Maintaining weight
 
 

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Maintaining weight

This is a discussion on Maintaining weight within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Help my horses dont maintain weight even tho they have free access to hay
  • Maintaining a healthy horse's weight

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    03-26-2013, 11:23 PM
  #1
Banned
Maintaining weight

Ok, so my horse is in moderate to heavy work, he's a 6 yr old quarter horse reiner. I ride him on average five times a week moderately hard. He's so fit, I'd have to ride him very very hard to get a good sweat on him

He's in perfect health. No digestive issues that I have ever known of.

Daily he currently gets free choice hay, his Hoffmans ration @ 3lbs per day, plus
Life Line equi-cal pellets @ 3kg per day (it's less than recommended as I don't want to feed the whole volume all at once (I'm only at the barn once a day) , so I've been watching to see if it will add some bulk....it's a cool energy feed) soooooo I've been thinking, rather than feed him such a huge amount of equi-cal every day (according to bag directions, he's supposed to get 5kgper day) I was wondering about adding oil to help increase his weight. He's in 'showing' condition now.....I don't want to show him right now, I'd rather he had a little more bulk to carry through for the next few months before showing.

I'm not big into complicated feeding routines, I'd rather keep it simple.

What type of oil is the most effective and how much daily for an 1100-1200lb horse?
     
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    03-26-2013, 11:48 PM
  #2
Banned
Ok doesn't matter! I just found DrumRunners oil thread!
     
    03-27-2013, 12:08 AM
  #3
Trained
Just to add in a different perspective, my vet is adamant that any performance horse should not at any time be carrying excess weight. It is really detrimental to their joints, ligaments, tendons etc. Imagine a fat ballet dancer. Imagine a fat runner. Even when they aren't competing or in a show, they need to stay fit and conditioned to avoid injury.
Excess weight leads to injury. And IMO I would prefer to have a horse a 4 rather than a 6. 5 is ideal but I'd way rather have them be a little skinny and be feeding them up and reducing workload than fat and prone to injury and trying to burn weight (ie burn muscle).
As well, at working 5 days a week, that is not very hard. And at 6 years old their metabolism will start to slow down. My guy at 5 was on a similar feeding regime and now at 10 is on 7 kg of hay per day and 1 lb of an RB with is minerals per day. He works 7 days per week - 5 or 6 days are hard to the point of a hard sweat (he is clipped). And he needs to lose weight.
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    03-27-2013, 12:25 AM
  #4
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Just to add in a different perspective, my vet is adamant that any performance horse should not at any time be carrying excess weight. It is really detrimental to their joints, ligaments, tendons etc. Imagine a fat ballet dancer. Imagine a fat runner. Even when they aren't competing or in a show, they need to stay fit and conditioned to avoid injury.
Excess weight leads to injury. And IMO I would prefer to have a horse a 4 rather than a 6. 5 is ideal but I'd way rather have them be a little skinny and be feeding them up and reducing workload than fat and prone to injury and trying to burn weight (ie burn muscle).
As well, at working 5 days a week, that is not very hard. And at 6 years old their metabolism will start to slow down. My guy at 5 was on a similar feeding regime and now at 10 is on 7 kg of hay per day and 1 lb of an RB with is minerals per day. He works 7 days per week - 5 or 6 days are hard to the point of a hard sweat (he is clipped). And he needs to lose weight.
Ok, that makes sense. I haven't been working my guy as hard as I usually do because I don't want him to drop any more weight.....hmmm I'm just staring to think he's dropping rather than maintaining, he's probably a 5 now. I just want to be able to work him harder and not be concerned with him dropping anymore, he's nice right now, but I wouldn't want him to go any leaner. I was thinking adding 1/2 cup - 1 cup of oil a day will assist in maintaining him??? No??? Yes???
     
    03-27-2013, 12:52 AM
  #5
Trained
Hoffmans is already pretty high fat. As much as I dislike oats as a main feed source you might want to try adding 1/2 or 1 cup of rolled oats to the feed. If he is already getting high fat I don't know if adding more fat will help. I've found with mine that top dressing with oats has worked well to maintain his weight and give him a boost for competition season.
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    03-27-2013, 01:03 AM
  #6
Yearling
What about hay? Can you get/add alfalfa? Is he just on grass hay? What kind? I prefer feeding a higher calorie forage if I need calories.
     
    03-27-2013, 01:13 AM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Hoffmans is already pretty high fat. As much as I dislike oats as a main feed source you might want to try adding 1/2 or 1 cup of rolled oats to the feed. If he is already getting high fat I don't know if adding more fat will help. I've found with mine that top dressing with oats has worked well to maintain his weight and give him a boost for competition season.
Hmmm I've thought about oats too....he's pretty high energy though, he can really move out on you!! Although I like the extra energy most of the time! Thanks for the thought! I kind of discounted the oats as I didn't want the heat, however he could use the energy.....gee your making my brain work again! Thanks!
     
    03-27-2013, 01:14 AM
  #8
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinity3205    
What about hay? Can you get/add alfalfa? Is he just on grass hay? What kind? I prefer feeding a higher calorie forage if I need calories.
He's on grass hay right now, free choice and he always has some left over....I had thought of beet pulp too.....so many options, so many pros and cons....
     
    03-27-2013, 01:50 AM
  #9
Started
I second Anabel! I had this discussion with my coach on Sunday and she said she would prefer my boy be a lean 5 / between a 4 - 5 than a heavier 5 - 6 when he's in full competitive work, it's overall easier on them if they're fit, not just skinny and it definitely sounds like your boy is fitter than skinny if he's being worked as you say.
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    03-27-2013, 05:19 AM
  #10
Trained
Muppet, I think the biggest prob re weight gain is that you only get to feed once a day. I know, in the real world too... Tho if you ride 5 days, surely those days you can at least feed before & after? But I wouldn't feed more than about 2kg max per feed(according to nutritionist's advice) and I'd consider what types of feed are most easily digested, as if it's grainy, it may not be getting far with once daily feeds, and the bigger the feed, especially if starchy, can actually be worst not better, for weight as well as other potential issues. Unfortunately oil should be fed under a similar clause - little & often, as horses don't naturally have the enzymes to be able to digest straight fat & must develop & maintain them with gradual increase & little & often feeding.

Also reading your thread, if he's already in 'show condition'(means overweight already to me) I agree thoroughly with Annabel there & would be wanting him a healthy weight.

If you're going to feed grain, IMO oats are the best, being (relatively) low starch & also more digestible, but if only feeding once or twice daily I'd still be feeding them processed for easier digestion & in very small amounts/feeds. As for the 'energy' & 'heat' of oats, any grain or starch rich feed, particularly in big meals, has a big capacity for making horses 'hot' because it can give them hind gut acidosis &/or other gut issues. But energy is energy. For eg. Alfalfa & beet pulp are high energy feeds, but they're low in sugars & carbs.
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