Should I blanket him? Supplements? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-10-2014, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Should I blanket him? Supplements?

I have a Trakehner gelding that is a extremely hard keeper in the winter. He came out of last winter looking horrible, he is 18 and I want him to come out of this winter looking nicer. I had him on beet pulp last winter but in about January/February he started flipping the pan over and wont eat it! Im also wondering if I should blanket him at night? most of his calories go toward keeping warm. Thanks for your replies :)
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-10-2014, 11:07 PM
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If he's losing weight because he's cold then he needs a blanket.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-11-2014, 09:09 AM
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Blanket if he is cold, yes they will use their energy {fat} reserves to stay warm by converting fat to energy and warmth. If he is "puffed-up" and shivering it is a sign he is working hard to stay warm...
If he is thin he doesn't have that layer of insulation fat for warmth he needs...why horses need to be covered in a appropriate layer of fat year round, insulates from cold & both ways.

Are you only feeding beet pulp?
That is not balanced nutrition for any horse and could be a contributing cause of his weight loss.
Beet pulp in combination with vitamins, minerals and essential proteins along with fats all in balance might help your guy do better.

If he doesn't receive feed/grain other than beet pulp it would be something I would be investigating.
A Senior mix of feed is made for a older horses digestion system, prepared so the most nutrients can be absorbed by the animal in proper amounts of balanced nutrition. Your horse qualifies as a senior.

Sometimes what worked for our horses a year ago no longer works this year and needs some "tweaking" may have reached that place in time where he just needs more...something.

BTW... have you ever eaten a piece of beet pulp???... ick, not very nice tasting. Can't say I blame him for not wanting to eat some feeds are delicious and nutritious......
Yup I chew on hay too...some is better and tastier than others.

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post #4 of 8 Old 07-11-2014, 09:23 AM
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If the horse is too sick to regulate his body temperature, yes blanketing might be a good idea. If you do it, be super careful though; a blanket kills the horse's ability to keep himself warm on his own, so in fact if the blanket is too light, he will be colder than without the blanket.
A blanket that is too heavy for the temperature, might make horse to sweat, and being sweaty during the winter is not good. So monitor closely the situation so you can keep your horse as comfortable as possible.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-11-2014, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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So what Denier would you recommend? I have never blanketed a horse, And are Smartpaks really worth the money? What feed would you recommend? Thanks for all the help!
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-11-2014, 12:28 PM
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I have a Schneider's blanket with detachable neck cover for my horse. I got it for him last winter and have been very pleased with how well it held up (not a single tear in it!) They have a few different fits for different horse body types, so you can select one that is best suited to your horse. I haven't tried the SmartPak blankets, but I like the brand/company in general, and they have free return shipping if it doesn't fit.

Denier is the strength of the material- if your horse is hard on blankets (or is turned out with other horses who might pick at your horse's blanket) then you'd want to get as high a denier as possible: 1200D or higher.

You'll probably need more than one blanket to adjust as temperatures fluctuate. If you put on too heavy of a blanket, the horse will sweat underneath it and end up get chilled, whereas if he's wearing too light of a blanket it can be counterproductive since it will take away the horse's natural insulation (lifting the hairs) without replacing it with enough fill in the blanket to stay warm.

For feeds, I'd see if you can get Triple Crown Senior in your area.

As a side note, my barn feeds a mash of beet pulp with rice bran each night. The rice bran really seems to increase the palatability of it. A lot of horses turn their noses up at it when they first come in to the barn, but within a week or two they're begging for it just like the other horses! They use roughly a 4:1 beet pulp to rice bran ratio by volume (with both beet pulp and rice bran in pelleted form)

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-12-2014, 02:57 AM
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Get rid of the beet pulp and stay with a good hay, Timothy is you can get it. Oats help to keep the midnight fires burning.

Beet pulp has to be soaked, that´s extra fluids the body has to warm up, taxing on the systom.

Horses in good condition will have a good Winter coat an need no blanketing.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-12-2014, 06:27 AM
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SBP has always worked for me in putting/keeping weight on geriatrics. (Up to mid-30's in age) It's rated second only to oats in digestibility and energy value. But I'll mix it 50/50 with soaked alfalfa cubes to up protien level and top with up to 1/2 cup veg oil.

You might try feeding him with a hanging or tied bucket. Those are better for the playful pawing horse.

If you choose to switch to a processed feed, make the change slowly over several weeks. If he's not used to the molasses - the blood glucose spike from a sudden switch can trigger founder inflammation or can even cause colic as his gut bacteria react to the sudden sugar rush.
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