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This is a discussion on Help! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    03-14-2011, 04:24 PM
Unhappy Help!

Okay so I just purchased a 15yr belgian mare at the first of the year... she was a little low in weight on her back end, but ..she was in with 6 other horses. The people kept 2 round bales of hay all the time out there and they fed her 2 gallons of sweet feed a day in the same pasture, she is not a pushy mare and a slow eater so I figured the other horses was eating her food before she got to finish = causing her to loose weight . Well I brought her home gave her a wormer and good hay put her in with my older gelding and started her on senior feed and electrolytes well it seems as if she is not gaining any weight and in fact losing more then what she was at she is really sinking in on her hips she drops her food but she picks it all back up. The vet said maybe she is stressed I did recently move one of my horses and he has told me to do many things but seems like its not working so he is coming this weekend. Today I gave her a stronger wormer and im going to start her on soaked beet pulp. I just don't know what else to do! I am giving her 10x better and more food and she looked better when she was getting hardly nothing :( any ideas?
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    03-14-2011, 04:27 PM
Are you weighing your senior feed or feeding it by volume?

It is pretty common when someone switches from a non-extruded feed to an extruded feed they mistakenly starve the horse for a while because they are feeding it by volume and not weight.

What do you mean by good hay?

Have her teeth been checked?

Have you done a fecal?

How much work does she get?
    03-14-2011, 04:40 PM
I did actually start with the same feed as the former owner and gradually switched her over, yes her teeth does need floated and that what the vet is also going to do. This may be a dum ? But when a horse needs there teeth floated how do they loose weight when they eat all of the food, like in her case she drops her food alot and it may take her longer, but there is not a drop left when she is done with her food.?
As far as work I have a full time job and I do just pleasure riding, she gets rode 30 mins to and 1hr 2 days out of the week with time change she will be getting more time on her. Should I not ride her as much or should I ride her more?
    03-14-2011, 04:42 PM
Do you know how much hay she is actually eating?

If their mouth hurts and it takes them forever to eat they are probably not ingesting much hay.
    03-14-2011, 05:25 PM
Easy answer to your Q: horse can't grind the food with its teeth, so either a) doesn't get nutrients because the food can't break down or b) horse expends more energy breaking down the food. So the horse might be eating but not actually getting "fed" from the food.
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    03-14-2011, 05:34 PM
No that makes perfect sense!! Thank you!

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