I need help puting weight on my mare... - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-18-2009, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Question I need help puting weight on my mare...

I just recently purchased an 11yr. old 16.2 hh mare. She came from a gentleman who turned her out to pasture for the past 5 years and only fed her hay and grain in the winter months. Right now I'm working with her on ground work, not daring to try to work with her in the saddle as her backbone is clearly visible and sticks up about a 1/2 to 1 inch. Her butt is nice and toned, no hip bones can be seen, just her back.
I'm trying to slowly put her back on grain, but this too is going to be tough because she has really tough hooves and I want to keep them that way (she hasn't been seen by a farrier in over 2 years and her hooves look amazing! and I'm hoping to keep her barefoot). I'm afraid if I get her back on a decent amount of grain her hooves will eventually soften up from all the extra protein in her diet. Any tips? Right now I'm only giving her about a half a scoop (about 1.5 quarts) once in the morning and once in the evening. I was thinking about adding small amounts of corn oil to her feed but was wondering if you guys had any good tips. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

A horses spirit is easily broken and slowly mended with love and kind hand.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-18-2009, 02:00 AM
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Here's what worked great on my paso fino:

For a few weeks, or even months, give her as much hay as she'd like and beep pulp instead of grain, soaked in hot water for 4 hours, drained, and fed with a cup of oats. I found one feed scoop full of beet pulp an appropiate amount, you may want to experiment a bit. Also, add into his diet Focus Senior or Focus Weight Gain supplements, which can be bought at the local farm or tack shop. When you feel she's at a healthy weight, slowly change her onto a diet of 2-3 flakes of hay twice a day, or however much hay you feel appropiate, and then you can go two ways for grain: The first is to use a good feed supplement like Grow 'n Win, if you feel she's not considered a senior yet, though at 11-14 years most horses become seniors. The second option, if you feel you should use a senior feed, is to use a good feed like Nutrena Senior feed. This has 14% protein and Omega 3 Fatty Acid, which will help the horse keep a consistant weight. Best of all about this feed is that your horse will NOT colic on this feed. I still feed my paso 2 whole feed scoops of it. Keep her on the Focus Senior/Weight Gain supplement as well. Crimped oats help put weight on a horse, feed a cup of oats with the grain each feeding. She'll come around

Hope this works, I know how it feels having an underweight horse and not being able to help him. My paso fino lost weight with too much activity trying to herd around a mare all day, and I went to countless equine seminars, taking notes on how 14% protein is better for a senior horse, as a lower protein level like 11, or even 8% is good for young, healthy horses....I use Nutrena Equine Senior feed on my senior horse and Grow 'n Win on my other 3 horses.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-18-2009, 02:01 AM
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in first sentence, I meant "beet" pulp, not "beep" pulp lol
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-18-2009, 08:00 AM
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What sort of "grain" are you feeding? That word means so many things to different people - everything from a commercial blend/feed, sweet feed or straight oats/corn. Knowing what you are using, specifically, will help.
You could skip the grain all together and stick with free choice quality hay, alfalfa pellets, beet pulp and rice bran. For example, 4 pounds of alf. pellets, 4 pounds of beet pulp and 1-2 pounds rice bran....split into feedings, of course.
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