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Hot_to_trot78 06-17-2008 06:14 PM

First time horse owner
Hi thought I would introduce myself and ask some questions at the same time.

My name is Kyle 29 year old male.

I just rescued a TB horse her name is May,

She is not in the best way right now.....she is roughly 16 hh and underweight by 300 lbs....

any recomendations as to what I need to do to get her healthy and what can I supplement her diet with to bring her weight up. other then being underweight and needing her hoofs clipped shes quite healthy but any suggestions would be great.

feel free to PM me with your ideas im also a new horse owner and havent owned a horse of my own this would be a first for me.

FGRanch 06-17-2008 06:37 PM

Hello Kyle! Welcome to HorseForum and welcome to horse ownership! :D

Alright he is my advice for weight gain. I recently rescue a colt that needed alot of weight gain and this is what I did for him.

I gave him free choice 25% Alfalfa Hay (Vet reccommended)

Do this twice a day:
1 pound of oats
1 pound of foal ration (you can give this to adult horses as well, very high in fat and protien)
Mixed with 40cc Rice Bran Oil (amazing stuff, I like it way better than the pellet formula)

And most importantly make sure you horse always has lots of fresh, clean water.

Hope this helps! :D

CaEcho 06-17-2008 08:58 PM

I would really work with a vet first before throwing hay and grain / oats at him. Why is he underweight?

Has he seen a vet?
Has he been wormed since you have had him?
Blood levels tested?
Teeth checked / floated?

I personally would feed 1/4 flake of grass and 1/4 less of alfalfa (it can run hot, and depending on your weather, if he sweats, hes going to be lose precious fluid levels. TBs run hot anyway, so just watch him) 4 small meals a day. I would feed it completely grass at night since grass hay takes longer to digest, it will be in his system longer. Keeping him physically warmer at night, and keeping him "full" through the night.

The worst thing you can do is dump a ton of food infront of a starving horse. You are asking for more trouble, and it wont do him any justice.

Take it nice and easy, but steady. He will eventually pick up the weight qucikly, and in a healthy way.

Good luck!

NorthernMama 06-17-2008 09:18 PM

I agree with CaEcho. Since you probably don't know the history of the horse, I would have a vet check your tb for teeth and his opinion on the what the best wormer would be given the horse's current health. Also, once the farrier is out that will help as well.

I also think that feeding the oats and foal ration would be OK, but again, several small meals... smaller more frequent supplements do far more good than one or two larger feedings, but you have to work with what you can do. Beet pulp is very popular for weight gain, but make sure it it well soaked and she doesn't gulp it down. If she is too greedy with her food, put a salt block in her feed bucket so she doesn't eat too fast and choke. Free choice hay and water are a must and if you can, let her run free with shelter available rather than keeping her stalled. It will help her digestion and metabolism. Feed at least the hay at ground level and if possible other supplements, esp. beet pulp at ground level as well. However, I would stay with her during her meals so she can gain your trust and you can supervise her eating abilities.

Take photos for a record of her progress. It will guide you along the way. Happy rescuing! It can be tiring and stressful, but very rewarding!

CaEcho 06-17-2008 09:32 PM


Originally Posted by northernmama
I agree with CaEcho. Since you probably don't know the history of the horse, I would have a vet check your tb for teeth and his opinion on the what the best wormer would be given the horse's current health.

I forgot to mention, if this horse is very wormy, watch him carefully after you worm him. Once everything starts to die, it can be a strain on the horses system, and some go into a shock.

And yes, definitly take pics. You may not see the transformation as he is right infront of you, but pics will show you what a good daddy you are.

buckaroo2010 06-17-2008 10:20 PM

Do agree Beat Pulp is some amazing stuff and her her on a good grain with it and some hay after words should get her back to her main weight and the grass in her pasture ( if there is any) will help but if she doesnt improve soon I would get a vet to take a look :)

and Welcome to the HF! :D

WalkTrotCanterGallop 06-17-2008 10:34 PM

weight gain
it is key to keep the horse healthy during wieght gain.\

Alfalfa hay is weight gain. No more than 2 flakes and I would get 25%

Their are also supplements you can get at your local feed store.

Also feeds- A good complete feed will be high in fiber and include trace minerals, fats and vitamins NUTRRINA SAFE CHOICE

The horse should be vaccinated and de-wormed regulary both can cause devistating weight loss. Get a local vet to come and vet check for you.

this will get your horse wieght an keep it healthy

jazzyrider 06-18-2008 03:14 AM

hi kyle :)

i havent read through the other posts so i apologise if i repeat anything.

the best way to put weight on a horse is by 24/7 free choice hay or grass. you can supplement her feed with a hard feed but ultimately you will get nowhere with this unless you back it up with plenty of roughage. if you decide to put her on a hard feed i would recommend a mix of rice bran, lucerne chaffe and a good pellet. pellets for senior horses will help put on the weight and keep it there too. there are other things for hard feeds that are available in the states but not here in australia but i cant tell you about them :)

most importantly though is roughage. and also that you make sure she is wormed. worming is often something forgotten about by new owners. also it might be good to get her teeth checked as well. teeth and worming are one of the first things i do when i get an obviously neglected horse.

finally a good COMPLETE supplement will help her gain weight and get healthy quicker. she will be lacking in many things and supplements are the best to help with that. i feel like my horses feed is naked without a supplement :)

other things to help with weight is vegetable oil (also helps give that nice shiny coat), potatoes (mashed and added to their feed) and coconut meal.

good luck with her :)

my2geldings 06-18-2008 05:11 PM

Hey Kyle,
Welcome to the forum! Because it is a rescue situation, would you have the option to get a full vet check done. Get an ok on everything to make sure she isnt in pain anywhere or might have problems later on with eating, and get her set up for riding once she fills in again.

I demand pictures of that little beauty.

orchid park 06-18-2008 06:18 PM

I can not offer advice on feeds etc as I live in Australia, so we would have different feed manufacturers etc.
I just wanted to say, thats its wonderful to know there are caring people and wish you all luck with your new horse.


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