skinny horse help - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-28-2011, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
bjb
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skinny horse help

Ok so there is this 18 year old gelding I know who is extremely skinny I could really use some advise as to what to feed him that would quickly put weight on him.

He was bought in the spring for a public riding bussiness and I imediatly loved him. He's the sweetest horse you could ever meet. Anyway most public riding buisenesses are more worried aboout the money they make rather than properly caring for their animals. So there's always some skinny horse in need. I can't save them all. So I usually mind my own buiseness best I can. This horse was severly over worked all summer, he lost a lot of weight. Then the colder weather hit and his health has continued to go down hill. He's gotten so skinny they wanted to put him down. So I offered to buy him. I should be getting him today. Even if he does end up dieing at least in my heart I know that I tried.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-28-2011, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjb View Post
Ok so there is this 18 year old gelding I know who is extremely skinny I could really use some advise as to what to feed him that would quickly put weight on him.

He was bought in the spring for a public riding bussiness and I imediatly loved him. He's the sweetest horse you could ever meet. Anyway most public riding buisenesses are more worried aboout the money they make rather than properly caring for their animals. So there's always some skinny horse in need. I can't save them all. So I usually mind my own buiseness best I can. This horse was severly over worked all summer, he lost a lot of weight. Then the colder weather hit and his health has continued to go down hill. He's gotten so skinny they wanted to put him down. So I offered to buy him. I should be getting him today. Even if he does end up dieing at least in my heart I know that I tried.
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How skinny is he exactly? Do you have photos?

I ask because some people's idea of "on death's door" is entirely different to others. Also, how he needs to be fed will differ greatly depending on his body condition score. If you don't have photos, take a look at this scale and try to figure out where he lies on it. http://www.gerlltd.org/Education/Equ...esentation.pdf

If he is truly emaciated, you don't want to get the weight on him too quickly. Pumping him full of large amounts of food all at once will make him very sick, very fast.

Even if he is not truly emaciated, I would be inclined to feed several nutritious meals a day rather than giving him a massive high fat/protein feed all at once.

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-28-2011, 09:14 AM
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I don't know much about feeding, but I would say put blankets on him and keep in doors or at least out of wind. Hopefully someone with more knowlege on skinny horses and feeding them will give you some better advice.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-28-2011, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Well I couldnt read your scale so I found another one, on a scale of 1-10 /1 being poor and 10 being extremly fat id say he falls around a 2....

I can try to post pictures later
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-28-2011, 12:49 PM
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First of all, have a vet check him out for any underlying cause, such as ulcers, worms or sharp teeth. Then, I would get him on a diet with free choice grass hay, such as Timothy or Orchard, and feed a high fat and fiber diet, but not a high sugar diet. I would recommend stabilized rice bran and beet pulp, and a couple pounds of Alfalfa will help. Sugar can help gain weight, but you have to feed a lot of it and it is like feeding a kid candy bars (or Sweet Feed or COB to a horse), it is an extremely unhealthy way to gain weight on your horse. Make sure you introduce the grain into his diet slowly, suddenly jumping all this good quality feed onto a malnourished horse is an easy way to cause colic, or even kill a horse.

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-28-2011, 12:51 PM
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Until he has been vetted, there really isn't much advice that can be offered because there may be issues at play that have nothing to do with his feeding.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-28-2011, 01:46 PM
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Soybean meal helps with weight (especially on the topline) as well as protein, and mixing about 4oz of vegetable oil with the soybean meal helps with energy as well as coat condition. I would start giving him a half a cup of soybean meal for the first few days/week, and then go to a cup of soybean for the next week and move it up slowly. Ask the vet how much your horse should get. Every horse has different needs depending on how much they are exercised, their size, etc.

Also make sure the vet checks his teeth and floats them if necessary. Horses with sharp points can lose weight from not being able to chew the hay thoroughly.

Last edited by Showjumper1; 12-28-2011 at 01:54 PM.
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