Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
My horse, "Corporal", (1983-2009, RIP) was underweight from the time I bought him as a 4yo. He looked like a rail when I brought him home and I ALWAYS had trouble feeding him. Since I keep my horses a long time I'd always been insulted when people called 10yo and over "old," but they way that they masticate and digest does change around that age. My 13yo mare won't touch her grass hay if I mix it with alfalfa--she'll eat the grass if nothing else if offered, though, and she's probably a 5.5-6 on the Apgar weight scale.
What I DID with Corporal, who was about 15'1hh, was to offer 1 flake of grass hay covered with 2 flakes of alfalfa, 2x/day, pasture when available, so that the leaves would fall on the grass hay and he'd want to eat it all. He would ALWAYS gain a litle weight when on pasture alone, plentiful and in season. I also fed one 3lb coffee can of Purina Equine Senior, 2x/day. He had his teeth floated regularly. He was on the grain recipe 365 days/year.
Purina ran an experiment at the Ag School of Southern Illinois Univeristy a few years ago. They fed aged horses Equine Senior and all gained weight, including those who were almost toothless, btw. Beet pulp is difficult for older horses to masticate.
My Vet noticed that Corporal gained and maintained his weight once I started this recipe. Corporal was a bundle of energy even until his dying day, and you're not gonna take that out of your Arab. Give him some turnout when the weather/footing is nice, or else he might pace the stall bc of nerves--better the energy grow/maintain some muscle than just burn off fat. I hope this helps, bc Corporal's weight problems drove ME to distraction. That's the great thing about owning a younger herd, which I have now--NO WEIGHT PROBLEMS!