For those of you who don't already know, I recently purchased a 13 year old QH mare named Lilly, about 15.1-2 HH. She's a doll and a joy to be around, but it kills me every day I go out to see her and have to look at those sunken withers and hollow thighs. Here's the story: I bought her 3 weeks ago from a sweet lady who had had her since she was 9 months old. I saw for myself where she was kept, and it wasn't pretty. The BO fed her grass hay that had virtually NO nutrients in it (we're talking practically yellow stuff) and was neglecting to feed her grain. They also never cleaned her stall and her hay holder was broken so all of her hay would fall out on the floor into pee/poop piles and get grimy.
I immediately moved her to a wonderful facility. I clean her stall myself so soiled hay is never an issue. The board owner here feeds grass hay. It's got color but to be honest I still cringe when I see it -- maybe I just have an unprecedented problem with grass hay? (I grew up working/riding at a really nice barn in California where the horses were fed premium alfalfa hay and I've never seen any other kind... so everything else pales in comparison through my eyes.) Right now, Lilly is eating about 2-3 flakes of grass hay 2x a day and 1 large scoop (I'd say about 3-4lbs) of senior grain 2x a day and snacking when she's out to pasture. She's an easy keeper and I ride her a few times a week (bad weather... so not fun!). When spring rolls around I plan to take her on trails 5 days a week for several hours at a time.
What I'd like to know is this: Do you think that she'll beef up fine now that she's being taken better care of, and I'm just being an impatient worry wart? Or do you think there is something more that I could/should be doing to help her gain weight more quickly? I hate hate HATE seeing her looking anything less than robust. I thought maybe I could buy a bale a week of alfalfa hay to feed her once a day when I go to see her or something like that, to compensate for what the grass hay lacks in nutrients.
I know they aren't the best shots (I didn't take them specifically for this, just happen to have them on me), but here are a few pics: