even with their age differences? How much should I feed them? They are both at good weights at about 372 pounds.
There are several factors that influence hair coat—nutrition is only one of the many options. The benefits of feeding a balanced concentrate are to provide nutrients and energy that will complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. Feeding a balanced formula with the hay may improve the haircut and all of the Integrity products have added fat via oil and rice bran; dietary fat improves hair coat. However, one tool to increase the fat content of the diet and to improve hair coat is to feed 3/4 - 1/3 cup of oil per day; for the ponies you will feed less than half the amount that you feed your mare.

I do not recommend alfalfa as the only forage source; my recommendation is that alfalfa cannot be more than 50% of the forage fed. This recommendation is primarily based on supplying adequate fiber to the horse’s diet. Review the fact sheet section in Dr. Bray’s Corner for the title “Feeding Guidelines for Horses”. Alfalfa may provide up to 75 -125% more protein than the horse requires thus the excess nitrogen (component of protein) is eliminated via the urine thereby the horse consumes more water in order to eliminate the excess urinary nitrogen.

Also in Dr. Bray’s Corner, there is a fact sheet titled Does Bermuda Grass Hay Cause Colic? This fact sheet will summarize my thoughts on Bermuda and help you understand the myths that have evolved in the industry with feeding Bermuda. Nutritional management is the key to successful feeding and I do not subscribe to the concerns that Bermuda is not a safe forage to feed. If your horse and ponies are inactive then feed the Integrity Lite. If they are working several days a week then use the Integrity Senior/Adult. I would need to know more about your ponies’ work or activity level to be specific. In general, if they are inactive then feed 1/3 -1/2 lb. per day. If they are lightly worked then feed around 3/4 - 1 pound per day.

Is Teff hay ok to feed my horse with the Integrity products?
Yes. Teff grass hay has been around for quite awhile but the availability of the grass hay has been inconsistent for West Coast horse owners. However, the consistence in availability has changed with more being grown, hay producers recognizing the quality, and producers learning how to work through the growing nuisances of Teff. Also Teff is now available in a hay pellet in southern California. Horses sometimes need time to adjust to Teff hay from the bale because the texture is different than other grass hays.

Teff Hay

Analysis Percent (%)
Crude Protein 10.8%
Crude Fat 2.2%
Crude Fiber 26.8%
Ash 8.8%
Calcium 0.56%
Phosphorus 0.23%
Calcium-Phosphorus Ratio 2.4: 1
Potassium 1.26%
Starch (Ewers Method 1.6%

Teff is native to Ethiopia and is classified as a warm season annual grass. It’s not considered a very good pasture grass because the root system is shallow and the turf is easily damaged with grazing animals.

The composition of Teff hay is a good fit with the Integrity product line. As with any grass forage that is processed for hay, there are many factors that will influence the composition. Over the years, hay produced for horses on the West Coast usually is a more mature hay to increase the yield from the field and thus is often on the lower to average end on analysis. The Teff hay assessments that I have seen in the past year have been better than most grass hays usually fed on the West Coast. I have included a recent report analysis of Teff hay from a source in southern California.

My horse is a 13 year old, gelding, paint/quarter horse. His work is only trail rides 2 times a week on average. He currently eats alfalfa hay and some orchard hay and rice bran. He had a slight case of colic the other day and I want to switch to Integrity. He has quite a bit of energy. What is your opinion for a horse that does not get much work with an easy life style?
The combination of orchard grass hay and alfalfa hay will work as long as you follow the forage feeding rules in the Fact Sheet section, Feeding Guidelines for Horses. One of my fundamental rules is that alfalfa hay can not be more than 50% of the total forage fed per day. This guideline is based on minimum fiber intake that I recommend. The amount of hay fed should approximate 1.5% of his body weight. So if your gelding weighs 1100 pounds then the combination of hays will be 16.5 pounds per day. The Integrity Lite will be a good choice for a horse with this work load. The amount fed can vary with his body weight, but for 1100 pound horse, I would suggest 2 pounds per day and on the days you ride him add an extra pound. That is, feed 3 pounds per day.rity Lite may be the balanced concentrate you will need to compliment the forage portion of her diet.
I have an old mare who has dental problems. She is on Integrity and the vet told me to keep her off of all grass and alfalfa hay, as she sounded impacted during the vet call. Should I continue to use Integrity for the time being without any foliage added?
If you remove baled hay from your mare’s diet, she still needs an adequate source of dietary fiber. You did not mention the specific dental issues but I surmised there are issues with her molars (jaw teeth) which are needed to reduce the particle size of the food being consumed. So, your option is to select a forage source in which the particle size has already been reduced which is a hay pellet and you will need to soak the hay pellet in water to an oatmeal consistency; you also may want to consider feeding smaller amounts more frequently. For example if she was being fed hay two times per day then divide the hay pellet daily feed allotment into three feedings. Also you most likely will feed less total weight of hay pellet since there will not being any orts (feed loss) as compared to baled hay. I usually suggest feeding hay pellets approximately 10% less (weight) than baled hay; that is, if the mare was being fed 16 lbs. of long stem hay per day then feed approximately 14 1/2 lbs. of the hay pellet per day. You will need to monitor her body condition score for weigh changes.

Star Milling has several hay pellets including Timothy, teff, Bermuda & Bermuda/alfalfa. You will need to review the fact sheet on Feeding Guidelines for Horses relative to the rate of changing the diet. When the diet is switched from a long stem forage source to a hay pellet (smaller particle size), the horse will drink less water. In addition, the smaller particle size of the fiber source is associated with a reduction in passage rate; in other words the gut will contract with less vigor. One final point of interest is that when a diet is changed, the major goal is not to upset the microflora (bacteria) that are habitants of the gut. Gut integrity is the number one nutritional management goal. The current line of Integrity products was not formulated to be a total replacement for forages but the Integrity Lite may be the balanced concentrate you will need to compliment the forage portion of her diet.

I have an 8 yr. old mustang, 13 hands, very low-key temperament, and fed about 5 pounds of Bermuda and 2 pounds of Bermuda pellets. He gets about 1/2 cup of Integrity along with salt (about 1 teaspoon) to increase his salt intake during the summer. He should weigh about 800 pounds, but looks obese. I am hesitant to reduce his forage because I do not want him to colic. What would you recommend I do for him?

Some of the numbers do not add up, even if the horse is truly an “easy keeper” (although in all my years working with horses I can only truly identify a couple of horses that were truly “easy or hard keepers”) 7 pounds of total hay and ½ cup Integrity is a ration more suited for a 450 to 525 lb. pony. Have you used a weight tape to estimate the body weight? In Dr. Bray’s Corner there is a fact sheet on estimating body weight. Is the 800 lbs. body weight an “eye” estimate? 800 lbs. is a heavy body weight for a 13.2 hands pony even if he is obese. So, in order for me to provide you more useful guidance, we need to double check the body weight and hay weight. The hay amount being fed may be underestimated.

Dr. Bray’s Note: The emailer responded that she did the weight tape measurement on the mustang and weighed the hay and let me know graciously that the mustang’s weight tape measurement was 405 pounds and that a large kitchen scale suggested the hay was 25 pounds. Although there may be some error in these weights as well, the bottom line emphasizes the importance of the body condition scoring system and weighing the feed fed to your horse.

I recently got a 5 year old Arabian who has trouble gaining weight. I have fed him over 10 lbs. of hay, along with pellets and a senior feed. Since we have been in training, he has no problem with energy, but hasn't put on any muscle. My vet recommended an extruded feed, and when I took your class at Cal Poly, you were just coming out with Integrity. Is this feed an extruded feed? Will it make my young guy "hot"? Will it help him put on more weight, even in training?
You did not indicate the amount of senior feed that is being fed or your horse’s body weight. If your Arabian is average height and weight, then 10 pounds of hay is inadequate. Visit the fact sheet section in Dr. Bray’s Corner on Feeding Guidelines. You should be feeding a minimum of 1.5% of his body weight in hay.

Also, feed alone does NOT put on muscle; a misconception that has existed in the horse industry since I can remember. Muscle build-up is influenced by genetic potential and of course an exercise program complemented by a balance diet that supplies the needed energy and nutrients for muscle improvement.

When there are difficulties with a horse gaining weight, there may be one or a combination of factors that contribute to the challenges. Looking at the type of feed or amounts fed is not always the first consideration. The horse’s complete nutritional management and health management needs to be considered. Some considerations will seem simple but as with any problem solving approach, exploring the options are needed to identify a solution. Some factors to consider:

  • What is the current body condition score? What changes in the body condition score have occurred over the past 30, 60, and 90 days?
  • How often is the horse dewormed? What deworming compounds were used? Is there a rotation in the deworming compounds active ingredients being used? Is a boticide being used? These considerations should be explored with your veterinarian.
  • When was the horse’s teeth checked and/or floated?
  • What is currently being fed and how often?
  • Is the horse fed with other horses or as an individual?
  • Have there been changes in last 30 days with types or amounts of feed being fed?
  • Who feeds the horse? What is the training facility? What is the boarding facility? If others are feeding, are you ensuring the correct amounts are being fed?
  • Have there been changes in the horse’s boarding conditions (i.e. changed in facility or stable mates)?
  • What is the current work/training routine (i.e. frequency, intensity, etc.)?
  • When did his work/training program begin?
  • Have there been any health issues?

Extruded feeds have been cooked at high steam-temperatures and pressure for a short period of time. This extrusion process also allows the cooked product to be pushed through a die which is what provides the uniform and different shapes. The cooking process will partially “break down” or prepare the starches and protein so that in general these components of the feed are better utilized. There are studies that support the better utilization of extruded feeds. The fundamental question is when will an extruded feed best serve the horse relative to the horse’s energy needs? Although extruded feeds are more expensive to make, thus more expensive to the consumer, I have always liked the extrusion process with feeds that contain high level of grains, such as corn, barley and oats. I will recommend extruded feeds that contain high levels of grains when the horse has high energy demands such as race horses, polo ponies, three-day event horses, some working horses (roping, cutting), early lactation, and sometimes selectively during early stages of growth.

If a horse needs to gain weight, the first approach is more calories. More calories can be accomplished by providing more feed or adding fat in the form of oil. Adding fat usually will not “insult” the nutrient – calorie ratio with most formulas and can provide the additional energy needed to gain weight. The amount of oil fed is depended on what is currently being fed, the horse’s body weight, and current work intensity. So I would need additional information to provide a specific amount of oil.

The Integrity Adult/Senior has properties that I like (and formulated) because it does have energy sources via rice bran, canola oil and oats but at the same time has ingredients (beet pulp & soy-hulls) that promote gut integrity. Integrity Adult/Senior is not an extruded feed and is not energy dense but is a low starch feed. Keep in mind that there is more nutritional management required when feeding an energy rich formula that is high in energy and starch. Star Milling’s Equine Age formula is a combination of extrusion and pellet forms and the first 3 ingredients on the label are alfalfa meal, wheat bran, and ground corn.

I have heard people talk about Integrity and was wondering how it compares to the supplement and horse feed I use. The ingredients include probiotics, electrolytes, and minerals. Does this mean I would no longer need to include these if I switched to your product?

Those supplements are not needed when feeding Integrity. The Integrity products are balanced formulas that complement the forage portion of the diet relative to all the nutrients and energy required by horses. The formulas are fortified with yeast culture and prebiotics that nourish the microflora of the horse’s gut and fortified with vitamins & minerals. The fat source rice bran and the protein/fat source ground-flaxseed are also ingredients of the Integrity formulations. Integrity also contains the soluble fiber sources (beet pulp & soy hulls) that promote gut integrity and these two soluble fiber sources are primary ingredients in the formulas.

The two products you referenced in your inquiry are different. One is a supplement that is NOT a balanced formula which promotes coconut meal as an ingredient. Coconut meal is a high protein source (~21.0% crude protein) and very low fat source (~2.2% crude fat). I do not consider the composition of coconut meal anything special in formulating horse feeds and the ingredient is very expensive. The other product you referenced is an extruded feed and the extrusion process has been around for many decades. I am very particular about the list of ingredients in my formulations and the product line you referenced in your email is what I consider “1970s” ingredient formulation.

Integrity Adult/Senior contains more soluble fiber than Integrity Performance and is ideal for moderate working horses. Beet pulp and soy hulls are first two ingredients. Adult/Senior is also well-suited for those that are worked in hot or humid environments.

  • Also suitable for horses working at light levels that are transitioning to a moderate workload.
  • Modest in fat (7.3%).
  • Adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of Integrity Adult/Senior WITHOUT molasses increases fat content from 7.3% to 11%. A good option for intense working horses.
  • Adult/Senior Without Molasses is 6.1% sugars and 5.4% starch—a low starch & sugar formula with less than Integrity Performance and Integrity Timothy.
  • Carbohydrate containing ingredients are beet pulp, soy hulls, rice bran, oats, wheat bran, and molasses.

FAQ

I have a senior 27 year old Quarter Arab cross 14.3h that is retired and gets light regular exercise. I've had a tough time in the past few months keeping her weight up and decided to switch her to pellets since she leaves behind so much of the regular alfalfa. She's missing a couple teeth too. I'm wondering exactly how much I should feed her to help her gain some weight back safely. Is there a weight-to-feed ratio you use when trying to add weight to a horse? Looking at Ace Hi Alfalfa Pellets and we supplement 3lbs of Integrity Senior with molasses 4 times a week to get her some extra calories with a "weight builder" product. Would love some advice, thanks!
For a 14.3 H QHxArab cross let’s assume a body weight goal approximately 950 - 1000 lbs. With light work, she should be fed approximately 14-15 lbs of forage per day. Long stem hay is critical to gut health and if you take a look in Dr. Brays Corner there is a fact sheet on Feeding Guidelines for Horses that recommends that processed hay (hay pellets/cubes) should not exceed 50% of the total forage intake.

The reason is that horses drink less water with pellets/cubes. Water is important to gut health. Therefore hay pellets should not exceed 7 - 7.5 lbs and long stem hay would be 7 - 7.5 lbs lbs. Keep in mind most horses consume all the hay pellets but depending on bale-hay management not all long-stem hay will be consumed, thus you may feed less pellets.

Since you will be switching a portion of the diet to hay pellets, keep the Adult/Senior at 2 lbs per day compared to 3lbs at 4 days/week. Observe for a couple of weeks and see if there are benefits with shifting the hay source. Softening the hay pellets may be useful with added water and the Adult/Senior can be included. Weight builder supplements are not something that I recommend.

There are other non-nutritional factors that could influence weight loss including deworming frequency and teeth. When she is eating hay, observe for any tilting of head and/or quidding. You need to be sure teeth/gum issues are not the reason for weight decline. As the horse ages, it’s not uncommon for a horse to have gum inflammation which would reduce chewing hay.

Twenty-seven years is getting up there in years for horses, so changes in body composition are to be expected but you want to eliminate the obvious ones. You may also want to consult with your veterinarian.

I have a 28-year-old National Show Horse that is a cribber with poor teeth. Although he is underweight by approximately 50 to 60 pounds, he has excellent energy and is a good eater. He is turned out twice a week and ridden lightly once a week for about 30 minutes. The vet just worked on his teeth and wants me to feed him soaked Integrity senior formula and pellets. I am currently feeding him 4 pounds a day of Integrity Lite with no molasses, a 6-pound hay pellet and two flakes of orchard grass. I also feed him digestive aids. Should I switch to Integrity Senior or keep him on the Integrity Lite formula? I was also considering adding rice bran into the mix to facilitate weight gain.
As you know maintaining body weight is difficult with cribbers. Usually the incisors, which are the teeth at the front of the mouth used primarily for cutting food, are the ones most compromised by cribbing. If the molars, also known as jaw teeth, are still in good condition, then you need to continue feeding him long-stem forage. Long-stem forage is important to help maintain microbial health in his gut, and it also encourages the horse to drink more water than forage in pellet form. I am unclear about the extent of his dental damage, but long-stem hay should always be provided even if the horse just picks through it at a slow rate.

You have two options when determining which Integrity product to use:

  1. Integrity Senior/Adult formula has less fiber and more fat than the Integrity Lite formula, and therefore provides more calories when fed at the same level.; or
  2. Add fat to his current Integrity Lite diet in the form of Integrity Rice Bran, which is available in both meal and nugget forms.

One final thought: Integrity products contain probiotics, yeast culture and prebiotics. At the present level of feeding, the additional digestive aid is overkill.

I have a cutting horse that's just coming back from a suspensory injury and I have to ride him at a walk for an hour at a time. He's trying to be polite but he has way too much energy. I'm currently giving him just a half-scoop of the same Integrity Senior I've fed him forever. Would that small amount make a difference in his energy level? Should I stop giving it to him while he’s recovering? Right now, less energy is better.
How big is your scoop? His energy level might be influenced by his spirit to work and by restlessness because he’s been down for a long time—it might not be influenced by the feed.

Nevertheless, with the recovery program that you noted, I would suggest the Integrity Lite. It’s a balanced formula that supplies the required nutrients, produces lower energy and contains more fiber, yet contains no grains. Once you start to work him to a jog and lope with some extension, then you can make the switch back to Integrity Adult/Senior. The Integrity product line was developed using similar ingredients so that switching from one Integrity product to another can be more safely expedited, when compared to switching between feeds that have uncommon ingredients.

The amount of Integrity Lite depends on the horse’s body weight and condition score, as well as the amount and type of hay it’s being fed, among other factors. However, if I assume your horse is in the 1050 – 1100 lb. weight range, then I would suggest starting with about 2.5 lbs. of the Integrity Lite and adjusting the amount as you go along to maintain a body condition score of 5.5. As your work intensity increases, you will need to increase his food as well.

I am feeding 4 cups of Integrity Adult/Senior each day with alfalfa and my horse has more energy with his ground work and the hair coat looks so shiny. Will that make him hot and are starches bad for him?
No. Integrity Adult/Senior and Integrity Adult/Senior - No Molasses are low-starch formulas and low-energy feed. The Integrity products do not contain corn or barley. Integrity Adult/Senior does contain a small portion of oats, which, along with modest amounts of rice bran and oil, serves as a fuel source.

The way you know that oats are a small amount in the formula is by noting that oats are the sixth ingredient on the feed label, and that beet pulp and soy hulls, the first two ingredients on the label, are the major ingredients in the Integrity Adult/Senior.

The opinion that “grains will make a horse hot” has been around a long time. As noted in a similar question, every time I have experienced a horse that was energetic, hyper, or “hot”, there was a behavioral or management explanation—it was never due to the horse’s feed.

