I purchased a big 5 year TWH gelding about three months ago. He is a broad, well muscled fellow for sure, but he is also about 200 Pounds overweight in my opinion. He is turned out daily, from 8 AM to around 7 PM. However, his pasture is over grazed and there is not a lot of grass to be consumed. At night, he gets a "flake" of hay. I have not been able to ride or exercise him much due to undergoing a back surgery about three weeks after I bought him. I am hoping to peel some weight off of him over the winter. I will supplement his hay intake with feed. Any suggestions for a good diet feed that will keep him nourished but will also result in some weight loss? My hope is that by spring, his weight will be optimal and my back will be healed so that we can both be ready to resume a very regular riding and training regimen.
I honestly wouldnt worry about his weight until next spring. This way you don't have to worry about him in the winter. I'm not sure where you are from or how your winters are but most people have more of a problem going into winter with horses not fat enough. He probably will loose weight during the winter just from trying to keep warm. So I would say to leave him fat until next year when you are able to get out and excersise him. That is just my opinion.
Good point! I live in Illinois and, although our winters are not as cold and snowy as what you are accustomed to in Wisconsin, most horses will naturally lose weight during this time of year. I can monitor his weight as the winter progresses and, if it does not appear that he is slimming down much, I can always make a diet adjustment at that time. Thanks for the post!
Feed him a ration balancer and hay. Your type of horse is exactly the type of horse a ration balancer was designed for. It supplies vitamins/minerals with minimal calories.
If you want to help your horse stay warm this winter don't worry about "grain" or feed. Forage is what keeps them warm. Heat is a by-product of digestion and forage/fiber has the highest heat increment.
Raton balancer and hay in a slow feeder or double netted to slow him down... ideally you want him eating it slow enough that he pretty much takes from one feeding to the next to eat... if he is pastured alone you can spread it out thinnly all over the place I weigh my fatties hay and she only gets about 18lbs a day and I spread it everywhere and in different spots so she has to move and "hunt" for it
That's what I do too Peggy, my hay is in like 10-15 piles all over the paddock. I also give them 1/2 more mature, less nutritional hay and 1/2 good hay. Well I vary that ratio depending on their weight and the weather.