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My Gelding Looks Awful

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  • Horse forum robyn
  • My horse looks dreadful after the winter

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    04-04-2013, 06:48 PM
  #11
Showing
How many horses was he turned out with and how was the hay distributed. Unless there are more hay piles than horses, someone gets chased off the feed and it looks like it was him. When I introduced a new horse, 5 piles of hay had to be put out for two horses. After driving the newbie off three piles the dominant horse gave up and the newbie was allowed to eat. They need to be spaced well apart. Even large round bales. For four horses two should be set out at least a hundred yards apart. The bullies will drive the low man off so he'll head to the other. They may move back and forth but the low man will get enough.
     
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    04-04-2013, 07:01 PM
  #12
Weanling
"Remember 30 minutes a day will do a lot more than not doing anything at all-- exercise wise."

Great advice I didn't even think about this, I have a few I would think about doing this will also.

Thanks Toto
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    04-04-2013, 07:34 PM
  #13
Super Moderator
First, IF someone does happen to get nasty about him, have your vet's phone number handy and tell them to talk to your vet since the horse has already been evaluated.

Second, My just turned 27 yo Arab would look exactly like that but for one thing:

I have to give him Omeprazole for his gastric stomach ulcers every January or February for the last nine years

I rescued him 20 years ago and he always has been a horse with very little muscle. Sadly, every year he seems to lose more and every winter his hard keeper stats increase by a few numbers

He also has four missing molars, so along with Triple Crown Senior and some rice bran, I pump him full of alfalfa pellets and timothy pellets (two separate pellets).

Are you sure your horse is eating enough off the round bale? Enough means, between hay and grass, he should get 1.5% to 2% of his desired weight daily in forage.

My Arab does NOT like hay after it gets old. By old I mean anything that has been cut longer than 3 or 4 months. That's why I have to feed the snot face hay pellets. I would feed him soaked cubes but one day he decided he didn't like those either

Meaning, if you can afford even a two week supply of Omeprazole from the vet, try it and see if your horse starts picking up weight.

Also, a good pre-probiotic is prudent to feed to these senior horses.

Since I have had my Arab on "Daily Start" by EquiShine, his bum has been completely dry - even with the new spring grass coming on; I'm not far from you, just an hour north of the AL border in TN.

Lastly, your vet is probably your only vet option but I think I would not take his word that "the horse is just old". In this modern time, 23 is not old.

Get creative about feeding him without going so far over board that you're feeding him too much stuff.

I honestly would try the Omeprazole and see what happens.

I might just take a pic of my Arab so you don't feel so bad. I can see his ribs thru his winter coat and it bothers me every day. Yet, when I'm not looking his old self is out there kicking up his heels and bossing around whomever is behind him in the pecking order
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    04-06-2013, 01:03 AM
  #14
Foal
I am most definitely not riding him...forgot to add that! I ride my mare who is at a good weight.
     
    04-06-2013, 01:10 AM
  #15
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by toto    
Do you quit working him in the winter times?

Horses loose weight during winter months because theyre shivering-- they loose muscle sitting around eating and not working their muscles.. you probably already know-- just wanted to throw it out there anyway just in case. :)

I take him for walks but I haven't ridden him since I noticed the weight loss. He's always had high withers but was looking great last summer and he was on the same pasture then. I will get him a blanket for next year and will ride more in the winter when the weather doesn't stink! This has been a learning experience for me because my other horses are fine and he is just hard to keep. I need to make a plan to modify his feed and exercise program for winter :)
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    04-06-2013, 01:31 AM
  #16
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk    
First, IF someone does happen to get nasty about him, have your vet's phone number handy and tell them to talk to your vet since the horse has already been evaluated.


I have to give him Omeprazole for his gastric stomach ulcers every January or February for the last nine years

Are you sure your horse is eating enough off the round bale? Enough means, between hay and grass, he should get 1.5% to 2% of his desired weight daily in forage.

Meaning, if you can afford even a two week supply of Omeprazole from the vet, try it and see if your horse starts picking up weight.


Lastly, your vet is probably your only vet option but I think I would not take his word that "the horse is just old". In this modern time, 23 is not old.
Mister is coming 17 which I consider a newbie-senior I have other vet options but I use a vet that is the best in this region. He drives 50 miles one way to come to us and he's awesome. He is strictly an equine and bovine vet and is a Public Health vet for the state. I've had vet technician friends check him out too when they come by the farm and they all had similar opinions. I'm always open to advice and suggestions from other horse owners and I'll do anything to make sure my older fellow is healthy and happy. He's a fantastic horse and I hate to think he's not thriving because of something I'm overlooking. He eats all of the hay he wants and grazes quite a bit too. I've considered switching him to square balse so I know exactly how much he is getting. I'll ask the vet about the Omeprazole and see what he thinks. Thanks for all of the advice and suggestions!
     
    04-06-2013, 01:37 AM
  #17
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
How many horses was he turned out with and how was the hay distributed. Unless there are more hay piles than horses, someone gets chased off the feed and it looks like it was him. When I introduced a new horse, 5 piles of hay had to be put out for two horses. After driving the newbie off three piles the dominant horse gave up and the newbie was allowed to eat. They need to be spaced well apart. Even large round bales. For four horses two should be set out at least a hundred yards apart. The bullies will drive the low man off so he'll head to the other. They may move back and forth but the low man will get enough.
He is turned out with two other horses and is the lowest in the pecking order. They do not fight over hay that I have seen as they are on a 1200 pound round bale and they all have their own spots. They might do a merry-go-round but everyone gets to eat what they want. When I feed him the grain and weight builder, I pull him from the pasture.
     
    04-06-2013, 02:05 AM
  #18
Green Broke
Unless he starts getting REALLY porky, I would keep him on Senior Feed year round. Slightly porky going into Winter is a good thing with a horse that is known to lose weight when it gets cold.

I'd add soaked beet pulp to what you are feeding now. It's a good, inexpensive weight gainer. Comer Winter you can soak it in hot water so you give the horse a warm meal when it's really cold out.
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    04-06-2013, 02:15 AM
  #19
Green Broke
The pasture grass is what ?? It looks kinda overgrazed. When was the last time you fertilized it ? So that the grass was nutritious? I fertlizer my pastures once a year. Then I let them grow up to at least 8 inches (min) prior to turning out horses. I put more horses on pasture than it can feed so I also feed alfalfa hay,free choice iodized mineral salt , free choice Clean water.
If you cannot get alfalfa at a good price, then try some alfalfa hay chops, or some pellets, if he has a problem gulping or chewing wet them , about 10 - 20 min before you feed them to soften them. I like the soaked beet pulp for my old horses , the senior feed , or like an equistages feed is good.
     
    04-09-2013, 10:14 AM
  #20
Foal
I feel ya! My 23 yr old QH gelding is similar. He just does NOT keep weight on. We had a cold winter so he doesn't look the best. We have tried different things and nothing seems to work over the winter. By May, he will look gorgeous. IDK. Keeping him grained through the winter would be your best bet for next winter. They need more calories during the winter to help keep them warm. You 'might' try blanketing him, if it is possible, next winter as well. That would allow him to keep his body temp up without using a bunch of calories to do it. It's an option.

As for now, if he hasn't been wormed, I would worm him. I just used a Quest Plus on my gelding, for tape worms. They wouldn't show up on a fecal, and it would take care of a lot of others he might have. Also, get him on a good feed routine. I would also get him out everyday and do some light lunging. It will help him build up his muscles. :) Good luck! He'll come back!
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gelding, skinny horse, weight loss

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