I have a horse that turns two this month and we have been feeding her Integrity Adult/Senior but just noticed you have one that is for younger horses called Integrity Growth. Should we feed her that instead? We also supplement with extra whole oats and hay.
Yes, you want to feed the Integrity Growth to the two year old but do not cut the diet with oats. Integrity Growth is a balanced formula for growing horses and by adding a feed such as oats will alter that balance of nutrients with energy. Grass hay is fine. I do not recommend 100% alfalfa as the only hay.
Two days ago I got a year old horse that is a 1.5 on the BCS. I am trying to figure out a way to safely put weight back on him. I feed him Integrity Senior and Alfalfa Hay and he eats every scrap. I’ve read that horses below 3 BCS should only be fed alfalfa until they reach at least a 3 because they need the extra protein because their bodies have been breaking down protein due to the lack of food. I don’t like feeding straight alfalfa, but I am unsure of switching at this time. I plan on adding oil to his diet but I am trying to introduce everything slowly as I don't know how they were fed prior to them coming to me. I am feeding four times a day currently. How long until I can start to see a difference in him?
The California study on feeding very low body condition score (BCS) horses concluded that recovery was better with feeding an alfalfa forage diet. The authors concluded that higher protein forage was a factor in the improved performance. I do not agree with the recommendations of the study.

As you will recall when evaluating a study, one must considered the experimental design relative to the outcome, and one must always consider that important question, “Does it make biological sense?” Horses that have low body condition scores 1 – 3 have usually been ignored in more than the lack of groceries. The primary goal is for the horse’s general health to be clinically evaluated and stabilized and introduced to grass forage. Keep in mind that the microbial population of the gut has been compromised and that microbial population must be populated and stabilized slowly. An alfalfa forage diet in the early stages introduces protein at a level that raises concerns with further compromising the microbial population by a rapid change in the type and number of microbes. I also do not recommend alfalfa as an only source of forage anyway (See the fact sheet, Feeding Guidelines for Horses, in Dr Bray’s Corner.)

I usually recommend feeding average quality grass hay in small amounts 6 times per day along with a daily probiotic supplement and a lot of observation. The microbes in the gut need time to acclimate to the energy and nutrients supplied by the forage, the gut needs time to acclimate to accommodating the volume of feed, and the horse needs time to acclimate to a feeding schedule and a routine that he will be fed. Intestinal microbes do need and depend on protein as a fuel and nutrient source but that protein source needs to be introduced gradually to allow the intestinal microbes to acclimate.

Horses that have been neglected will gain weight fairly quickly with a methodical feeding approach and that body condition score will elevate from a 1.5 to a 3 faster than you think. Once the horse reaches a 3 BSC then I would slowly reduce the feeding frequency to 3- 4 times per day, but not the amount of feed of course, then introduce a balanced formula that provides a protein source.

I have a 8 yr. Paint mare, in training; I usually work her daily for about 40 minutes. She is on Integrity, Adult/Senior; 1 1/4 lb., 2x daily along with the same amount of Bermuda pellets. I’m also supplementing her with an antacid supplement, prebiotic supplement, hoof supplement, and joint supplement, and psyllium 2x a week and bran mash as needed. I feed Bermuda hay, 2 flakes 2x a day. She had a knee injury about 2 years ago, then 1 year ago when I got her she scuffed up her back legs while being trailer to me, for about 8 months she would stock up every night. Every time she was brought out to work or she got excited she would get diarrhea. Am I over supplementing her or is it ok to supplement with the Integrity?
Integrity is a balanced formula to complement the forage portion of your horse’s diet. The formula is balanced for the 48+ nutrients required by the horse including biotin, zinc, copper, calcium, etc. which is a few of the ingredients in the over-the-counter supplements that you specifically referenced. The Integrity formulas also contains soluble fiber sources which are in the “family” of prebiotics as well as it contains a yeast culture. I do not generally recommend over-the-counter supplements for horses that are being fed a balance formula to complement the forage portion of the diet. If a horse is maintenance fed and can be maintained on only hay or pasture, then depending on several factors including geographic location and forage sources I may recommend a generic-complete vitamin/mineral supplement.

The diarrhea is most likely not related to feeding. Considerations to explore include deworming schedule, dental health, time of day worked, temperature where stabled and temperature when worked, horse’s temperament prior to work, and overall body condition relative to exercise deportment. I am not a big fan of daily psyllium supplementation and there is a fact sheet on those thoughts in Dr. Bray’s Corner. If your horse has been diagnosed by a DVM with ulcers and joint problems then I would visit with your vet about more proven treatments then the over-the-counter supplements. The Integrity formulas provide adequate levels of biotin, lysine and methionine which are the primary ingredients being marketed by your hoof supplement.

I have a 20-year-old warm blood mare in very good health. She is fed a commercial complete formula, rice bran and a joint supplement, with good grass hay. I'm looking at Integrity to maintain her weight, her excellent condition and energy level for her work, but to take her sharpness down a few notches! Would you suggest Integrity Senior or low starch?

Integrity Adult/Senior is the choice I would suggest for your working mare. This formula contains less fat and the ingredient panel’s differences with your current feed are an important factor. The intensity of working bouts, the amounts of feeds (weights) and the mare’s estimated body weight would be helpful in order to provide you additional feeding guidelines.

The commercial product you are now feeding contains 12% crude protein, 15% crude fiber and 12% crude fat. The first 4 ingredients of your textured feed are beet pulp, cane molasses, whole oats & oil. High fat feeds, such as this one (8% and higher), have their place with horses that are working at the intense to heavy levels of competitive performance or during the first 10 weeks of lactation. However for light to moderate working horses (which I am assuming your mare is in that range), I prefer a balanced formula that is 4 – 7% crude fat and has more variety in the Ingredient panel before the molasses ingredient shows up. Molasses is the 2nd ingredient in the formula you are feeding. The amount of molasses in a texture feed can vary from as low as 3% to as high as 16%. Since ingredient panels list feed quantities of the formula in descending order then molasses is the 2nd ingredient in total weight in that formula. Molasses is NOT one of the ingredients I want to see in the first 4 ingredients listed.

In Integrity Adult/Senior the first four ingredients are beet pulp, soy hull pellet, soybean meal & rice bran. Molasses is the 6th ingredient. This Integrity formula’s guarantee analysis is 13% crude protein, 6.5% crude fat and 16% crude fiber. The 6.5% fat content of this formula is for a very good reason. Fat is an excellent source of fuel and also is an alternative to high starch grains. My approach is that if a horse needs more energy via fat during periods of more intense workouts then I can just add (top-dress) oil to the amount being fed.

One of the benefits with oil is that unlike other feedstuffs oil provides fat, an energy feedstuff that does not contain other nutrients that when top-dressed would adversely influence the nutrient content of the original formula. If a horse needs more or less fuel for work then the flexibility of when to add or reduce the energy via oil does not significantly alter the amounts of feed being fed and does not adversely influence the levels of nutrients being fed. In other words, minimizing the type of feed changes that have the potential of influencing the gut environment unfavorably. Next to meeting energy & nutrient requirements, my number one goal in feeding horses is taking care of gut integrity thus consistency is important.

I have been happy how my Icelandic mare has been doing on the Integrity Lite feed. In the summer/hot weather months I'd like to give her feed that peps her up a little. Would the Integrity Senior be a safe solution? Or, should I mix the Integrity Lite with the Integrity Senior half and half? She is in proper weight and has no health issues. She is 14 years old.
The Integrity Adult/Senior is lower fiber, has a bit more fat, and contains oats, thus more calories than the Integrity Lite. To provide more fuel for a horse’s daily needs, you can also add fat via corn, soy or peanut oil. In general 1/2 cup is added for hair coat shine and for an energy boost, 1/2 to 1 cup per day. The horse’s energy demands, work level coupled with body weight and amount of balanced formula being fed are the determining factors for the amount of oil to be added.
What is the NSC for the Timothy Feed and the Senior without Molasses feed?
The percentage of starch and ESC (Ethanol Soluble Carbohydrates) are the measurements I use to evaluate the non-structural carbohydrates in a feed. NSC is mathematically calculated from the following: %NSC = 100 – (moisture + NDF + CP + Fat + Ash) and thus is an indirect empirical (mathematical) determination. The empirical score that one sees as % NSC has variables and inconsistencies when comparing feedstuffs. The Integrity Adult/Senior (No Molasses) contains 5.5% starch and 5.9% ESC. Integrity Lite – No Molasses contains 1.6% starch and 5.9% ESC. Integrity Timothy contains 13.2% starch and 7.4% ESC.
I have an 18 year old Arabian gelding who is just my pet. He is a little overweight and I want to know if I should feed him Integrity Lite or Integrity Senior?
Since he is not active and is your companion, the Integrity Lite will be ideal. This formula does not have any starch-containing grains so it’s very low starch; Integrity Lite without molasses ESC (ethanol soluble carbohydrates) is 5.9% and the %starch is 1.6%; thus the %starch + %ESC = 7.5%.

Other attributes of Integrity Lite are that the first two ingredients in the formula are beet pulp and soy-hulls, which contribute to gut integrity. It contains 22% crude fiber and is low in energy. Equally important, Integrity Lite is balance for all the required nutrients to compliment the forage portion of his diet. For an average size Arabian gelding that is not active, I would suggest feeding 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per day.

I have been feeding Integrity Horse/Senior to my 20 year-old Arabian and 4 year-old Icelandic horses for about two years. I feed a flake of grass hay morning and night and give them Integrity for lunch. I read that I should be splitting up the amount in 2 different feedings. Is this correct or should I continue with my method?
In general you should not feed more than 4 – 5 lbs. at one meal but that recommendation is more directed for horses being fed at high levels of production, such as a lactating mare or working horse at the “intense to heavy work load”. In dated and current literature (Extension publications, magazines, etc.) you will read do not feed more than 5 lbs. per meal. That recommendation evolved because of the adverse consequences of feeding large quantities of a feed rich in carbohydrates. Many, if not most, of the early commercial feeds, the first 4 ingredients were primarily oats, corn, barley, and soybean meal. Those formulas were low fiber (<8.0%), low fat (<3.0%) and high starch (>35.0%).

The Integrity product line is not like those formulas. For Integrity Senior/Adult the first four ingredients are beet pulp, soybean hulls pellet, rice bran, and soybean meal; this formula is modestly high fiber (16.0%), modest in fat (6.5%) and low starch (5.5%). One of the attributes of Integrity Adult/Senior is to promote gut integrity while supplying the required nutrients and fuel to the horse complementing the forage portion of the diet. Although my formulas are substantially less dense in non-structural carbohydrates and thus very low starch content, I still embrace the nutritional management practice of not feeding more than 5 lbs. of a balanced formula per meal. That nutritional management belief is based on the importance of promoting a healthy and reliable gut.

If you are feeding less than 2 1/2 lbs. at lunch and it’s working for you then continue. If you are feeding closer to 4 lbs. at lunch then I would suggest dividing the feed amounts into two meals. There are other factors that can influence the feeding schedule such as frequency of work, intensity of work, time of work relative to feeding schedule, if the horse is inactive, etc. Nevertheless keep in mind what you have been doing has worked for 2+ years which translates to good nutritional management. There is a fact sheet on Feeding Guidelines for Horses that may provide additional guidance. Let me know if I can be of any more help.

Integrity Growth is for young horses 10 months through 3 years of age, and pregnant mares in their 7th and 8th month. Beet pulp and soy hulls are the first two ingredients.

  • Beet pulp/soy hulls – soluble ­fiber for intestinal health
  • Rice bran – stabilized, highly digestible fat plant source with soluble fi­bers and antioxidants
  • Live yeast – supports the population of digestive bacteria
  • Yeast culture – promotes intestinal health

FAQ

When should I use Integrity Growth for my yearling?
By 12 months of age and not earlier than 10 months of age.

Growing horses today require more than just forage. The horse’s hindgut does not reach its full digestive potential until approximately 2 ½ years of age. A balance formula that promotes gut health with attributes of soluble beet pulp/soy hulls, probiotics, prebiotics, and yeast culture are important considerations in nutritionally managing a growing horse.

Integrity Growth is a multiform, texture feed and may require an acclimation period when moving from a pellet feed. Beet pulp containing feeds promote more chewing, an important consideration since chewing promotes salvia production that contains a buffer which is very important to stability of gut pH. Adding water to Growth is an option to soften the fiber components such as beet pulp.

I prefer for growing horses to be well established on forage before moving from a pellet feed to a texture type, which is where the 12 month age recommendation comes from.

I have a horse that turns two this month and we have been feeding her Integrity Adult/Senior but just noticed you have one that is for younger horses called Integrity Growth. Should we feed her that instead? We also supplement with extra whole oats and hay.
Yes, you want to feed the Integrity Growth to the two year old but do not cut the diet with oats. Integrity Growth is a balanced formula for growing horses and by adding a feed such as oats will alter that balance of nutrients with energy. Grass hay is fine. I do not recommend 100% alfalfa as the only hay.
Why do you recommend feeding Integrity Growth for the 7th and 8th months of pregnancy and not Mare & Foal until the 9th month?
The key is to focus on feed ingredients. I like to continue a pregnant mare on Integrity Growth during the early stages up through the 8th month due to the benefits of beet pulp soy hulls as fiber sources, the protein-lysine relationship, and lower starch when pregnancy nutritional demands are still low.

Pregnancy length for a mare is 340 days and significant fetal and tissue growth does not begin to take-off until approximately day 240, which is a little longer than 3 months before birth. The greatest fetal growth actually occurs in the final 60-70 days but you are not feeding just for fetal growth; there is also growth of supporting tissues including the placenta/fluids as well as mare tissues that will support pregnancy and lactation.

I have been consistent with recommending to start changing a pregnant mare’s diet at 120 days prior to foaling even when the old NRC promoted the last 100 days. The reason is that during the 8th month of pregnancy the energy requirements is only 4.9% above the requirements of the mare if she was not pregnant. Less than 5% is not much, but enough difference to emphasize that attention is needed on a diet more than just hay and to be perceptive to achieving a body condition score 6.0. The new NRC (6th edition) changed their dietary recommendations to 150 days prior to foaling, hence beginning the 7th month. The actual growth of a fetus and supporting tissue during the 7th month is very small and dietary needs in the 7th month are actually less than a horse on an elevated maintenance diet. I continue to recommend a higher plane of nutrition beginning the 8th month and if you start by the 7th month that’s ok and the nutritional management differences would be feeding less since Integrity Growth would most likely be higher protein and higher fat than the previous diet.

I spoke with you yesterday regarding a temporary substitution of Mare & Foal with Growth in our 7 month old foal. I soaked the Growth for 25 minutes as you suggested, but our foal does not like to eat it – probably due to the beet pulp which is quite dominant. Since she does not like it now, my concern is she won't like it at 10 months of age either when we will have to switch from Mare & Foal to Growth. Is there any other Integrity Product that would be suitable for her at that age other than Growth?
She is reluctant because the feed texture in Growth is different than Mare & Foal. That’s why the recommendation for Growth is “from 12 months of age and not earlier than 10 months of age.” It’s important to allow youngsters time to acclimate to any feed, particularly when there are changes in texture. Adding a little brown sugar for sweetness may help along with just being patient. The foal is evolving with experience and this should not be an issue as she ages to a yearling.
I spoke with you recently regarding a temporary substitution of Integrity Mare & Foal with Growth in our seven month old foal. I soaked the Growth for 25 minutes as you recommended, but our foal does not like to eat it – probably due to the beet pulp which is quite dominant. Since she does not like it now, my concern is that she won't like it at 10 months of age either when we will have to switch from Mare & Foal. Is there any other Integrity Product that would be suitable for her at that age other than the Growth please?
Integrity Growth is recommended “at 12 months of age and not earlier than 10 months of age.” The permanent premolars and molars teeth are not erupting until 10 months through 3 ½ years of age. The foal could be reluctant because of the new feed texture, does not like the mash consistency, or her gums with baby premolars are just more sensitive to the texture. Allowing a youngster time to acclimate to any feed is normal, particularly when there are also changes in texture. Adding a little brown sugar for sweetness may help along with just being patient.

Integrity Lite is ideal for maintenance and pleasure horses that are lightly worked or infrequently ridden. A good choice for adult horses that are being long-lined during downtime or recovery.

  • Balanced formula that is very low in starch (4.3%) and sugar (5.9%).
  • High fiber (20%). Specifically high in soluble fiber due to the top two ingredients being beet pulp and soy hulls.
  • Contains 6% crude fat; no corn, barley grains, or alfalfa.
  • Adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of Integrity Lite Without Molasses increases the fat content from 6.0% to 8.8%.

FAQ

I recently purchased Integrity Lite without Molasses for my 26 year old Cushing’s horse that is overweight at about 1200 lbs. What is the suggested feeding amount if it is used as a supplement? I’ve been feeding Alfalfa & Timothy and will be switching to all Orchard 6-1-17.
If he is inactive, 2 lbs per day would be adequate to complement the forage portion of the diet.
I have a 22 year old, 1100 lb. Hanoverian that is being worked minimally (hand walk and tack walking) due to a ligament injury. He is fed soaked timothy pellets (he choked last fall) and timothy hay in slow feeders. He always has hay in front of him but he does not like stems so it is difficult to judge how many pounds of hay he is eating. Maybe 15. His teeth were just done and they are okay. He has lost some weight and a lot of his topline due to no work. Two years ago he was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. I cannot test my hay. He receives individual supplements: magnesium (advised for IR), selenium (hay comes from Washington which is very low in selenium), natural vitamin E (to go with the Se), ground flax (Omega 3 and inflammation), and salt (he will not eat a block so, I give it loose in his feed). In an effort to simplify his feeding program and give him a few more calories I thought your Integrity Lite without molasses would be good. How much Integrity Lite would you advise? Would that cover all the other supplements I give now?
His actively level is considered a maintenance diet. How much Timothy pellets are being fed? Assuming he is consuming adequate forage from long stem & pellet hay (approx 17-19 lb/day), I would suggest 2.5 - 3 lbs per day. I would start at ½ pound and increase ¼ lb until at 2 lbs per day then monitor his weight. You may need to go to 3 lbs but I would observe to see if the 2 lbs along with hay is adequate – it all depends on how much hay is being consumed. Integrity Lite is a balanced formula so any other supplements would be overkill.

There is no evidence that Mg provide benefits to IR. I’m also not a fan of supplemental Se or vitamin E when feeding a balanced formula, like Integrity, that already contains Se and vitamin E.

