Hi, Yeah, looking at his rump, shoulders & how much ribs are showing, I'd say he could stand to gain a little & seems to have little muscle. Tho in the second pic he looks good, for what can be seen. Hard to say without more pics. I wouldn't worry about your BO's opinion. Perhaps the upside down hack says it all on that front?? Just looking at ribs tho is not accurate - you need to look at the whole horse, as horses can indeed be overweight & still showing their ribs. I personally prefer a horse to be on the lean side(not underweight or skinny of course) rather than too heavy, because as with us, it's healthier than being overweight. In that regard, I think it's important to learn the problems associated with overweight horses, so you can make an informed decision. safergrass.org is one site which will give you some info on that. Now if I could only get my own boys(and me!) to lose some weight... pity I can't cyber it over to your horse!
Thank You so much for the website, my pc is acting fine again today and I will check it out immediately, THANK YOU! I'd also like to gift my boy a pound or 10 of mine, but no matter how hard I try... :/
I had read that the BOSS contains more omega 6's than omega 3 fatty acids. These can contribute to inflammatory responses in animals. However, research has not yet shown if this would affect horses. Personally, althouigh I do know people who do this and their horses are fine, I prefer to just use other options. For horses having a hard time gaining weight, I love the smartgain4 by smartpak. It also contains the herb fenugreek, which is an appetite stimulator. I also second the deworming idea, however I'd advise you to do a fecal egg count (though your vet) first to determine if you actually have a problem and which is the best product to use. This will also determine the efficacy of your current deworming program. Hope this helps!
Thank YOU! That helped A LOT! I am always so scared to change anything about his feeding because I have heard so many scary things, and I only get out there 4 days a week, so I'm worried he won't get the attention that he needs if I DO change something. I will definitely get a fecal egg count done as soon as possible, hopefully Monday. Thank you!
He does seem to have a big belly, but you seem to have your worming situation under control. He's got a nice coat and overall healthy look about him - just needs a wee bit of fat over the ribs.
Before you start looking at any feed, your first step would be free choice hay. You mentioned that your BO 'upped' his hay, so how much exactly is he getting? If he put on weight just by giving him more hay, free choice would be the first route I would take and see where he goes with that. If he's still a bit on the thin side even on free choice, or if that's not an available option for you, then you can start looking into giving him a little something extra.
You also mentioned you've been working your butts off lately and your vet said that could be the reason behind his weight. Even with a month/6 weeks/12 months/5 years gone by, he's not going to put weight back on with his current diet unless you drop his work load - he's simply not getting enough calories & protein for a working horse.
Here's my suggestion for a once a day feeding:
- stick with the ProBiotics
- free choice hay (if possible)
- 2 lbs of Enrich 32
- 1/4 lb flax seed
Flax seed is high in omega 3's rather than 6's (those found in BOSS) and will prove much more beneficial in his overall health, you'll have a lovely coat & it's got anti-inflammatory properties unlike BOSS. Rice bran is great stuff too but at 20% fat, I highly doubt it's necessary for your boy.
The reason I'm suggesting this feed to you is so that your horse gets enough of the nutrients, protein and calories that the working horse needs.
That is a TON of information and I am grateful! Thank You! He is out with round bales from 5 am til about 7 pm every day. Gets grain in the am and pm + Hay. I agree about the calories/nutrients that he needs, but again, I must admit not only ignorance, but fear to change things on him. Thank you for loading me with info, I LOVE it and it is absolutely appreciated so that I can make some informed decisions. I was reading about the Enrich and contemplated it this morning, I will be near Tractor Supply tomorrow and shall pick some up.
Flax SEED, or Flax seed OIL? Thank You so much!
I too would do free choice hay, but if you really want to put weight on him do what I did, I put my gelding on black-oil sunflower seeds. He gained almost 100+ pounds in a month. But he is also on grass all day. You can also try Cool Calories? Weight Builder, vegetable oil, flaxseed, or ricebran oil. The combinations and possible outcomes of using any of these are numerous! But I would def. be putting food to him!
Thank You! I am loving all these ideas and the advice, I truly appreciate it. I think I am going to try what Abbey said and or a variation. Thank You!
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
Just a note on the hackamore - it's sitting much, much too low - actually on cartilage, not bone, which is quite dangerous; the leverage point can certainly break that relatively soft tissue, or block the airway. If the person you're borrowing it from won't let you fix the hack (it IS on backwards) then don't use it - equipment needs to be used properly, and you risk doing damage if you don't.
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Yes. Mine is back in action along with a back up I just fashioned out of his old bridle. I am now successfully a big girl with all my own equipment
FINALLY. I won't be using this one again, but if push comes to shove, I will switch it and switch it back, and raise it a notch also.
I would like to see those ribs covered. He may need a bit of grain in his diet. Be careful not to overdo. Your horse is not overweight. He may be eating a lot of low quality roughage. There is nothing wrong with that; he may just need some supplementation.
I, too, would like to see his ribs covered. Before I bought him(Last fall) he never had ribs showing, but he was never ridden either. I was also wondering about the quality of the hay. It is all my B.O.'s hay from his fields he bales himself, I'm not sure how to tell as far as quality goes...? I'm going to work on supplements. I have gotten some great advice. Thank You!
Once again, Thank You to EVERYONE for all the information. I would be totally lost without you guys, because, like I said, B.O. is sometimes a little... on a different page. I love him dearly, but this time I HAD to disagree. Thanks a bunch!