Horse losing weight and non-concentrated feeds
I moved my 16 year old horse to a new stable back in January and since then she has dropped a fair bit of weight. You can see more ribs than I'm happy with but at the same time her coat is still shiny, she's happy, perky, energetic, and enjoying her work. What has changed in her lifestyle is that she was on haylage all the time at her previous barn whereas now she is turned out in a field most of the time. Still gets haylage in her stall at night. The grass in the field is only now starting to come back after a hard winter. Her feed now consists of chaff, conditioning cubes (alfafa and molasses, more or less), beet pulp, and pellets. No grains or sweet feeds. I like the idea of not feeding concentrates like grains or sweet feeds, since I have heard they increase the risk of colic. On the other hand I have had the horse for ten years and at stables where she was on concentrates, I didn't have such trouble keeping weight on her.
I moved her from the States to the UK about three years ago and since she has been here, she has been much harder to keep. Again the main difference is that at most of the barns we were at in the US, she was kept in dry lots on hay and grains and sweet feeds. Could there be something in the soil here she is not getting which we need to supplement somehow? At her current barn she is getting hours more turnout than she got at other places.
I'm tempted to switch her (slowly now of course) back to a sweet feed.
She is on a regular worming schedule and was tested when she moved to the new barn. Also had blood tests in August/September because she was being stressed at the barn she was at then. She checked out healthy (turned out what she really wanted was a pasture buddy).
We just upped the conditioning cubes today and if there is no improvement in a week or two, I'm going to talk to a vet and/or an equine nutritionist. In the meantime, I'd thought I'd post here and get your thoughts.