Our horse has Cushing's and insulin resistance and his numbers are very high for both. Our vet recommended we switch to Integrity Lite. We've been reading that oat hay shouldn't be given to Cushing's and insulin resistant horses. We added a supplement to help his manure be more formed up. Do you think 1lb. of Integrity Lite a day along with timothy hay and straight timothy pellets with no fillers would be a safe feed even though this feed has an oat hay pellet? Or do you have any other recommendations?

Integrity Lite No Molasses is a low starch/sugar balanced formula and one of two formulas that I suggest for horses that require a low starch/sugar diet. I would need to know more about your horse to provide a recommendation on amounts; including info on body weight, breed, how he is used, amount of timothy hay and pellets fed. The oat hay pellet in Integrity Lite is not an issue since the amount is small and we know that the starch content of Integrity Lite No Molasses is 4.3% and sugars are 5.9%. The Integrity Products Tech sheet has the nutrients and dietary components.

Timothy hay is a good choice and west coast timothy is usually a mature hay thus lower in starch/sugars. If you decide to feed a combination of timothy hay and pellets you should read the fact sheet, ‘Feeding Guidelines” in Dr. Bray’s Corner. You will note that forage pellets should not exceed 50% of the total forage fed per day because horses drink more water with baled forages than with pellet forages.

The advice not to feed oat hay to Cushing/IR horses as the primary or only forage is because unless the hay is analyzed there is no way of knowing the starch and sugar content contributed by the oat seed heads. For example irrigated oat hay has less seed head, higher fiber than dryland oat hay and will be lower in starch/sugars.

My horse, Timmy, whinnies every time I come to the barn to feed him Integrity Lite. He is a 22 year old, 16 hand Hanoverian, approx. 1100 lbs. What is the minimum amount of Integrity Lite I can feed so that he receives the necessary nutrition? He is now trotting about 5-8 minutes 3 times weekly in addition to tack walking and being ponied about 90 minutes per week. He eats about 18 pounds of hay/timothy pellets and 1 ½ pounds of Integrity Lite. I can still see his ribs a little, but overall he looks better and his toppling is improving. Would it be better if he got at least 2 pounds of the Lite?
A reminder than older horses with an average Body Condition Score of 5 to 6 can show ribs. Ribs and withers/shoulder area are segments in the BCS system in which scoring adjustments may need to be considered for older horses. Muscle tone and external fat can decrease in these body parts with age but not necessarily for all horses.

Assuming he does need some additional weight and with his size and light work, let’s move towards 3 lbs per day and monitor his weight changes over the next 2-3 weeks. Integrity balanced formulas, like Lite, are formulated to complement the forage portion of the diet. Make the increases slowly, about 1/4 lb per day. Let me know if there are any questions during the transition. Depending on your goal for work you may need to consider Adult/ Senior which has higher fat and some oats to adequately fuel his work load.

I have a 28-year-old National Show Horse that is a cribber with poor teeth. Although he is underweight by approximately 50 to 60 pounds, he has excellent energy and is a good eater. He is turned out twice a week and ridden lightly once a week for about 30 minutes. The vet just worked on his teeth and wants me to feed him soaked Integrity senior formula and pellets. I am currently feeding him 4 pounds a day of Integrity Lite with no molasses, a 6-pound hay pellet and two flakes of orchard grass. I also feed him digestive aids. Should I switch to Integrity Senior or keep him on the Integrity Lite formula? I was also considering adding rice bran into the mix to facilitate weight gain.

As you know maintaining body weight is difficult with cribbers. Usually the incisors, which are the teeth at the front of the mouth used primarily for cutting food, are the ones most compromised by cribbing. If the molars, also known as jaw teeth, are still in good condition, then you need to continue feeding him long-stem forage. Long-stem forage is important to help maintain microbial health in his gut, and it also encourages the horse to drink more water than forage in pellet form. I am unclear about the extent of his dental damage, but long-stem hay should always be provided even if the horse just picks through it at a slow rate.

You have two options when determining which Integrity product to use:

  • Integrity Senior/Adult formula has less fiber and more fat than the Integrity Lite formula, and therefore provides more calories when fed at the same level.; or
  • Add fat to his current Integrity Lite diet in the form of Integrity Rice Bran, which is available in both meal and nugget forms.

One final thought: Integrity products contain probiotics, yeast culture and prebiotics. At the present level of feeding, the additional digestive aid is overkill.

I recently bought a bag of Integrity Lite without molasses to try with my severely IR/laminitic QH. The tag on the bag says "no molasses" and the feed store only carries the no molasses version, but I just noticed the ingredient list printed on the back of the bag has molasses as the 6th ingredient. Is this a misprint or should I return it?
No misprint; you got it right. The company is using the same bag for the Lite products and the attached the tag that states “No Molasses” for the Integrity Lite WITHOUT Molasses distinguishes the difference. The same is true for Integrity Adult/Senior which is also available with and without molasses.
Regarding my mare and my two ponies, you previously suggested 1/4 to 1/3 (cup) of oil but I am not sure what type. Can you make a suggestion? I have purchased a bag of Integrity Lite and there were two choices, one with molasses and the other without. I bought the one with molasses. Is this one ok? Does 1/2 lb. of Integrity weigh the same as liquid (8oz) cup? Can I use 1 cup or do I need to weigh on a food scale?
The oil type is not important—corn, soy, canola—select for best price. The question of oil type has evolved from the emphasis of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid relationship for human diet. Horses are herbivores and fat is not a significant portion of their diet compared to a carnivore (meat eater) or omnivore (meat & plant eater). Horses actually have a low fat requirement because they are herbivores and what’s interesting is that we know there are 3 essential fatty acids that are required by mammals but that requirement has never really been established via research as with other domestic animals.

Both Integrity Lite products are low in starch and non-structural carbohydrates but obviously the no molasses product will have less non-structural carbohydrates. There is a Q&A recently posted on Integrity Lite starch content on this page.

Liquid measuring cups do NOT equate to dry measurements. I prefer you weigh the feed but the last time I checked, approximately 1/2 of a small coffee can is actually 1/2 lb. for the Integrity Lite with molasses.

How much beet pulp is recommended for a horse per day? How about Integrity Lite Body Build?
Why do you want to feed beet pulp? Beet pulp in often used to provide benefits as a “bulk laxative” because of its fiber and water attraction properties. I do not generally recommend it as an added ingredient on a daily basis unless there is a reason to complement an existing balanced diet.

If a bulk laxative is needed, then depending on the forage source, other feed and fiber sources, activity level, etc. an 1,100 lb. horse would be fed 0.5 – 2.0 lbs. per day of shredded beet pulp (before adding water). Relative to the Integrity product line, beet pulp is the first ingredient in several of the formulas so I would usually not recommend adding beet pulp.

The questions are a bit general and more information would be needed relative to the horse(s) involved. The fact sheet in Dr. Bray’s Corner “What to Feed your Horse” provides a guideline of specifics information that is helpful for me to provide meaningful recommendations; those categories include Body Weight, Hay & Forage Feeding, Feeds Fed other than Hay, Exercise Schedule, and Exercise Intensity. Also take a look at the fact sheet section titled “Feeding Guidelines for Horses”.

I have a 3 and 5 year old QH mare. I recently changed them from an all alfalfa and oat diet to predominantly Bermuda hay, almost free fed with a couple lbs. of alfalfa 2 times per day. They are up to 3 cups twice a day of Integrity Lite—no molasses. The 3 year old had physitis issues when younger. Is 6 cups of the Integrity Lite enough to give them the maximum vitamin/mineral supplement they need?

The general recommendation I provide for 2 – 3 year olds is 1.4 – 1.5% of their body weight in dry forage (hay) and approximately 0.4 – 0.6% of their body weight in a balanced feed mix. The feed mix needs to be formulated for growing horses that will compliment the forage portion of the diet. When feeding a balance formula I do not recommend any additional supplements.

Integrity Lite was formulated for adult or older, idle or less active horses. This formula also provides a rich source of soluble fiber for gut integrity. The Integrity Lite is not the correct Integrity formula for your late growing and early adult horses; the correct formula is Integrity Growth.

Let’s use for example a 2 year old that weighs approximately 920 lbs. and is expected to mature to 15.2 hands and 1100 lbs. The daily diet would consist of approximately 13 lbs. of grass hay and approximately 4 to 5 lbs. of the Integrity Growth formula. Please keep in mind there are many factors that influence the horse’s energy and nutrient requirements, which is why I encourage horse owners to become familiar with the body condition scoring system (this system is provided with photos at Dr. Bray’s Corner). The body condition scoring system allows one to manage feed amounts relative to body weight. Any adjustments in increasing or reducing feed amounts will be with the amounts of Integrity Growth. Forage is critical to maintaining gut integrity and the recommended amounts provided are for this age group.

Two years olds are still growing so they need a better quality energy source other than hay. The Integrity Growth contains soluble fiber sources (beet pulp and soybean hulls) but also includes rice bran, fat (canola oil) and oats as the primary fuel sources and soybean meal as the primary protein source. Three year olds usually have reached their mature height but their body composition remains somewhat dynamic. Muscle to body fat relationship is changing and although this lean-to-fat ratio is primarily influenced by genetics, exercise and diet are important factors in navigating the ship.

I’m trying to estimate the amount of Integrity Lite (no molasses) to feed my two horses; a 22 yr. Andalusian gelding with poor upper molars, and a 19 yr. Paso Fino mare with IR (insulin resistant) and minimal work. They live together in a 24 x 48 stall with a 24/7 bale net of Bermuda. The Integrity bag label suggests about 6.6 pounds for a 1000 lb. horse. In your response to an owner with a 28 yr. horse with Cushing's you had suggested 2 pounds/day of the Integrity Lite (no molasses). I feed 4 pounds per day to the gelding and 2 pounds/day to the mare - each split into am/pm feedings. Why the big difference in the label recommendation (6 pounds/day) and the recommendation to the 28 yr. horse (2 pounds/day? Would orchard or another hay be better?
The feeding guidelines that are provided on packaging address body weight, (and/or body condition score), and production/work levels only. This information is basic but there are a plethora of other factors that influence a horse’s diet besides body weight and production level, which is why I always use the phrase “Feeding Guidelines” for feeding recommendations. In the fact sheet section of Dr. Bray’s Corner, there is a fact sheet titled “What to Feed your Horse” This information provides a series of questions and subset list of questions that helps me provide recommendations. I wish I could print that fact sheet on the packaging but we do have Dr. Bray’s Corner which provides nutritional management recommendations. Feeding horses is much more than flakes of hay and scoops of grain. Star Milling’s Dr. Bray’s Corner emphasizes the importance developing nutritional management skills and the importance of using the body condition scoring system to guide the horse owner in feeding decisions.

Relative to your follow up question regarding orchard hay or another forage: all the grass hays are similar in nutrient/energy concentration because orchard grass on the West Coast is inconsistent with the calcium-phosphorus ratio I usually suggest a small amount (20%) of alfalfa hay be fed with the orchard as well.

I have a 24 year old quarter horse. He eats 1/4 to 1/3 flake of alfalfa and 1/2 flake of Bermuda hay morning and night. He is out in a Bermuda pasture for about 5 hrs. each day. He is also on “vitamin / mineral” supplement. My vet recommended feeding a senior feed with less starch and we now feed him Integrity Lite. He’s worked 4 - 5 days a week of trail riding or hand walks. Does he need to be on the “vitamin / mineral” supplement?
The fact sheet What to Feed your Horse provides the type of information that is helpful when I am answering feeding questions. For example, how much of the Integrity Lite are you feeding per day? Is the trail riding mostly at a walk, walk/trot, etc.? What is the estimated body weight of the Quarter horse? If the 24 year old is an average size Quarter horse than approximately 1 flake of hay per day would not be adequate forage without the pasture-grazing every day. In general, if the trail riding is light (horse is warm or slightly damp at the end of the ride) and the body weight is around 1050 lbs. then you would feed approximately 2.5 – 4.0 pounds per day of Integrity Lite along with your current pasture/hay feeding. When feeding adequate amounts of a balanced formula, like the Integrity product line, a vitamin/mineral supplement is not needed.
I have been happy how my Icelandic mare has been doing on the Integrity Lite feed. In the summer/hot weather months I'd like to give her feed that peps her up a little. Would the Integrity Senior be a safe solution? Or, should I mix the Integrity Lite with the Integrity Senior half and half? She is in proper weight and has no health issues. She is 14 years old.
The Integrity Adult/Senior is lower fiber, has a bit more fat, and contains oats, thus more calories than the Integrity Lite. To provide more fuel for a horse’s daily needs, you can also add fat via corn, soy or peanut oil. In general 1/2 cup is added for hair coat shine and for an energy boost, 1/2 to 1 cup per day. The horse’s energy demands, work level coupled with body weight and amount of balanced formula being fed are the determining factors for the amount of oil to be added.
I have an 18 year old Arabian gelding who is just my pet. He is a little overweight and I want to know if I should feed him Integrity Lite or Integrity Senior?
Since he is not active and is your companion, the Integrity Lite will be ideal. This formula does not have any starch-containing grains so it’s very low starch; Integrity Lite without molasses ESC (ethanol soluble carbohydrates) is 5.9% and the %starch is 1.6%; thus the %starch + %ESC = 7.5%.

Other attributes of Integrity Lite are that the first two ingredients in the formula are beet pulp and soy-hulls, which contribute to gut integrity. It contains 22% crude fiber and is low in energy. Equally important, Integrity Lite is balance for all the required nutrients to compliment the forage portion of his diet. For an average size Arabian gelding that is not active, I would suggest feeding 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per day.

Can I soak Integrity Lite to increase water intake? Is there a limit to how long it should soak?
Yes, you can mix Integrity Lite with water. The first two ingredients of this product are beet pulp and soy hulls and both feedstuffs will take up water. I do not know the circumstances for your horse but for average conditions, adding water to a feed does not influence the daily water intake.

Adding water to beet pulp has evolved as a common practice because “raw” shredded beet pulp (without additives such as molasses) is rigid, prickly and requires the horse to chew for longer periods of time to mix with saliva and soften before swallowing. Chewing and increase salvia are actually beneficial to the horse’s health because salvia has a buffering attribute that is important in maintaining gut pH thus promoting a healthy bacteria population in the hindgut. Commercial feeds usually contain molasses and/or fat and these ingredients along with moisture from other feed ingredients during the manufacturing of the feed will soften the beet pulp.

If you add water to beet pulp then add equal volume of water to the feed and allow it to soften, which is usually a very short time. I’m not sure where the overnight soaking came from, but it’s an extreme. We are not making beet pulp wine.

How do I switch my horse to Integrity Lite without Molasses from straight beet pulp? I know that Integrity Lite already has beet pulp in it so I am wondering how slowly to switch it over.
Be sure you take a look at the fact sheet under Dr. Bray’s Corner Fact Sheet tab, Feeding Guidelines for Horses. In general for changes in balance feed mixes, grain base mixes, or commodities (oats, beet pulp, rice bran, wheat bran, etc.), the recommendation is approximately 1/4 lb. change-over per day. There are some circumstances in which the change may need to be an every-other-day basis. I recognize that this recommendation is conservative but with the diverse experience of horse owners today, a conservative recommendation is sensible. Besides, what’s the rush?
Do you have fact sheets with details regarding values of ingredients in Integrity Lite Low Starch w/ Molasses? The bag lists protein, fat, fiber, ash, calcium and phosphorus info, but I am also interested in the other micronutrients and biotin amounts. Could you direct me toward that additional nutritional information?
Absolutely! Additional nutrient content as well as other dietary components such as starch and sugar are listed on the Integrity Brochure.

If I can be any help with specific feeding questions please feel free to contact me or visit the Finding the Right Integrity Feed page. Dr Bray's Corner also has fact sheets and Q&A from horse owners on equine nutrition.

Integrity Mare & Foal is for pregnant mares 9th month through foaling, lactating mares, and nursing foals 3 weeks to 1 year. Wheat bran and soybean meal are the first two ingredients.

  • Beet pulp/soybean meal – soluble fiber for intestinal health
  • Rice bran – stabilized, highly digestible fat plant source with soluble fibers and antioxidants
  • Live yeast – supports the population of digestive bacteria
  • Yeast culture – promotes intestinal health
I have a gypsy mare who is 7 months pregnant. I bought your Integrity Mare & Foal feed and am wondering if it is okay to feed her at this stage? I’m asking because because since then I have read that you suggested feeding Integrity Growth instead. Is it ok to feed her Mare & Foal now that I’ve already started her on it? Thanks for any info, I absolutely love your Integrity products. Can I add biotin to her feed? I noticed that it’s not in your ingredients.
Feeding Integrity Mare & Foal at the 7th month of pregnancy will work just fine. Biotin is already in the formulation and additional supplementation would be overkill. Biotin does not show up on the brochure’s primary list of ingredients because it’s a trace ingredient with very, very small amounts. You will see biotin listed as “biotin supplement”on the bag’s feed tag that has the completed list of ingredients.

Integrity Timothy is a pellet form, balanced formula for moderate working horses.

  • Modest in fat (7.25%). Rice bran is the third ingredient and it also contains canola oil.
  • Adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of Integrity Timothy increases the fat content from 7.25% to 10.2%. Another good option for intense working horses.
  • Soluble fiber source is soy hulls. Product does not contain beet pulp.
  • Contains no grains (no corn, barley or oats) and utilizes wheat bran as the primary carbohydrate source.
  • Has similar fat, protein, and fiber content as Adult/Senior.

