Putting on weight while building muscle?

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Putting on weight while building muscle?

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    08-07-2010, 12:58 AM
Question Putting on weight while building muscle?

We taped Sammy yesterday and it turns out he's 18.3 instead of 18.2 and the weight tape says about 1500 which is WAY under where we thought he was at which was 1700. The vet says he needs to reach at least 2000 including muscle.
My question is how do I put on muscle while building up his weight?
He's on full day turn out in a grassy pasture 9am-5pm. At 7:30am he gets 3 flakes of orchard grass hay along with 1 pounds of beatpulp, half a coffee can of alfalfa pellets (sorry not sure the measurement but maybe 2 cups?) and a quarter cup of a non hot grain. He gets the same for dinner.
His riding routine is walk and warm up for 5 minutes, trot both directions for ten minutes, canter once both directions once (about 2 minutes) trot working on bending and connecting through the back in circles, work on backing under saddle during the cool off for about 5-10 minutes, working on backing and in hand work for another 5 minutes.
I've started adding trot poles in circles, cones to for figure8's and more bending and the vet says he should be good to do low cavaleties once or twice a week.

He doesn't get sweaty sweaty but he does get damp. I'm afraid if I work him too hard it will get rid of the weight I've already put on him which is only 150-200lbs and he needs all of it. The vet and my trainer have been encouraging me to work him into a decent sweat (not a lather).
He's getting wormed again soon, his chiro and teeth are going to be done as well.

Any ideas? He has a lot of filling out through his whole body but most noticable through his ribs and butt.

I'll get a recent picture of him tomorrow.
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    08-07-2010, 01:09 AM
I think you are on the right track. At this point in his rehab he needs miles, not meals. When I saw the older pics of him, he looked like he was ready for some real work. The weight comes on them slower this way and that is a good thing. If you put 300# on him in a month, when you started working him, he would probably lose most of it at once. This way...he is gaining 20 with feed and grass and losing 10 with work.
    08-07-2010, 05:30 AM
I would say you're on the right track as well, it takes time to build a horse up this much. If you want to work him more, you can feed him more to make up for the extra work. With time though I'm sure you'll see that he is moving in the right direction.
    08-07-2010, 06:36 AM
I hope so, I'd hate to see him go in the wrong direction. The girl that is half leasing him from me has decided to take lessons on him as well so tomorrow I think I'll send her over more trot poles and circles and really work that hind end under him. Hopefully his hips fill out, he has a dimpled apple butt at the moment instead of a nice rounded one.
    08-07-2010, 07:18 AM
Our general rule is higher protein feed+hill work for building muscle and high quality hay for adding weight.
Keep in mind also that weight tapes provide an approximate weight based on the girth measurement and can easily be more than 10% off. I prefer to use one of the body scoring systems to track condition.
    08-07-2010, 04:07 PM
Ok that makes me feel a bit better by the weight tape I couldn't image that he weighed less than my girl! I try to do hill work with him with back up a hill and trotting and cantering up a hill but I can't do it down the hill because he'll fall right on his face (he's already done it once) our ground is just too uneven for him to do it safely so I'd have to take him somewhere else for that. We aren't too hilly on the property either, it's a very gradual slope but it's not flat either so I've been doing what I can with that until I can get him out somewhere else.
    08-07-2010, 04:27 PM
What is the non hot grain??

I would look into a ration balancer and possibly some rice bran ... I am assuming from his size that he is draft or draft cross??

Free choice hay he should have food in front of him 24/7 if the vet wants him at 2000lbs then he needs about 25 to 30 lbs of forage a day

The diet you have him on is a good start but I would replace the "grain" with a raiton balancer for the nutrition and that will help with muscle and balancing his system
    08-08-2010, 02:31 AM
He's a full belgian draft. I have no idea what the grain is, all the horses in the barn get it and the barn owner buys it from Cenex in bulk with the beat pulp.

We can't do free choice hay, he's only in his stall in the morning and at night for breakfast and dinner and he gets about 20-30 pounds of hay per day depending on the density of the bale. He gets way more than the other horses and he always has some left over in the morning. He's on grassy daily turn out from 9-5 with other geldings on 10 acres but he doesn't get to stay out there the whole time I bring him in around 3 to ride and work him.
I'll check with the rice bran, he didn't do very good with it in the past so we took him off. He just either wouldn't eat it or he'd eat it and nothing else and then drool it all back out.

I asked about corn oil and my vet and trainer said absolutely not. He's a picky eater but he loves fruits and veggies so it's always an experiment trying to figure out what he'll eat and sometimes he likes two things separately and not together (found that out with beat pulp and grain, grain HAS to be on top or he won't eat it).
    08-08-2010, 07:32 AM
Originally Posted by drafts4ever    
I try to do hill work with him with back up a hill and trotting and cantering up a hill but I can't do it down the hill because he'll fall right on his face (he's already done it once) our ground is just too uneven for him to do it safely so I'd have to take him somewhere else for that. We aren't too hilly on the property either, it's a very gradual slope but it's not flat either so I've been doing what I can with that until I can get him out somewhere else.
Even small hills or a field with a gradual slope is good. You would be surprised at how much additional work that generates. As far as going downhill and worrying about falling on his face, this is very typical. Going downhill requires considerably more strength in the front end, and that is not where most folks work their horses...that is part of what is good about hill work. Ride him at a walk down the hills, as slow as you need to in order to keep you and him safe. You'll see over time a big improvement in how balanced and surefooted he'll become as you strengthen the front end.
    08-08-2010, 08:15 AM
Last time we trotted down a hill he skidded on his knees and slammed his nose into the ground from stepping in a lose hole. I'll walk him up and down and back him up hills until he's more comfortable with it. I can also talk to a friend who's a frequent trail rider and see if she can suggest any place more hilly to take him.

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