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New to the forum - Need advice on adding weight to an old horse ...

This is a discussion on New to the forum - Need advice on adding weight to an old horse ... within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        11-27-2010, 12:38 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Arrow New to the forum - Need advice on adding weight to an old horse ...

    Hello everyone, First of all - let me introduce myself. I'm new here. My name is Julie (if you haven't figured that out already;) ) and I'm in PA (ditto). I've had horses on and off throughout my entire life, so owning/ caring for a horse is nothing new to me. We are getting an old (19yrs old) Standardbred horse for our daughter for Christmas. He's supposed to be in good health and has all of his teeth. His current owner rescued him ... she says that he does good with his food and doesn't drop it out of his mouth, and his teeth are fine. Yet, he's thin. She said that he was a race horse in Canada, then once his owners were done with him, amish got him. They used him to pull their buggy. Then some how after that his current owner got him. She said he was really thin and had gained weight since she has had him, but he still needs to gain more. She tried him on beat pulp, but says that he hates the stuff and will NOT eat it. She has other horses and has been rescueing horses for a while, plus a friend of mine is friends with HER and has been for a while ... so I trust the lady and believe she is honest about everything she's telling me. And so if she says he simply won't eat beat pulp - when then I'm not going to buy it and try it for nothing ... kwIm?

    So I need another solution to help put weight on him. Something that he won't turn his nose up to.

    Can someone give me some ideas. I really want to build him up ... I would like to be able to ride him in the spring. He's rideable now according to his current owner, but I doubt I'll be doing much winter riding (live in PA - gets VERY cold here in the winter!). So I figured I'd build him up over the winter and then come spring we'd start hitting the trails.

    Any advice ?? It has to be cheap/affordable.
         
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        11-27-2010, 02:13 AM
      #2
    Foal
    Hmmm ... an hour and a half late at night and my post already made it's way to the bottom of the pile, with no comments. Must be a face paced forum ! Guess you all do alot of bumpin around here

    Could someone please give me advice ? I would like to be prepared when he comes home to us ... which will be sometime within the next 4 weeks. So I want to have everything bought and ready for him. Some stuff I'm buying online at jeffers ... so I'd like to get it ordered soon so it has time for shipping, etc. and still gets to me in time.

    I was thinking about purchasing "Weight Builder" ... but was hoping to get advice here first to see what you all recommend. I would hate to buy it and then find out it's not so great at adding weight. I'd rather get some good advice and put my money towards something that I know will work ... wether it be weight builder or something else.

    So please reply and help my out :)
         
        11-27-2010, 02:28 AM
      #3
    Trained
    Hopefully Peggysue will come and comment on this.

    I have some questions to help get some more answers sorry if I missed anything in your post:

    She said his teeth are fine but have have they been checked by an equine dentist and did you verify this?

    What is he being fed? How much and when?

    What is his work schedule like if any, is he turned out with other horses?

    Has he been checked for ulcers?
         
        11-27-2010, 02:38 AM
      #4
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
    Hopefully Peggysue will come and comment on this.

    I have some questions to help get some more answers sorry if I missed anything in your post:

    She said his teeth are fine but have have they been checked by an equine dentist and did you verify this?

    What is he being fed? How much and when?

    What is his work schedule like if any, is he turned out with other horses?

    Has he been checked for ulcers?
    He had a complete vet visit - teeth checked and all. Everything was good ... just needed to put on some weight.
    Currently she's feeding him 9lbs of sweet feed per day plus hay (not sure if the hay is limited or not).
    He's not being worked at all right now that I know of ... just taking it easy hangin out with the other horses she has.
    I "doubt?" she had him checked for ulcers. She just simply had a regular vet exam done ... and everything was good besides needing to put on some weight.
         
        11-27-2010, 02:42 AM
      #5
    Trained
    First off I would dump the sweet feed. It's like candy for horses. It has minimal nutritional value and is not good for weight building. Is it possible to put him on free choice hay when he gets to your place? Do you know what type of hay it is and if it has been certified or tested?

    I know at the clinic I worked at our run of the mill tests didn't include a check for ulcers. They can make it harder for a horse to keep or gain weight because of the pain they cause. Did he have a fecal done and is he UTD on worming?

    The BEST thing for building weight is hay. Lots and lots of free choice, good quality hay. I won't recommend other supplements and weight builders because there are people that have used them more than me that understand them better but the first thing I would do is wean him off the sweet feed and always have high quality hay in front of him.
         
        11-27-2010, 02:52 AM
      #6
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
    First off I would dump the sweet feed. It's like candy for horses. It has minimal nutritional value and is not good for weight building. Is it possible to put him on free choice hay when he gets to your place? Do you know what type of hay it is and if it has been certified or tested?

    I know at the clinic I worked at our run of the mill tests didn't include a check for ulcers. They can make it harder for a horse to keep or gain weight because of the pain they cause. Did he have a fecal done and is he UTD on worming?

    The BEST thing for building weight is hay. Lots and lots of free choice, good quality hay. I won't recommend other supplements and weight builders because there are people that have used them more than me that understand them better but the first thing I would do is wean him off the sweet feed and always have high quality hay in front of him.
    I was thinking of dumping the sweet feed and going to a complete senior feed ... would that be a waste of my money ? I mean - if I should put more effort into buying him unlimited hay - than I'll do that.
    I don't know if he had a fecal done ... I'm assuming that he didn't have one done, and was just dewormed. Because she said that she dewormed him with "Zimectrim Gold and followed up three days later with Ivermevtrim" (copied and pasted from her email to me) (I think she meant Ivermectin?) .

    If the supplements won't do what hay can - I won't waste my money on them. I don't have alot of $$ to throw around ... so I want it to go to the RIGHT place. So if the right place is HAY ... then I'd rather just worry about having the $$ for free choice good hay. But if a supplement would make a big difference - then it would be worth it to me.
         
        11-27-2010, 03:06 AM
      #7
    Trained
    Hay will be your best bet and I would try that before you put him on supplements or grains.

    If he has all his teeth and they are worn properly he should be fine. MOST horses don't need grain, especially if they are not in work.

    Also, not all the complete/senior feeds are created equally and you'd want to be making sure that you were really getting the most bang for your buck. Again, there are people that understand feed analysis better than me so hopefully they post but I would try hay first.

    Do you have a big enough pasture to give him a big round bale? I really think that would be your best bet. Ask around and see if you can find certified hay from a good provider -- they're worth their weight in gold. I wouldnt waste my money on grain and supplements before you try that.

    As far as the worming goes, I don't know why she would work him so close together? I worm every three months (you can also do a daily wormer). I have never heard of worming them that close together. Maybe someone else knows more about that than me.
         
        11-27-2010, 03:38 AM
      #8
    Foal
    Ok. Thanks for all the good advice !!! :)
         
        11-27-2010, 03:43 AM
      #9
    Foal
    Here's a picture from his current owner ... she said this picture was taken 2 weeks ago.
         
        11-27-2010, 11:14 AM
      #10
    Banned
    I would say most horse need grain, I've been told from a vet that even my fat horse needs the grain for the nutrients and vitamins in it. And if im not mistaken standardbreds and thoroughbred are not horses that can just be left to pasture, they will get skinny in a heart beat. I've had a couple thoroughbreds and a standardbred cross and they are hard keepers. I'd recommend something like sentinal senior especially if he's 19 years old. The sentinal performance sgood also because it has high fat and protein but is low in sugar and startch so it won't make him hyper. The vet also said free choice hay and pasture help also.
         

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