Weight problem

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Weight problem

This is a discussion on Weight problem within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        02-04-2008, 09:18 AM
    Weight problem

    I just bought my daughter, who is 7, a horse that is 16 years old. He is BOMBPROOF!! Yeah! We've been looking FOREVER! When I rode him he was spunky and fun, but when she got on him he was so careful and slow. (Like he just knew she was inexperienced.) Anyway, the only draw back is he is underweight. In your opinion what is the quickest and safest way the get the weight back on? I've never had this issue as all of our other horses are quite LARGE and easy keepers! He was just wormed last week so that's already checked off the list. I have my other horses on a 12:6 pellet food and they get hayed twice daily as well. They have 3 acres to graze but not much there right now.

    As always, thanks for your input!! :)
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        02-04-2008, 09:36 AM
    You can either increase the amount of feed he gets per day, increase his forage per day or add extra fat to his diet. All three options are viable, it's just a matter of how you want to go about it.

    If he's already getting a large amount of concentrate feed per day, increasing that may not be your best option as high concentrate diets increase the risk of colic and GI ulceration. But if he's only getting a small amount of concentrate per day (3-5 lbs) then increasing that is probably your easiest way to put weight on because it's available.

    If he is getting a pretty good amount of concentrate everyday then increasing his forage intake would be a good place to start though this may not be possible if you are in one of the areas where hay is scarce.

    If you choose to add a source of fat to the diet, you can purchase any number of the weight gain supplements on the market or you can simply start adding up to 2 cups of vegetable oil to his feed a day. You need to start slowly with adding fat as your horse's body has to adjust to the change, so it's best to start with 1/4 cup a day or less and work up over a couple of weeks. A small amount of fat provides a signficant source of digestible energy for performance or weight gain. Some people add rice bran, beet pulp, etc but you can get the same results with the vegetable oil and it doesn't require hauling an extra bag. The vegetable oil also doesn't through off the balance of nutrients in the diet like rice bran and beet pulp can. However, rice bran and beet pulp can be used so long as you take into account that the calcium to phosphorus ratio is incorrect for horses and so if you feed much of either you need to balance out the ratios.
        02-04-2008, 09:57 AM
    Perfect! Thank you so much for the post! My neighbor had told me the same thing about the vegetable oil but he's also told me some things that were incorrect so my level of trust there is a bit shaky!
        02-04-2008, 10:13 AM
    No problem. I'm a big believer in double checking just about any information I get from other horse owners. There is so much mis-information out there that is taken as fact....

    You can purchase big jugs of vegetable oil at walmart pretty cheaply. My husband found one in the grocery bags the other day and was like "what the heck??" When I told him it was for our 32 yr old POA he just shook his head.
        02-04-2008, 01:10 PM
    Try and make sure he can eat his hay with no competition of other horses if you can. Also, veggie oil will make his coat shiny and offer moisture to his skin clearing up dry flaky winter skin that horses can get come winter.
        02-05-2008, 10:28 AM
    Thanks guys! We started him on his Vegetable oil today!
        02-06-2008, 03:39 PM
    You can put him on weight supplements. I would say those are the fastest ways to get weight on a horse.

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