Impossible to Keep Anglo Arab

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Impossible to Keep Anglo Arab

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    12-06-2008, 07:19 AM
Impossible to Keep Anglo Arab

About 6 years ago, I bought Beau, a grade gelding who we believe is an Anglo Arab or Arabian and about 18 years old. Even at that time he was skinny, but since he was only my second horse I thought nothing of it. He is a former h/j with a big drive for it. He was perfect for me when I was 12, a 15hh chestnut gelding who was patient and very knowing, but now that I'm 17 my needs have changed a bit. I raise Tennessee Walkers, and I have a show mare I now jump who is my main riding horse, along with a big trail gelding. Beau has been left pretty much as a pasture ornament and baby sitter for the younger horses for the last year because I'm too big to ride him and he's too thin.

I'm really hoping to sell or lease him. I love him, but he really needs a 10-12 year old girl who wants a first horse. He's sane, mostly calm when he's not near cows, very smart, and has great feet. He has had more training than any other horse on my farm, and he shows it. On a longe line he can jump about 2" consistently, though I've seen him do 2'6" and higher.

He's been wormed, has had the vet out several times because of his weight, is on alfalfa pellets, senior feed, bran mash once a week, weight builder, and gets three or four times as much feed as any other horse on the farm (including pregnant mares!) over two to three feedings a day. He has free choice hay and great grass that is never brown in the summer. The only time he has any muscle or fat on him is when he is with one mare or alone in a stall, and is being ridden at least once a week. Of course, the problem is that he is too thin for me to ride because he won't put on any weight. When he thinks he is going to have a job, he instantly perks up and looks amazing. Longing him doesn't get the same effect, I've been trying that for a while now.

Any tips? He's about 175-150lbs underweight constantly, sometimes closer to 100lbs, I've been able to clearly see his ribs going on two years now. He has been checked for ulcers and the like, but no luck. Sandclear every 6 months, just in case. I'd love for him to go to a place where he can be ridden and happy, but I'm afraid that when someone sees his condition they will not consider him. I know he will not put on any weight until he has the chance to work, and I can't provide him that. I have actually seen him at a good weight about 5 years ago when I rode him 5 times a week in the arena and once on a trail, he was constantly stalled with 3 hours of turnout, and he was happy as a clam.

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    12-06-2008, 07:22 AM
Any chance you can post pics?
    12-06-2008, 09:15 AM
Which senior feed and how much weight wise per day ???
    12-06-2008, 04:15 PM
If he is out on turnout all the time right now a with a lot of other horses, than his caloric needs are exceeding his intake. I am not sure but the way it sounds is that he is out with other horses, are they possibly eating his feed? Turned out he is doing a lot more moving around and using a lot more energy to keep warm than he would be if he were stalled. I hate to do it but if he was holding his weight in his stall with just a few hours turnout each day, maybe keeping him stalled part of the day along with some feed adjustments might be just what he needs.
    12-07-2008, 01:14 AM
Green Broke
My Anglo gelding was similar. We fed him SO MUCH FOOD just to keep what little bit of weight on. What finally did it for him was to STOP feeding him so much "stuff". We put him on a natural, forage based diet and he ended up gaining too much weight on a LOT less food.

First important thing, hay, GOOD hay, and LOTS of it! We only buy fertilized, high protein bermuda hay. Give him as much as he will eat.

Next, a good vitamin supplement. Smart Pak's Smart Vite line is good. I'm using Uckele Equi-Base grass right now and it seems to be doing well too.

Last, some extra calories and fat. I use chopped pre-bloom alfalfa hay. You can buy it in compressed 50 lb bags. When Mark was thin, he got 4-5 lbs of this a day. I like to add to that some oats. When he was thin, he got 3 lbs of plain whole oats mixed. For a fat supplement, I used flax meal or whole flax seeds, whichever I could afford. They both seemed to work equally as well (1/2 cup of ground flax, 2 cups of whole flax).

To keep his weight on, Mark only gets about 1 lb of the Alfalfa, 1 lb of oats, and no more fat supplement. And he is a bit chubby right now! Lol

If he won't eat more hay, or if he's in a group turnout and will have to share, or if his teeth are starting to go (have your vet check) then I would add shredded beet pulp to his diet. Feed up to 8 lbs of dry weight split into two feedings (soak it for 30 minutes, pour off the excess water, then add your goodies). Mix into each feeding of beet pulp 2 lbs of alfalfa (pellets or chopped hay) and 1 lb of oat (whole if his teeth are good, crimped if they're not).

Feeding him Uckele's Equi-Base Grass, Beet Pulp, Alfalfa pellets/chopped hay, some oats, and a fat source is BETTER than a senior feed because you're feeding whole foods, more fiber, no preservatives, and no excess sugars. You're eliminating potentially harmful ingredients from his diet like molasses, corn, wheat, and grain sweepings. Once his metabolism levels back out, you'll find that he gains weight easier and keeps it on with less food.

I was skeptical at first myself. It seems contrary to what's "right," but the proof is in my horse! And ALL of the horses that were boarded with us at the time. The whole barn went on a forage based diet and all of the horses' improved in condition, health, and even attitude.

BEFORE (2 weeks after we got him, just after a bath)

AFTER (okay, a little too fat, lol, but look, a shiney winter coat!)

Just right! (no bath! His natural coat, both him and my mare who's in the lead)

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