FAQ

I have a 1,100 lb. Appendix Gelding 16hh and 16 yrs. We have just moved him from Anaheim Hills, CA. to Garner Valley, which is at 4,500 ft. He is recovering from a fracture in his navicular bone. He cannot have alfalfa so he is currently eating 3 flakes of Orchard per day and 4 cups of your Integrity Timothy mixed. He is a little ribby because the vet wants him lean. But I want him to gain just a little and be able to grow a nice winter coat. I would appreciate your advice. Thank You!
You need to add “groceries” so there are two reasonable options for your horse to gain weight. You can increase the current amount of Integrity Lite or you can add Integrity Rice Bran. The Integrity Rice Bran is a new Integrity product that is balanced for calcium and phosphorus and has added probiotic and prebiotic for gut health and integrity. The best method to observe weight change is using the Body Condition Scoring system which is outlined with photographs in Dr. Bray’s Corner. Thank you for using Integrity and feel free to let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
I have a 24 yr. old Quarter horse gelding, poor teeth and the past few years his sheath has had edema. He is ridden once a week. I also have a 17 yr. old Quarter horse mare, which I have self-diagnosed as fibrotic myopathy in her left rear. She is ridden lightly 3 times a week. I feed them Integrity Timothy, as well as orchard grass hay. The Integrity Timothy was recommended the last time I had their teeth done. Since they are seniors, should I be feeding them another supplement? My mare is 17 but she is high strung.
The lowest starch and highest fiber formula in the Integrity product line is Integrity Lite without molasses. This formula is well suited for older horses that may be inactive or worked lightly. As with all Integrity formulas, Integrity Lite is a balanced formula to complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. Integrity Timothy is a formula more suited for more active working horses and does not contain the high starch grains corn and barley.
What is the NSC is for the Timothy Feed and the Senior without Molasses feed?
The percentage of starch and ESC (Ethanol Soluble Carbohydrates) are the measurements I use to evaluate the non-structural carbohydrates in a feed. NSC is mathematically calculated from the following: %NSC = 100 – (moisture + NDF + CP + Fat + Ash) and thus is an indirect empirical (mathematical) determination. The empirical score that one sees as % NSC has variables and inconsistencies when comparing feedstuffs. The Integrity Adult/Senior (No Molasses) contains 5.5% starch and 5.9% ESC. Integrity Lite – No Molasses contains 1.6% starch and 5.9% ESC. Integrity Timothy contains 13.2% starch and 7.4% ESC.

Integrity Rice Bran is a stabilized rice bran with 21% fat that contains flaxseed oil.

  • Formulated to add additional fat to a balanced diet
  • Balanced for calcium and phosphorus with a 1.2:1 ratio
  • Available in a meal or nugget form
  • Note the benefits of increasing fat levels of Integrity products by adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of the respective product

FAQ

I am considering using Integrity Rice Bran for my horse. Can you tell me the ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids in your rice bran?
A frequent question and not one that is relevant unless you are feeding very high (>10 lbs.) levels of a concentrate that is >15% fat. Integrity formulas do include whole ground flaxseed meal, best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and canola oil, a modest amount of ALA. Click here for a complete fact sheet on omega fatty acids.

The essential omega-3 (linolenic) and omega-6 (linoleic) requirements have NOT been established for horses. Therefore, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio for horses is NOT known. The ratio of omega-6 & omega-3 fatty acids for humans can NOT be applied to horses or any herbivore animal. For humans, the ratio is 1:1 to 4:1 (omega 6 to omega 3); most people think incorrectly that's the ratio is omega 3 to omega 6. Any material that implies/suggests benefits for horses are NOT base on substantive, quality research with horses and mostly the information one reads is anecdotal.

Feral horses grazing on pasture do consume the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) but two major points. Most forages are less than 3% fat and ALA is poorly converted to the omega-3 beneficial forms DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA are forms through human research that have demonstrated some benefits. Primary source of DHA is cold water fish.

Now does it make sense that biologically that linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) fatty acids are essential fatty acids of the horse. YES. But the low fat levels of their natural food sources and a gut system that is forage driven does NOT permit a leap to conclusions that have been discovered in humans whose diet is much higher fat and have gut systems that are shorter and different in compartment numbers and capacity; thus, a diet that is different in composition of fiber, protein, fat and primary energy source. Dog’s diets are higher fat and the research with dogs is even questionable. Point of interest - omega 6 fatty acid is the one that nourishes the skin, not omega 3.

What should we feed our small pony (375 lbs) who was just diagnosed with Cushing’s? Integrity Rice Bran Nuggets? He gets 1.5 lbs of timothy hay and 1 lb of timothy pellets twice a day. I'm looking for hair coat and energy. He is 20 years old, retired, and is a companion to another retired 20 year old horse.

Since he is Cushing, rice bran should not be an option because of the starch levels even though just a small amount would be fed. For hair coat you can use 1/8 cup of oil (two tablespoons) and use ½ - ¾ of a cup (measured in the Integrity Feed Scoop) of Integrity Lite No Molasses per day as the carrier. Integrity Lite is a low starch low sugar balance formula with 6% fat.

About 15 or so years ago, you gave a class in Santa Ynez, California. I attended it and learned a lot. You had the beet pulp mix at the time and I used it for years and years until I decided to seek out one that didn’t include molasses. Recently I have been using your Integrity Stabilized Rice Bran Nugget with great success for some of my hard keepers. What do you recommend as a low-sugar, ongoing maintenance product for my hard keepers? I am a barefoot trimmer and see the ravages of a high sugar diet, so I am hunting for an ongoing diet for 20 horses that will work for both my easy and hard keepers without problems cropping up in their feet. I am feeding a diet of grass hay, and for some, I supplement that with Alfalfa. I had wanted to get away from Alfalfa totally but I seem to need it since the grass hays are not always of the greatest quality.
The Integrity Lite No Molasses is a balanced feed that complements the forage portion of the horse’s diet and is a low starch, low sugar feed. The starch content of he Integrity Lite No Molasses is 1.6%, and the ethanol soluble carbohydrate (ESC) is 5.9%. If you need additional calories you can increase the amount of Integrity Lite or you can add corn, soy or peanut oil. For hair coat improvement, I recommend approximately ¼ to ? cup of oil per day, depending on body weight.

If you need to add calories (energy) to the diet, start with a ¼ cup of oil per day and increase over a couple of days to ½ cup. Monitor for changes in body weight. If the horse is gaining weight, you’ll notice changes in as quickly as two weeks using the body condition scoring. Rice Bran contains starch. Since you are trying to maintain a lower starch/sugar diet, you should stay away from Rice Bran and instead go with the added fat in the form of oil.

Integrity Performance is a high fat balanced formula (10%) developed for either intense, heavy or some moderate workloads.

  • Primary fat sources are rice bran and canola oil; rice bran is the 2nd ingredient in the formula
  • Adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of Integrity Performance increases the fat from 10% to 12.8%
  • The order of feed ingredients is based on the importance of ingredient combination relative to fueling an athlete while minimizing a blood glucose surge. That’s why Integrity Performance’s top four ingredients are beet pulp, rice bran, wheat bran, and oats.
  • Carbohydrate containing ingredients include oats, wheat bran, beet pulp, soy hulls, rice bran, and molasses.
  • Integrity Performance contains only 5% molasses. That’s low by industry standards.
  • Molasses is the 7th ingredient in Integrity Performance compared to the 2nd ingredient in a competitor’s performance formula.

For every 1 lb of Integrity Performance fed, the 5% molasses adds less than 1/3 oz or less than ¾ of a level tablespoon of granulated sugar equivalence

FAQ

I measure Integrity Performance with the Integrity plastic scoop. Does one full scoop equal to one pound? I feed 3 scoops of Performance for each feeding and want to feed 3 pounds.

For Integrity Performance, 4 ½ cups equals 1 lb and one scoop of Integrity Performance is 4 cups, thus not quite a pound. Since your goal was to feed 3 pounds then in addition to 3 level scoops (12 cups), you need to measure another 1 ½ cups. The cup measurements are on the side of the Integrity scoop.

I live in Northern California and Integrity is just making its debut up here. I have a yearling colt that we want to fit up for lunge line. We handle him every day and he will be getting round pen or in-hand work 3-4 days a week. Would it be okay to feed him Integrity Performance instead of Integrity Growth?.
It is too early to feed your yearling Integrity Performance.

You were keen to notice that the differences between the two products appear minimal, but the importance of those differences are in the relationships of “nutrient to nutrient” and “nutrient to calorie” ratios. Some commercial feeds only focus on the guaranteed analysis (GA). Integrity’s focus is on the GA and also how they influence these important ratios.

Beet pulp is the first ingredient in both Growth and Performance because gut health is a primary focus of Integrity. However, protein and particularly the amino acid lysine are critical for growing youngsters which is why soybean meal is the second ingredient in Growth.

Granted, working horses need protein to add and rebuild muscle fiber, but that relationship in nutrient to nutrient and nutrient to calorie is different for a growing horse. That’s why soybean meal is the fifth ingredient in Performance. Rice bran is the second ingredient in Performance because fat is a major fuel source for working horses. Keep in mind you are working your yearling who is still growing and building the foundation from his genetic makeup; an adult performance horse has already reached his growth potential.

If you want higher fat during work sessions, add oil or Integrity Rice Bran to the meal about 90 minutes prior to work. That allows fatty acids to circulate in the blood and provide added fuel. I would need to know more about your yearling and the type of work to recommend amounts.

Which feed?

Adult/Senior

Growth

Lite

Mare & Foal

Timothy

Rice Bran

Performance

Which Feed?

I am considering using Integrity Rice Bran for my horse. Can you tell me the ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids in your rice bran?
A frequent question and not one that is relevant unless you are feeding very high (>10 lbs.) levels of a concentrate that is >15% fat. Integrity formulas do include whole ground flaxseed meal, best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and canola oil, a modest amount of ALA. Click here for a complete fact sheet on omega fatty acids.

The essential omega-3 (linolenic) and omega-6 (linoleic) requirements have NOT been established for horses. Therefore, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio for horses is NOT known. The ratio of omega-6 & omega-3 fatty acids for humans can NOT be applied to horses or any herbivore animal. For humans, the ratio is 1:1 to 4:1 (omega 6 to omega 3); most people think incorrectly that's the ratio is omega 3 to omega 6. Any material that implies/suggests benefits for horses are NOT base on substantive, quality research with horses and mostly the information one reads is anecdotal.

Feral horses grazing on pasture do consume the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) but two major points. Most forages are less than 3% fat and ALA is poorly converted to the omega-3 beneficial forms DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA are forms through human research that have demonstrated some benefits. Primary source of DHA is cold water fish.

Now does it make sense that biologically that linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) fatty acids are essential fatty acids of the horse. YES. But the low fat levels of their natural food sources and a gut system that is forage driven does NOT permit a leap to conclusions that have been discovered in humans whose diet is much higher fat and have gut systems that are shorter and different in compartment numbers and capacity; thus, a diet that is different in composition of fiber, protein, fat and primary energy source. Dog’s diets are higher fat and the research with dogs is even questionable. Point of interest - omega 6 fatty acid is the one that nourishes the skin, not omega 3.

Why are there no horse feeds without sugar and starch?
Horse feeds are made from plants and photosynthesis is how plants make their own food. The primary chemical energy from photosynthesis is sugar and starch that is made from light, water and carbon dioxide; thus, all plants have sugars and starch. Since hay/grass is the major portion of a horse’s diet then the major contributor of sugars/starch to their diet is the forage they consume daily.

The average sugar in hay is 7.6% and 1.9% for starch. Horses consume hay at approximately 1.5% of body weight, thus 15 pounds of hay for a 1,000 pound horse. The 15 pounds of hay contains 518 grams or 1.2 pounds of sugar and 130 grams or more than ¼ pound of starch.

Integrity Lite feed no molasses is 4.3% sugar and 5.9% starch; for one pound that’s 19 grams sugar and 27 grams starch. This grain-free formula contains modest protein, modest fat, and high fiber to promote digestive health.

I have a yearling colt that we want to fit up for lunge line. We handle him daily and he gets round pen or in-hand work 3-4 days a week. Would it be okay to feed him Performance instead of the Growth?
Your yearling is to young to be fed Integrity Performance.
While the differences between the two products appear minimal, the importance of those differences are in the relationships of nutrient-to-nutrient and nutrient-to-calorie relationships.

The feed sources of the nutrients are critical. While some commercial feeds primarily focus on the guaranteed analysis (GA), Integrity’s focus is not only on the GA but what ingredients are providing those nutrients and how they affect the two critical relationships mentioned above.

For example, gut health is a primary focus of Integrity which is why beet pulp is the first ingredient in both Growth and Performance. However for a growing youngster, protein and particularly the amino acid lysine are critical to the growth phase which is why soybean meal is the second ingredient in Growth. Granted working horses need protein to add & rebuild muscle fiber but that relationship in nutrient to nutrient and nutrient to calorie is different than a growing horse which is why soybean meal is the fifth ingredient in Performance.

In Performance, rice bran is the second ingredient because fat is a major fuel source for a working horse. Keep in mind you are working a yearling that is still growing and building the foundation from his genetic makeup; an adult performance horse has already reached his growth potential.

If you want higher fat during work sessions, you can add oil or Integrity Rice Bran to the meal prior to work. I would need to know more about your yearling and the type of work to recommend amounts. Usually feeding 1.5 hours prior to a work session will allow fatty acids to circulate and provide added fuel and dietary fat, reducing the lactic acid levels for moderate-to-intense work sessions.

I have a yearling filly that I feed Orchard grass, alfalfa, and Integrity Adult/Senior. Her mother has been on Integrity her whole life (she is 10) she was fed Integrity Mare & Foal from 8 months on in her pregnancy through weaning. What do you recommend that I feed her now? She is an APHA mare and is pretty good size. How about my filly?
I pretty conservative in the amounts fed with stock-type horses. Studies suggest that some stock-type horses are predisposed to metabolic bone diseases such as OCD and epiphysitis. So without any history of an animal, I suggest feeding less of the balanced formula than usual and more hay initially.
You should feed Integrity Growth to the yearling. Growing horses should be active and alfalfa should not exceed more than 20% of the forage intake. West Coast Orchard grass is a good hay but the calcium and phosphorus content can vary and sometimes have an inverted ratio – that is, more phosphorus than calcium. So feeding a small amount of alfalfa with orchard is a good approach since West Coast alfalfa can have as much as 4 - 6 times more calcium than phosphorus.
The goal is for the youngster to grow at a moderate pace and not to be over fed.  Particularly do not feed excess protein, high starch feeds, trace minerals or high energy.
I have a 6 month old Connemara colt. He will probably mature to about 900+lbs, around 14H. Does the amount of feed recommended for Integrity Mare & Foal or Integrity Growth change for a pony breed? Would it still be 1/2 to 3/4 lb. per 100lb. weight?
For a 6 month old, their body weight is approximately 66% of mature body weight. If his expected mature body weight is 900 lbs. then his current weight may be about 600 lbs.

Was he creep fed? If not, you will need to introduce the feed slowly with ¼ lb. on the first day and adding ¼ lb. every other day. Once you reach 1 ½ lbs., start adding ¼ lb. every day until the goal is reached. I would suggest starting on the low end, so at ½ lb. per 100 lbs. body weight that would be 3 lbs. per day, split between two meals minimally but three meals would be better. Do not be in a rush. Once you reach 2 ½ lbs., monitor for a few days then make the adjustment to 3 lb. per day if needed. Keep in mind as the weanling gains weight he will need more hay as well. For a 6 month old, total feed intake should be 2.25 - 2.5% of body weight. That translates to 13 to 15 lbs. feed per day for a 600 lb. colt.

I am more conservative in pushing growth compared to others – particularly with pony breeds –so I suggest the hay intake should be 9 – 10 lbs. per day and Integrity Mare & Foal 3 lbs. per day. Please keep in mind these are general guidelines and since I am not familiar with the weanling’s management and BCS there may be adjustments needed for your specific youngster’s growth requirements. Several factors determine when to transition to Integrity Growth. I usually suggest around 12 months but not earlier than 10 months of age. The foals needs to have the molars to be able to thoroughly chew the beet pulp shreds in Growth.

I’m looking to switch my two horses to Integrity but I’m not sure to which feed. One of my horses is a Thoroughbred barrel horse who isn’t a hard keeper but does get slightly nervous and is a picky grain eater. The other is a mare who should be foaling in maybe 60 days. I’m feeding her a mare and foal from another brand but would love to get her on a better grain because she is really picky. What do you recommend?
If your barrel horse is working during the week, then feed Integrity Adult/Senior. For your mare that is due in approximately 60 days, feed Integrity Mare & Foal. Be sure to follow the advice in Feeding Guidelines for Horses.
I want to get my horses on a grain free, forage based diet. They have unlimited access to Timothy hay, and get alfalfa twice daily. These are performance horses but are super easy keepers!! Would the alfalfa molasses crumble be a good option for simply mixing supplements?
The alfalfa crumble is essentially an alfalfa pellet that has been broken (crumbled) into smaller pieces. As a carrier, will depend on the form(s) of the supplements, i.e. pellet, powder, liquids etc. Usually a texture feed works better as an all-purpose carrier. If you are just thinking about a small amount and just want a carrier you may also want to consider Integrity Lite no molasses which is a balanced formula that does not contain grains, no alfalfa, is high fiber (20%), first two ingredients are beet pulp and soy hulls and balanced for required vitamins and minerals.
What is the energy content of Integrity Adult/Senior without molasses?
Digestible Energy (DE) values expressed as Mcal Digestible Energy per pound for all the Integrity products is listed below in the table.

Integrity Product DE Mcal/lb
Adult/Senior 1.20
Adult/Senior No Molasses 1.20
Growth 1.27
Lite 1.15
Lite No Molasses 1.13
Mare & Foal 1.23
Performance 1.33
Rice Bran Meal 1.55
Rice Bran Nugget 1.55
Timothy 1.17
I have a Welsh Section B mare that I use in combined driving. She is insulin resistant and has had a few laminitic episodes. Which of your Integrity feeds would you recommend?
Integrity Lite no molasses is our lowest sugar and starch formula. You may want to view this product sheet for a comparison of the dietary components and nutrients in the various Integrity feeds. You should also be feeding a mature grass hay.
My horse is in the early stages of founder so we need to keep the sugars and starches to a minimum. Right now I feed her wheat bran mash so that she takes her powdered medicine, otherwise she will not take it in just her timothy pellets. My vet said that this feed has too much sugar, and I thought it was one of the lowest sugar feeds out there! Which product would you recommend?

Integrity Lite No Molasses is a low starch, low sugar, no grains, and highly soluble fiber-balanced formula. The starch and sugar (ESC) content in Integrity feeds can be found on this Integrity product comparison sheet. The starch content of Integrity Lite No Molasses averages less than 4.3% starch and 5.9% sugar (ESC).

My rescue horse is about 20 years-old and has Cushing’s disease. I have been feeding him about four cups a day of Integrity no sugar. He’s about 16 hands, underweight and probably some kind of draft mix. Is this product okay for a Cushing’s horse?
I’m not sure which product you are feeding. The Integrity Lite no molasses and Integrity Adult/Senior are both low starch and low sugar formulas. The Integrity Lite, as you will note in the table below, is the lowest of these two Integrity formulas and one of the lowest, if not the lowest balanced formula on the market. If your 20 year-old is not being worked on a daily basis, I would suggest the Integrity Lite no molasses.

