Dilemma - Hard Keeper

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Dilemma - Hard Keeper

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  • Alfalfa for hard keeper
  • Grain for picky hard keeper horse

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    11-08-2010, 01:07 AM
Post Dilemma - Hard Keeper

OK! I have posted before asking about my mare and her weight, but I'm stuck in a jam! I am very worried.

OK her story- She is a 20-yr-old thoroughbred, has had a hard life. She is only ridden about once a week and lunged every few days for a few minutes to keep her active. She is very skinny. She is probably under 1000 lbs and 15'1. I had her on pasture this summer and it got over grazed so I moved her. She is very very very!!! Herd bound. So I tried stalling her to help with her weight. She eats sooo slowly, supper would be being fed and she would still have breakfast! It's because she's too busy worrying where her friends are. She also got stocked up and stiff. SO I moved her to a small paddock where her friends were in sight and she would have unlimited hay but all she would do is grab a bite then walk the fence line and look at her buddies. She was in this paddock for about a month. So I gave up on it and just put her out with the herd of about 10 horses. She is much happier BUT she is close to the bottom of the order and all she does is stand by her buddies and get bullied off the bail. She eats when the fatties are full or laying down. The vet says she is just old and a hard keeper and her teeth are good and I regularly deworm.

So I'm stuck in a jam, either she's unhappy alone and barely eating or happy and being bullied out of food. Where I board at they put out one round every 2 or three days and won't put out two becasue the bullies will get way too fat. There is no place to put her with a buddy it's either alone or with the group.

I can go out once a day and feed extra, but I have no idea what to feed or if once a day is good enough? I don't mean she get fed just once a day I mean she'll eat as much as she can off the bail when allowed and then I can feed her on top of that.

People have suggested rice bran, podium, seniors feed, cubes, beet pulp...

Ps- she has a very sensitive stomach and has showed signs of colic on beet pulp once and the other day just out in the paddock.
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    11-08-2010, 06:54 AM
Green Broke
What type of grain is she being fed? I have a picky mare. She's a hard keeper and even when I feed grain( the amount she's supposed to get) she doesn't eat all of it. I found that putting molasses in it she chows down! She put on more weight during the last 3wks than the last 3 mnths. So maybe try that?.
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    11-08-2010, 07:17 AM
I'm only giving her seniors feed right now so I'm not giving her any grain at the moment, but when I do put molasses in it she'll only eat a bit then gets sick of it and she'll look around for friends and spill half of it all over the place! Lol
    11-08-2010, 07:27 AM
Green Broke
You can't put another horse with her in that paddock?
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    11-08-2010, 07:49 AM
The paddock she was in is the turn out paddock for the stalled horses so there are a couple of show horses that would get turned out in there but only for a few hours a day so no there is no room for another horse to live in the paddock
    11-08-2010, 08:06 AM
Green Broke
Oh. Is she stalled at nite?
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    11-08-2010, 08:16 AM
Can you move her to a barn with smaller turnouts? That way you can find her a buddy she gets along with, and she doesn't have to fight a dozen horses just to eat. It is kind of strange to me that there is only one pile for that many horses.
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    11-08-2010, 09:36 PM
Mbender- No, now she isn't stalled at night. When she was stalled she was turned out for part of the day and stalled at night, but like I said being stalled didn't help she would just look over for friends. Now she's out in a huge paddock.

Riccilove- I would prefer not to move her, she has been moved so many times (been sold to many owners). That's why I think she is so herd bound. The place I'm at is a very good place and a good price. For me to take her somewhere and stall her would be $350 and up for a stall. I have another horse and can't afford that. She is never ridden so I can't spend that much money. Right now I pay $200 per horse. I have a young horse in training and I have to pay for that. The round bale they are on in the paddock is big at least 6-8 horses are on it at a time

I am just wondering if there is something I can feed to make sure she gains weight. Would feeding her cubes work? She would get cubes and hay? I could also feed grain or what ever. Any suggestions?
    11-08-2010, 10:17 PM
If you can get up there once a day, what about feeding her a snack? Put her near the other horses but out of their reach and feed her something that packs on pounds. My horse loves a blend of soaked alfalfa hay cubes, rice bran and beet pulp. I see you cannot do the beet pulp, but maybe she'd enjoy the hay cubes and rice bran. My horse drops a lot of food since he's parrot mouthed, but when there's rice bran in the tub, he doesn't even come up for air no less drop food. Might be worth a try.
    11-08-2010, 10:23 PM
Thanks!! That's the advice I was looking for. How much cubes should I feed? Her hay does have small amount of alfalfa (probably 15%). I heard you can over feed alfalfa is that true?

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