07-07-2010, 12:22 AM
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As others have said, there may be other reasons - stress for eg - that have caused him to lose weight, so he may be getting adequate nutrition, just needs to settle in. Spine showing at the base of the neck - I assume you don't mean wither - indicates that he *may* be underweight, but that he may also lack muscle &/or be atrophied in that area. A bit of rib showing is fine generally & far preferable health-wise than being unable to find them!<G> But the above are both generalisations, and it depends what the whole horse is like, not just a couple of spots, as they're all individual, just like us - you can actually see my ribs clearly, but I'm overweight, for eg!<GG> Of course I don't know whether your horse is actually a good weight or not, but just questioning it, as overweight & obese horses are such an epidemic that many people just fail to recognise & many a time I've heard healthy looking horses pronounced as needing fattening, and there are so many health probs associated with overweight horses.....
Regarding grain, seniors & senior feed, yes, extra calories are sometimes necessary, but it's often IR probs, imbalanced nutrition or teeth & gut function problems that lead to oldie's weightloss, and healthy horses shouldn't generally need extra calories than 'maintenance' unless they're in hard physical training. Therefore calories - especially carbs - is not generally the answer, and high-carb feeds are more likely to effect oldies(google Cushings, for eg), but still commonly cause various health probs in youngsters too.
I urge you to get onto an equine nutritionist and look into this subject, because I don't want anyone just taking my word for it, any more than I want people continuing to just feed this type of stuff because it's traditional. FeedXL.com is my service of choice, that is fantastic help and value.