In the equine industry, there is quite a bit of confusion in defining starch content. Please take a look at the article in Dr. Bray’s Corner titled, “Nutrition Fundamental Series: Nonstructural Carbohydrates,” to gain a better understanding of nonstructural carbohydrates and the appropriate terminology. Unfortunately, some of the descriptions for starch and sugar content used in the industry are inaccurate and don’t represent the facts. The following information for the Integrity products, however, is factual.

Feed and Form % ESC % Starch % Starch + % ESC
Integrity Senior, no molasses, textured 5.5 3.6 9.1
Integrity Lite, no molasses, textured 5.7 1.6 7.3

*Values reported on as sampled or as fed basis. ESC is ethanol soluble carbohydrates.

I am confused about which product to feed my mares. One is 7, the other is 12. The 7-year old is in good shape, she trains approximately 3-4 days per week, for about an hour, (her color is bright when fed dark feeds). The 12-year old is in good shape also, works about 3-4 days per week, but is ridden by a 10-year old so has a mild workload also. They are currently being fed alfalfa am and pm, and they are boarded at a stable. They have salt blocks, clean water etc., which Integrity feed do you recommend?
It’s important to note that feed color does not influence coat color, but oil or fat will contribute to a shiny or bright coat. Also, during the winter season, the horse’s hair coat is longer and usually appears darker.

For working adult horses, you have three choices in the Integrity product line: Integrity Adult/Senior, a textured feed that is available with and without molasses; Integrity Timothy, a pellet feed; or our new product, Integrity Performance. Integrity performance is 10% fat and contains oats and Integrity Rice Bran as fuel sources, but DOES NOT contain corn or barley. All three are balanced formulas that complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. The amount fed daily will vary for each horse based on their body weight, body condition score and workload.

Finally, I do not recommend 100% alfalfa as the forage source. In Dr. Bray’s Corner at starmilling.com, there is a fact sheet titled “What to Feed your Horse,” which may be useful. Also, I will encourage you to take a look at the fact sheet “Feeding Guidelines for Horses.

The feed store here in Flagstaff, AZ offers your Integrity products both with and without Molasses. Would you kindly speak to the pros and cons of having this ingredient in my horses’ feed?
Molasses has two fundamental contributions to feed mixes: It binds the small feed particles to reduce the dustiness of the feed when handled or consumed by the horse. It adds a sweet flavor to the feed. Horses like sweetness. The horse industry is currently in overdrive with concerns regarding the sugar and starch makeup in horse feeds, thus molasses has been negatively targeted. Some commercial feeds have higher levels of molasses than others. Please read my example in Dr. Bray’s Corner about Nonstructural Carbohydrates . It covers sugar content in a feed containing molasses and may help with keeping molasses concerns in perspective.

Example: A 1,100 lb. Quarter Horse is consuming 4 lbs. per day of a popular sweet feed that contains 6% molasses in addition to 18 lbs. of grass hay. The horse owner is concerned with feeding molasses, which contains sugar. So, how much sugar is the horse actually receiving from the 4 lbs. of sweet feed?

Solution:

  • 4 lbs. feed X 0.06 (6% molasses) = 0.24 lb. or 3.84 oz. of molasses in the 4 lbs. of feed
    6% is the same as 0.06; companies will share the % molasses added to a feed; it is not a trade secret
  • 3.84 oz. X 0.40 (40% sugar in molasses) = 1.54 oz. of sugar from molasses
    40% is the same as 0.40; commercial molasses is approximately 40% sugar

Answer: The horse is consuming 1½ oz. of sugar each day from the 4 lbs. of sweet feed. Do you think that 1½ oz. of sugar will be an issue with an 1100 lb. Quarter Horse?

I have two barrel and two rope horses. Since it’s winter, I’ve transitioned all of them from Integrity Performance to Integrity Lite until competition starts up again in spring. Also, one of my barrel racing horses is slightly anemic. The local feed store told me to take him off all other supplements and feed my horses 3 pounds a day to start with, and after a month or so, change the feed amounts per the results I am seeing. The instructions say to feed 2/3 lb. of feed per every 100 lbs. That would be 7 pounds a day for my barrel horse. Would he get the necessary nutrition if I only feed 3 pounds instead of 7? Should I continue with the iron supplement even though Integrity has iron? When should I switch back to Integrity Performance?

I would need information such as workload, weight, and body condition score to offer a precise answer, but will assume the following so I can provide an answer:

  • Body weight around 1050 lbs
  • Body condition score of 5
  • 17.5 lbs hay fed daily to each horse (predominantly a grass forage, not more than 50% alfalfa)
  • Light work 3 – 4 days a week

With those assumptions, 3- 4 lbs per day of Integrity Adult/Senior should work. Integrity Adult/Senior is a bit higher in protein and fat than Integrity Lite—oats are the 6th ingredient on the label. Performance horses during the offseason need a higher protein and fuel source, even though clearly there will be some loss of muscle and conditioning in the offseason.

If you campaign hard, start blending Performance into the Adult/Senior while elevating work leading into the competitive season. Add more Performance as more energy is needed for competing and maintaining body condition.

As far as iron supplements, I can only provide my thoughts as a nutritionist and cannot speak to any clinical recommendations that have been provided. There are rarely nutritional situations that require singling out a specific nutrient that needs to be added. Data supports feeding a balanced diet and not supplementing with nutrients.

For example, if one is concerned with RBC and hemoglobin concentrations, then not only iron is considered but also copper, pyridoxine, B12 and folic acid. Minerals in particular have relationships with other minerals and dietary components—if one mineral is added then you are probably altering its balance with the other nutrients. That is why the data supports feeding balanced diets and not supplementing with over-the-counter products that are marketed with little research to support their claims.

How does your feed compare nutritionally to the National Research Council (NRC) 2007 Nutrient Requirements of Horses?
The Integrity formulas are based on the Nutrient Requirements of Horses published by the NRC and on my years of experience as an equine nutritionist, horseman, and University professor in Animal & Veterinary Sciences. My approach is to provide a balance formula to complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. There are a plethora of factors that influence a horse’s energy and nutrient requirements besides the two fundamental factors of body weight and production stage which are listed in the 2007 NRC Nutrient Requirements for Horses. The NRC publication is not and should not be consider as an absolute for energy and nutrient values but is actually a guideline for minimum requirements. Nutritional management is the key to a successful feeding program and unfortunately too much emphasis is often placed by contemporary marketing schemes on one or two of the 50+ nutrients required by the horse.
How are poor feed source deficiencies such as vitamin E addressed in horse feeds? How does your feed compare nutritionally to National Research Council (NRC) 2007 Nutrient Requirements of Horses?
The Integrity formulas are based on my years of experience as an equine nutritionist, horseman, and University professor in Animal & Veterinary Sciences. My approach is to provide a balance formula to complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. There are a plethora of factors that influence a horse’s energy and nutrient requirements besides the two fundamental factors of body weight and production stage which are listed in the 2007 NRC Nutrient Requirements for Horses. The NRC publication is not and should not be consider as an absolute for energy and nutrient values but is actually a guideline for minimum requirements.

Nutritional management is the key to a successful feeding program and unfortunately too much emphasis is sometimes placed on one or two of the nutrients required by the horse instead of a balance formula approach. The relationship of nutrient to nutrient and the relationship of nutrient to energy are important factors that must be considered in formulating a balanced feed for horses.

I have a mare that is 15 yrs. old and two 10-hand ponies, 5 and 8 yrs. old. I noticed my ponies’ coats were not as shining as last summer when I was feeding alfalfa hay. My horse started urinating a lot so I changed my hay this spring to Bermuda then I heard that feeding Bermuda can cause an impaction. I feel Bermuda grass seems more natural for my horses to eat than Alfalfa. I want to add Integrity to their daily feed but I am not sure which type of Integrity I should feed with their Bermuda grass. What would you recommend? Can my horse and ponies eat the same type even with their age differences? How much should I feed them? They are both at good weights at about 372 pounds.
There are several factors that influence hair coat—nutrition is only one of the many options. The benefits of feeding a balanced concentrate are to provide nutrients and energy that will complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. Feeding a balanced formula with the hay may improve the haircut and all of the Integrity products have added fat via oil and rice bran; dietary fat improves hair coat. However, one tool to increase the fat content of the diet and to improve hair coat is to feed 3/4 - 1/3 cup of oil per day; for the ponies you will feed less than half the amount that you feed your mare.

I do not recommend alfalfa as the only forage source; my recommendation is that alfalfa cannot be more than 50% of the forage fed. This recommendation is primarily based on supplying adequate fiber to the horse’s diet. Review the fact sheet section in Dr. Bray’s Corner for the title “Feeding Guidelines for Horses”. Alfalfa may provide up to 75 -125% more protein than the horse requires thus the excess nitrogen (component of protein) is eliminated via the urine thereby the horse consumes more water in order to eliminate the excess urinary nitrogen.

Also in Dr. Bray’s Corner, there is a fact sheet titled Does Bermuda Grass Hay Cause Colic? This fact sheet will summarize my thoughts on Bermuda and help you understand the myths that have evolved in the industry with feeding Bermuda. Nutritional management is the key to successful feeding and I do not subscribe to the concerns that Bermuda is not a safe forage to feed. If your horse and ponies are inactive then feed the Integrity Lite. If they are working several days a week then use the Integrity Senior/Adult. I would need to know more about your ponies’ work or activity level to be specific. In general, if they are inactive then feed 1/3 -1/2 lb. per day. If they are lightly worked then feed around 3/4 - 1 pound per day.

Is Teff hay ok to feed my horse with the Integrity products?
Yes. Teff grass hay has been around for quite awhile but the availability of the grass hay has been inconsistent for West Coast horse owners. However, the consistence in availability has changed with more being grown, hay producers recognizing the quality, and producers learning how to work through the growing nuisances of Teff. Also Teff is now available in a hay pellet in southern California. Horses sometimes need time to adjust to Teff hay from the bale because the texture is different than other grass hays.

Teff Hay

Analysis Percent (%)
Crude Protein 10.8%
Crude Fat 2.2%
Crude Fiber 26.8%
Ash 8.8%
Calcium 0.56%
Phosphorus 0.23%
Calcium-Phosphorus Ratio 2.4: 1
Potassium 1.26%
Starch (Ewers Method 1.6%

Teff is native to Ethiopia and is classified as a warm season annual grass. It’s not considered a very good pasture grass because the root system is shallow and the turf is easily damaged with grazing animals.

The composition of Teff hay is a good fit with the Integrity product line. As with any grass forage that is processed for hay, there are many factors that will influence the composition. Over the years, hay produced for horses on the West Coast usually is a more mature hay to increase the yield from the field and thus is often on the lower to average end on analysis. The Teff hay assessments that I have seen in the past year have been better than most grass hays usually fed on the West Coast. I have included a recent report analysis of Teff hay from a source in southern California.

My horse is a 13 year old, gelding, paint/quarter horse. His work is only trail rides 2 times a week on average. He currently eats alfalfa hay and some orchard hay and rice bran. He had a slight case of colic the other day and I want to switch to Integrity. He has quite a bit of energy. What is your opinion for a horse that does not get much work with an easy life style?
The combination of orchard grass hay and alfalfa hay will work as long as you follow the forage feeding rules in the Fact Sheet section, Feeding Guidelines for Horses. One of my fundamental rules is that alfalfa hay can not be more than 50% of the total forage fed per day. This guideline is based on minimum fiber intake that I recommend. The amount of hay fed should approximate 1.5% of his body weight. So if your gelding weighs 1100 pounds then the combination of hays will be 16.5 pounds per day. The Integrity Lite will be a good choice for a horse with this work load. The amount fed can vary with his body weight, but for 1100 pound horse, I would suggest 2 pounds per day and on the days you ride him add an extra pound. That is, feed 3 pounds per day.rity Lite may be the balanced concentrate you will need to compliment the forage portion of her diet.
I have an old mare who has dental problems. She is on Integrity and the vet told me to keep her off of all grass and alfalfa hay, as she sounded impacted during the vet call. Should I continue to use Integrity for the time being without any foliage added?
If you remove baled hay from your mare’s diet, she still needs an adequate source of dietary fiber. You did not mention the specific dental issues but I surmised there are issues with her molars (jaw teeth) which are needed to reduce the particle size of the food being consumed. So, your option is to select a forage source in which the particle size has already been reduced which is a hay pellet and you will need to soak the hay pellet in water to an oatmeal consistency; you also may want to consider feeding smaller amounts more frequently. For example if she was being fed hay two times per day then divide the hay pellet daily feed allotment into three feedings. Also you most likely will feed less total weight of hay pellet since there will not being any orts (feed loss) as compared to baled hay. I usually suggest feeding hay pellets approximately 10% less (weight) than baled hay; that is, if the mare was being fed 16 lbs. of long stem hay per day then feed approximately 14 1/2 lbs. of the hay pellet per day. You will need to monitor her body condition score for weigh changes.

Star Milling has several hay pellets including Timothy, teff, Bermuda & Bermuda/alfalfa. You will need to review the fact sheet on Feeding Guidelines for Horses relative to the rate of changing the diet. When the diet is switched from a long stem forage source to a hay pellet (smaller particle size), the horse will drink less water. In addition, the smaller particle size of the fiber source is associated with a reduction in passage rate; in other words the gut will contract with less vigor. One final point of interest is that when a diet is changed, the major goal is not to upset the microflora (bacteria) that are habitants of the gut. Gut integrity is the number one nutritional management goal. The current line of Integrity products was not formulated to be a total replacement for forages but the Integrity Lite may be the balanced concentrate you will need to compliment the forage portion of her diet.

I have an 8 yr. old mustang, 13 hands, very low-key temperament, and fed about 5 pounds of Bermuda and 2 pounds of Bermuda pellets. He gets about 1/2 cup of Integrity along with salt (about 1 teaspoon) to increase his salt intake during the summer. He should weigh about 800 pounds, but looks obese. I am hesitant to reduce his forage because I do not want him to colic. What would you recommend I do for him?

Some of the numbers do not add up, even if the horse is truly an “easy keeper” (although in all my years working with horses I can only truly identify a couple of horses that were truly “easy or hard keepers”) 7 pounds of total hay and ½ cup Integrity is a ration more suited for a 450 to 525 lb. pony. Have you used a weight tape to estimate the body weight? In Dr. Bray’s Corner there is a fact sheet on estimating body weight. Is the 800 lbs. body weight an “eye” estimate? 800 lbs. is a heavy body weight for a 13.2 hands pony even if he is obese. So, in order for me to provide you more useful guidance, we need to double check the body weight and hay weight. The hay amount being fed may be underestimated.

Dr. Bray’s Note: The emailer responded that she did the weight tape measurement on the mustang and weighed the hay and let me know graciously that the mustang’s weight tape measurement was 405 pounds and that a large kitchen scale suggested the hay was 25 pounds. Although there may be some error in these weights as well, the bottom line emphasizes the importance of the body condition scoring system and weighing the feed fed to your horse.

I recently got a 5 year old Arabian who has trouble gaining weight. I have fed him over 10 lbs. of hay, along with pellets and a senior feed. Since we have been in training, he has no problem with energy, but hasn't put on any muscle. My vet recommended an extruded feed, and when I took your class at Cal Poly, you were just coming out with Integrity. Is this feed an extruded feed? Will it make my young guy "hot"? Will it help him put on more weight, even in training?
You did not indicate the amount of senior feed that is being fed or your horse’s body weight. If your Arabian is average height and weight, then 10 pounds of hay is inadequate. Visit the fact sheet section in Dr. Bray’s Corner on Feeding Guidelines. You should be feeding a minimum of 1.5% of his body weight in hay.

Also, feed alone does NOT put on muscle; a misconception that has existed in the horse industry since I can remember. Muscle build-up is influenced by genetic potential and of course an exercise program complemented by a balance diet that supplies the needed energy and nutrients for muscle improvement.

When there are difficulties with a horse gaining weight, there may be one or a combination of factors that contribute to the challenges. Looking at the type of feed or amounts fed is not always the first consideration. The horse’s complete nutritional management and health management needs to be considered. Some considerations will seem simple but as with any problem solving approach, exploring the options are needed to identify a solution. Some factors to consider:

  • What is the current body condition score? What changes in the body condition score have occurred over the past 30, 60, and 90 days?
  • How often is the horse dewormed? What deworming compounds were used? Is there a rotation in the deworming compounds active ingredients being used? Is a boticide being used? These considerations should be explored with your veterinarian.
  • When was the horse’s teeth checked and/or floated?
  • What is currently being fed and how often?
  • Is the horse fed with other horses or as an individual?
  • Have there been changes in last 30 days with types or amounts of feed being fed?
  • Who feeds the horse? What is the training facility? What is the boarding facility? If others are feeding, are you ensuring the correct amounts are being fed?
  • Have there been changes in the horse’s boarding conditions (i.e. changed in facility or stable mates)?
  • What is the current work/training routine (i.e. frequency, intensity, etc.)?
  • When did his work/training program begin?
  • Have there been any health issues?

Extruded feeds have been cooked at high steam-temperatures and pressure for a short period of time. This extrusion process also allows the cooked product to be pushed through a die which is what provides the uniform and different shapes. The cooking process will partially “break down” or prepare the starches and protein so that in general these components of the feed are better utilized. There are studies that support the better utilization of extruded feeds. The fundamental question is when will an extruded feed best serve the horse relative to the horse’s energy needs? Although extruded feeds are more expensive to make, thus more expensive to the consumer, I have always liked the extrusion process with feeds that contain high level of grains, such as corn, barley and oats. I will recommend extruded feeds that contain high levels of grains when the horse has high energy demands such as race horses, polo ponies, three-day event horses, some working horses (roping, cutting), early lactation, and sometimes selectively during early stages of growth.

If a horse needs to gain weight, the first approach is more calories. More calories can be accomplished by providing more feed or adding fat in the form of oil. Adding fat usually will not “insult” the nutrient – calorie ratio with most formulas and can provide the additional energy needed to gain weight. The amount of oil fed is depended on what is currently being fed, the horse’s body weight, and current work intensity. So I would need additional information to provide a specific amount of oil.

The Integrity Adult/Senior has properties that I like (and formulated) because it does have energy sources via rice bran, canola oil and oats but at the same time has ingredients (beet pulp & soy-hulls) that promote gut integrity. Integrity Adult/Senior is not an extruded feed and is not energy dense but is a low starch feed. Keep in mind that there is more nutritional management required when feeding an energy rich formula that is high in energy and starch. Star Milling’s Equine Age formula is a combination of extrusion and pellet forms and the first 3 ingredients on the label are alfalfa meal, wheat bran, and ground corn.

