getting a little ribby - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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getting a little ribby

Hi everyone , hoping for some insight and opinions.
I currently have two horses which I board a few minutes from my house. They are pasture baorded with a run in shed on 25 acres between 6 horses and a cow. They are fed high quality alfalfa/timothy hay am and pm by the BO. I cannot say what he is gettin gin weight, other then he usually stops eating before the other horses do, by choice. There is fresh water, a salt block, and a mineral block available at all times.
This happened to me this time last year as well, but my gelding starts to get a little ribby, despite the fact that the days are getting warmer and he does not get ridden for a good four months durin gthe winter due to super deep snow that turn hard and icey (I live in Canada). I cannot seperate him to feed him apart from the other horses. There are only two other horses above him in the pecking order, so it is not like he is the last to eat. Largely he isnt super food driven or "hungry" like the other horses, he eats a little and goes for a walk, eats a little more, and has a nap--where as the other horses all eat eat eat till the hay is all gone. I work shift work, and often work out of town, but I am hoping to add something 2 times a day to give him the boost that I think he needs (I can get the BO daughter to give this to him when I am out of town as well).
Some background-he is a 6 year old registerd paint gelding (3/4 AQH and 1/4 TB). approx 16.1hh and I am guesstimating to be around 1100-1200 lbs (he is slightly built). He is a trail horse. He is probably a 3/10 on the hotness scale--a pretty laid back mellow boy. He has had his teeth floated recently (I get them done when my older mare gets them done) and had a vet check not too long ago. Vaccinations and worming UTD. Health wise and behaviour wise, nothing has changed, he seems pretty hardy other then he is prone to scratches and rain rot which I control very easily with MTG. he has always been on the lean side, but I would really like to see him put on 100-150 lbs. I have an hour to spend with him am and pm most days, so I can remove him from the herd on lead and give him his extras--
I was wondering if this seems reasonable:
Beetpulp, a complete performance hard feed/or senior hard feed (for the calories and protein) oil, and a vit supplement. I would do this am and pm.
My problem is how much? I was thinking of 1 c oil a day total, but I am not familiar with how much beet pulp or complete pellets (these will be soaked). Also, I dont have alot ot choose from when it comes to feeds, do to our small community.
Here is the link to the senior feed :
and a link to the performance feed:

Please help me make a plan.
mramsay is offline  
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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Just read the ingredients for the performance feed, dont like it at all-grain grain grain....
Here is another one that is available-mature horse pellet:
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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This is another on available.... I( really like this one, grain free, high fat and protein and more vit A)
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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Firstly, while this is only general info & of course I haven't even seen your horse, consider that maybe he is perfectly fine in his weight. Possibly he's a bit heavy the rest of the year(so many people seem not to recognise obesity in horses... like one that's just come up above this post, that's more hereford bull shaped!). Possibly he's fine the rest of the year & while he gets a little thin over winter, maybe that's fine too. As with us, leaner tends to be healthier for other animals too & while we can afford to get fat occasionally, if we don't have those 'bad seasons' to use up our fat stores, long term excess weight is what leads to problems such as EMS & laminitis(in humans it's called type 2 diabetes & people can also suffer associated nail problems).

If he's already getting a lot of alfalfa, I wouldn't be inclined to feed more unless advised to by a nutritionist or such. It's generally a great feed for horses, being low sugar, high fibre & high energy, but needs to be fed as *part* of a balanced diet, or else the horse could suffer from too much protein, calcium & other nutrients it's high in.

Beet pulp is high fibre, low sugar & high energy, so is a good choice for 'hard feeding' for weight gain IMO. You could feed this with a powdered complete supplement or pelleted 'ration balancer' mixed into it. A little oil is OK I think, if you reckon the horse needs even more fat, but it needs to be started off in tiny amounts & built up very gradually(perhaps up to about half a cup), for the horse's system to develop the enzymes necessary to digest it. I would personally consider cold pressed flax or such, so the horse is getting the omega 3s & such along with just fat.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Why not get him a feed bag? He'd be able to eat his extras without needing separation and no one would be able to steal the food.
DancingArabian is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 03-12-2012, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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he seems pretty hardy other then he is prone to scratches and rain rot which I control
Forgot to comment on that bit, that good well balanced nutrition & healthy diet can reduce their susceptibility to infections such as this, so they're not so likely to suffer even in less than ideal situations.
loosie is online now  

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