Thank you for the advice. My vet has scoped my horse along with every other test there is. I was a Vet Tech before I found out I was sick. My vet says my horse is healthy and has no problems including ulcers. I let her out all the time and sometimes I take her to another barn across the street because they let me put her in the pasture. I ride and lunge her almost everyday. Sometimes my illness gets worse and that is the only time I can't play with her. She has toys and her radio, but I guess she is hard headed about cribbing. When I let her out here she still would rather crib than play. I have 2 dogs in the yard with her that guard her and they also all play sometimes. I assume she picked this cribbing habit up from her previous owners beating and starving her. She gets almost a whole bale of hay everyday! I was told to give her all the hay she wants, so I do. My boyfriend is going to try a tarp over the rails first, I think I read that in here somewhere. I guess we'll see if it works first. I appreciate all of yalls help and if you can think of anything else, please let me know. Thanks To All, Scorpiosblueeyes
For what the horse needs, she is not spoiled, she is confined. She needs to be turned out 22 hours a day in a good sized paddock or pasture with other horses. This living arangement will "fix" 90% of the cribbers out there (given some time). Riding daily obviously doesn't cut it with your girl, she needs to be at a facility where she can be turned out.
As for weight gain, take her OFF the sweet feed. Any kind of sweet feed and most pelleted feeds contain ingrediants that can cause negative metabolic changes in horses, and will even cause some to LOSE weight. I went through this with my Anglo Arabian gelding (TBxArab). We were stuffing him full of every kind of feed and supplement imaginable to get him to gain weight. What finally worked was a SIMPLE diet!, as follows:
- Free choice GOOD quality grass hay.
- 5-6 lbs of Alfalfa pellets.
- 1.5-2 lbs of Stabailized Rice Bran.
- Source Focus WT.
- Purina's Free Balance
You can change the pellets to alfalfa cubes, chopped hay, or flakes of alfalfa. The Source supplement is a probiotic that helps the horse digest her feed properly. The Free Balance is a supplement for horses getting no fortified grain. You can also use Select II or Smart Pak's Smart Vite. All three are good.
Once she's up to a good weight, you can discontinue the Source, reduce the rice bran to 0.5 lbs, and reduce the Alfalfa pellets to 3 lbs a day. If she still gains weight, you can cute out the rice bran. My gelding no longer gets rice bran and he's doing very well now! He gets less food than I ever thought possible! Lol
Honestly, if she were my horse, I would probably turn her out in an electrical fenced in area (as large as possible) with a couple of logs for chewing on, and only bring her in when the weather turns bad. Even in some weather, you could use a blanket rather than her stall. I would also give her free choice hay at all times (if that is possible). You also might consider getting a companion for her if possible. If another horse is too much, maybe a miniature horse or a goat, or a pony?? It sounds like room might be an issue though?
As for weight gain...different things work well for different horses. Really hight quality hay can sometimes do it, Nutrena safe choice worked well recently for my stallion who was struggling with weight, alfalfa hay or pellets have worked well for horses I know, etc. That might require a little trial and error (just of course carefully and slowly to prevent upsetting diet.
My horse CJ, is a hard keeper and he is a nervous eater from being on the race track. I have tried diff. Weight supplements and the only thing that really worked for him was Corn Oil. Like from the grocery store. Its quick, easy and cheap! I wet his pellets in it every night and it has really helped him hold weight. And it makes the coat nice and shiney too!
I am told that my tb does it because of boredom. You often see him in the paddock 'wind sucking' on a tree, when he is waiting to be feed. Although he isnt presistant, he has his good and bad days. He is ottb, and he was raced in the city, where they were stabled almost 24/7. He chews on the wood in the stable, or day yard after being ridden, or again eating... Im very concerned. Thanks in advance for some reasoning and advice.
The best thing to do would be to ask your vet to scope him to see if he has ulcers. However, remember that scoping a horse isn't 100% accurate as some ulcers occur in areas where the scope won't reach. The other options would be to just start treatment for ulcers and see if he improves (called diagnosis based upon response to treatment) or to try giving antacids top-dressed on his feed or just before a ride and see if he stops doing it so much. If he responds to treatment or antacids, then go for a full 28 day course of treatment with omeprazole, ranitidine or cimetidine.
Management changes for horses with ulcers or suspected of having ulcers include as much turnout as possible, free choice forage, cutting out grains from the diet and going with forage based feeds or ration balancers and then providing extra energy through fat sources like veg oil.
There are several antacid products on the market for horses. U-7 comes in both a powder and liquid form. But you can just look for equine supplements marketed for helping with ulcers.
There aren't any real side effects with them. It's kinda like us taking Tums. However, there is some concern that they may cause an acid rebound and actually make the stomach more acidic a few hours after they are used. They also only buffer the stomach acid for about 2 hours so they won't completely clear ulcer symptoms nor allow the ulcers to heal but they are helpful for times when ulcers are likely to cause more pain---when eating concentrates or when working.
If they improve your horse's problem, then you should talk to your vet about actually treating for ulcers.