I purchased an Irish Sport Horse for my daughter; he is a large-boned horse and stands 17 hands. I have no idea how much he weighs. He was looking a little thinner lately—no ribs or anything, just thinner, and my daughter was taking him to Ocala for her summer cross-country fun camp with her old trainer for a week. I decided to use rice bran to increase his caloric and fat intake without increasing grain because they would be doing a lot of cross-country courses and field work. My daughter said he did great and had lots of stamina. He cooled down well and had quick recovery periods after work. He didn't gain weight, but he didn't lose any either, which was my goal. I spoke with his show barn trainer on his return because I wanted to continue the rice bran to boost his weight. She told me that rice bran can cause problems in the heat. That it removes water from the intestine, causes metabolic problems, and increases stomach issues. This is contradictory to everything I've read on rice bran with balanced ratios. Can you please shed some light on why the trainer would say this? Is there any fact behind it?
There is no physiological rationale that supports your trainer’s claims, particularly if you’re feeding stabilized rice bran. There can be a problem with heat and raw rice bran, and that problem has to do with the fat in the rice bran going rancid. All of the commercial products are now stabilized so that the fats are not subject to rancidity. If your horse is doing well on rice bran, I would certainly continue to feed it to him.