Rescued a TB mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Rescued a TB mare

I rescued a thoroughbred made about six months ago from some ungodly conditions. I have had her for six months now and cannot get her to gain weight. She has had her teeth floated, been wormed, and completely checked out by the vet. He puts her age at roughly 12-14yrs old. This is my first thoroughbred to own. Is there a trick or something I am missing to get weight on them? I am limited on grazing but she is getting fed a mixture of oats/equine senior/and beet pulp and gets coastal hay. Appreciate any insight to help this poor girl.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 07:03 PM
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Has she been checked for ulcers? And have you tried a probiotic?

I'm not a big fan of daily probiotics, but you might try a dose or two of something like ProBios paste.

Diet-wise, does she get free choice hay? Beet pulp is a high calorie, high fiber product that is good for weight gain. How much is she getting, by weight?

Adding fat would probably help. Im currently using MoorGlo, which is a combination of flax seed and rice bran. I have used rice bran by itself on the past with good results. A lot of people swear by black oil sunflower seeds, but I've never tried them. I'm also currently using CocoSoya oil, and I love it. The label says it helps with feed utilization.

Does she get free choice salt, and a vitamin/mineral supplement?

Hope I helped.
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Last edited by aforred; 07-25-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 09:12 PM
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Our old TB stallion has an impossible time keeping the weight on, we put him on ricebran and brewer's yeast. Tons of hay is great but try soaking up some hay cubes for her, our old man gets 2 quarts soaked 4 times a day on top of his 3 meals of crushed oats, crushed barley, crushed corn, alfalfa pellets, then Ricebran, Brewer's yeast and MSM.
He's been doing well, he's incredibly prone to colic so we have to split his feed into many meals and soak all his hay and cubes.

Hope that's a little helpful, good luck!
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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No I have not had her checked for ulcers. Are there any symptoms? She seems to be very peppy she has energy and doesn't act strangely. She has taught my other horses to crib though. I haven't thought of Probiotics, I will give it a shot.

She does not have free choice on the hay. I feed it twice daily. I am feeding the beet pulp a little under the recommended dosage, I am afraid to overdo it and cause her more problems. She has open access to a mineral block and goes through them quite often. Thanks for the tips i will give them a shot. :)
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 09:36 PM
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That'd do it, she definitely needs more than 2 feedings of hay, assuming you're feeding just a flake or two, they do much better on smaller feedings more often. If she's prone to colicking then get her on hay cubes (timothy and alfalfa mix) 2quarts well soaked 3-4 times a day. You don't wanna flood her body with new stuff but if you've had her for a whileonthis and she's not picking up weight you need to up the anti.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 10:30 PM
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Free choice hay is the best thing for weight gain. Some alfalfa also helps.

A lot of cribbers have ulcers, so you might discuss that with your vet.

Bottom line, try to feed enough hay at a time that there's a little left when you feed again. Add a little alfalfa if you can (pellets or cubes are fine if that's all you can find). For some reason, it seems to really help.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 10:49 PM
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Alfalfa is great for ulcer-prone horses, something about the calcium balance in it helps settle the tummy
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 11:20 PM
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The exact same thing happened with our TB mare, pretty much same age and situation, except for that she was also loosing weight.

What we did once we determined that she had ulcers (which took a scope to finally find) was we put her on SmartPak as well as a home remedy (which r actually helped the most) of Aloe and Slippery Elm, and took her off of all of her grains since they're harsh on the stomache and just have her free choice alfalfa hay, unlimited moving around and grazing in a pasture, and a mixture of rice bran and supplimental pellets twice a day. Within a month she had gained 70 pounds of the 250 that she needed and was looking and feeling MUCH better.

The funny thing is, she didnt act like she was hurting either except for not wanting to eat. She was just as high energy and sweet as always.

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-26-2012, 03:37 AM
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Free choice hay, with a percentage being alfalfa would be the first thing to do. A horse should have either free access or little & often feeding of forage. It's particularly bad for a horse's system to go hungry for any length of time.

Considering replacing oats & 'senior feed' with something healthier & lower starch would be the next thing, especially if you can only feed 1-3 meals daily. Grainy or otherwise high starch/sugar feeds aren't great for horses generally & one of the problems they can cause is hind gut acidosis & ulcers. Oats are relatively low starch, for grain, & about the easiest for a horse to digest if you are going to feed grain or such(*corn's about the worst & shouldn't be fed to a horse at all IMO).

Checking/treating for ulcers would be the next thing, related to above. If she's stabled, getting her out 24/7 or at least as much as you can will also help her digestion & health. A good nutritional supplement is also a good idea, as she may not be lacking food, but the correct balance of nutrition to utilise it properly.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-26-2012, 01:53 PM
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Our OTTB came straight off the track and dropped some weight before a vet with track experience set us straight. ANY idea you have of appropriate amounts of feed and hay need to be thrown out. Our BO was absolutely appalled at the amounts we ended up feeding.

Loosie is exactly right. She needs free access to quality hay at all times. Do not worry about over feeding her with hay. If the vet has said she's ok, she just needs groceries. We've had our OTTB now for 11 years and he's 20. He is STILL a hard keeper, although nothing like he was the first year.

Putting weight on an underweight TB requires a complete re-adjustment of what you consider to be normal when it comes to feed.

I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!

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