fattening her up . . . - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-07-2011, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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fattening her up . . .

Im going to see a horse on saturday, she's a 15.2 thoroughbredy type. She is very skinny, you can just see her ribs through her winter coat. I think she's out 24/7 and if I take her she will be out 24/7. How would I go about beefing her up , she will probably be rode 4 or 5 times a week if that helps.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-07-2011, 07:04 PM
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free choice good quality grass hay to start with
Vitamin/mineral supplement to balance the hay
Added fat to increase calories

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-07-2011, 07:05 PM
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Hi,

Yeah, if you can see her ribs through her winter coat(unrugged, fluffy?) it sounds like she is probably too thin. Remember though that fat horses are not healthy, so be careful if you 'beef her up'. It may also just be the time of year - a little lighter over winter is not nec. A health or lack of feeding problem. Also check out how to 'condition score' a horse, because just going on ribs alone can be misleading - just because her ribs can be seen doesn't necessarily mean she's underweight.

Great that you're keeping her out 24/7. Perhaps she just hasn't been getting enough hay/forage? That's where I'd start, giving her free choice hay. I'd also consider that her teeth may be a problem - they should be checked/filed by a *good* equine dentist every 6-12 months, depending on her age. Especially if she's previously been kept/fed intensively on a high-starch(grainy, for eg) diet, I would also consider that ulcers may be a problem. Also consider her lack of weight may be due to nutritional deficiencies/imbalance rather than lack of calories, so I'd ensure she is getting a good 'complete' supp/ration balancer. If after all that she is still not putting on enough condition, there are plenty of high-fat options, from just adding a little oil to whatever she gets, to feeding oilseeds, such as sunflower for eg, to commercial 'high fat' feeds. Be careful though that these 'high fat' feeds arent' also high sugar/starch and are fed judiciously.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-07-2011, 07:10 PM
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don't forget BEFORE deworming herto have your vet do a fecal to see what you need to deworm for

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-07-2011, 09:21 PM
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If she is that thin I wouldn't be riding 4 or 5 times a week.
De-worm her thoroughly and stay off of her for a month (Longer if she needs longer)
Free choice quality hay is best. Start with free choice first cut, move to free choice second cut in three weeks if she needs it.
I am a huge fan of Purina Equine Senior for weight gain and would start right off with 3qts AM and 3qts PM. One week later make that 5qts AM and 5qts PM
Alfalfa cubes and or beet pulp is helpful as well.
Continuing to keep her outside is great!!
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-07-2011, 09:51 PM
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I just got 2 rescue horses about 3 weeks ago. Both were VERY skinny. I gave them a round bale of hay, fed them 12% pellets 2x a day, and I use a weight builder, also had the vet worm them. They are already putting on weight that you can see. Don't be scared to love a unloved horse.... trust me she is worth it.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-07-2011, 10:01 PM
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I'm not keen on Purina feeds generally, or others that have added molasses & high grain/starch. But if you are going to feed such ingredients, it's important to ensure they're fed little & often, preferably not just 2 big feeds daily. Horses have small stomachs and are 'trickle feeders'. Likelihood and severity of problems associated with high-starch rations is lessened with frequent, small feeds.

Another point is that whether a horse is skin & bone or otherwise, it is not good for them to put on weight rapidly. It's best to allow them to gain gradually & not pump them full from day 1
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-08-2011, 07:56 AM
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If this was in response to my post - I have put weight on 129 horses (weight being 100-200 ponds or more) in the past four years. All were fed like this, all have gained wight back in somewhere around ten weeks, none had any adverse effects, a good portion of these were Thoroughbreds. You cannot half-ass feed a Thoroughbred and expect for weight gain. What they feed race horses is astronomical, five quarts twice daily is hardly "pumping them full" its properly feeding an under weight large animal ;)
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-08-2011, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by New_image View Post
If this was in response to my post - I have put weight on 129 horses (weight being 100-200 ponds or more) in the past four years. All were fed like this, all have gained wight back in somewhere around ten weeks, none had any adverse effects, a good portion of these were Thoroughbreds. You cannot half-ass feed a Thoroughbred and expect for weight gain. What they feed race horses is astronomical, five quarts twice daily is hardly "pumping them full" its properly feeding an under weight large animal ;)

Luck has been with you because what you do is what they say NOT to do

FORAGE FIRST ALWAYS and introduce any other feed stuff SLOWLY

Forage is how you fill them up not junk feed

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-08-2011, 08:11 AM
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I did say this. I start with offering a quality first cut hay - free choice.
Then start on grain, which is a complete feed, 3qts, which is not much grain given we are talking of a Thoroughbred here, not a shetland.
In the weeks following up the grain to a scoop and a half which is 5qts and add alfalfa and or beet pulp IF necessary. At which time I'd introduce corn oil, BOSS and several herbs to the horses feed. If a few weeks down the road the horse appears to need a bit more I toss out second cut hay and continue the feed.

If slowly means a flake of hay and a handful of feed monday, a handful and a half tuesday, a handful and 3/4 wednesday etc... Then yes, I suppose I do move faster. However "luck" has not been with me, the feed schedule I have used and the way I have used it has worked for a few more than "luck" could play part in. People seem to have the poor illusion that it should take six months for a horse to pack on 150 pounds.
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