Picky senior horse needs weight. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Picky senior horse needs weight.

My Arab gelding Ty is now 34 turning 35 in June. This winter we struggled with ulcers and him not eating well for about a month. We didn't think of ulcers right away because he showed no symtems other then reluctance to eat. We floated, did worm loads, and finally checked for ulcers which it turned out to be. They were all cleared up by December though. But he's not gaining back the weight very well.

This was him last year before the ulcers:

This was him last week. As you can see he's super skinny.

Ty of course can't be a nice pig of a horse. Nope. He's super picky. And he often get "bored" with feeds. As in one day he will be eating a food happily and the next he will fling it across the stall and refuse to touch it. I go out and buy him a new brand and he will gobble it. Other brands he refuses to touch period.

His teeth are fine and up to date with floating. They are checked every 3 months by my vet and if he finds anything wrong Ty is floated by him (he's a dentist too though I have had Ty checked a few times by another independent dentist and she said my vet's work was great). Normally he only need

Ty's missing quite a few teeth so hay isn't really eaten by him. He does play with it and nibble a little bit though so I give him access.

All his feed is soaked because he's choked a few times.

Work: He's ridden bareback 3 times a week at a walk for about 15 minutes. He never agreed with the whole retired thing and he loves his little walks to get the mail. He comes running when I hold up his reins and is all ears forward and happy.

The Blacklisted Feeds. If I put these near him, he throws them.

  • Beet Pulp
  • Alfalfa Pellets
  • Triple Crown Senior
  • Dumor Senior
  • Sentinel Senior
  • Rice Bran
He will eat but usual grows bored with fast and soon ends up throwing: I believe this might be caused by them not having fixed formulas.

  • Purina Equine Senior
  • Safe Choice Senior
  • Strategy GX
  • Dumor Equi-Stages
  • Orchard Hay Pellets
  • Timothy hay pellets
  • BOSS

His favorite foods. The ones I can easily get him to eat. Also known as his beloved sweet feeds.

  • Omolen 100 Active Pleasure.
  • Blue Seal Rider
  • Pretty Much any sweet feed he can get ahold of.
  • Bran Mash. Wheat Bran. He will kill for his bran mash. I know its horrible for him but its the only way I can sneak in his Joint supplements. He gets 1 cup a day to hid the two tablespoons of joint meds.

His diet right now is

  • 12lbs Dumor Equi-Stages
  • 2lbs of Timothy Pellets before soaking. He normally eats about 3/4 of this
  • 1lb of Omolene 100 This is his "bribe" to eat the Hay pellets. If I don't mix this in I can bet he will throw the pellets and then storm off.
  • 1 cup of Wheat Bran
Last year he was only getting 6lbs of Strategy and was doing fine. This year he's doing so crappy.

Clearly this isn't enough. He is staying about the same weight wise and I really don't feel comfortable increasing his grain much more then this. He doesn't always eat all of this as it is. Even though he gets fed 6 times a day.

So I need something else. I was thinking of putting him on performance horse feeds. They seem to be higher fat then any other feed even senior

The brands I'm looking at are and there percentages.

  • Safe Choice Performance: 14% Protein 9%fat
  • Sentinel LS: 12% Protein 12% Fat
What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 09:09 PM
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I use Nutrena SafeChoice Senior. My horses do great on it.

What type of hay does he get? And how much?

That's A LOT of grain. Especially for a horse with a history of ulcers.

I really would not be riding him either. I understand workaholic horses...but I wouldn't feel right getting on him. He's far too skinny.
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post #3 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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He doesn't like the Safe Choice Senior. I've tried it. He's such a pain.

Timothy normally. He can't really chew it. He's missing to many teeth. He mostly plays with it and then spits it out.

Yeah. Hence why I'm looking for an alternative.

He HAS to be ridden. I've tried and tried to retire this horse but he will sit and pace up and down the gate if he doesn't do something. My vet says its fine.

As of December he was still doing 5 mile trail rides no problems and loving it. I actually made my vet ride him on one just to make sure it wasn't me misreading him. My vet whined the whole time that he wished his horses had Ty's love of work.
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post #4 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 09:46 PM
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I would be searching for some finely chopped alfalfa. Not the stalks...but the leaves/chafe. I believe TSC carries a form of this in bags...?

