Underweight!? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-15-2012, 11:29 AM
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I'd start by balancing out your horse's diet. Millrun (same thing as wheat middlings IIRC) is fine as an ingredient in horse food, but doesn't have enough nutrition to serve as a standalone feed product. Many of the skin problems horses pick up (greasy heel, rain rot, etc) can be completely avoided with a proper, balanced diet.

I'd restructure the diet to be high in forage (hay or fresh grass), fed at ~2% of your horse's ideal body weight at a minimum, or better yet free choice. Supplement that with a ration balancer for nutrition. (If you let me know what brands are available in your area, I can make some specific product recommendations)

You can also add in additional calories with rice bran, soaked beet pulp and/or alfalfa (cubes, pellets or hay). I know you mentioned he didn't like rice bran- I haven't seen any horses object to rice bran unless it was rancid, and rice bran goes rancid very quickly if it's not stabilized. It might be worth trying again with stabilized rice bran. A lot of horses don't like beet pulp at first, but quickly grow to love it. If you want to try beet pulp, you can try mixing in some molasses until she gets used to the taste. I haven't found a horse yet that doesn't love alfalfa
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-15-2012, 02:49 PM
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Will definately agree with Verona1016 Millrun/midlings/wheatbran is not a suitable food for any horse save as the occasional bran mash after a long hard day hunting oe when the horse is unwell. To protect from Mudfever. Greasy heel and the like the feed/supplement needs to contain Copper and Zinc. This is my reason for my horses having free access to their multi mineral block, they are Clydesdale crosses with large amounts of white on them and are totally free of mudfever or sunburn when they have their block to lick.

Sugarbeet comes in various forms - it is a by product of Sugar refining, high in fibre and calcium, it is then prepared in two ways, either dried as is with minimal sugar in it or it is sprayed with mollasses to make it more palatable. Horses love it! Introduce it slowly starting with a small amount as the gigestive system needs to develop the bacteria to digest it. so take at least a week to build up to the desired amount.

I can't advocate the feeding of processed feeds as I am very much against their use. They are full of foods that are totaly alien to horses such as peanut husks, Soy and various other strange things. Having seen the problems we are now faced with since the mass introduction of processed feeds one can only suspect them as being the source. 40 years ago we rarely ever had anything other than fat native ponise develop laminitis yet now we hear of TB's and other breeds that historically never suffered these problems going down with laminitis and sugar resistance problems.

I've cared for 100's of horses over my time as a stablemanager and only seen problems with allergies and silly behaviour in a few and all were initially being fed processed feeds. Put onto the traditional feeds they immediately settled down again and the allergies went. My riding school horses all are fed Extruded Barley, Meadow Hay Chaff and sugarbeet, in the 10 years I had the school not one case of colic, laminitis or strange behaviour.

Currently I think you need to continue what you are feeding every other day and monitor your horses condition weekly with a weigh tape. If she starts to lose weight then ask that she recieve more hay, as she is on her own would you not be able to ask the barn owner to give her a feed for you. You could make it up ready either in a plastic carrier bag or a bucket and all he need do is put it in her manger. This is what I do if I'm going away and what my friends do when I look after their horses for them while they are away.
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-15-2012, 03:05 PM
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The main thing you need to do for your horse is be consistent. Doesn't matter whose advice you take on the nutrition and feed, ask 10 horse people and probably get 100 answers and we all think we're the best/right. Switching from one thing to the next to the next isn't going to work and might harm.

So, if you choose to feed a certain product, say Strategy, then feed the same amount at the same time every day. If you choose to do the psyllium ( I use Metamucil 1/2 cup/day for 7 days each month) then do that once a month consistently. Make sure she has access to a good forage, I like free choice Bermuda grass for my horses but it's a regional thing. Leave her plenty in front of her 24/7. Don't keep adding and subtracting a bunch of supplements, pick something and stick with it. Give everything at least 3 months to begin to show some kind of change. If you like the way it's going, give it 3 more months and re-assess again.

Another KEY issue is to WEIGH your feed. I don't mean the grass hay, that's free choice, unlimited. But any concentrate whether you choose to feed a product like Strategy or Nutrena or Blue Seal, read the tag and feed for what you want your horse to weigh, not what she weighs now and then make sure you weigh it every single time you feed. So, if you're feeding 7 lbs of something/day, then weigh out 3.5 lbs of it morning and night, or 2.3 lbs morning, noon and night. It's the only way to be sure she's getting the right amount of whatever your feeding.

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post #14 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tnavas View Post
Psyllium is a product used to prevent sand buildup. As psyllium moves through the digestive tract, sand attaches to it. When your horse passes the psyllium husks, it passes the sand with it. Step 1

Start a plan for feeding the psyllium to your horse after discussing the time frame with your veterinarian. Feed the husks three to seven days once a month following the dosage instructions with the product. Dosage will depend on the weight of the horse. Psyllium should not be a daily additive. It can disrupt the natural digestive processes of the horse.
Step 2

Place the husks on top of the feed. Psyllium absorbs water and becomes sticky. Application of psyllium husks on top of the feed keeps it from absorbing too much water before the horse digests it.
Step 3

Supply your horse with plenty of fresh water during the Psyllium feeding period. Psyllium works by absorbing sand as it moves through the digestive tract. Water softens the husks and enables them to move.

Salt is one of the important minerals and is required for many functions within the horse. You can feed just ordinary table salt, mine get iodised salt because it is easy to buy from the supermarket.

Reply; Thanks :)
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