My senior horse is between 15 and 20 years old. Teeth last floated at the end of December. Last wormed in May. He is in regular but not excessive work, walking between 10 and 20 miles per day.
During a rest stop of 7 weeks a couple of months ago, he dropped weight despite free choice grass and/or alfa hay plus a grain ration. This weight loss takes the form of muscle loss - he has never been a fat horse or an easy keeper. It's particularly noticeable along his topline and rump. Since then, I just can't get any weight on him.
I have wavered over whether he might be a Cushing's candidate. He is a hairy boy but we're coming out of winter here and he has always grown a polar-bear coat : he has zero laminitic issues : he seems to be slower to heal up his scrapes : water intake hasn't changed. Inconclusive...
I would put him somewhere between 2 and 3 on a condition score :( he has kept a round belly. However, he has plenty of energy and is bright and alert. He has plenty of appetite. Poop is normal and doesn't show excessive unchewed grain. He was on a multivitamin supplement for two months without me seeing any difference.
I have 3 weeks to rest up my horses and try and get some weight onto him. He is currently on 24/7 turnout on green pasture with 24hr round bale access as the basis for everything. His grain ration is between 2 and 4lb dry weight per day.
Tomorrow I go feed shopping. Being in Bolivia, I simply don't have access to 'prepared' feeds or supplements. I have access to the basic grains (corn, oats) plus sorghum, oil, sugar, maybe some flax seed if I'm lucky. I hope to find some alfalfa hay, too.
What am I not thinking of or not seeing? How can I get some weight onto him and keep it there?