Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
You may want to look at one of the horse body scoring systems to evaluate if she is too thin or not (they tell you different things to look at). An example of one is at Body Condition Scoring of Horses
Thanks so much, this was really helpful! It does say on the site that gaited breeds tend to be "hard keepers," so I'll have to keep my eyes open regarding that. Based on the chart, I think she would be considered in "fair" condition (the one they list below "good"), so she's not quite as bad as I was afraid of.
I would try to get her on a higher protein diet and add some amino acids. She's lacking in muscle, not weight. The Alfalfa should be giving her enough protein. Instead of the mare & foal food, which she doesn't need at her age, I would give her 1-2 lbs of Triple Crown 30%
ration balancer feed along with 1-2 lbs of stabilized race bran or 1 cup of milled flax.
If you'd rather feed "more" feed, then I'd go with Triple Crown Light
, 3-4 lbs a day along with the rice bran or milled flax.
The 30% would be my choice though, along with more Timothy hay.
It looks like there are a lot of TC dealers in IN, so you should be able to find either one.
Thanks luvs2ride. I'll keep it in mind, although I do disagree somewhat about the mare and foal, because even though she's 2 and 1/2, she's on the physical maturity level of a horse under 2. My farrier actually said she "has to be under 2" (even though she's not; she will actually be 3 in May), because he is not familiar with gaited breeds and their comparatively slower rate of maturity. My vet feels that the mare and foal is good right now, and that, like I posted earlier, she does
lack weight. I totally agree with you though that she is lacking in muscle and will keep the amino acids idea well in mind. I know amino acids are essential for muscle-building...I would really like to get her off any form of grain, I'm one of those "crazy people"
who leans more towards the more "natural" diet of high roughage (hay and good pasture). Not trying to start a nutrition debate, btw, guys, just my own opinion from limited research. The flax, though, I assume, has more amino acids? That's something I would definitely consider in moderation to get the muscle toning happening.
keep in mind that many times when you increase the nutrition that aids with the proper digestion and they won't NEED more. I have seen many thin or harder keepers become easy keepers and need to be on diets when the nutrition level was increased
Pick up a good ration balancer whichever is aval in your area offer her free choice hay and remember she is a baby you don't want too much weight on her .. I see lack of muscle NOT lack of weight
Can you feel her ribs?? How much pressure does it take??
Ha! Thanks for the warning, Peggysue; I am actually guilty of overfattening rescue cats and dogs doing that very thing.
I like to think I've learned, but...I have two "chubby" shelter cats looking at me who would indicate otherwise.
Again, as stated earlier, she's in need of some weight, par my veterinarian's instructions. But you and luvs2ride are completely correct about the lack of muscle and I was at a loss what to do about that, so I appreciate the info. Since you both also agree on the ration balancer, I am highly leaning towards that idea, but is this supposed to be a "permanent" sort of thing, or can I just use it to get her up to form, then get her back into free choice hay/pasture?
Thanks guys, sorry for being so long-winded!