Hi, firstly ditto what others have said. A *good equine* vet should be able to advise you basically re diet too. Boy, in at the deepest end, being new to horses & getting 2, let alone an un-saddlebroke ex racer! And not having learned about how to feed/care for them before you got them - you're in for a lot of homework!
Originally Posted by lynchtrish
supposedly very good saddled...we found out later she hates having a saddle on her,
Did you get her back & saddle fit checked out? Did your daughter have lessons? She may have a sore back, saddle hurts, she knows she can put one over your novice daughter...
puppy dog personality and could easily be saddle broken, his name is Travolta.
Yes, 'Standardbred' trotters are often very easygoing 'puppydog' personalities! Regardless of his personality, if he hasn't even been started under saddle & your daughter is a beginner, PLEASE don't put her on him until he has had a lot of riding under an experienced rider! She could have lessons on a well trained horse in the meantime. Curious to know his age, how long he raced & what the ligament damage is/was?
he seems very timid around his face, and he seems to be dropping weight, he barely touches his hay, he barely drinks a bucket of water daily, he will eat oats but that's it.
The face thing could be just normal, or it could be due to his teeth or mouth hurting him, due to previous training & experiences... when did he have the dentist see him last? This should be done yearly on average.
Unfortunately racehorses & other intensively kept 'performance' horses aren't managed very healthily. Being fed 'high octane' fuel such as grain, in large, rich but infrequent meals... & being cooped in a stable the majority of the time - is about the opposite to healthy management & feeding. Because of this, ulcers, colic, hind gut acidosis & other problems are extremely common & IMO the major reason why OTTBs & the likes are commonly 'hard keepers'.
So... I'd ditch the oats, for now at least, and feed him hay, beet pulp & other low sugar/starch, high fibre feed, give it to him little & often or free choice, and treat him for ulcers - scoping costs a lot but it's safe to treat them regardless. I'd add a probiotic to his diet to help his gut return to health & also look into what he may need for good nutrition. FeedXL Horse Nutrition: The D.I.Y. Equine diet planner
is one excellent service for working out the nitty gritty of your horse's specific diet & nutrition, without the headaches. Horse Nutrition Explained
is one good 'general purpose' diet/nutrition site to learn from. Katy Watts | Safergrass.org
is a good source of diet info that will hopefully get you feeding your horses more healthily before you see any big health issues. There's a heap more to learn & available online, but that should give you the basics.
Enrolling your daughter in horse riding & horsecare lessons & you also getting some lessons & support from experienced horsepeople would be a good idea too. Once you learn how to feed & care for your horses well, then you will need to know a bit about hoofcare - eg. How to judge hoof balance, they need to be trimmed approx 4-6 weekly, what other factors affect hoof health, etc - then it will be time to learn how best to handle, train & ride your horses!