His diet is mainly consisting of hard feeds. Which he's not eating. And is ultimately causing ulcers. There's a good chance his ulcers will be reoccurring due to no having the fiber that's in hay to push food through his digestive tract.

Can he graze at all?

have you tried rice bran at all? Cool calories? Calf manna? Cocosoya oil? Wheat germ oil? Perhaps foal milk replacer pellets?

What a saint of an old guy.
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post #5 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 09:53 PM
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Find some Patriot Senior. Even the pickiest horses seem to love it. And use alfalfa pellets instead of the timothy. They taste MUCH better to most horses, and have more calories. Or alfalfa hay cubes, soaked, would be even better. Beet pulp, soaked, and mixed into the alfalfa cubes, soaked, would provide even more calories in a healthy way. And just because you fixed his ulcers doesn't mean they STAYED fixed.
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post #6 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 09:56 PM
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Squirrelfood...He won't eat beet pulp. Or alfalfa pellets. Or rice bran (I now see that after I suggested it...)
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post #7 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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He doesn't like Alfalfa period. I've had him for 9 years and even when his teeth were good he'd turn his nose up at fresh Alfalfa hay.

I've tried Cool Calories but he doesn't seem to respond to that.

Will the fiber in Senior feed keep his gut moving?
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post #8 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 10:10 PM
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Bless his sweet heart. He is handsome and very alert. I love these older horses --- they've got good thick bone and nice big "real" hooves

I go thru the same thing with my Arab who just turned 28. He also deals with gastric stomach ulcers, has four missing molars, and does not like to eat a lot.

At the advice of lady who just started working at my home town feed store and who has a few late 20's - early 30's "folks" to care of, I switched my 28 yr old Arab to:

"Horse Lix" by Ridley Block Operations in Mankato, MN 56002

and "Total Equine" by Total Feeds, Inc. (888-537-1533 Weatherford, TX 76086 last month. This is a pelleted feed and does NOT contain molasses.

My farriers come every four weeks. They noticed right off that Streeter had gained weight and wanted to know what I had switched him to.

I have a pic of Streeter from a year ago but, I need to get an "after" pic now that I seem to have hit on a formula that makes him gain weight and his picky self will eat. These two might even be related.

Streeter's menu:

1. Total Equine pellets 15% protein; 5% fat but he is gaining weight

2. Ridley's Horse Lix is a complete mineral lick. I don't like that it's molasses base but he does not have insulin issues and I had run out of options.

There are other vit/min lick tubs on the market.

He goes out on 20 acres of good native grasses daily but I bring him in at night and leave the tub tied in his stall all night --- AFTER he eats his feed pan stuff.

3. Cool Calories (granulated pure hydrogenated fat).

4. Omega-3 Horseshine.

5. Rice bran.

6. Probios probiotic.

7. Well soaked/hand mushed timothy/alfalfa cubes.

8. Ten pounds of orchard grass/mix hay - most of which he leaves.

Amazingly he has been my first horse to slick completely out and his coat is as shiny as a peeled onion. He has never had a lot of muscle and I am amazed at how his top line has come up.

I will get a picture of him Thursday morning and post the before and afters.

There is hope for your fella to gain his weight back ---- you just have to hit on the right combination. I've been struggling with this for 2 or 3 years; if it hadn't been for the lady at the feed store, I'd still be struggling.

The Total Equine and Horse Lix tub are two things I would have never fed. The Lix tub does have to stay in the stall with the horse. I do remove it until Streeter eats his feed pan stuff. The smart booger will flip his pan, when he's done eating, nicker, and put his nose where the Lix tub should be. Mr. WTW or I had better be hustling his tub to him or else - lol

The tub is 32 pounds. The first one last three weeks, I think the second one will last longer as his consumption seems to have slowed down. They don't need teeth for these lick tubs, which is great because they can still get all their needed vitamins/minerals:)

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Last edited by walkinthewalk; 05-14-2014 at 10:17 PM.
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post #9 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 11:10 PM
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Will he eat hay chaff or hay cubves? If he won't do pellets he may like the feel of soaked cubes better. Try timothy. Also try some calf manna, coconut oil, or something similar. Mix it into his favorite sweet feed...a few handfuls so he will eat the good stuff.

If you can get him to eat chaff tsc has timothy chaff that is easily chewed.

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post #10 of 41 Old 05-14-2014, 11:31 PM
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Can I have the number of your vet please?
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