Why do his ribs stick out so much but the rest of him is fine? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 10-26-2011, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Why do his ribs stick out so much but the rest of him is fine?

So I just brought the new horse to his new boarding stable. He has been determined to be at a 4 on the body scoring. My main concern are his ribs sticking out so much. He is an 11 yr. Old QH gelding but with some Arab in him about 15.3hh. He was on 2 cups beet pulp soaked with 1 cups pellets/1 cup Equipride 2xday and free choice low quality grass hay. I cannot do the beet pulp at the stable so I bought Nutrena Empower Boost. I'm starting him out on 1/2 lb. A day per what the bag says. He is also on grass/alfalfa mix hay. Sorry the photos aren't the best but you can obviously see his ribs which I think is odd because the rest of him look fine.....ahhhh.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-26-2011, 05:16 PM
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I would first ask have you wormed him? If so what have you wormed him for?
We had a really old horse that never put on weight as well but I'm not in charge of the riding school ponies medical care so I don't know if he got wormed or not I just was told nobody knew why he didn't gain weight.
When I got Harry he was very skinny and that was because the red worms were eating the food so he was starving.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-26-2011, 07:01 PM
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Depends on which 'body scoring' scale you're looking at, but he doesn't look under weight to me, in as much as can be told from those pics. As with us, horses are individuals and carry weight differently - just because he's showing a bit of rib doesn't mean he's under weight - I'd rather see a trace of ribs than not though, as that tends to mean they're a bit overweight. Look at the overall horse & if the rest of him is 'well covered' then I'd take it that he is.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-26-2011, 07:02 PM
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Arabs tend to have large rib cages, 'well sprung ribs', and you just need to feed him til they disappear. He's not bad looking but I prefer my horses rounder and no indentation on the flanks and rounder hips.




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post #5 of 11 Old 10-26-2011, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Arabs tend to have large rib cages, 'well sprung ribs', and you just need to feed him til they disappear. He's not bad looking but I prefer my horses rounder and no indentation on the flanks and rounder hips.





I prefer mine a little "rounder" as well. Especially going into winter. What do you feed your horses if I may ask?
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-26-2011, 08:45 PM
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Agreed.. They do tend to have wider ribs. I have a Paint Arab- basically the same as yours! I feed her 1 1/4 lb of pelleted rice bran in summer when worked hard as well as a joint supplement called Flex Wafers, and she also has 24/7 pasture and she gets worked hard in summer When we take her places she is feed 24/7 hay in a small mesh hay net- mainly grass and about 1/2 flake of alfalfa or a grass/alfalfa mix with 10-25% alfalfa. In winter she gets 1/2 lb of shredded beet pulp, 1 lb of pelleted rice bran, and a flex wafer, with 24/7 pasture but when it starts raining we start feeding a flake of grass/alalfa mix (15-25% alfalfa). When she starts tearing up pastures (due to them being wet and her running in them) we start putting her in at night and feeding two flakes in a slow feeder net.

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post #7 of 11 Old 10-27-2011, 12:05 AM
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I feed free choice bermuda grass hay and approx. 5 lbs Strategy GX 2X/day plus 2 oz of white salt.

The bag says 3/4 to 1.5% of their body weight per day but I find this confuses people. People say, "OH OK, he weighs 700 lbs so he needs 1% of his body weight, 7 lbs per day.". They don't think that the horse SHOULD weigh 900 lbs and that's what they should be feeding for. I try to feed a bit more than the weight I'm shooting for, so if I would feed 10 lbs/day for a 900-1000 lb horse, I'll actually feed 12-15 lbs/day until they reach the weight I think they should be then I'll taper back for maintenance. Your horse isn't all that thin, but if you wanted the weight to go on a bit faster you could add Ultium Competition at about 1lb per feeding for the high fat content.

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post #8 of 11 Old 10-27-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondehorselover View Post
So I just brought the new horse
What was/is his exercise routine?
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
What was/is his exercise routine?

As far as I knew, she only trail rode him a couple times a week (as I will be doing)
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondehorselover View Post
As far as I knew, she only trail rode him a couple times a week (as I will be doing)
Probably part of the rib issue. No muscle over his rib cage. Muscle stays, fat melts.
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