Corn oil can be very inflammatory and I would not recommend it. Also, vegetable oil can cause diarrhea even if you work up to a full amount very slowly. If your horse is dropping weight or just a hard keeper, make sure you check his teeth and rule out digestive issues such as ulcers.
Once you know the horse is healthy, if you need to add weight, the best thing you can do is first make sure they are getting 2-3% of their body weight every day in a good, quality hay. After that you can consider adding groceries in lots of different ways, depending on your horse's use and demeanor. I have a TB who gets pretty hot on grain so he gets some senior feed, two scoops of Cool Cals (costs about $0.40 a day) and rice bran. I have put lots of weight on him this way, no need to soak any pellets and his coat is very beautiful.
Thanks for posting. The reason I'm asking is because we are trying to fatten up our 25 year old mare. She is underweight (was like that when we got her). She already gets 4 scoops of grain (divided into twice a day) and she just can't eat any more than that. We tried giving her two and a half, but she just can't eat that much. The last time we measured her, her weight was about the same...although I do think she is looking better. What is Cool Cals?
For some reason, the older horses seem to fatten up well on CoyaSoya. I think it's a flax based supplement that comes in both an oil and a powder. I second the thumbs down on corn oil since it is an Omega 6 oil and can contribute to inflammation.
Cool Cals is a suppliment you can buy from smart pak (or lots of other places) It is a fat suppliment which is basically dehydrated vegetable oil. My guy loves it and it really puts a shine on his coat. He's an older gentleman and a very hard keeper. You might think about a complete senior feed for her instead of grain- to make sure she is getting all her required minerals and vitamins.
Get her teeth seen to by a *good* equine dentist if you haven't already. It may be that due to tooth loss or damage she can not chew long stemmed fiber such as hay, so would be better fed chaff instead. I also suggest getting onto an equine nutritionist(pref independent of a feed co). I personally use an online service/program called FeedXL.com who I find invaluable and very economical.
Oil is one ingredient you can add, and in reasonable quantities - such as a cup or 2 per day, I haven't seen probs. BUT I know corn is a particularly problematic grain for horses & not sure about corn oil. Basically any other vegie oil is OK, but the cold pressed ones, such as flax/linseed, have a heap of essential fatty acids & nutrients in them too.
But the prob may be what/how much/how frequently you're feeding presently. Firstly, horses don't generally cope well with grain or other high sugar/starch feeds. They can cause hind gut problems & effectively cause weightloss, among other probs. Horses also have very small stomachs and quick metabolisms, designed for eating tiny amounts very frequently. The bigger &/or more infrequent the feeds, the more problematic they can be - especially if feeding sugary/starchy feed - the less is likely to be digested, the more wasted. If you want to continue feeding grain, at least make sure it's well processed and fed little & often - eg at least 4 feeds daily of up to half a scoop with a fair bit of chaff. But there are also healthier, safer alternatives to grain, such as copra, soy, etc. as well as manufactured feeds such as Hygain Zero.
If you do decide to go the oil route, start her really slowly (couple tablespoons) and work up to a half a cup over a two week period or more. If she starts to have loose stool back off some. My guy had absolutely horrid diarrhea no matter how slowly I tried to introduce it which is why I ended up going with the Cool cals.
I made a mistake in my previous post. I said grain when what I should have said was she is getting four scoops of feed a day. I have a habit of saying grain when talking about any bag of feed lol. What I am currently feeding her is four scoops of Purina Equine Senior per day. Her teeth have been floated. I had my vet out a couple of weeks ago and she said that she has good teeth for her age, but some are really worn down. She does have the necessary ones to chew grass and hay for now, and the vet said she will be able to do it for at least six months and maybe as long as two years. It takes her a little longer to chew, though. Sorry again for the mistake about saying grain. I will definitely be taking all of your posts into consideration and checking on the products you all have suggested. I will stay far away from the corn oil...the ole' girl is 25 years old, the last thing I want to do is cause her unnecessary problems. Thank you all very much for the helpful advice and taking the time to post...it is very much appreciated.
Corn oil or vegatable oil is usually added for the coat not the weight.
Older horses are hard to keep weight on for sure. Beet pulp--soaked in water for sure--has worked for me for awhile. Soak it and add a couple of handfuls--squeeze out some of the water-- to their normal feed and see if it works.