Change of diet or other solution? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Change of diet or other solution?

Recently, I moved my wonderful little thirteen year-old mare up to a new property. She adjusted wonderfully, so that isn't any sort of issue, but the fact that I'm getting there so frequently -- and taking her out for very long rides -- seems to be seriously wearing her down. Willow (tons of pictures of her in previous threads, if you'd like to see her) went from a somewhat hot and very "go"-oriented horse to one that is suddenly lagging behind on each and every ride. We've upped her feed from just hay and pasture (adding beat-pulp and grain to the mix as well), but it hasn't seemed to make much of a difference. I'm very much about making all my rides positive for both me and my girl, but I'm worried that she may grow to dislike them if I'm pushing her too hard or if she's not looking forwards to going. She's been there for three weeks now, and I'm considering possibly adding some oats or something of that sort to try and give her some more energy.

For the record, I've been trying to space my rides out a wee more since I've noticed the change in demeanor. I gave her four days off this week but, again, it seemed to do little for her level of motivation. We go pretty easy, too (walk/trot mostly, though it's rugged terrain), but -- again -- it just seems to really be wearing her down. I'm worried.

Could it be her age? Should I add something to her feed and see if it livens her up at all, or look at a different solution entirely? Her fitness has gone up for sure; will she perhaps get more energy the fitter she gets?

Thanks everyone! All opinions are appreciated; I want to make sure my girl is content!

sing out, sing out !
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 02:24 AM
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I would try a good vit/min supplement or a ration balancer. There could be a difference in hay quality, the stress of the move, then change to winter hair. Throw this all together and it could just be the reason for her lack of energy. Does she live out in a herd? Herd dynamics can be stressful, she might not have a chance to eat what she needs, might be bossed around by others. Just guessing here, since you didn't say anything about that.
I'd check her temperature to make sure there's nothing brewing.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 04:55 AM
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Sure it's energy lacking? She's not sore or some such?
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
I would try a good vit/min supplement or a ration balancer. There could be a difference in hay quality, the stress of the move, then change to winter hair. Throw this all together and it could just be the reason for her lack of energy. Does she live out in a herd? Herd dynamics can be stressful, she might not have a chance to eat what she needs, might be bossed around by others. Just guessing here, since you didn't say anything about that.
I'd check her temperature to make sure there's nothing brewing.
I'll definitely look into that, thank you! We brought over the same hay as we had before the move, and no -- she doesn't. There's only one other mare there, and my girl is very much the bossy one of the two, haha! They get along really, really well though. I'll definitely try to get that looked after, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Sure it's energy lacking? She's not sore or some such?
Yeah, I'm a wee iffy on whether or not she could be in pain. She's not limping and all her gaits are even etc, but I'm halfway leaning towards stiffness or back pain. I'm going to have my trainer look her over today, I think. c:

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post #5 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 11:53 AM
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How long do you ride her for? You are also vague on what you are actually feeding her. Blood work may be in order also.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
How long do you ride her for? You are also vague on what you are actually feeding her. Blood work may be in order also.
Anywhere between one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours. I'm only vague because I don't actually know the brand names, due to the fact my mom's boyfriend is taking care of feed for them. I can definitely find out what they are, if need be.

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SeemsLegit View Post
Anywhere between one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours. I'm only vague because I don't actually know the brand names, due to the fact my mom's boyfriend is taking care of feed for them. I can definitely find out what they are, if need be.
What they are and quantity.

I had a lazy horse that had a low blood count. Went to 3 different vets and every one dismissed me because she looks so healthy but she is Enemic. I kept doing research on building blood cell (red cell didn't work) Changed her vitamins and went to a performance feed and she is a new horse. I looked at your thread and did not see any recent photos. I would be curious as to how she looks now.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
What they are and quantity.

I had a lazy horse that had a low blood count. Went to 3 different vets and every one dismissed me because she looks so healthy but she is Enemic. I kept doing research on building blood cell (red cell didn't work) Changed her vitamins and went to a performance feed and she is a new horse. I looked at your thread and did not see any recent photos. I would be curious as to how she looks now.
Oh! Apologies. I'll get all information from my mom's boyfriend today, if I see him! And ah, wow, that's awesome. Could something like that be the case with the seemingly sudden "loss" of energy? Thanks again for her help! As far as her looks go, the only recent picture showing her body at all is this. It's a brutal picture, but it's all I have to work with until I go up there and are able to get a decent one, aha. For some reason when I took it, I thought I had her whole body in there? Oops.

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post #9 of 9 Old 09-19-2013, 12:18 PM
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You are not riding an abnormal amount, speed or distance. My mare carts my fat butt around, mostly trot/canter, with some walking and galloping, for 1-3 hours 4ish times a week in the summer, and she is a complete energetic handful. This is over varied terrain, with steep hills, mud, rocks, etc. She is 15. there are other horses on the farm that are ridden the same amount, and are much older.

I would first rule out pain, back pain and arthritis.

Then I would put her on a good supplement. I would also get a vet to check for anemia.
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