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Putting on weight while building muscle?

This is a discussion on Putting on weight while building muscle? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How to put weight and muscle on a belgian horse
  • Cenex alfalfa pellets

 
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    08-08-2010, 08:14 AM
  #11
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by drafts4ever    
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).
can you rBO wet his feed with the rice bran in it?

They say drafts are suppose to have Low NSC(Sugars and starches) higher fat diets... so if the feed has "grains" in it that needs to be elimanated and replaced with something else..

Have you had his teeth check??

And you still need something for vitamins/minerals and amino acids..
     
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    08-08-2010, 11:31 AM
  #12
Yearling
I would never trot downhill, this is very unsafe and not a common training method from what I know. I always take the slowest walk down a hill I can, and then w/t/c up hill.
     
    08-08-2010, 01:29 PM
  #13
Cat
Green Broke
Since he is full draft - I would look into a EPSM diet. Even if he does not have EPSM (he could - that may be one of the reasons why he is having issues with gaining muscle mass and its a high likely hood since he is draft) - the diet is still wonderful for building muscle mass. For the most part it can be obtained by feeding forage and then instead of grain using alfalfa pellets and oil. While your vet and trainer are saying "no" to oil - have they actually researched EPSM in draft horses and how this diet can really help draft horses? If I were you - I would do a little research myself.
     
    08-08-2010, 02:23 PM
  #14
Trained
As far as muscle, the biggest bang for your buck is actually the safest gait. A good marching walk up and down hills will create an etched monster in no time. It just has be a good, forward connected walk.

For weight, I second rice bran. Most horses love it and it gives them an awesome coat to go along with it.
     
    08-08-2010, 02:50 PM
  #15
Started
Protein is your muscle builder

Fat is your fat builder

Sugars and starches are you energy... too many sugars and starches cause issues most horses get more then enough from hay or pasture
     
    08-08-2010, 03:16 PM
  #16
Cat
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggysue    
Protein is your muscle builder

Fat is your fat builder

Sugars and starches are you energy... too many sugars and starches cause issues most horses get more then enough from hay or pasture
Research has shown that many Drafts and other horses that are prone to EPSM/PSSM can't use sugars and starches as energy. Fat is not just a fat builder - if utilized correctly in these situations it becomes your energy source.

Here are a couple articles that may help in further research for the OP:
Rural Heritage - EPSM Diet Goals

Beth Valentine's Recommended EPSM Diets

Feeding Draft Horses: The EPSM Diet - EC Magazine Fall 2005

Search for research conducted by Beth A. Valentine, DVM since she is the leading researcher on these issues.
     
    08-08-2010, 03:48 PM
  #17
Started
Cat mine is general...

Proteins help build neck and topline and all other muscles...

Fats like Cat said are energy... and tend to put weight on hips and belly and butt :)

Most horses don't process sugars and starches correctly and it causes many many issues even without EPSM/PPSM involed.. digestive issues, hoof issues, skin issues, and the list goes on and on . It has even been shown to promote the growth of the fungus that causes rain rot and mud fever :)
     
    08-08-2010, 05:23 PM
  #18
Green Broke
More Alfalfa pellets. Alfalfa has quality protein which will help with muscle development, and lots of calories for weight gain. Double his Alfalfa pellet ration for 30 days and see how that does.

Amino acids are also important for building muscle. Alfalfa is high in Lysine, but he also needs others. Uckele makes a Tri-Amino product which is very good for muscle development. I would put him on a half-dose of that for 30 days and see how he does. Tri-Amino

Riding is definitely important. An hour of hard work 4-5 days a week is not going to undo your weight gain on him, and will definitely help with muscle building. If you have trail access, I'd do hill work with him 1-2 days a week, walking and trotting up hills. Walking up hills builds shoulder and back muscle. Trotting up builds the hindquarters. If you don't have hills, then raised trot poles while asking the horse to stretch down with his neck will help build topline and chest/rump muscle.
     
    08-08-2010, 06:44 PM
  #19
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
More Alfalfa pellets. Alfalfa has quality protein which will help with muscle development, and lots of calories for weight gain. Double his Alfalfa pellet ration for 30 days and see how that does.

Amino acids are also important for building muscle. Alfalfa is high in Lysine, but he also needs others. Uckele makes a Tri-Amino product which is very good for muscle development. I would put him on a half-dose of that for 30 days and see how he does. Tri-Amino

Riding is definitely important. An hour of hard work 4-5 days a week is not going to undo your weight gain on him, and will definitely help with muscle building. If you have trail access, I'd do hill work with him 1-2 days a week, walking and trotting up hills. Walking up hills builds shoulder and back muscle. Trotting up builds the hindquarters. If you don't have hills, then raised trot poles while asking the horse to stretch down with his neck will help build topline and chest/rump muscle.
Great info there! I'm in the same process as the OP with my mare. She needs another 150ish lbs, but a lot of that will be muscle.
     
    08-08-2010, 07:36 PM
  #20
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by mliponoga    
I would never trot downhill, this is very unsafe and not a common training method from what I know. I always take the slowest walk down a hill I can, and then w/t/c up hill.
And that's my experience as well, I just don't feel safe trotting down especially on an unbalanced horse. Trotting up I can do even cantering or galloping but to build up his hind end I'll stick to walking and backing and later on maybe a very very slow jog down a gradual slop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggysue    
can you rBO wet his feed with the rice bran in it?

They say drafts are suppose to have Low NSC(Sugars and starches) higher fat diets... so if the feed has "grains" in it that needs to be elimanated and replaced with something else..

Have you had his teeth check??

And you still need something for vitamins/minerals and amino acids..
His teeth have been checked and they're not too bad, they're due for a november appointment. He's on Millennium Gold as a suppliment (I think that's what it's called.
As for the grain, if it's not in with what he has he won't eat what he has. So if the beat pulp and grain are not together he won't eat the beat pulp. But he won't eat either if they're mixed together, the grain has to be on top. I could try putting some molasses in instead but wouldn't that make him really sticky?
Grain and Rise bran though, he'll drool it out and then sulk in the back of his stall. He's a very strange boy with a not so good past. Not sure where along the line he picked up these habits though.
     

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