Rehabbing a skinny OTTB - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By deserthorsewoman
  • 1 Post By Janasse
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-27-2013, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Illinois
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Rehabbing a skinny OTTB

Ok so I just got a 3 year old OTTB who is pretty severely underweight. He was slow and they didn't want to feed him apparently! Well he won't have to worry about that anymore but I would like some advice.

According to equibase he only ran twice, both this year, and he last ran a few months ago. He came last and second to last. He's physically sound and sane, vet checked him over. He said he needs weight and muscle though. He's so skinny.

I'm giving him 1 scoop senior feed in the am and pm with a scoop of cool calories each. I also have been giving him as much hay as he wants and hand grazing him in good grass for about 1 hour total everyday. He spends the day in a large pasture with another OTTB without much grass. I am also lunging him for about 15 minutes at a trot to help build muscle.

Does anyone have any suggestions or comments? I really want him to put on weight and don't have too much experience with OTTBs. He's got such a sweet personality, everyone loves his lazy attitude :)
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-27-2013, 01:20 AM
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Has he been checked for ulcers? Teeth?
Free choice hay is good. A couple of flakes of alfalfa will help, not only for weight, but also to build muscle. I wouldn't give senior feed. Most of them are formulated as complete feeds for horses which are not able to eat hay, so they're relatively low calorie, most of them just slightly higher than hay. I'm also not a great friend of CC...dehydrated vegetable fat. I'd pick a feed with at least 6% fat, 8% being better, and NSC 20% or lower. First ingredient not being grain, if at all possible. I'd also add 4-6 oz ground flax, for extra fat and the good omega's, since he's only grazing very little.
I'd start out with the minimum recommended amount of the feed, plus 29
0%, and give it about a month, taking pictures now and in a month.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-27-2013, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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I second on not using senior feed. I use Safe Choice Original and love it. As far as supplements for weight gain I have had great results with Smartpaks Smartgain supplement. I had my 21 yr old Arabian on it when she dropped weight one winter and this helped her put the weight back on without becoming a hot head. If I remember it wasn't all the expensive either. :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-27-2013, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Illinois
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I forgot to mention I'm giving him half a scoop of oats twice a day as well. Vet checked teeth and everything, hes ok, just needs weight. (He also told me sometimes if a horse just doesn't run fast, they wont feed him much until they get rid of them. He just ran in low level claimers so I could see the likelihood. Plus the trader I got him from... Doesn't surprise me) And I am a huge fan of Cool Cal, I've had awesome results multiple times with it and horses lick it all up. My hay is 25/75 alfalfa/grass hay so that should be enough I think as well. And this horse is anything but hot! I can't believe how lazy and mellow he is... I know why he lost everything

"Don't turn you disabilities into a crutch, turn them into legs and run with them"
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-27-2013, 11:42 AM
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I've seen that too, feeding less, or better, cutting sweetfeed, but not upping hay. My last one was that way. He had ulcers, stomach and hindgut. His poop smelled acidic....took about 4 months to get him back to normal, and he grew two inches, too.
Safe Choice would be okay, tho slightly above 20% NSC. If you can get Purina, the Strategy Healthy Edge is quite nice. I'd still up the alfalfa or add soaked alfalfa pellets to the " grain". Could make all the difference.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-27-2013, 11:50 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
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get some aloe vera for ulcers, I would start adding flax and oil to his feed. We have rehabbed lots, and it was oats, oil, flax, soaked beet pulp and constant access to free choice hay or grass, preferably with some alfalfa(slowly built up of course).

The first thing though is ulcer treatment, a HUGE portion of off the track thoroughbreds have them. we have had great success with just good feed, constant hay or grass, 24/7 turn out and aloe vera. This has been very successful on some severe cases.
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