Ribs showing on a well fed horse.

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Ribs showing on a well fed horse.

This is a discussion on Ribs showing on a well fed horse. within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Horses ribs still show when fed well
  • Horse feed good wormed ribs still show

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  • 4 Post By Speed Racer
  • 1 Post By Endiku
  • 2 Post By Allison Finch
  • 1 Post By AlexS

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    07-30-2012, 11:06 AM
Smile Ribs showing on a well fed horse.

I am working with this Thoroughbred gelding and I have noticed that his ribs are showing, he is pretty much a pasture horse so he is pretty well fed. Fat I should say, he is only 7 and I am not sure why his ribs are showing. He is not old and he is defiantly well fed and I don't know if I should worry or what.

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    07-30-2012, 11:09 AM
Sounds like he's out of shape. If he's exercised regularly, it should pull everything up. However, some TBs tend to be a touch ribby even when they're in good weight. Just a breed trait.

Oh, and the word is definitely. Defiantly means something else entirely.
    07-30-2012, 11:44 AM
Teen Forum Moderator
Thoroughbreds tend to be hard keepers (not all of them are, mind you) also, so he may just need a little 'more' than the other horses. By more I don't mean quantity so much as quality. Good hay, rice bran, beet pulp, or in some cases even senior feed are good things to look into.

We have seven TBs right now and are constantly having to revamp their feed to keep them looking good, depending on the time of year.
Blondehorselover likes this.
    07-30-2012, 12:12 PM
What the others have stated, also has he been wormed latey. Or atleast you know its not worms?
    07-30-2012, 02:05 PM
Even if you've wormed recently, you might look into getting a fecal egg count done. It's possible that the wormer you used last doesn't kill the types of worms he (maybe) has, or are resistant.
    07-30-2012, 09:08 PM
If he's fat & well fed, 7yo & otherwise healthy, I wouldn't stress about ribs. There can be conditions that cause muscle wastage or skinny horses with 'fat pads', but while it's important to learn about these things, I'm guessing it's probably not an issue with him.

People tend to think that if a horse is showing any rib at all that they must be 'hard keepers' or need more feed. Whereas health-wise, if a horse doesn't show any rib at all through a summer coat as a rule, it actually means they're likely too fat. Of course horses, like other animals, are individuals & do come in different shapes.

By the sound of it, I'd be working on getting him fit & to lose some weight - as with ourselves, fat is not healthy & long-term overweigh horses suffer metabolic problems which among other things, causes laminitis.
    07-30-2012, 09:27 PM
Super Moderator
You say he is well fed. Is he well fed because he is in a big pasture with grass, or well fed because he gets grass and planty of hay and supplemental feeds? If he is only in a grassy pasture, it may not be giviing him what he needs.
themacpack and Speed Racer like this.
    07-30-2012, 09:37 PM
Can you share a photo of him?

My TB is on grass 24/7, and still looses weight if he is not on the perfect amount of feed.
themacpack likes this.
    07-31-2012, 10:26 AM
As others have said, make sure you deworm him and have him vet checked. I have a part thoroughbred and no matter how much he eats he has always been ribby w/a poor topline. I definitely need to work him more to build muscle and it sounds like that's what your horse needs.

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