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Any suggestions on weight gain?

This is a discussion on Any suggestions on weight gain? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        06-10-2010, 04:38 AM
      #11
    Foal
    she could try adding oil or some extra hard feed to the diet.

    Love the suggestion of teeth, wormer and ulcers.
         
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        06-10-2010, 08:16 AM
      #12
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BexnDelta    
    also bran and pollard is a very fatning mix but if anyone says feed oil DONT! It will heat the horses and builds fat around there heart causing problems.
    Bran & pollard, depending on what sort, is not nec. Fattening. Interested to know where you heard that about oil? I've never heard anything of the sort. 'Heating' is not generally something oil does and I don't understand how it could build fat around the heart as opposed to everywhere. Perhaps you're thinking of overweight horses generally, who don't need extra calories(& calories=energy) Not sure if it's only horses, but according to something I read somewhere(sorry, can't remember), when excess fat is put on, apparently it first accumulates around the organs, before becoming obvious on the outer body.

    Oil is also good for the coat - hence the popularity of oilseeds - and cold pressed oils such as linseed/flax are also rich in omega 3s & other nutrients.

    Especially(but not only) considering the possibility of ulcers - and intensively kept horses such as racers are more prone due to diet, feeding practices and management - I would think twice before feeding grain or any other high starch/sugar feed. It is potentially bad for horses, who's system is not designed for rich feeds, and among other problems can actually contribute to weight loss. There are plenty of studies & reports to be found regarding grain/starch digestion & problems. What is very important if you do choose to feed this type of diet is that the horse is fed very small meals as frequently as possible - minimum 3-4 times daily. This allows their digestion to work best on the ingredients without overloading it, which increases what the horse gets out of the ration and can reduce the liklihood & severity of problems.
         
        06-10-2010, 03:38 PM
      #13
    Banned
    I put my horse on Fat Cat. It works miracles. My horse went from being super skinny and seeing his ribs to being fat and has muscle everywhere in a matter of 3 weeks. My horse is a thoroughbred and it's very hard to get weight/muscle on them. Good Luck!
         
        06-10-2010, 05:31 PM
      #14
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by loosie    
    ...Also, is 'slightly underweight' perhaps just your perception, based on your horses? I find that generally speaking, people keep their horses too fat for health & worry when they get down to a healthy weight. Also if you're used to looking at QHs, TBs will naturally look on the thin side to you. They aren't meant to be the same shape. The Henneke body score is a good guage to 'weigh' them by.

    BTW, not assuming anything, just asking, for Justin.
    Quote:
    yep totally agree with this statement. It also happens with people used to show horses compared to racehorses. You didnt mention how long her horses have been off the track either, remember racehorses are alot leaner and when they retire alot "come down". I have 2 standies 1 is so fat....been retired 5 yrs the other retired in nov 09 gets 3times the food and is still alot leaner. But my friends have quater horses and they had trouble with the different body shapes and the volume of food required particulary for my just retired boy.
    I disagree with the both of you. My TB was a cow when he was in racing condition compared to what he is now....He actually looked a little bit like a QH. Granted, a lot of that bulk was muscle, but still, as a general rule if you can see ribs and there are pockets in front of the hip bones, they are underweight.

    I do support the statements about checking their teeth and for the possibility of ulcers.
         
        06-11-2010, 12:34 AM
      #15
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justsambam08    
    I disagree with the both of you. My TB was a cow when he was in racing condition compared to what he is now....He actually looked a little bit like a QH. Granted, a lot of that bulk was muscle, but still, as a general rule if you can see ribs and there are pockets in front of the hip bones, they are underweight.
    ?If you disagree that it's possibly just a matter of perception that the horse is thin, you must know the horse personally then, so don't have to generalise & guess like us. But I wasn't assuming this, just suggesting it was a possibility anyway. Or do you disagree that many people are just conditioned to fat horses & don't recognise healthy weight? If that's the case, you're in a very different horsey world to us in western society. Or perhaps it's the comment about TBs not meant to look the same as QHs? Perhaps you're used to looking at TB type QHs. But seriously, just because you reckon your TB looked 'a little bit like a QH', I don't understand where the argument is there. They are quite different built breeds *generally* and I bet if yours came straight out of race training, there was hardly an ounce of fat on him.

    Boy, I wish I could still see my ribs... On the note of horse's ribs, I wouldn't say it's a very good general rule. It depends. I would say that if the horse has a good winter coat & you can see his bones sticking out, that's almost definitely too skinny, but if you can see a bit of rib when he's in summer dress, that's not necessarily at all bad. It does definitely depend on breed & fitness too - eg. You wouldn't expect to see well covered ribs on a fit athlete.

    Looking at just one area such as ribs is not very accurate, because as with people, horses come in all shapes, which is why I suggested something like the henneke body scoring, which takes it all into account. Eg. If I showed you select angles of my pony when I got him, of his sticking out spine & wasted, angular looking rump with hip bones protruding, you may say he was painfully thin. But pics of other angles would show him to be overweight. Incidentally his pelvis was out, and some good bodywork corrected his 'skinny' rump in one session!
         
        06-11-2010, 01:07 AM
      #16
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by loosie    
    ?If you disagree that it's possibly just a matter of perception that the horse is thin, you must know the horse personally then, so don't have to generalise & guess like us. But I wasn't assuming this, just suggesting it was a possibility anyway. Or do you disagree that many people are just conditioned to fat horses & don't recognise healthy weight? If that's the case, you're in a very different horsey world to us in western society. Or perhaps it's the comment about TBs not meant to look the same as QHs? Perhaps you're used to looking at TB type QHs. But seriously, just because you reckon your TB looked 'a little bit like a QH', I don't understand where the argument is there. They are quite different built breeds *generally* and I bet if yours came straight out of race training, there was hardly an ounce of fat on him.
    I disagree with both the 'racehorse' statements, and that it is a matter of perception. Even the Hennke scale, which you suggested using, states that seeing ribs on a horse indicates being underweight. Since the horses mentioned are racing bred, they are going to naturally be built with higher metabolisms, and if they were actually raced no matter what their bodies are going to be used to processing a higher amount of calories in order to maintain weight, and therefore it is significantly more likely that regardless of what breeds the OP is experienced with, these horses are going to be underweight because most people don't realize what it takes to feed a race horse, even one who hasn't raced in x amount of years. I sure as heck didn't.

    I do agree that QH's and TB's have completely different body types.

    For example, this was Ice in racing condition....'cow' like,resembles the body type of a normal QH. This is what he looks like now. He needs probably 150 lbs, and he is currently getting 5 flakes daily and 7 lbs of senior feed, rice bran, and beet pulp combined, which altogether is about 30% of fat in hard feed, along with significant amounts of protein. He could use at least 1 more flake of hay daily, but I can't pay for that. He doesn't look as bad in person, but I can see ribs both looking at him broadside, and with him directly facing me, his hip bones also protrude slightly and he needs fat around his spine/on top of his back.
         
        06-11-2010, 03:11 AM
      #17
    Green Broke
    We had the vet out to take care of one our injured horses today. My husband's horse Ludo( he tore off his heel through a fence line so they came out to look at it) is new to the herd and he needs to put on some weight. He's a Appendix. Annnyways, he's "hot" and so they want him off the feed but for him to gain weight the highly recommended rice bran. They also have a supplement called cool calories. I would personally would have the vet out and have them look the horse over and then see what feed the horse needs.
    I have an easy keeper and she is just on pasture and probiotics now.
         

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