horse purchase may actually be a rescue - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Texas
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horse purchase may actually be a rescue

the wonderful horse we've been working towards purchasing i have just learned is rather emaciated. on the body scale i'd say a 3-just guesstimating. current owners just can't afford to feed her, which is what prompted the sale. i fell in love with her, now i can't leave her, i have to save her and get weight back on her. but i'm scared. the vet will be coming to assess her on tuesday (we're bringing her home monday-a holiday) so will get his advice/help/input but in the meantime i'm just so scared. i don't want to mess things up on her. she's an incredible horse-the weight loss is purely from lack of finances to feed and lack of pasture-so it wasn't/isn't a teeth issue or other health issue. just reading and reading and reading about feeding her and all the issues that may well ensue and thought i'd ask y'all what experiences you've had with a situation like this. she's a 16 y/o belgian, btw. i have purchased the same feed she is currently on, and the current owner is sending her feed with her, but i'm at a loss how to introduce enough calories/fat without introducing too much starch/sugar to cause insulin issues, etc, etc... i know, the vet will be able to help me, but that's tuesday and i'm just a basketcase right now. i look forward to any information/advice you can/will offer. i can't not get her, she needs to be 'rescued' so not buying her is not an option. :) thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 11:43 AM
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I've always found UC Davis to have some great information on rehabilitating underweight horses. Hopefully this helps!

Nutrition for Rehabilitating the Starved Horse
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post #3 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 11:54 AM
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I would suggest you contact Lisa at Frog Pond Draft Rescue. I believe you will find her a valuable resource, after all, drafts is what she does. Good for you taking this mare and good luck!
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post #4 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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thank you

I've read the UC Davis info, it was helpful, thank you! And I emailed Lisa to hopefully get some helpful advice-thank you for that, as well. In the meantime I'll be doing more research and lots of praying-I want this sweet, sweet girl to have the best life ever and will do whatever necessary to get her there with us! :) I'm just a huge worry-wart!
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post #5 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 01:43 PM
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Good for you for hopefully rescuing a horse in need! If you get the horse, one of the most important things is introducing feed into the diet SLOWLY. Suddenly giving a malnourished horse a bunch of nutritious feed can kill or cause serious colic... But, I would slowly introduce a high fiber and fat diet, I recommend free choice grass hay with beet pulp and rice bran, with some lucerne hay such as Alfalfa, but, this should be introduced VERY slowly. Also, if the hay/grain doesn't provide all the nutrients in the diet, get a ration balancer. Good luck!

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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my question is about HOW slowly

I know i need to introduce diet changes slowly-but i don't know how slowly is slowly? ya know? i'm really nervous about feeding her monday night when we get her home as i'm questioning what to give and what amounts. sigh. am asking around and will see the vet the next morning, but it's that first night that has me scared. sigh. going to visit with some experts in the area this afternoon!
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post #7 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 02:48 PM
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Feeding her the exact amount of feed that she currently is on and slowly increasing it according to the vets advice is a good way to start. And if she will be on hay, u should think about feeding it in a small holed hay net so that she doesn't gorge on it.
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post #8 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 03:12 PM
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I rescued this Belgian from a rescue the end of Oct.2011
The first picture was taken the first time I saw him, skin & bones.
He lost 350-400 pounds in 7 mos. while at that rescue, I'd hate to see what he would look like today if he was still there.
The second picture was taken last week Jan.9th 2012 .
He is almost back to his normal weight, he still needs another 100-150 lbs.IMG_0783.jpg


(He has free choice of alfalfa mix 2nd crop round bales,) and grain that I have mixed at my local feed store twice a day.
He is 10 yrs. old and a cripple,notice how he stands with his right leg under himself for balance, he was injured in March 2008.
I would feed your horse with just hay to start with until the vet comes out to check her over.
Good luck
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post #9 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 08:01 PM
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OMG is that a 6-foot pile of hay behind your Belgian? My horse would go NUTS over something like that! Your horse is so cute, too! I love the look on his face.

OP, bless you for taking this horse in. You know you need to be careful, and that's good. Better to be too cautious than not cautious enough. Get some pics of your new boy so we can all go "ooh" and "ah" over the before/after once you get him back into condition!!
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-14-2012, 08:50 PM
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He has 13 round bales to chew on, he does have to share with 4 saddle horses though, will probably place the last 18 bales out next month for the rest of the winter, those are 1800 lb.bales.
They also have 80 acres (42 pasture) and the balance in hay fields.
He is really a sweet guy, I am just glad he is not at that rescue any longer, I know 2 other people that got starved horses from that place. REALLY SAD !!!!!!!!!
Be sure to take & post some pictures of your horse and keep us up dated on her progress.........
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