I have a 13 year old Curly gelding.
We owned him from 1 year to 7 years, sold him, got him back at 10 years old. All the time we owned him previously, we had NO issues what-so-ever with his weight. He was well muscled, thick and stocky, and had a nice topline. He was always an easy keeper.
Flash forward. We got him back and he's never been the same body wise. He's a hard keeper now. His topline is non-existent. I just don't know what to do.
Coming out of winter, he was about 50 pounds under weight. No big deal. Grass comes in, he starts looking really good. And then, he stops and start losing weight. He's no emaciated looking. He's not ribby. But his butt and topline are horrendous. I can feel every rib, can't see them, even at a trot, but I do not like the way he looks. Compared to what he was before...This is pitiful.
We had the vet look at his teeth, they look really good. We had the vet draw bloodwork. It came back clean and 100% healthy.
His diet includes...
Approximately 25 pounds of hay per day. We have nice alfalfa we give him when he's stalled, and we have a grass hay/alfalfa hay mix we feed to him and the others when they are out. He is dominant in the herd so he's not getting pushed around. They are fed morning and night.
8 #'s of Nutrena LifeDesign Senior.
8 scoops of Cool Calories.
He has access to a salt block and mineral block at all times.
I called and talked to my vet today about the possibility of ulcers. She said if he had ulcers, he would have had a low hemoglobin level and high WBC count. His bloodwork was clean though so she wasn't concerned.
He eats all his grain, eats all the alfalfa hay, but will walk away from the grass hay mix right now because we have some pasture he'd prefer. So he's obviously not starving if he's walking away from hay but gosh. Why is he skinny?
I'd like another 100 pounds on him. And winter is coming and I do NOT want him going into winter like this. Vet said we should blanket him when it drops into the teens to help keep weight on him. But make sure his winter coat is fully in before blanketing.
I don't know what else to do. Vet suggested Cocosoya Oil. I stopped at TSC and they were out so I'll pick some up Saturday.
He's completely up to date on regular deworming.
Does anyone have any ideas other then what I'm doing. 24/7 hay is my only option, and the hay that that'd be is the hay he is walking away from and not finishing because it's not "good enough" for him... He'd also need to be separated from my other horses because none of my other ones need that much hay. That may have the adverse effect and stress him out and make him loose weight. *sigh*
Pictures: First 2 are from this spring when our grass was really good.
Last picture is from about 1 month ago. He's lost approximately 30 pounds since that picture. Hip bones are starting to show and butt has a weight "point" to it.