I wasn't going to ask because I know opinions on feed are as different as people and horses and many but I'm a worry wart so I'll ask...
About 10 days ago I was given an emaciated TWH mare. She is probably a 2 on the Henneke chart. 16 hands, 13 or 14 years old. The woman I got her from couldn't tell me much because she had her less than a month. Vet has gone over her. She just needs groceries. She has been wormed twice since her escape from hell. I will probably worm her again in a week or two.
I've had thin horses before but not this bad. The woman I got her from had her eating a quart of Blue Seal's pacer 2x a day plus free choice hay. She had been slowly adding more by the handful each day. I was using Blue Seal's trotter on my air ferns so stuck with it and increased handful by handful too. I also added a big dollop of soaked beet pulp and now I'm adding Nutrena's equine senior bit by bit. Also a 5lb can of tractor supply's hay stretcher each meal and standlee alfalfa pellets. Hay is free choice, mixed grass. There is also still some grass in the pasture but it's largely dormant. The pasture is around 16 or 17 acres so there is plenty of sleeping grass. So she has food around the clock.
Starting to slip a little corn oil into her meals. Again bit by bit. I have some Rice bran ordered but it won't be here until Friday.
I have to stand guard over her meals so my obese pony and fat pony don't get into the high fat senior food. No way to really isolate them during mealtime. Barn is a 40 x 16 run in. I don't mind standing out there. It's actually nice just brushing her and giving her a little extra needed attention.
I admit it is very hard to only increase her food little by little but this mare was in deep trouble. I also have some doubts about just how much the lady that gave her to me was giving her. Some of the things she told me have proven to be untrue but nothing major. So I have to go on what I know to be true from here.
So handful by handful, bit by bit we are increasing the good food. She is actually getting full between the hay stretcher, beet pulp and alfalfa pellets. The trotter and equine senior is served on the top so she finishes it first.
Is there something I can do different?
She also has a really bad case of rain rot going. I've been treating it with fung-away, iodine and listerine but it's cold here so I'm hesitant to get her skinny body too wet. It does seem I've got it on the run. I'm probably being impatient. 10 days isn't much.
My daughter swears she can already see a difference. I don't see it. I do see improvement in her demeanor. She is now actively taking notice of her surroundings and she has already got me pegged for probably having a treat of some sort in my pocket.
She actually doesn't look that bad in this picture. I think the cell phone camera is dropping a lot of the detail. She is so skinny the poor thing.