I have heard people talk about Integrity and was wondering how it compares to the supplement and horse feed I use. The ingredients include probiotics, electrolytes, and minerals. Does this mean I would no longer need to include these if I switched to your product?

Those supplements are not needed when feeding Integrity. The Integrity products are balanced formulas that complement the forage portion of the diet relative to all the nutrients and energy required by horses. The formulas are fortified with yeast culture and prebiotics that nourish the microflora of the horse’s gut and fortified with vitamins & minerals. The fat source rice bran and the protein/fat source ground-flaxseed are also ingredients of the Integrity formulations. Integrity also contains the soluble fiber sources (beet pulp & soy hulls) that promote gut integrity and these two soluble fiber sources are primary ingredients in the formulas.

The two products you referenced in your inquiry are different. One is a supplement that is NOT a balanced formula which promotes coconut meal as an ingredient. Coconut meal is a high protein source (~21.0% crude protein) and very low fat source (~2.2% crude fat). I do not consider the composition of coconut meal anything special in formulating horse feeds and the ingredient is very expensive. The other product you referenced is an extruded feed and the extrusion process has been around for many decades. I am very particular about the list of ingredients in my formulations and the product line you referenced in your email is what I consider “1970s” ingredient formulation.

Integrity Adult/Senior

Integrity Adult/Senior contains more soluble fiber than Integrity Performance and is ideal for moderate working horses. Beet pulp and soy hulls are first two ingredients. Adult/Senior is also well-suited for those that are worked in hot or humid environments.

  • Also suitable for horses working at light levels that are transitioning to a moderate workload.
  • Modest in fat (7.3%).
  • Adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of Integrity Adult/Senior WITHOUT molasses increases fat content from 7.3% to 11%. A good option for intense working horses.
  • Adult/Senior Without Molasses is 6.1% sugars and 5.4% starch—a low starch & sugar formula with less than Integrity Performance and Integrity Timothy.
  • Carbohydrate containing ingredients are beet pulp, soy hulls, rice bran, oats, wheat bran, and molasses.

FAQ

I have a senior 27 year old Quarter Arab cross 14.3h that is retired and gets light regular exercise. I've had a tough time in the past few months keeping her weight up and decided to switch her to pellets since she leaves behind so much of the regular alfalfa. She's missing a couple teeth too. I'm wondering exactly how much I should feed her to help her gain some weight back safely. Is there a weight-to-feed ratio you use when trying to add weight to a horse? Looking at Ace Hi Alfalfa Pellets and we supplement 3lbs of Integrity Senior with molasses 4 times a week to get her some extra calories with a "weight builder" product. Would love some advice, thanks!
For a 14.3 H QHxArab cross let’s assume a body weight goal approximately 950 - 1000 lbs. With light work, she should be fed approximately 14-15 lbs of forage per day. Long stem hay is critical to gut health and if you take a look in Dr. Brays Corner there is a fact sheet on Feeding Guidelines for Horses that recommends that processed hay (hay pellets/cubes) should not exceed 50% of the total forage intake.

The reason is that horses drink less water with pellets/cubes. Water is important to gut health. Therefore hay pellets should not exceed 7 - 7.5 lbs and long stem hay would be 7 - 7.5 lbs lbs. Keep in mind most horses consume all the hay pellets but depending on bale-hay management not all long-stem hay will be consumed, thus you may feed less pellets.

Since you will be switching a portion of the diet to hay pellets, keep the Adult/Senior at 2 lbs per day compared to 3lbs at 4 days/week. Observe for a couple of weeks and see if there are benefits with shifting the hay source. Softening the hay pellets may be useful with added water and the Adult/Senior can be included. Weight builder supplements are not something that I recommend.

There are other non-nutritional factors that could influence weight loss including deworming frequency and teeth. When she is eating hay, observe for any tilting of head and/or quidding. You need to be sure teeth/gum issues are not the reason for weight decline. As the horse ages, it’s not uncommon for a horse to have gum inflammation which would reduce chewing hay.

Twenty-seven years is getting up there in years for horses, so changes in body composition are to be expected but you want to eliminate the obvious ones. You may also want to consult with your veterinarian.

I have a 28-year-old National Show Horse that is a cribber with poor teeth. Although he is underweight by approximately 50 to 60 pounds, he has excellent energy and is a good eater. He is turned out twice a week and ridden lightly once a week for about 30 minutes. The vet just worked on his teeth and wants me to feed him soaked Integrity senior formula and pellets. I am currently feeding him 4 pounds a day of Integrity Lite with no molasses, a 6-pound hay pellet and two flakes of orchard grass. I also feed him digestive aids. Should I switch to Integrity Senior or keep him on the Integrity Lite formula? I was also considering adding rice bran into the mix to facilitate weight gain.
As you know maintaining body weight is difficult with cribbers. Usually the incisors, which are the teeth at the front of the mouth used primarily for cutting food, are the ones most compromised by cribbing. If the molars, also known as jaw teeth, are still in good condition, then you need to continue feeding him long-stem forage. Long-stem forage is important to help maintain microbial health in his gut, and it also encourages the horse to drink more water than forage in pellet form. I am unclear about the extent of his dental damage, but long-stem hay should always be provided even if the horse just picks through it at a slow rate.

You have two options when determining which Integrity product to use:

  1. Integrity Senior/Adult formula has less fiber and more fat than the Integrity Lite formula, and therefore provides more calories when fed at the same level.; or
  2. Add fat to his current Integrity Lite diet in the form of Integrity Rice Bran, which is available in both meal and nugget forms.

One final thought: Integrity products contain probiotics, yeast culture and prebiotics. At the present level of feeding, the additional digestive aid is overkill.

I have a cutting horse that's just coming back from a suspensory injury and I have to ride him at a walk for an hour at a time. He's trying to be polite but he has way too much energy. I'm currently giving him just a half-scoop of the same Integrity Senior I've fed him forever. Would that small amount make a difference in his energy level? Should I stop giving it to him while he’s recovering? Right now, less energy is better.
How big is your scoop? His energy level might be influenced by his spirit to work and by restlessness because he’s been down for a long time—it might not be influenced by the feed.

Nevertheless, with the recovery program that you noted, I would suggest the Integrity Lite. It’s a balanced formula that supplies the required nutrients, produces lower energy and contains more fiber, yet contains no grains. Once you start to work him to a jog and lope with some extension, then you can make the switch back to Integrity Adult/Senior. The Integrity product line was developed using similar ingredients so that switching from one Integrity product to another can be more safely expedited, when compared to switching between feeds that have uncommon ingredients.

The amount of Integrity Lite depends on the horse’s body weight and condition score, as well as the amount and type of hay it’s being fed, among other factors. However, if I assume your horse is in the 1050 – 1100 lb. weight range, then I would suggest starting with about 2.5 lbs. of the Integrity Lite and adjusting the amount as you go along to maintain a body condition score of 5.5. As your work intensity increases, you will need to increase his food as well.

I am feeding 4 cups of Integrity Adult/Senior each day with alfalfa and my horse has more energy with his ground work and the hair coat looks so shiny. Will that make him hot and are starches bad for him?
No. Integrity Adult/Senior and Integrity Adult/Senior - No Molasses are low-starch formulas and low-energy feed. The Integrity products do not contain corn or barley. Integrity Adult/Senior does contain a small portion of oats, which, along with modest amounts of rice bran and oil, serves as a fuel source.

The way you know that oats are a small amount in the formula is by noting that oats are the sixth ingredient on the feed label, and that beet pulp and soy hulls, the first two ingredients on the label, are the major ingredients in the Integrity Adult/Senior.

The opinion that “grains will make a horse hot” has been around a long time. As noted in a similar question, every time I have experienced a horse that was energetic, hyper, or “hot”, there was a behavioral or management explanation—it was never due to the horse’s feed.

I have a horse that turns two this month and we have been feeding her Integrity Adult/Senior but just noticed you have one that is for younger horses called Integrity Growth. Should we feed her that instead? We also supplement with extra whole oats and hay.
Yes, you want to feed the Integrity Growth to the two year old but do not cut the diet with oats. Integrity Growth is a balanced formula for growing horses and by adding a feed such as oats will alter that balance of nutrients with energy. Grass hay is fine. I do not recommend 100% alfalfa as the only hay.
Two days ago I got a year old horse that is a 1.5 on the BCS. I am trying to figure out a way to safely put weight back on him. I feed him Integrity Senior and Alfalfa Hay and he eats every scrap. I’ve read that horses below 3 BCS should only be fed alfalfa until they reach at least a 3 because they need the extra protein because their bodies have been breaking down protein due to the lack of food. I don’t like feeding straight alfalfa, but I am unsure of switching at this time. I plan on adding oil to his diet but I am trying to introduce everything slowly as I don't know how they were fed prior to them coming to me. I am feeding four times a day currently. How long until I can start to see a difference in him?
The California study on feeding very low body condition score (BCS) horses concluded that recovery was better with feeding an alfalfa forage diet. The authors concluded that higher protein forage was a factor in the improved performance. I do not agree with the recommendations of the study.

As you will recall when evaluating a study, one must considered the experimental design relative to the outcome, and one must always consider that important question, “Does it make biological sense?” Horses that have low body condition scores 1 – 3 have usually been ignored in more than the lack of groceries. The primary goal is for the horse’s general health to be clinically evaluated and stabilized and introduced to grass forage. Keep in mind that the microbial population of the gut has been compromised and that microbial population must be populated and stabilized slowly. An alfalfa forage diet in the early stages introduces protein at a level that raises concerns with further compromising the microbial population by a rapid change in the type and number of microbes. I also do not recommend alfalfa as an only source of forage anyway (See the fact sheet, Feeding Guidelines for Horses, in Dr Bray’s Corner.)

I usually recommend feeding average quality grass hay in small amounts 6 times per day along with a daily probiotic supplement and a lot of observation. The microbes in the gut need time to acclimate to the energy and nutrients supplied by the forage, the gut needs time to acclimate to accommodating the volume of feed, and the horse needs time to acclimate to a feeding schedule and a routine that he will be fed. Intestinal microbes do need and depend on protein as a fuel and nutrient source but that protein source needs to be introduced gradually to allow the intestinal microbes to acclimate.

Horses that have been neglected will gain weight fairly quickly with a methodical feeding approach and that body condition score will elevate from a 1.5 to a 3 faster than you think. Once the horse reaches a 3 BSC then I would slowly reduce the feeding frequency to 3- 4 times per day, but not the amount of feed of course, then introduce a balanced formula that provides a protein source.

I have a 8 yr. Paint mare, in training; I usually work her daily for about 40 minutes. She is on Integrity, Adult/Senior; 1 1/4 lb., 2x daily along with the same amount of Bermuda pellets. I’m also supplementing her with an antacid supplement, prebiotic supplement, hoof supplement, and joint supplement, and psyllium 2x a week and bran mash as needed. I feed Bermuda hay, 2 flakes 2x a day. She had a knee injury about 2 years ago, then 1 year ago when I got her she scuffed up her back legs while being trailer to me, for about 8 months she would stock up every night. Every time she was brought out to work or she got excited she would get diarrhea. Am I over supplementing her or is it ok to supplement with the Integrity?
Integrity is a balanced formula to complement the forage portion of your horse’s diet. The formula is balanced for the 48+ nutrients required by the horse including biotin, zinc, copper, calcium, etc. which is a few of the ingredients in the over-the-counter supplements that you specifically referenced. The Integrity formulas also contains soluble fiber sources which are in the “family” of prebiotics as well as it contains a yeast culture. I do not generally recommend over-the-counter supplements for horses that are being fed a balance formula to complement the forage portion of the diet. If a horse is maintenance fed and can be maintained on only hay or pasture, then depending on several factors including geographic location and forage sources I may recommend a generic-complete vitamin/mineral supplement.

The diarrhea is most likely not related to feeding. Considerations to explore include deworming schedule, dental health, time of day worked, temperature where stabled and temperature when worked, horse’s temperament prior to work, and overall body condition relative to exercise deportment. I am not a big fan of daily psyllium supplementation and there is a fact sheet on those thoughts in Dr. Bray’s Corner. If your horse has been diagnosed by a DVM with ulcers and joint problems then I would visit with your vet about more proven treatments then the over-the-counter supplements. The Integrity formulas provide adequate levels of biotin, lysine and methionine which are the primary ingredients being marketed by your hoof supplement.

I have a 20-year-old warm blood mare in very good health. She is fed a commercial complete formula, rice bran and a joint supplement, with good grass hay. I'm looking at Integrity to maintain her weight, her excellent condition and energy level for her work, but to take her sharpness down a few notches! Would you suggest Integrity Senior or low starch?

Integrity Adult/Senior is the choice I would suggest for your working mare. This formula contains less fat and the ingredient panel’s differences with your current feed are an important factor. The intensity of working bouts, the amounts of feeds (weights) and the mare’s estimated body weight would be helpful in order to provide you additional feeding guidelines.

The commercial product you are now feeding contains 12% crude protein, 15% crude fiber and 12% crude fat. The first 4 ingredients of your textured feed are beet pulp, cane molasses, whole oats & oil. High fat feeds, such as this one (8% and higher), have their place with horses that are working at the intense to heavy levels of competitive performance or during the first 10 weeks of lactation. However for light to moderate working horses (which I am assuming your mare is in that range), I prefer a balanced formula that is 4 – 7% crude fat and has more variety in the Ingredient panel before the molasses ingredient shows up. Molasses is the 2nd ingredient in the formula you are feeding. The amount of molasses in a texture feed can vary from as low as 3% to as high as 16%. Since ingredient panels list feed quantities of the formula in descending order then molasses is the 2nd ingredient in total weight in that formula. Molasses is NOT one of the ingredients I want to see in the first 4 ingredients listed.

In Integrity Adult/Senior the first four ingredients are beet pulp, soy hull pellet, soybean meal & rice bran. Molasses is the 6th ingredient. This Integrity formula’s guarantee analysis is 13% crude protein, 6.5% crude fat and 16% crude fiber. The 6.5% fat content of this formula is for a very good reason. Fat is an excellent source of fuel and also is an alternative to high starch grains. My approach is that if a horse needs more energy via fat during periods of more intense workouts then I can just add (top-dress) oil to the amount being fed.

One of the benefits with oil is that unlike other feedstuffs oil provides fat, an energy feedstuff that does not contain other nutrients that when top-dressed would adversely influence the nutrient content of the original formula. If a horse needs more or less fuel for work then the flexibility of when to add or reduce the energy via oil does not significantly alter the amounts of feed being fed and does not adversely influence the levels of nutrients being fed. In other words, minimizing the type of feed changes that have the potential of influencing the gut environment unfavorably. Next to meeting energy & nutrient requirements, my number one goal in feeding horses is taking care of gut integrity thus consistency is important.

I have been happy how my Icelandic mare has been doing on the Integrity Lite feed. In the summer/hot weather months I'd like to give her feed that peps her up a little. Would the Integrity Senior be a safe solution? Or, should I mix the Integrity Lite with the Integrity Senior half and half? She is in proper weight and has no health issues. She is 14 years old.
The Integrity Adult/Senior is lower fiber, has a bit more fat, and contains oats, thus more calories than the Integrity Lite. To provide more fuel for a horse’s daily needs, you can also add fat via corn, soy or peanut oil. In general 1/2 cup is added for hair coat shine and for an energy boost, 1/2 to 1 cup per day. The horse’s energy demands, work level coupled with body weight and amount of balanced formula being fed are the determining factors for the amount of oil to be added.
What is the NSC for the Timothy Feed and the Senior without Molasses feed?
The percentage of starch and ESC (Ethanol Soluble Carbohydrates) are the measurements I use to evaluate the non-structural carbohydrates in a feed. NSC is mathematically calculated from the following: %NSC = 100 – (moisture + NDF + CP + Fat + Ash) and thus is an indirect empirical (mathematical) determination. The empirical score that one sees as % NSC has variables and inconsistencies when comparing feedstuffs. The Integrity Adult/Senior (No Molasses) contains 5.5% starch and 5.9% ESC. Integrity Lite – No Molasses contains 1.6% starch and 5.9% ESC. Integrity Timothy contains 13.2% starch and 7.4% ESC.
I have an 18 year old Arabian gelding who is just my pet. He is a little overweight and I want to know if I should feed him Integrity Lite or Integrity Senior?
Since he is not active and is your companion, the Integrity Lite will be ideal. This formula does not have any starch-containing grains so it’s very low starch; Integrity Lite without molasses ESC (ethanol soluble carbohydrates) is 5.9% and the %starch is 1.6%; thus the %starch + %ESC = 7.5%.

Other attributes of Integrity Lite are that the first two ingredients in the formula are beet pulp and soy-hulls, which contribute to gut integrity. It contains 22% crude fiber and is low in energy. Equally important, Integrity Lite is balance for all the required nutrients to compliment the forage portion of his diet. For an average size Arabian gelding that is not active, I would suggest feeding 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per day.

I have been feeding Integrity Horse/Senior to my 20 year-old Arabian and 4 year-old Icelandic horses for about two years. I feed a flake of grass hay morning and night and give them Integrity for lunch. I read that I should be splitting up the amount in 2 different feedings. Is this correct or should I continue with my method?
In general you should not feed more than 4 – 5 lbs. at one meal but that recommendation is more directed for horses being fed at high levels of production, such as a lactating mare or working horse at the “intense to heavy work load”. In dated and current literature (Extension publications, magazines, etc.) you will read do not feed more than 5 lbs. per meal. That recommendation evolved because of the adverse consequences of feeding large quantities of a feed rich in carbohydrates. Many, if not most, of the early commercial feeds, the first 4 ingredients were primarily oats, corn, barley, and soybean meal. Those formulas were low fiber (<8.0%), low fat (<3.0%) and high starch (>35.0%).

The Integrity product line is not like those formulas. For Integrity Senior/Adult the first four ingredients are beet pulp, soybean hulls pellet, rice bran, and soybean meal; this formula is modestly high fiber (16.0%), modest in fat (6.5%) and low starch (5.5%). One of the attributes of Integrity Adult/Senior is to promote gut integrity while supplying the required nutrients and fuel to the horse complementing the forage portion of the diet. Although my formulas are substantially less dense in non-structural carbohydrates and thus very low starch content, I still embrace the nutritional management practice of not feeding more than 5 lbs. of a balanced formula per meal. That nutritional management belief is based on the importance of promoting a healthy and reliable gut.

