The Journal of a Skinny Boy - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 18 Old 08-24-2014, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Post The Journal of a Skinny Boy

I just recently (8.19.2014) bought a skinny thoroughbred named Alphie for $75.

As of recently I have been doing research on his lip tattoo. Alphie was a race horse, son of Bold Executive, great great grandson of Bold Ruler, winner of $70,000 in his career. I bought him for $75. -Holy cow

I couldn't get $75 for Alphie at slaughter, there isn't enough meat on the poor baby's bones.

I went to look at the young foal for sale and ended up trying out horses on the property. Alphie had been dropped off. The lady I bought him from said she didn't really want him. The family who dropped him off said he had an abscess that had already ruptured. After checking him over I saw NOTHING, he walked, trotted, and cantered on a lead just fine. So I saddled this poor skinny soul up. Alphie was supposed to jump, man oh man does he!

He and baby Orion- which I will start another health/training bloggy thing about him maybe? Were brought to my place the night of the 19th.

I have Alphie's coggins, so I called his old owner. The man said Alphie had Wasting Disease, okay? I called the vet out for the following Monday. Alphie gets a super high fat diet, vit. E supplements, and cool calories twice a day, and of course snacks when I go out ever 4hrs to feed Orion.
The vet will be back out in two to three weeks to see if we need to do a blood test.


This journal is to show progress, to help me see the difference and not give up on this guy.
Bold Alphie was once a race horse. Now he looks like a guy that's been thrown away. I want Bold Alphie back.

Any tips and ideas would be awesome! I would appreciate all help given.
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-24-2014, 02:21 PM
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Wow poor guy. Skinny and overall unhealthy.

I get wanting to try him out but I really hope you will not be riding him again until his condition is drastically improved.

If you are going out there every 4 hours I would recommend hard feed 3-4x/day. Free choice hay 24/7. The best you can get. I've heard alfalfa is best for these situations, but I have no experience with it.

What did the vet say?

What exactly is he getting for feed?
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-24-2014, 02:40 PM
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Forage / hay . If you cannot get alfalfa hay get some pellets. I would give him hay, all he can eat . You could try some Sr feed, its easier to digest . I would five him some probiotics, digest aides, but check with your Vet first since he has been checked. Is he needing something like red cell ? Again check with the Vet to okay it. Hope he improves . I wonder what the people meant by wasting disease?
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-24-2014, 03:10 PM
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Probiotics are good. For any horse. I woudln't bother to check with a vet on that.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-24-2014, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yogiwick- the vet actually said little rides would do him good, just make sure he is well padded, I don't ride him too long in the heat, or over work him. But I am going to give him a week or so.

I don't have any hay out in the pasture right now, but he has a lot of pasture land to munch on. The vet said that eating grass is much better for him then hay, because hay doesn't have vit. E in it.

He's getting performance feed, it had the most fat content, which is what the vet recommended.

Stevenson- wasting disease is actually EPSM. It's where the horse can't digest carbohydrates. So instead of needing a high protein diet they should get a high fat diet. I read somewhere that instead of lots of feed she started giving her horse a lb of hay pellets and 3 cups of veggie oil.
The hardest part about EPSM is that the effects of the muscle wasting could be permeant. The horse will always look starved.

-Attachment is Alphie back in the day.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-24-2014, 09:50 PM
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Erm. Maybe he looks better in person. Yes padding is HUGELY important if you ride him. Personally I wouldn't ride him anyways. Yeah exercise is good, I would handwalk and graze for a little bit a few times a day.

Lots of pasture is good but I would offer hay along with the pasture.

If you want advice actual specifics would help... what kind of feed exactly? Amount? Anything else you didn't mention with it?

Did the vet think that is the problem? Or just thin? Honestly sounds like something someone would say as an excuse but guess we will see.

As I said he just overall looks unhealthy.
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-25-2014, 12:10 AM
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poor boy, I am sure he will bounce back with time, food and love. Google UC Davis diet for starving horses, it helped me alot with a emaciated horse we took in, he looks great now, but it does take time. If you worm him use the daily wormer for about a month or so, and then paste worm him. If he is wormy don't want the dead worms die all at once and clog his blood stream
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-25-2014, 07:55 AM
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For those that don't know here is an over view on EPSM.
Equine polysaccharide storage myopathy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It can be diagnosed for certain with a muscle biopsy (and I am the sort who would do that so I could be SURE of what I was up against... or NOT).
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-25-2014, 08:28 AM
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I don't have any experience with EPSM, but I vouch for keeping hay in front of him 24/7. My rescues have always done well on hay, beet pulp, mineral supps, salt, water and outside 14/7.

I disagree with the vet about riding. I would absolutely not ride this horse. No way. You couldn't pay me to ride him. He is not well enough, he will get sore and he may get sores as well no matter how much padding. Do you really want to make riding an unpleasant experience for him? If so, ya, ride him now. If not, WAIT. Please wait. Not a week; not two weeks - not any "time." When he is healthy!

Ground work, yes. It will be good for him. I personally wouldn't lunge yet either, but then again, I'm not a fan of lungeing at all so I may be biased. If I was, I'd still wait until he had another hundred pounds on him anyway.
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-25-2014, 10:49 AM
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I completely agree with what has been said to you already.

How do you know for sure that he has EPSM? I would look into that, to know if I was up against that or just dealing with an underfed horse.

He should not be ridden yet. Yes, exercise is great, he'll get a lot of that walking around the pasture. Hand walking would be good also, but no riding/lounging/working yet.

I would be another one to suggest that he be offered hay along with his pasture. Let him choose. Offer a quality, free choice hay preferably with alfalfa in it and/or you can buy and soak alfalfa pellets or cubes.

What type of feed are you feeding and how many pounds?
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