Feeding my horse for the winter?

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Feeding my horse for the winter?

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  • What should i be feeding my horse
  • Feeding 15 year old horse in winter

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    12-03-2010, 11:40 AM
Feeding my horse for the winter?

Winter is coming soon and I'm a little bit worried. It's still quite warm here, being in the 6 degrees celsius mark, but the cold weather will come soon.

My boy is a 10 year old Standardbred gelding who is fed 3-4 flakes of hay per feeding and a scoop of high fat high fibre. He is fed this twice a day. He's always been on the thin side and I really don't know what to do. All of the horses in my barn are fed a simple diet; hay and a scoop of grain. Nothing too fancy, and they're all a good size, some even bigger than they really should be. What is so different with my horse? He's not high strung and I barely work him at all. He's an alright size, I guess, but his ribs are still slightly visible, even through his full winter coat. He also has both a mineral and a salt lick in his stall that he has access to at all times.

Is there anything that I should be adding to his feed to gain weight, or is there something that he's missing from his diet? Let me know your opinions please!

Btw; he's up to date on everything; vaccinations, teeth floating, etc.
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    12-03-2010, 12:46 PM
There are just some horses that it is much harder to keep weight on. For some reason, it seems to be mainly TBs that are hard keepers but they do happen in every breed.

When you go back to his stall for the second feeding, is there any trace left of the earlier meal, a couple of pellets or a few bits of hay, or is everything gone and he's looking for more? How much turnout does he get per day, not including riding?
    12-03-2010, 02:53 PM
I know my mare is 16.3 hanoverian tb (registered hanoverian X Canadian) and when I bought her she was a bit skinny so I asked how much she was being fed. They gave her 8 FLAKES A DAY. She didnt have worms, ulcers, etc. She was being worked hard and she is high strung so she burned it off I guess. Now I have her on beet bulp, rice bran, and corn oil, and 5 flakes of hay (oat and rye). Since winter started I gave her another flake of oat to help he gain weight and keep weight on. She is very hot and in heavy work to get her ready for show season. I know when I was looking at horses for sale the average amount of hay for an eventer or tb or warmblood was bout 4 flakes a day so when I found out my mare got 8 flakes.... I pretty much freaked out. My old morgan (14.3) got 2 flakes a day and was still overweight... haha so it all depends on the horse, the job, breed, and size.
    12-03-2010, 10:46 PM
Green Broke
Hay keeps a horse warm in the winter. I would increase his hay, or add a third feeding. If you can't, add hay cubes or pellets to his diet, preferably alfalfa if his hay doesn't have any alfalfa in it.

I would also add a digestive aid like Fastrack or MissingLink. That will help ensure that he's digesting all of the feed properly.

Have his teeth checked and also do a fecal exam to check for parasites. He could be more prone to them. I have two horses that way, they need deworming more frequently than the rest of my herd. Some horses also need their teeth floated more frequently than others.

The last thing you can do, if you haven't already, is buy him a good winter turnout blanket. That will allow him to use his feed for muscle and energy, instead of keeping warm.

Good luck!
    12-04-2010, 09:45 PM
There isn't any trace of left over grain or hay from his breakfast when I come back to give him supper. Depending on the weather, he is turned out for 4 to 6 hours a day, but the weather has been really crappy lately and he hasn't been getting out at all. His teeth were floated not too long ago, too. Same with deworming.
    12-04-2010, 10:48 PM
You might just try upping his hay some. If he is cleaning everything up and not gaining (or at least maintaining) his weight, then he might just be one of those horses who needs more feed than others. I would just start giving him an extra flake of hay in the evening feeding and see how he does.
    12-04-2010, 11:08 PM
What I would suggested is talk to your vet about pancur power pac. As I said before my mare A LOT and still was sort of skinny. She was on a 3 month worming routine so I didnt think it was worms but I thought I would try it as my trainer and vet said it wouldn't hurt and could really help. 5 weeks later her coat looks better than it did (she already had a great coat too) and she gained some weight! I was extremely happy. Even though you might have your horse on a routine there are still some worms that arent killed and that are in different cycles when you do kill them so they are still there. Talk to your vet or order it online! Hope that helps!

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