If you are feeding less than 2 1/2 lbs. at lunch and it’s working for you then continue. If you are feeding closer to 4 lbs. at lunch then I would suggest dividing the feed amounts into two meals. There are other factors that can influence the feeding schedule such as frequency of work, intensity of work, time of work relative to feeding schedule, if the horse is inactive, etc. Nevertheless keep in mind what you have been doing has worked for 2+ years which translates to good nutritional management. There is a fact sheet on Feeding Guidelines for Horses that may provide additional guidance. Let me know if I can be of any more help.

Integrity Growth

Integrity Growth is for young horses 10 months through 3 years of age, and pregnant mares in their 7th and 8th month. Beet pulp and soy hulls are the first two ingredients.

  • Beet pulp/soy hulls – soluble ­fiber for intestinal health
  • Rice bran – stabilized, highly digestible fat plant source with soluble fi­bers and antioxidants
  • Live yeast – supports the population of digestive bacteria
  • Yeast culture – promotes intestinal health

FAQ

When should I use Integrity Growth for my yearling?
By 12 months of age and not earlier than 10 months of age.

Growing horses today require more than just forage. The horse’s hindgut does not reach its full digestive potential until approximately 2 ½ years of age. A balance formula that promotes gut health with attributes of soluble beet pulp/soy hulls, probiotics, prebiotics, and yeast culture are important considerations in nutritionally managing a growing horse.

Integrity Growth is a multiform, texture feed and may require an acclimation period when moving from a pellet feed. Beet pulp containing feeds promote more chewing, an important consideration since chewing promotes salvia production that contains a buffer which is very important to stability of gut pH. Adding water to Growth is an option to soften the fiber components such as beet pulp.

I prefer for growing horses to be well established on forage before moving from a pellet feed to a texture type, which is where the 12 month age recommendation comes from.

I have a horse that turns two this month and we have been feeding her Integrity Adult/Senior but just noticed you have one that is for younger horses called Integrity Growth. Should we feed her that instead? We also supplement with extra whole oats and hay.
Yes, you want to feed the Integrity Growth to the two year old but do not cut the diet with oats. Integrity Growth is a balanced formula for growing horses and by adding a feed such as oats will alter that balance of nutrients with energy. Grass hay is fine. I do not recommend 100% alfalfa as the only hay.
Why do you recommend feeding Integrity Growth for the 7th and 8th months of pregnancy and not Mare & Foal until the 9th month?
The key is to focus on feed ingredients. I like to continue a pregnant mare on Integrity Growth during the early stages up through the 8th month due to the benefits of beet pulp soy hulls as fiber sources, the protein-lysine relationship, and lower starch when pregnancy nutritional demands are still low.

Pregnancy length for a mare is 340 days and significant fetal and tissue growth does not begin to take-off until approximately day 240, which is a little longer than 3 months before birth. The greatest fetal growth actually occurs in the final 60-70 days but you are not feeding just for fetal growth; there is also growth of supporting tissues including the placenta/fluids as well as mare tissues that will support pregnancy and lactation.

I have been consistent with recommending to start changing a pregnant mare’s diet at 120 days prior to foaling even when the old NRC promoted the last 100 days. The reason is that during the 8th month of pregnancy the energy requirements is only 4.9% above the requirements of the mare if she was not pregnant. Less than 5% is not much, but enough difference to emphasize that attention is needed on a diet more than just hay and to be perceptive to achieving a body condition score 6.0. The new NRC (6th edition) changed their dietary recommendations to 150 days prior to foaling, hence beginning the 7th month. The actual growth of a fetus and supporting tissue during the 7th month is very small and dietary needs in the 7th month are actually less than a horse on an elevated maintenance diet. I continue to recommend a higher plane of nutrition beginning the 8th month and if you start by the 7th month that’s ok and the nutritional management differences would be feeding less since Integrity Growth would most likely be higher protein and higher fat than the previous diet.

I spoke with you yesterday regarding a temporary substitution of Mare & Foal with Growth in our 7 month old foal. I soaked the Growth for 25 minutes as you suggested, but our foal does not like to eat it – probably due to the beet pulp which is quite dominant. Since she does not like it now, my concern is she won't like it at 10 months of age either when we will have to switch from Mare & Foal to Growth. Is there any other Integrity Product that would be suitable for her at that age other than Growth?
She is reluctant because the feed texture in Growth is different than Mare & Foal. That’s why the recommendation for Growth is “from 12 months of age and not earlier than 10 months of age.” It’s important to allow youngsters time to acclimate to any feed, particularly when there are changes in texture. Adding a little brown sugar for sweetness may help along with just being patient. The foal is evolving with experience and this should not be an issue as she ages to a yearling.
I spoke with you recently regarding a temporary substitution of Integrity Mare & Foal with Growth in our seven month old foal. I soaked the Growth for 25 minutes as you recommended, but our foal does not like to eat it – probably due to the beet pulp which is quite dominant. Since she does not like it now, my concern is that she won't like it at 10 months of age either when we will have to switch from Mare & Foal. Is there any other Integrity Product that would be suitable for her at that age other than the Growth please?
Integrity Growth is recommended “at 12 months of age and not earlier than 10 months of age.” The permanent premolars and molars teeth are not erupting until 10 months through 3 ½ years of age. The foal could be reluctant because of the new feed texture, does not like the mash consistency, or her gums with baby premolars are just more sensitive to the texture. Allowing a youngster time to acclimate to any feed is normal, particularly when there are also changes in texture. Adding a little brown sugar for sweetness may help along with just being patient.

Integrity Lite

Integrity Lite is ideal for maintenance and pleasure horses that are lightly worked or infrequently ridden. A good choice for adult horses that are being long-lined during downtime or recovery.

  • Balanced formula that is very low in starch (4.3%) and sugar (5.9%).
  • High fiber (20%). Specifically high in soluble fiber due to the top two ingredients being beet pulp and soy hulls.
  • Contains 6% crude fat; no corn, barley grains, or alfalfa.
  • Adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of Integrity Lite Without Molasses increases the fat content from 6.0% to 8.8%.

FAQ

I recently purchased Integrity Lite without Molasses for my 26 year old Cushing’s horse that is overweight at about 1200 lbs. What is the suggested feeding amount if it is used as a supplement? I’ve been feeding Alfalfa & Timothy and will be switching to all Orchard 6-1-17.
If he is inactive, 2 lbs per day would be adequate to complement the forage portion of the diet.
I have a 22 year old, 1100 lb. Hanoverian that is being worked minimally (hand walk and tack walking) due to a ligament injury. He is fed soaked timothy pellets (he choked last fall) and timothy hay in slow feeders. He always has hay in front of him but he does not like stems so it is difficult to judge how many pounds of hay he is eating. Maybe 15. His teeth were just done and they are okay. He has lost some weight and a lot of his topline due to no work. Two years ago he was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance. I cannot test my hay. He receives individual supplements: magnesium (advised for IR), selenium (hay comes from Washington which is very low in selenium), natural vitamin E (to go with the Se), ground flax (Omega 3 and inflammation), and salt (he will not eat a block so, I give it loose in his feed). In an effort to simplify his feeding program and give him a few more calories I thought your Integrity Lite without molasses would be good. How much Integrity Lite would you advise? Would that cover all the other supplements I give now?
His actively level is considered a maintenance diet. How much Timothy pellets are being fed? Assuming he is consuming adequate forage from long stem & pellet hay (approx 17-19 lb/day), I would suggest 2.5 - 3 lbs per day. I would start at ½ pound and increase ¼ lb until at 2 lbs per day then monitor his weight. You may need to go to 3 lbs but I would observe to see if the 2 lbs along with hay is adequate – it all depends on how much hay is being consumed. Integrity Lite is a balanced formula so any other supplements would be overkill.

There is no evidence that Mg provide benefits to IR. I’m also not a fan of supplemental Se or vitamin E when feeding a balanced formula, like Integrity, that already contains Se and vitamin E.

Our horse has Cushing's and insulin resistance and his numbers are very high for both. Our vet recommended we switch to Integrity Lite. We've been reading that oat hay shouldn't be given to Cushing's and insulin resistant horses. We added a supplement to help his manure be more formed up. Do you think 1lb. of Integrity Lite a day along with timothy hay and straight timothy pellets with no fillers would be a safe feed even though this feed has an oat hay pellet? Or do you have any other recommendations?

Integrity Lite No Molasses is a low starch/sugar balanced formula and one of two formulas that I suggest for horses that require a low starch/sugar diet. I would need to know more about your horse to provide a recommendation on amounts; including info on body weight, breed, how he is used, amount of timothy hay and pellets fed. The oat hay pellet in Integrity Lite is not an issue since the amount is small and we know that the starch content of Integrity Lite No Molasses is 4.3% and sugars are 5.9%. The Integrity Products Tech sheet has the nutrients and dietary components.

Timothy hay is a good choice and west coast timothy is usually a mature hay thus lower in starch/sugars. If you decide to feed a combination of timothy hay and pellets you should read the fact sheet, ‘Feeding Guidelines” in Dr. Bray’s Corner. You will note that forage pellets should not exceed 50% of the total forage fed per day because horses drink more water with baled forages than with pellet forages.

The advice not to feed oat hay to Cushing/IR horses as the primary or only forage is because unless the hay is analyzed there is no way of knowing the starch and sugar content contributed by the oat seed heads. For example irrigated oat hay has less seed head, higher fiber than dryland oat hay and will be lower in starch/sugars.

My horse, Timmy, whinnies every time I come to the barn to feed him Integrity Lite. He is a 22 year old, 16 hand Hanoverian, approx. 1100 lbs. What is the minimum amount of Integrity Lite I can feed so that he receives the necessary nutrition? He is now trotting about 5-8 minutes 3 times weekly in addition to tack walking and being ponied about 90 minutes per week. He eats about 18 pounds of hay/timothy pellets and 1 ½ pounds of Integrity Lite. I can still see his ribs a little, but overall he looks better and his toppling is improving. Would it be better if he got at least 2 pounds of the Lite?
A reminder than older horses with an average Body Condition Score of 5 to 6 can show ribs. Ribs and withers/shoulder area are segments in the BCS system in which scoring adjustments may need to be considered for older horses. Muscle tone and external fat can decrease in these body parts with age but not necessarily for all horses.

Assuming he does need some additional weight and with his size and light work, let’s move towards 3 lbs per day and monitor his weight changes over the next 2-3 weeks. Integrity balanced formulas, like Lite, are formulated to complement the forage portion of the diet. Make the increases slowly, about 1/4 lb per day. Let me know if there are any questions during the transition. Depending on your goal for work you may need to consider Adult/ Senior which has higher fat and some oats to adequately fuel his work load.

I have a 28-year-old National Show Horse that is a cribber with poor teeth. Although he is underweight by approximately 50 to 60 pounds, he has excellent energy and is a good eater. He is turned out twice a week and ridden lightly once a week for about 30 minutes. The vet just worked on his teeth and wants me to feed him soaked Integrity senior formula and pellets. I am currently feeding him 4 pounds a day of Integrity Lite with no molasses, a 6-pound hay pellet and two flakes of orchard grass. I also feed him digestive aids. Should I switch to Integrity Senior or keep him on the Integrity Lite formula? I was also considering adding rice bran into the mix to facilitate weight gain.

As you know maintaining body weight is difficult with cribbers. Usually the incisors, which are the teeth at the front of the mouth used primarily for cutting food, are the ones most compromised by cribbing. If the molars, also known as jaw teeth, are still in good condition, then you need to continue feeding him long-stem forage. Long-stem forage is important to help maintain microbial health in his gut, and it also encourages the horse to drink more water than forage in pellet form. I am unclear about the extent of his dental damage, but long-stem hay should always be provided even if the horse just picks through it at a slow rate.

You have two options when determining which Integrity product to use:

  • Integrity Senior/Adult formula has less fiber and more fat than the Integrity Lite formula, and therefore provides more calories when fed at the same level.; or
  • Add fat to his current Integrity Lite diet in the form of Integrity Rice Bran, which is available in both meal and nugget forms.

One final thought: Integrity products contain probiotics, yeast culture and prebiotics. At the present level of feeding, the additional digestive aid is overkill.

I recently bought a bag of Integrity Lite without molasses to try with my severely IR/laminitic QH. The tag on the bag says "no molasses" and the feed store only carries the no molasses version, but I just noticed the ingredient list printed on the back of the bag has molasses as the 6th ingredient. Is this a misprint or should I return it?
No misprint; you got it right. The company is using the same bag for the Lite products and the attached the tag that states “No Molasses” for the Integrity Lite WITHOUT Molasses distinguishes the difference. The same is true for Integrity Adult/Senior which is also available with and without molasses.
Regarding my mare and my two ponies, you previously suggested 1/4 to 1/3 (cup) of oil but I am not sure what type. Can you make a suggestion? I have purchased a bag of Integrity Lite and there were two choices, one with molasses and the other without. I bought the one with molasses. Is this one ok? Does 1/2 lb. of Integrity weigh the same as liquid (8oz) cup? Can I use 1 cup or do I need to weigh on a food scale?
The oil type is not important—corn, soy, canola—select for best price. The question of oil type has evolved from the emphasis of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid relationship for human diet. Horses are herbivores and fat is not a significant portion of their diet compared to a carnivore (meat eater) or omnivore (meat & plant eater). Horses actually have a low fat requirement because they are herbivores and what’s interesting is that we know there are 3 essential fatty acids that are required by mammals but that requirement has never really been established via research as with other domestic animals.

Both Integrity Lite products are low in starch and non-structural carbohydrates but obviously the no molasses product will have less non-structural carbohydrates. There is a Q&A recently posted on Integrity Lite starch content on this page.

Liquid measuring cups do NOT equate to dry measurements. I prefer you weigh the feed but the last time I checked, approximately 1/2 of a small coffee can is actually 1/2 lb. for the Integrity Lite with molasses.

How much beet pulp is recommended for a horse per day? How about Integrity Lite Body Build?
Why do you want to feed beet pulp? Beet pulp in often used to provide benefits as a “bulk laxative” because of its fiber and water attraction properties. I do not generally recommend it as an added ingredient on a daily basis unless there is a reason to complement an existing balanced diet.

If a bulk laxative is needed, then depending on the forage source, other feed and fiber sources, activity level, etc. an 1,100 lb. horse would be fed 0.5 – 2.0 lbs. per day of shredded beet pulp (before adding water). Relative to the Integrity product line, beet pulp is the first ingredient in several of the formulas so I would usually not recommend adding beet pulp.

The questions are a bit general and more information would be needed relative to the horse(s) involved. The fact sheet in Dr. Bray’s Corner “What to Feed your Horse” provides a guideline of specifics information that is helpful for me to provide meaningful recommendations; those categories include Body Weight, Hay & Forage Feeding, Feeds Fed other than Hay, Exercise Schedule, and Exercise Intensity. Also take a look at the fact sheet section titled “Feeding Guidelines for Horses”.

I have a 3 and 5 year old QH mare. I recently changed them from an all alfalfa and oat diet to predominantly Bermuda hay, almost free fed with a couple lbs. of alfalfa 2 times per day. They are up to 3 cups twice a day of Integrity Lite—no molasses. The 3 year old had physitis issues when younger. Is 6 cups of the Integrity Lite enough to give them the maximum vitamin/mineral supplement they need?

The general recommendation I provide for 2 – 3 year olds is 1.4 – 1.5% of their body weight in dry forage (hay) and approximately 0.4 – 0.6% of their body weight in a balanced feed mix. The feed mix needs to be formulated for growing horses that will compliment the forage portion of the diet. When feeding a balance formula I do not recommend any additional supplements.

Integrity Lite was formulated for adult or older, idle or less active horses. This formula also provides a rich source of soluble fiber for gut integrity. The Integrity Lite is not the correct Integrity formula for your late growing and early adult horses; the correct formula is Integrity Growth.

Let’s use for example a 2 year old that weighs approximately 920 lbs. and is expected to mature to 15.2 hands and 1100 lbs. The daily diet would consist of approximately 13 lbs. of grass hay and approximately 4 to 5 lbs. of the Integrity Growth formula. Please keep in mind there are many factors that influence the horse’s energy and nutrient requirements, which is why I encourage horse owners to become familiar with the body condition scoring system (this system is provided with photos at Dr. Bray’s Corner). The body condition scoring system allows one to manage feed amounts relative to body weight. Any adjustments in increasing or reducing feed amounts will be with the amounts of Integrity Growth. Forage is critical to maintaining gut integrity and the recommended amounts provided are for this age group.

Two years olds are still growing so they need a better quality energy source other than hay. The Integrity Growth contains soluble fiber sources (beet pulp and soybean hulls) but also includes rice bran, fat (canola oil) and oats as the primary fuel sources and soybean meal as the primary protein source. Three year olds usually have reached their mature height but their body composition remains somewhat dynamic. Muscle to body fat relationship is changing and although this lean-to-fat ratio is primarily influenced by genetics, exercise and diet are important factors in navigating the ship.

I’m trying to estimate the amount of Integrity Lite (no molasses) to feed my two horses; a 22 yr. Andalusian gelding with poor upper molars, and a 19 yr. Paso Fino mare with IR (insulin resistant) and minimal work. They live together in a 24 x 48 stall with a 24/7 bale net of Bermuda. The Integrity bag label suggests about 6.6 pounds for a 1000 lb. horse. In your response to an owner with a 28 yr. horse with Cushing's you had suggested 2 pounds/day of the Integrity Lite (no molasses). I feed 4 pounds per day to the gelding and 2 pounds/day to the mare - each split into am/pm feedings. Why the big difference in the label recommendation (6 pounds/day) and the recommendation to the 28 yr. horse (2 pounds/day? Would orchard or another hay be better?
The feeding guidelines that are provided on packaging address body weight, (and/or body condition score), and production/work levels only. This information is basic but there are a plethora of other factors that influence a horse’s diet besides body weight and production level, which is why I always use the phrase “Feeding Guidelines” for feeding recommendations. In the fact sheet section of Dr. Bray’s Corner, there is a fact sheet titled “What to Feed your Horse” This information provides a series of questions and subset list of questions that helps me provide recommendations. I wish I could print that fact sheet on the packaging but we do have Dr. Bray’s Corner which provides nutritional management recommendations. Feeding horses is much more than flakes of hay and scoops of grain. Star Milling’s Dr. Bray’s Corner emphasizes the importance developing nutritional management skills and the importance of using the body condition scoring system to guide the horse owner in feeding decisions.

