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Please help horse losing weight going into winter

This is a discussion on Please help horse losing weight going into winter within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        04-03-2013, 10:32 AM
      #11
    Started
    My mare was losing weight bad in the winter (two hundred pounds or more, etc... ribby, skinny, dull coat, etc...)... I changed her feed last summer to Dumor Equistages Complete Feed and Standlee Alfalfa Pellets and also put her of a Weight Supplement (Cool Calories) and a Joint Supplement (VitaFlex with MSM) and her weight has been perfect, if not a little overweight, this winter.

    It was my mare's feed. As she got older, what was doing right by her the last few years wasn't giving her enough nutrition, and her aritheritis wasn't helping, but now of the new feed, she's like a new horse!

    Good luck!
         
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        04-03-2013, 11:24 AM
      #12
    Started
    Sports store - hockey netting.
         
        04-03-2013, 12:25 PM
      #13
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HowClever    
    This is a better idea!

    I can totally picture a few of mine doing that now that I think about it too...
    I'd never laughed so hard. BO and I spent forever rigging up this high feeder so my skinny horse could have an unlimited supply of alfalfa and the fatso minis would be limited to grass hay. Next morning she sent me a picture... minis were up to their knees in alfalfa that doofus pulled out and threw for them while the fat pony in the next pasture had his head and neck contorted through the fence and was eating their untouched grass hay.

    I REALLY wouldn't advise a hay net for an underweight horse. The whole point here is to get her eating more, not less or more slowly. 2-3 "slices" (I am guessing those are the same as flakes) in a single day is hardly anything, especially with TWO eating it! My horse gets that as a snack when it's slightly cold or he had a good workout or the BO thinks he looks "hungry".

    I would triple her hay and get the tubster a grazing muzzle. You can put the hay up higher too, tends to limit the tubster to the stalkier, less premium pieces of hay that the other horse discards upon the ground.
         
        04-03-2013, 12:30 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    You can't just say, it won't work, You need to make it work. Even if you have to stand there and protect her hay. She needs more food!
         
        04-03-2013, 12:37 PM
      #15
    Trained
    Slowfeeders work both ways, Delfina. The reason is that, when eating slowly, little by little, and always, feed gets utilized way better. Not only the hay, ultimately the hard feed also.
    Plus, OP's horse is prone to ulcers. So, always something in the stomach is essential.
    Since I use slowfeeder nets, my blimp Arab is slimming nicely and my 300 lbs underweight rescue QH has gained what was missing. They're happy, don't even get excited when I bring their breakfast, lunch and dinner( ration balancer + soaked alfalfa pellets) .
         
        04-03-2013, 12:45 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    I've always had better success with just loading skinny horses up with enough hay that they never run out. We tried hay nets in an attempt to keep hay from blowing away in the pasture and the skinny ones deemed it as too much work and barely ate a thing. We've never tried to put weight on an underfed normal keeper though.... just REALLY hard keepers whose owners had been struggling the entire time they owned them to keep them at a decent weight.
         
        04-03-2013, 12:51 PM
      #17
    Green Broke
    2-3 slices of hay a day for a standardbread horse that gets worked 3-6 times a week is not near enough hay. Like delfina said at least triple the hay.
         
        04-03-2013, 01:17 PM
      #18
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Delfina    
    I've always had better success with just loading skinny horses up with enough hay that they never run out. We tried hay nets in an attempt to keep hay from blowing away in the pasture and the skinny ones deemed it as too much work and barely ate a thing. We've never tried to put weight on an underfed normal keeper though.... just REALLY hard keepers whose owners had been struggling the entire time they owned them to keep them at a decent weight.
    I always had free choice hay for my horses, long before the slowfeeder idea was born. And I was very reluctant at first. But I had to do something for blimp, no way around. I noticed they favored the nets over hay on the ground even( for the transitioning phase I had both, nets and on the ground). It takes about a week for them to learn that there's always something, no need to gobble it up as fast as possible.
    I, of course, spoil my horses....I have oat hay, alfalfa and orchard/ timothy, a net of each, spread out, so they must move, and they do! A nibble here, then off to the next, even leaving the alfalfa to get a mouthful of oathay.
    I still give a little oathay inside the sheds, but they pick out the kernels, the rest remains for bedding.
    I weighed what I put in and raked together and weighed again what was left, for a month, before I started with the nets. Average 28 lbs per horse, and about 10lbs wasted. Then I did the same with nets...15 lbs eaten, 2-3lbs waste. And still hay in the nets.
    Big difference!
         
        04-03-2013, 09:15 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Thanks for your great ideas!!!
    I'm going to give Millie more hay next time I see her. Unfortunately, I can't guard her hay as I had surgery (not horse related ) and I can only visit my horses 2-3 times a week. I have responsible people feeding and mucking out/riding etc but they just chuck the hay in the manger. I can get them to give her more hay but they do not have time to guard it. It takes Millie about an hour to eat 2-3 slices (she eats slowly) and if I triple that (which is what I'm planning to do) they will be spending all day watching her eat!!!!
    I am seriously looking into a slow feeder, it sounds great.
    BTW, she had her teeth done 3 months ago and they were fine.
    It gets to somewhere between 3 and 10 degrees celcius each night, she only wears her winter cover if it is below 4 degrees at night and/or very windy or rainy so she should not be overheating or getting cold.
    She is moulting out her summer coat at the moment and growing her winter one.
         
        04-03-2013, 09:37 PM
      #20
    Trained
    Definitely slowfeeder nets! One hour for her hay. And another for her grain. So she is 22 hours without food. She needs roughage to stay warm. Otherwise she uses what little she has for staying warm. Nothing left for putting on weight. And ulcers lurking. Just a matter of time.
    Standies are easy keepers, I've seen them get downright fat on grass hay only. So it's definitely the lack of hay making her lose weight.
    Thank heavens you're such a caring owner!
         

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