Putting weight on a horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-19-2009, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Question Putting weight on a horse

I think my mare looks a little thin and I am starting to be able to see her ribs now. They get more and more prominent but she isn't emaciated. I do not want it to get to that point. I have heard that depending on what you give your horse to gain weight, they will put it on differently. She needs to gain weight all over. What is the best feed/way to do that? Should she get more hay, grain, vitamins, etc.

Right now she is being lunged every other day and is turned out to a large pasture on days she is not lunged. Her feeding is 8 oz of grain in morning and night and 1 flake of hay three times a day, unless she is out to pasture then it is 1 flake twice a day. Plus I give her vitamins as directed for her weight per the directions. She is a 14 hand Arab who currently weighs around 800 lbs (per the vet check when I first got her but she has lost weight since). She was underweight when I got her due to no muscle and that is changing because I'm working her. Before she was just standing around in a stall, no pasture turnout. However, now she is getting a ton more exercise and I think her old feeding routine isn't giving her sufficient calories.

Thank you for your help.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-19-2009, 04:03 PM
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if you are only giving her 8ox(1/2lb) unless it is a raitonbalancer she is lacking nutritionally and it is poosibly just not enough calories for her... what is the feed she is getting?? You can add beet pulp for calories, alfalfa cubes/pellets, rice bran ... but if she is lackin nutrition she may not use it properly ..

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-19-2009, 04:33 PM
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How much does the hay weigh? For a 800 pound horse she needs at least 12 pounds and that's for an easy keeper, up to 20 pounds for a hard keeper. Three flakes a day doesn't sound like enough. What kind of hay is it?

I'm in BC, just above you in Oregon. There is nothing in the way of nutrients in our grass right now it's dormant.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-19-2009, 05:37 PM
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We have always followed this simple method.

For more weight, you want more good quality hay. With enough hay, many horses will even get fat.
For more muscle, you want more feed AND excercise. Check the feed bag for recommendations based on how hard you work the horse. A lightly worked horse requires little grain.

And patience...it takes time for a horse to put on weight.

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post #5 of 16 Old 01-19-2009, 05:38 PM
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What KIND of hay is she getting? If it's grass hay or bermuda, you need to DOUBLE her hay intake. My horses get quality fertilized bermuda. To keep their weight on in the winter, they get about 7-8 flakes a day EACH (25-30 lbs of hay). These are "normal" 15.2h horses.

Also, that little amount of grain isn't doing her any good. You're better off to ditch it completely and feed some whole oats mixed with alfalfa pellets and a vitamin supplement.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-19-2009, 06:06 PM
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I would say that 8 oz. Is definitely not enough. My horse is much larger, but just to keep weight on him, he was fed 3/4 of a small bucket twice a day of pellets. (I think Southern States.) I'd say it is about a gallon sized bucket. He also got two large flakes of grass hay twice a day as well. He does not get as much now because he's on pasture grass and not being used in lessons anymore, but that's what he was getting before going to pasture. He's also 16.2 hands and a thoroughbred. He was also being used a couple of times a week in lessons. Hope that helps a little. I do know that they added hay cubes to their pellets as well to help with extra energy. They might help with weight gain too.

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post #7 of 16 Old 01-20-2009, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G and K's Mom View Post
How much does the hay weigh? For a 800 pound horse she needs at least 12 pounds and that's for an easy keeper, up to 20 pounds for a hard keeper. Three flakes a day doesn't sound like enough. What kind of hay is it?

I'm in BC, just above you in Oregon. There is nothing in the way of nutrients in our grass right now it's dormant.

I don't know how much the bales/flakes weigh. I do know it is grown on the property in Troutdale and I don't know the type. They grow it during peak season though, no now as it is way to wet here. The only thing our hay lacks is Selenium and another thing that I can't remember at the moment but her vitamins are giving her both of those items. Our pasture grass is the same way as yours during the winter. Plus, there isn't much in it.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-20-2009, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
We have always followed this simple method.

For more weight, you want more good quality hay. With enough hay, many horses will even get fat.
For more muscle, you want more feed AND excercise. Check the feed bag for recommendations based on how hard you work the horse. A lightly worked horse requires little grain.

And patience...it takes time for a horse to put on weight.

What exactly do you mean by feed. I DEFINITELY need more muscle on her. Eventually, she will be used for endurance racing and hopefully carting but right now she isn't even broke. So, that will take a while.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-20-2009, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VACountryGirl View Post
I would say that 8 oz. Is definitely not enough. My horse is much larger, but just to keep weight on him, he was fed 3/4 of a small bucket twice a day of pellets. (I think Southern States.) I'd say it is about a gallon sized bucket. He also got two large flakes of grass hay twice a day as well. He does not get as much now because he's on pasture grass and not being used in lessons anymore, but that's what he was getting before going to pasture. He's also 16.2 hands and a thoroughbred. He was also being used a couple of times a week in lessons. Hope that helps a little. I do know that they added hay cubes to their pellets as well to help with extra energy. They might help with weight gain too.

Do you think I should double her grain. This is the grain they are feeding in the 8 oz plus I also am feeding her a supplement (Horse Guard I think it is called):

Dixie Grain by Union Mills
Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein, not less than..... 11%
Crude Fat, not less than..... 2.5%
Crude Fiber, not more than..... 13%
Calcium, Minimum %..... .35%
Calcium, Maximum %..... .6%
Phosphorous, Minimum%..... .35%
Copper, Minimum ppm..... 22
Selenium, Minimum ppm..... .4
Zinc, Minimum ppm..... 60
Vitamin A, IU/LB..... 875

Ingredients
Grain products, forage products, plant protein products, processed grain by-products, cane molasses, salt, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B-12 supplement, menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite, riboflavin supplement, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, choline chloride, folic acid supplement, biotin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamin mononitrate, zinc sulfate, magnesium oxide, magnesium oxide, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, potassium iodine & cobalt carbonate

Is there something I should be feeding in addition to this or instead of this?
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-20-2009, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979 View Post
What KIND of hay is she getting? If it's grass hay or bermuda, you need to DOUBLE her hay intake. My horses get quality fertilized bermuda. To keep their weight on in the winter, they get about 7-8 flakes a day EACH (25-30 lbs of hay). These are "normal" 15.2h horses.

Also, that little amount of grain isn't doing her any good. You're better off to ditch it completely and feed some whole oats mixed with alfalfa pellets and a vitamin supplement.
Thank you. I am feeding supplements. I believe they are called Horse Guard. Also, I posted the nutrition info for the grain they are feeding out at the barn.
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