Getting conflicting opinions on my mare's weight. What do you think?
   

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Getting conflicting opinions on my mare's weight. What do you think?

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        07-07-2010, 09:15 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    Getting conflicting opinions on my mare's weight. What do you think?

    When I got my girl she was very underweight. The vet said she only needed 50lbs but as you can see from the pictures below, that was way off base.

    She has been on 24/7 pasture for three months and while she does seem to have gained some weight, I still don't think she is as filled out as she should be. Everyone has told me something different about her weight, from "she's fine" to "she's a skeleton!".

    Here's my problem. I can only go see her every other day. My schedule doesn't allow me to go every day on a regular basis. So if I were to feed her grain or anything else that she'd need to be brought in for it would not be every day. I haven't started this yet because I've gotten conflicting opinions from everyone including several vets on weather or not this would upset her stomach.

    The place I board her at would feed her for me on the off days, but they would also charge me full board for it (twice what I pay now, even though they'd only be bringing her in to eat and then turning her back out) and I want that only as a last resort.

    So...I'm not sure where to go from here. I think she needs more weight on her, how much I'm not sure but she is still ribby and I'd love some opinions on that, and also any thoughts on feeding her every other day.

    First picture was taken two days after she arrived from the auction.


    These two were taken three months later (a few days ago) after being on 24/7 pasture the whole time.



         
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        07-07-2010, 09:20 PM
      #2
    Green Broke
    I see her ribs a little bit in the pictures, the way I've always been taught for a horses weight was: you should be able to press gently on the ribs cage, and just be able to feel her ribs a VERY little bit. I like them a teensy on the fat side, but that's jsut me. You might be getting different opinions because they might not be used to such a lightly built horse. :)
         
        07-07-2010, 09:23 PM
      #3
    Showing
    Honestly, she looks skinny to me. I would put her on some oats and a weight building supplement, and if you can't feed her that every day, can you have someone else feed her for you on off days?
         
        07-07-2010, 09:27 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    Quote:
    I would put her on some oats and a weight building supplement, and if you can't feed her that every day, can you have someone else feed her for you on off days?
    That's the problem. I don't have anyone that can feed her for me on off days, aside from the staff at the barn but then my board gets doubled which I think is ridiculous. So, as of right now, I can only feed her every other day, but haven't done that yet because I don't know if it will upset her stomach to have such an off schedule.
         
        07-07-2010, 09:28 PM
      #5
    Green Broke
    Oh sorry! I forgot to give some tips to gain weight! Lol. It really depends on the hrose, my old horse would colic A LOT, we had to give him oil with his complete feed so it would go down easier (maybe you could also do that? It was canola oil)
    But my new mare NEVER colics, and could eat anything. The thing is, she does not stuff herself, no matter what type of food is in front of her. And my aunts mare, she will eat ANYTHING, literally, she has eating a pin from a poppy on my moms shirt one day. But she never colics either. So it really depends on the horse.
         
        07-07-2010, 09:29 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    Oh and... once every second day is a schedule, its a patturn, just like everyday. :)
         
        07-07-2010, 11:32 PM
      #7
    Trained
    I wouldn't worry about when to feed her as much as I'd worry about what you're feeding her. Feeding her extra won't do you any good if you're feeding her crap. There are other people on this forum more knowledgable about this than I am, so I'll leave it to them.

    I do think she's skinny. There are more things you can work on than just grain. What quality/kind of hay is she getting? Is she fed with other horses? Are you sure these other horses aren't keeping her away from the hay? Adding more good hay will do wonders in gaining weight, is that an option?

    What she needs most, however, is work. Good work that'll get her using her haunches. A lot of what makes her look so skinny is she has no neck to speak of, and such a weak hind end.

    On a positive note, she looks way better than when you first got her, but she still needs work. =]

    PS. What on earth is going on with her feet? She has WAYYYY too much toe. O_O
         
        07-07-2010, 11:41 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    She isn't getting any hay because the barn owner won't put any in the pastures during the summer months. She says the horses won't eat it and it would be a waste of a bale.

    Could I feed her hay pellets or cubes instead of grain? Do you think that would help more?

    She gets worked every other day for about 40 minutes, but I am afraid to do more with her because I figure she will never gain more weight if I make her burn too much calories doing tons of work.

    I think the last two pictures make her feet look funny because of the slope she's standing on, it's not level ground. The first one shows her straighter and that's how she still looks now.
         
        07-07-2010, 11:45 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    You could feed her completefeed, or High Fat. :)
    I would avoid sweet feed though.
         
        07-07-2010, 11:53 PM
      #10
    Trained
    My reply in purple.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by coffeeaddict    
    She isn't getting any hay because the barn owner won't put any in the pastures during the summer months. She says the horses won't eat it and it would be a waste of a bale.

    And that's your problem. Pasture is great for most horses to maintain weight, not for underweight horses to gain weight. Can you get hay out there?

    Could I feed her hay pellets or cubes instead of grain? Do you think that would help more?

    Again, I'll have to leave this to someone with more experience and knowledge on feeding. I would stay away from sweet feeds and "junk food." Perhaps a good senior feed and hay pellets would help, beet pulp may help as well.

    She gets worked every other day for about 40 minutes, but I am afraid to do more with her because I figure she will never gain more weight if I make her burn too much calories doing tons of work.

    I don't know what kind of riding you do, but I would work on getting her to work long and low, moving off her hind end. Get her to stretch and reach into your contact. Work is just work, it's good, correct work that's going to build the muscle.

    I think the last two pictures make her feet look funny because of the slope she's standing on, it's not level ground. The first one shows her straighter and that's how she still looks now.

    No, sorry. Her toes are much too long.
         

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