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Do they need to gain any weight?

This is a discussion on Do they need to gain any weight? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        12-03-2009, 12:27 AM
      #11
    Green Broke
    I understand... My DH's gelding either looks awesome, or like a really ugly mule in photos, lol.
         
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        12-03-2009, 12:33 AM
      #12
    Banned
    I'm in Virginia, where the climate is fairly similar to you. Something happened to pasture in the past 2 - 3 weeks (the usual fall drop in nutritional content, but this year it was particulary abrupt) and all 3 of mine dropped weight suddenly.

    I do think both of your horses could stand a little weight, and that the mare is a little worse than the gelding. If horses primarily live out, with pasture supplemented by hay as their main food source, I like them to be carrying a little extra weight at this time of year to tide them over until new pasture growth in the spring. I aim for about a 6 or 7 on the body condition index so they'll be a 5 - 6 come spring.

    Again, if they're primarily on pasture, you want to start supplementing their diet *now*. It's nearly impossible to put weight on a pastured horse in January or February.

    I am a big fan of beet pulp and would be surprised if your feed store didn't carry it. Haven't used the rice bran though I've heard good things about it.
         
        12-03-2009, 01:27 AM
      #13
    Started
    Yeah, the feed store out here isn't really that great, and neither is the Tractor Supply... that's why I feed alfalfa and oats... it's one of the best feeds you can get out here and it's fairly cheap, so it's in my budget. I think my friend was having the feed store supply her with beet pulp at one time for a mare who had major weight problems... If I remember correctly, she had to special order the feed and then had to pay almost 30 dollars for it...

    I'm going to town either tomorrow or Saturday, so I'll stop by the store and look for something... and if they don't have anything, I'll check out tractor supply, though from experience, they don't sell many types of feed... alfalfa and sweet feed are it, I think...

    I generally like for my horses to be at a 4 or 5 body score during the warmer months and I would prefer them to be around a 6 during winter months, but that just doesn't happen...

    Our quality hay we feed, I can tell you for a fact, isn't good. My uncles buy the hay and look for the cheapest because they just don't really care, but at least during winter the horses and cows do get free choice... atleast it's better than nothing.


    Luvs2ride1979, my best friend has a mare who is extremely photogenic... you could take a pic of her in a horrible pose and it'd come out beautiful... I'm always so jealous of my friend because I can take a hundred pics of my horses and have only one or two really nice ones and she can take a hundred pics of her horse and all of them will be frame-worthy... Lol.
         
        12-03-2009, 09:14 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    If you're feeding alfalfa pellets and oats, then I'd add some rice bran or corn oil, 1 cup of either one. That will provide some extra fat and calories and both are easy to find. My TSC carries rice bran and you can get the big jugs of corn oil at Sams or your local club/discount store.
         
        12-03-2009, 11:19 AM
      #15
    Started
    I'll look into it and compare prices. As soon as my mum gives me my car back (she had to borrow it for a few hours today) I'm going to go to town and check and compare the prices.
         
        12-03-2009, 11:37 AM
      #16
    Started
    TSC should carry beet pulp. They have it near me. IMO a little skinnier is better than fat. Especially if they arent being worked, or are pleasure horses that don't need to keep those extra calories stored. Fat adds weight, adding extra stress on everything. I keep my mare a little thinner because she has hoof problems and navicular, and being over weight can make them worse. She's about 900-1000lbs 14.3hh so when I say skinney I don't mean ribs poking out. Horses still growing should have a lower body score then a mature horse, because of the stress on growing joints.
         
        12-04-2009, 10:50 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    Our Tractor Supply stores do not carry beet pulp, but they carry bags of Rice Bran for around $23 for 40 lbs
         

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