My horses weight - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation My horses weight

Hey everyone... So my horse lost some weight during the winter/spring.... And I've spent the past month and a half trying to put it back on her. I feed her twice a day Alfalfa and beet pulp pellets and sweet feed. I also give her hay.. but she doesn't eat much of that. At first she was so bad that her flanks were really sunken in, you could see her ribs and she didn't have energy... Now she has energy and her flanks are fine.. But you can still see her ribs and feel them. She has come a long way... But im still worried.. She's never lost this much weight, and I don't know if you are supposed to see her ribs. I don't like to. So what im asking is what can I do to put weight on her... and is she still really under weight? How bad is it when you can see her ribs?

I really have no experience cause last year she was fine... Anyways please help me out!!! Thank you!!!!
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 11:12 AM
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I'm not an expert, but can you specify how much your horse weighs vs. how much she should weigh? Pictures would help. When was the last time this horse got their teeth floated by a vet? She may not be eating because it hurts. When was her last FEC? Is she on a deworming schedule? (personally I don't worm my horses, I get routine FECs and if something pops up I treat for that, but my horses also never leave the property or are exposed to new things). How much (weight would be best) of each of the grains and hay are you giving her?

One of my horses came to me underweight, after getting his teeth floated and an FEC I started him on soaked hay cubes (50/50) 2 quarts (before soaking) 4 times a day and Nutrena Empower Boost (it's a ration balancer - all the vitamins and minerals they need with an added ricebran fat booster). When I didn't see improvement on that diet so I added canola oil. Those are the 3 main ways to add weight to a horses diet, added protein from alfalfa or added fat from canola oil or ricebran.
Now he's balancing out and he's on just the Nutrena Empower Boost (2lbs a day) and 1 quart of well soaked beet pulp with 2 cups of canola oil -beet pulp has the same nutritional value as hay, but is more easily eaten and digested.

Good luck keep us posted
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 11:29 AM
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have you wormed her recently?

there is no secret so close than that between a horse and his rider
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 11:44 AM
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I would probably have the vet examine her to see if she has some issue that is making eating or digestion an issue. My vet recommends a probiotic for any horse under digestive stress, and that might help her digestion some. Soaked alfalfa and beet pulp are a good way to put weight on, so if that's not helping, particularly since she's a pony, I would talk to the vet. Just a thought-Cushing's is more common in older ponies and can cause them to lose weight and condition. Does she have other symptoms, or just the weight loss? Also, is she getting her hay free choice? Or limited amounts?
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 11:49 AM
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First thing I'd do is deworm her. Then take pics of what she looks like now and do it again in a month to see if she's gaining and then in another month.....until she's where you want her.

She's probably not eating grass hay because she's getting alfalfa, beet pulp and sweet feed (which I'd throw out, sweet feed is pretty much universally crap). Instead of sweet feed I'd feed her a high fat feed like Strategy Healthy Choice or Ultium. If you can't get something like that, then I'd add 1/4 c of veg oil to her feed 2X daily and work up to 1.c 2X/daily.

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post #6 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 12:49 PM
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Veg oil or soy bean oil, no corn oil. Corn oil has imflammatory omegas.

I agree with worming her, then maybe scoping for stomach ulcers.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Well we just wormed her a couple weeks ago... we do it regularly. She is actually a horse, not a pony ( My pony is fine on her weight lol:) ) Her teeth were floated last spring, and she has no problem eating... Im having the vet come out for their spring shots so ill ask her about it also... Thank you guys for all of this info!! I appreciate it! I'll post how much she should way and how much she weighs right now later today...And a picture:) Thanks!
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 01:14 PM
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I've just recently gone through a little bit of weight loss with my mare. Before I got her, she was quite overweight (pasture ornament!). When we started working, she lost some weight & then it dropped quite dramatically. We had a little bit of a health issue in between too, which didn't help matters...

Like others have said, getting her teeth checked & a FEC should be where you start.

You said it's only been a month & a half---remember, it could take some time for your horse to respond & all horses are different. You might have to experiment a little to see what works. I'm convinced my horse, who used to be an easy keeper, just wasn't getting enough calories when she started working. Also, for good measure, I have her on Dr. Valentin'e EPSM diet (high fat, low starch/low carbs), which has helped with her weight as well!

I've had success with Empower Boost (gradually building up---we're at 2 lbs/day now) + "snacks" before & after riding of a few measured cups of alfalfa/timothy pellets with canola and or CocoSoya (horses love CocoSoya & it smells so good!) oil mixed in (I've got her up to 2 cups of oil per day & ).

I also treat her with Hi Fiber Gold chopped hay (Lucerne Farms) for snacks & even though she's on pasture, she's still getting hay until the grass really comes in. I've been happy with the way she's filling back out again. We have a little way to go still, but it's moving in the right direction!

We really had to experiment with her b/c she's prone to loose manure (which is another problem in itself!) if I add too much fat too quickly, but she's doing really well now. Beet pulp works for lots of horses...I didn't see a huge difference. The Boost & oil (& alfalfa pellets, I think) really seemed to help my mare. She also has a gorgeous shine to her coat b/c of the oil!

I think a faint outline of ribs is OK---but if you're like me, I don't like to see them...I certainly don't want my mare to get "fat", but I like a little bulk on her (she's a draft horse afterall!).
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-28-2013, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yup... Im like you.. I like to see no ribs. When I see ribs I just think they are really underweight and then I start to worry like crazy!!! Haha.

How much oil did you with the feed each day and how many times a day?





Like others have said, getting her teeth checked & a FEC should be where you start.

You said it's only been a month & a half---remember, it could take some time for your horse to respond & all horses are different. You might have to experiment a little to see what works. I'm convinced my horse, who used to be an easy keeper, just wasn't getting enough calories when she started working. Also, for good measure, I have her on Dr. Valentin'e EPSM diet (high fat, low starch/low carbs), which has helped with her weight as well!

I've had success with Empower Boost (gradually building up---we're at 2 lbs/day now) + "snacks" before & after riding of a few measured cups of alfalfa/timothy pellets with canola and or CocoSoya (horses love CocoSoya & it smells so good!) oil mixed in (I've got her up to 2 cups of oil per day & ).

I also treat her with Hi Fiber Gold chopped hay (Lucerne Farms) for snacks & even though she's on pasture, she's still getting hay until the grass really comes in. I've been happy with the way she's filling back out again. We have a little way to go still, but it's moving in the right direction!

We really had to experiment with her b/c she's prone to loose manure (which is another problem in itself!) if I add too much fat too quickly, but she's doing really well now. Beet pulp works for lots of horses...I didn't see a huge difference. The Boost & oil (& alfalfa pellets, I think) really seemed to help my mare. She also has a gorgeous shine to her coat b/c of the oil!

I think a faint outline of ribs is OK---but if you're like me, I don't like to see them...I certainly don't want my mare to get "fat", but I like a little bulk on her (she's a draft horse afterall!).[/QUOTE]
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-14-2013, 01:48 PM
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My horse gets 1/4 cup of oil in the A.M. & the P.M. With her feed (1/2 cup total--the barn feeds it---I supply it).

Then, when I give her a snack either before or after work (depending on the time of day), I add the rest (up to another cup & a half).

Her "snack" is usually a pound of Empower, 3 measured cups of alfalfa pellets, oil & a few handfuls of chopped hay all mixed in. The chopped hay soaks up the oil so the snack isn't so oily. She looooooves it!

Good luck!
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