Relative to your follow up question regarding orchard hay or another forage: all the grass hays are similar in nutrient/energy concentration because orchard grass on the West Coast is inconsistent with the calcium-phosphorus ratio I usually suggest a small amount (20%) of alfalfa hay be fed with the orchard as well.

I have a 24 year old quarter horse. He eats 1/4 to 1/3 flake of alfalfa and 1/2 flake of Bermuda hay morning and night. He is out in a Bermuda pasture for about 5 hrs. each day. He is also on “vitamin / mineral” supplement. My vet recommended feeding a senior feed with less starch and we now feed him Integrity Lite. He’s worked 4 - 5 days a week of trail riding or hand walks. Does he need to be on the “vitamin / mineral” supplement?
The fact sheet What to Feed your Horse provides the type of information that is helpful when I am answering feeding questions. For example, how much of the Integrity Lite are you feeding per day? Is the trail riding mostly at a walk, walk/trot, etc.? What is the estimated body weight of the Quarter horse? If the 24 year old is an average size Quarter horse than approximately 1 flake of hay per day would not be adequate forage without the pasture-grazing every day. In general, if the trail riding is light (horse is warm or slightly damp at the end of the ride) and the body weight is around 1050 lbs. then you would feed approximately 2.5 – 4.0 pounds per day of Integrity Lite along with your current pasture/hay feeding. When feeding adequate amounts of a balanced formula, like the Integrity product line, a vitamin/mineral supplement is not needed.
I have been happy how my Icelandic mare has been doing on the Integrity Lite feed. In the summer/hot weather months I'd like to give her feed that peps her up a little. Would the Integrity Senior be a safe solution? Or, should I mix the Integrity Lite with the Integrity Senior half and half? She is in proper weight and has no health issues. She is 14 years old.
The Integrity Adult/Senior is lower fiber, has a bit more fat, and contains oats, thus more calories than the Integrity Lite. To provide more fuel for a horse’s daily needs, you can also add fat via corn, soy or peanut oil. In general 1/2 cup is added for hair coat shine and for an energy boost, 1/2 to 1 cup per day. The horse’s energy demands, work level coupled with body weight and amount of balanced formula being fed are the determining factors for the amount of oil to be added.
I have an 18 year old Arabian gelding who is just my pet. He is a little overweight and I want to know if I should feed him Integrity Lite or Integrity Senior?
Since he is not active and is your companion, the Integrity Lite will be ideal. This formula does not have any starch-containing grains so it’s very low starch; Integrity Lite without molasses ESC (ethanol soluble carbohydrates) is 5.9% and the %starch is 1.6%; thus the %starch + %ESC = 7.5%.

Other attributes of Integrity Lite are that the first two ingredients in the formula are beet pulp and soy-hulls, which contribute to gut integrity. It contains 22% crude fiber and is low in energy. Equally important, Integrity Lite is balance for all the required nutrients to compliment the forage portion of his diet. For an average size Arabian gelding that is not active, I would suggest feeding 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per day.

Can I soak Integrity Lite to increase water intake? Is there a limit to how long it should soak?
Yes, you can mix Integrity Lite with water. The first two ingredients of this product are beet pulp and soy hulls and both feedstuffs will take up water. I do not know the circumstances for your horse but for average conditions, adding water to a feed does not influence the daily water intake.

Adding water to beet pulp has evolved as a common practice because “raw” shredded beet pulp (without additives such as molasses) is rigid, prickly and requires the horse to chew for longer periods of time to mix with saliva and soften before swallowing. Chewing and increase salvia are actually beneficial to the horse’s health because salvia has a buffering attribute that is important in maintaining gut pH thus promoting a healthy bacteria population in the hindgut. Commercial feeds usually contain molasses and/or fat and these ingredients along with moisture from other feed ingredients during the manufacturing of the feed will soften the beet pulp.

If you add water to beet pulp then add equal volume of water to the feed and allow it to soften, which is usually a very short time. I’m not sure where the overnight soaking came from, but it’s an extreme. We are not making beet pulp wine.

How do I switch my horse to Integrity Lite without Molasses from straight beet pulp? I know that Integrity Lite already has beet pulp in it so I am wondering how slowly to switch it over.
Be sure you take a look at the fact sheet under Dr. Bray’s Corner Fact Sheet tab, Feeding Guidelines for Horses. In general for changes in balance feed mixes, grain base mixes, or commodities (oats, beet pulp, rice bran, wheat bran, etc.), the recommendation is approximately 1/4 lb. change-over per day. There are some circumstances in which the change may need to be an every-other-day basis. I recognize that this recommendation is conservative but with the diverse experience of horse owners today, a conservative recommendation is sensible. Besides, what’s the rush?
Do you have fact sheets with details regarding values of ingredients in Integrity Lite Low Starch w/ Molasses? The bag lists protein, fat, fiber, ash, calcium and phosphorus info, but I am also interested in the other micronutrients and biotin amounts. Could you direct me toward that additional nutritional information?
Absolutely! Additional nutrient content as well as other dietary components such as starch and sugar are listed on the Integrity Brochure.

If I can be any help with specific feeding questions please feel free to contact me or visit the Finding the Right Integrity Feed page. Dr Bray's Corner also has fact sheets and Q&A from horse owners on equine nutrition.

Integrity Mare & Foal

Integrity Mare & Foal is for pregnant mares 9th month through foaling, lactating mares, and nursing foals 3 weeks to 1 year. Wheat bran and soybean meal are the first two ingredients.

  • Beet pulp/soybean meal – soluble fiber for intestinal health
  • Rice bran – stabilized, highly digestible fat plant source with soluble fibers and antioxidants
  • Live yeast – supports the population of digestive bacteria
  • Yeast culture – promotes intestinal health
I have a gypsy mare who is 7 months pregnant. I bought your Integrity Mare & Foal feed and am wondering if it is okay to feed her at this stage? I’m asking because because since then I have read that you suggested feeding Integrity Growth instead. Is it ok to feed her Mare & Foal now that I’ve already started her on it? Thanks for any info, I absolutely love your Integrity products. Can I add biotin to her feed? I noticed that it’s not in your ingredients.
Feeding Integrity Mare & Foal at the 7th month of pregnancy will work just fine. Biotin is already in the formulation and additional supplementation would be overkill. Biotin does not show up on the brochure’s primary list of ingredients because it’s a trace ingredient with very, very small amounts. You will see biotin listed as “biotin supplement”on the bag’s feed tag that has the completed list of ingredients.

Integrity Timothy

Integrity Timothy is a pellet form, balanced formula for moderate working horses.

  • Modest in fat (7.25%). Rice bran is the third ingredient and it also contains canola oil.
  • Adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of Integrity Timothy increases the fat content from 7.25% to 10.2%. Another good option for intense working horses.
  • Soluble fiber source is soy hulls. Product does not contain beet pulp.
  • Contains no grains (no corn, barley or oats) and utilizes wheat bran as the primary carbohydrate source.
  • Has similar fat, protein, and fiber content as Adult/Senior.

FAQ

I have a 1,100 lb. Appendix Gelding 16hh and 16 yrs. We have just moved him from Anaheim Hills, CA. to Garner Valley, which is at 4,500 ft. He is recovering from a fracture in his navicular bone. He cannot have alfalfa so he is currently eating 3 flakes of Orchard per day and 4 cups of your Integrity Timothy mixed. He is a little ribby because the vet wants him lean. But I want him to gain just a little and be able to grow a nice winter coat. I would appreciate your advice. Thank You!
You need to add “groceries” so there are two reasonable options for your horse to gain weight. You can increase the current amount of Integrity Lite or you can add Integrity Rice Bran. The Integrity Rice Bran is a new Integrity product that is balanced for calcium and phosphorus and has added probiotic and prebiotic for gut health and integrity. The best method to observe weight change is using the Body Condition Scoring system which is outlined with photographs in Dr. Bray’s Corner. Thank you for using Integrity and feel free to let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
I have a 24 yr. old Quarter horse gelding, poor teeth and the past few years his sheath has had edema. He is ridden once a week. I also have a 17 yr. old Quarter horse mare, which I have self-diagnosed as fibrotic myopathy in her left rear. She is ridden lightly 3 times a week. I feed them Integrity Timothy, as well as orchard grass hay. The Integrity Timothy was recommended the last time I had their teeth done. Since they are seniors, should I be feeding them another supplement? My mare is 17 but she is high strung.
The lowest starch and highest fiber formula in the Integrity product line is Integrity Lite without molasses. This formula is well suited for older horses that may be inactive or worked lightly. As with all Integrity formulas, Integrity Lite is a balanced formula to complement the forage portion of the horse’s diet. Integrity Timothy is a formula more suited for more active working horses and does not contain the high starch grains corn and barley.
What is the NSC is for the Timothy Feed and the Senior without Molasses feed?
The percentage of starch and ESC (Ethanol Soluble Carbohydrates) are the measurements I use to evaluate the non-structural carbohydrates in a feed. NSC is mathematically calculated from the following: %NSC = 100 – (moisture + NDF + CP + Fat + Ash) and thus is an indirect empirical (mathematical) determination. The empirical score that one sees as % NSC has variables and inconsistencies when comparing feedstuffs. The Integrity Adult/Senior (No Molasses) contains 5.5% starch and 5.9% ESC. Integrity Lite – No Molasses contains 1.6% starch and 5.9% ESC. Integrity Timothy contains 13.2% starch and 7.4% ESC.

Integrity Rice Bran

Integrity Rice Bran is a stabilized rice bran with 21% fat that contains flaxseed oil.

  • Formulated to add additional fat to a balanced diet
  • Balanced for calcium and phosphorus with a 1.2:1 ratio
  • Available in a meal or nugget form
  • Note the benefits of increasing fat levels of Integrity products by adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of the respective product

FAQ

I am considering using Integrity Rice Bran for my horse. Can you tell me the ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids in your rice bran?
A frequent question and not one that is relevant unless you are feeding very high (>10 lbs.) levels of a concentrate that is >15% fat. Integrity formulas do include whole ground flaxseed meal, best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and canola oil, a modest amount of ALA. Click here for a complete fact sheet on omega fatty acids.

The essential omega-3 (linolenic) and omega-6 (linoleic) requirements have NOT been established for horses. Therefore, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio for horses is NOT known. The ratio of omega-6 & omega-3 fatty acids for humans can NOT be applied to horses or any herbivore animal. For humans, the ratio is 1:1 to 4:1 (omega 6 to omega 3); most people think incorrectly that's the ratio is omega 3 to omega 6. Any material that implies/suggests benefits for horses are NOT base on substantive, quality research with horses and mostly the information one reads is anecdotal.

Feral horses grazing on pasture do consume the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) but two major points. Most forages are less than 3% fat and ALA is poorly converted to the omega-3 beneficial forms DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA are forms through human research that have demonstrated some benefits. Primary source of DHA is cold water fish.

Now does it make sense that biologically that linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) fatty acids are essential fatty acids of the horse. YES. But the low fat levels of their natural food sources and a gut system that is forage driven does NOT permit a leap to conclusions that have been discovered in humans whose diet is much higher fat and have gut systems that are shorter and different in compartment numbers and capacity; thus, a diet that is different in composition of fiber, protein, fat and primary energy source. Dog’s diets are higher fat and the research with dogs is even questionable. Point of interest - omega 6 fatty acid is the one that nourishes the skin, not omega 3.

What should we feed our small pony (375 lbs) who was just diagnosed with Cushing’s? Integrity Rice Bran Nuggets? He gets 1.5 lbs of timothy hay and 1 lb of timothy pellets twice a day. I'm looking for hair coat and energy. He is 20 years old, retired, and is a companion to another retired 20 year old horse.

Since he is Cushing, rice bran should not be an option because of the starch levels even though just a small amount would be fed. For hair coat you can use 1/8 cup of oil (two tablespoons) and use ½ - ¾ of a cup (measured in the Integrity Feed Scoop) of Integrity Lite No Molasses per day as the carrier. Integrity Lite is a low starch low sugar balance formula with 6% fat.

About 15 or so years ago, you gave a class in Santa Ynez, California. I attended it and learned a lot. You had the beet pulp mix at the time and I used it for years and years until I decided to seek out one that didn’t include molasses. Recently I have been using your Integrity Stabilized Rice Bran Nugget with great success for some of my hard keepers. What do you recommend as a low-sugar, ongoing maintenance product for my hard keepers? I am a barefoot trimmer and see the ravages of a high sugar diet, so I am hunting for an ongoing diet for 20 horses that will work for both my easy and hard keepers without problems cropping up in their feet. I am feeding a diet of grass hay, and for some, I supplement that with Alfalfa. I had wanted to get away from Alfalfa totally but I seem to need it since the grass hays are not always of the greatest quality.
The Integrity Lite No Molasses is a balanced feed that complements the forage portion of the horse’s diet and is a low starch, low sugar feed. The starch content of he Integrity Lite No Molasses is 1.6%, and the ethanol soluble carbohydrate (ESC) is 5.9%. If you need additional calories you can increase the amount of Integrity Lite or you can add corn, soy or peanut oil. For hair coat improvement, I recommend approximately ¼ to ? cup of oil per day, depending on body weight.

If you need to add calories (energy) to the diet, start with a ¼ cup of oil per day and increase over a couple of days to ½ cup. Monitor for changes in body weight. If the horse is gaining weight, you’ll notice changes in as quickly as two weeks using the body condition scoring. Rice Bran contains starch. Since you are trying to maintain a lower starch/sugar diet, you should stay away from Rice Bran and instead go with the added fat in the form of oil.

Integrity Performance

Integrity Performance is a high fat balanced formula (10%) developed for either intense, heavy or some moderate workloads.

  • Primary fat sources are rice bran and canola oil; rice bran is the 2nd ingredient in the formula
  • Adding ½ lb of Integrity Rice Bran to 2 lbs of Integrity Performance increases the fat from 10% to 12.8%
  • The order of feed ingredients is based on the importance of ingredient combination relative to fueling an athlete while minimizing a blood glucose surge. That’s why Integrity Performance’s top four ingredients are beet pulp, rice bran, wheat bran, and oats.
  • Carbohydrate containing ingredients include oats, wheat bran, beet pulp, soy hulls, rice bran, and molasses.
  • Integrity Performance contains only 5% molasses. That’s low by industry standards.
  • Molasses is the 7th ingredient in Integrity Performance compared to the 2nd ingredient in a competitor’s performance formula.

For every 1 lb of Integrity Performance fed, the 5% molasses adds less than 1/3 oz or less than ¾ of a level tablespoon of granulated sugar equivalence

FAQ

I measure Integrity Performance with the Integrity plastic scoop. Does one full scoop equal to one pound? I feed 3 scoops of Performance for each feeding and want to feed 3 pounds.

For Integrity Performance, 4 ½ cups equals 1 lb and one scoop of Integrity Performance is 4 cups, thus not quite a pound. Since your goal was to feed 3 pounds then in addition to 3 level scoops (12 cups), you need to measure another 1 ½ cups. The cup measurements are on the side of the Integrity scoop.

I live in Northern California and Integrity is just making its debut up here. I have a yearling colt that we want to fit up for lunge line. We handle him every day and he will be getting round pen or in-hand work 3-4 days a week. Would it be okay to feed him Integrity Performance instead of Integrity Growth?.
It is too early to feed your yearling Integrity Performance.

You were keen to notice that the differences between the two products appear minimal, but the importance of those differences are in the relationships of “nutrient to nutrient” and “nutrient to calorie” ratios. Some commercial feeds only focus on the guaranteed analysis (GA). Integrity’s focus is on the GA and also how they influence these important ratios.

Beet pulp is the first ingredient in both Growth and Performance because gut health is a primary focus of Integrity. However, protein and particularly the amino acid lysine are critical for growing youngsters which is why soybean meal is the second ingredient in Growth.

Granted, working horses need protein to add and rebuild muscle fiber, but that relationship in nutrient to nutrient and nutrient to calorie is different for a growing horse. That’s why soybean meal is the fifth ingredient in Performance. Rice bran is the second ingredient in Performance because fat is a major fuel source for working horses. Keep in mind you are working your yearling who is still growing and building the foundation from his genetic makeup; an adult performance horse has already reached his growth potential.

If you want higher fat during work sessions, add oil or Integrity Rice Bran to the meal about 90 minutes prior to work. That allows fatty acids to circulate in the blood and provide added fuel. I would need to know more about your yearling and the type of work to recommend amounts.

Do I feed the amount on the bag?

Feeding directions on balance formula bags should never be absolute amounts which is why with Integrity balance formulas the amounts are listed as “up to…”. There are a plethora of variables/factors that influence how much of a balance formula should be fed and those factors are listed here.

First you must determine how much forage is being fed. For most adult horses, 1.5% of the body weight is the minimum. That is, 13½ lbs./day for 900 lb. horse, 15 lbs./day for 1,000 lb. horse and 16½ lbs./day for a 1,100 lb. horse. Feeding a balance formula in addition to the daily forage is to maintain body weight/body condition score (BCS) relative to how the horse is used. See the body condition scoring system for horses for more information.

Factors that need to be considered on how much of a balance formula is fed

  1. What is the horses body weight & body condition score?
  2. If fed hay, how much? Feeding 1.0, 1.5, 2.0% of body weight?
  3. What type of forage? Grass or alfalfa? What is the maturity/quality of the hay?\
    • Alfalfa can contain 20% more calories than a grass hay
  4. How is your horse used? Companion, couch potato, work, performance, show, pregnant, lactation, growth?
    • More work, early growth requires more fuel (energy)
  5. If work, performance or show? How many days per week and hours worked per day? Intensity of work? Time element of walk, trot & cantor? Ambient temperature during work?
  6. If pregnant or lactation, what stage of pregnancy? For lactation, the number of days after birth?
    • Later stages of pregnancy and early phase of lactation requires more fuel
  7. If growing, what stage? Suckling, early weanling, late weanling, yearling, two-year-old?
    • Foals have more weight gain per day in the beginning as older youngsters have more mass to maintain with slower growth
  8. Is what/how you are feeding maintaining body condition score and performance expectations?

Perhaps the most important factor in determining the amount fed is the horse owner’s experience, knowledge and what the horse does for a living. Estimating body weight is an art and even those with lots of experience will be incorrect. However, the BCS is a must tool because in a very short time one can determine if the horse is maintaining body weight, losing weight or gaining weight. Fueling performance/working horses is also an art. The art often is balancing the feed ratio of forage to balance formula.