Need help w/ very thin old horse - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-11-2011, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Need help w/ very thin old horse

My Best Horse ( he is Arab and tb) turned thirty this year and his weight is steadily droping, I have had the Vet out and his teeth done and spent a small fortune on supplements, grains and processed hay and he still looks awful? I have never had a Horse this old befor do they just get like this later in life or am I missing an under lying problem? He is still very happy and the first one to run to the gate if he sees a saddle. Any advise would be well appreciated thank you :)
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-11-2011, 11:59 PM
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I have a few old horses myself. They get feed senior feed and barn mash plus a few other supplements to help with joints, coat and digestion. Horses age differently, many don't make it to 30 these days. His weight may be a sign that he is getting close to his time. But to help try feeding him barn mash, its easy to digest and easy on his teeth. Consider uping his feed a bit too, but not enough he colics. As horses get older its harder for them to graze. So instead of coastal or just free range, try feeding him alfalfa helps put on weight too. Also consider the feed, make sure its easy for him to simple lick up rather then having to chew it, easier on his teeth. Consider feeding supplements such as joint, and digestion, and protein to help him keep up his weight. You just baby the old ones cause you love them to death. They get the extra spoiled rotten treatment.

Patience is always rewarding in the end
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-12-2011, 01:21 AM
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Lucerne/alfalfa is great for helping horses put on weight, and is quite high in calcium so is good for joints.
A bran mash can help, or a feed formulated for senior horses, such as 'Mitavite Gumnuts' or similar.
Older horses also drop weight, as said above, when their body is not functioning quite how it should. Have you had him scoped? Many old horses have cancer of the bowel which makes them drop considerable weight. I would definitely have him thoroughly looked at and scoped, and also have a blood test done to see if he's missing any essential vitamins. Then you can formulate a diet in accordance to the results. In the end you save more money doing it this way, than buying huge amounts of feed and not having it work.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-18-2011, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for help:) I had a friend that does alot of horse rescue work stop over and she thinks that he looks about right for a 30 yr old gelding of his breed, I guess I just invisioned him looking like the mighty steed I always new that jumped like a fraight train that had no fear walking off into the sun set. Reality stinks, but I was truley lucky to have had him and enjoyed him and still will for the rest of his days :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-18-2011, 10:30 PM
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my old guy is in his mid 30's(33-38) and it's been s struggle to keep weight on him. How did the vet say his teeth are? My guy is missing all but 4 bottom molars. My vet told us to put him on purina senior and soak it to a basically make soup but after months of doing that I didn't notice any difference. On the advice of Peggysue I switched him to triple crown senior(still soaking it) and after only a month on it I can already feel a little more fat over his ribs.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-23-2011, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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He doesn't hve many teeth left either so I have been wetting his feed also. I will definitely try a bag of the tripple crown, what feed dealer are you getting that through? Are you still riding him? My old guy wants to go in the worst way and I feel guilty evey time I leave him behind but he is a hot head ( he sooo does not act his age lol :) ) and im concerned about him over doing it. I thought maybe just a nice walk out back ?
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-23-2011, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talloose30 View Post
He doesn't hve many teeth left either so I have been wetting his feed also. I will definitely try a bag of the tripple crown, what feed dealer are you getting that through? Are you still riding him? My old guy wants to go in the worst way and I feel guilty evey time I leave him behind but he is a hot head ( he sooo does not act his age lol :) ) and im concerned about him over doing it. I thought maybe just a nice walk out back ?
I haven't ridden him in a few months because of him being too skinny, but now that he is picking up weight i'll ride him bareback a bit, mostly walking but maybe some trotting, he still loves to go but he sometimes goes lame in his right rear hock if he over does it. He's the best horse in the world and I don't want him to hurt himself.He also doesn't act his age at all, he is the leader of the small heard and will boss around my 14 year old 16hh TB, it's so funny to see him chasing them around when they piss him off... I get my feed from our local agway, but if you go on their website Triple Crown Senior Formula | www.triplecrownfeed.com there is a place at the top that says deals and locations and you can enter your zip code and it will tell you where they sell it
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-23-2011, 09:27 PM
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I prefer to start simple and build from there. First, I would thoroughly deworm him. Use a product with Praziquantel to get rid of tapeworms.

I would get him on a good senior feed like Triple Crown or Progressive. Follow the bag's recommendations. Split the total in to 2-3 feedings a day.

For his hay, I would go with Timothy/Alfalfa mixed hay cubes. Wet them down and let them sit until they break up. Feed 8-10 lbs (dry weight) a day split in to 2-4 feedings.

If you have pasture, make sure he's turned out for as much as he can.

Use a weight tape and track his progress. Take his weight the same day of the week at the same time of day once a week. Make sure the tape is in the same spot.

If you don't see any progress after 3-4 weeks, I would consider adding the following to his senior feed; 2 cups of flax meal daily (quality fat calories), a good probiotic like Fastrack, and increase the hay cubes to 10-12 lbs a day.

It is normal for senior horses to lose some condition/muscle, but it should be gradual.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 07:45 AM
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I'm just going to agree with what's already been said.

Feed more hay if they're eating it, and feed soaked alfalfa hay cubes three times a day. Added a bunch of weight to multiple horses by doing this.

Again, I agree- make sure he's on a good senior feed and possibly up it. But the calories are coming from the roughage so try the hay cubes.
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