Alarming weight loss
Ruby is a 6yr quarter horse. We got her from a rescue operation. When we first aquired Ruby this spring, she was very underweight. We had her teeth floated (they were pretty bad), wormed, coggins, and checked over by a vet this late spring. At the time she was boarded with two other mares.
Between the three mares, they were given a bale of hay per day - as per the stable owner (I would not have had a clue - just left it up to him). Over June and early July, Ruby had put on a good amount of weight, she was filling out nicely, and her ribs werent as prominent as they were before.
In early July, the farm owners son aquired a horse as well. This mare is also stabled with the other three. The farm owner kept feeding one bale per day.
All 4 of the horses are free to go out to a very small pasture (barely any grass is growning on the pasture although).
When we aquired Ruby, she was in a pen all by herself. When we put her in with the other two mares, she kept getting "beet up". The other horses would bully her, push her around, bite, and sometimes kick her. She was always having new sores on her and fresh open wounds, which I have constantly been treating. Ruby refuses to fight back and just runs away - making matters worse.
In the last month or so, I have noticed that she has lost weight considerably. Her injurys have alarmed me to the point of insisting the farm owner seperate her from the other three horses, which he did.
When we firsst aquired Ruby, I started giving her suppliment to help her weight situation. We still do to this day.
Is there something I am missing or should be doing? Am I over reacting?
As far as workload, Ruby is used for pleasure riding only. Maybe 1-2hours every other day at most.
Does she get any hard feed? It sounds as though she might need some - even if it is just to get her weight up initially.
im not sure but maybe because she was so under nourished when u got her she had neva been on pasture grass and then u just through her in a paddock wit heavy pasture grass that it might be too much for her. the other mares might not be lettin her eat enough. how many acres is the paddock on?
i suggest some hand feeding!!!
If she was being run off the hay then she was not getting enough to eat. Add one more horse to the mix and no extra hay and she is getting even less. Just keep her separated and feed her some additional fiber like alfalfa pellets or cubes and/or beet pulp to help her regain that weight. I'm not a fan of grain so I don't have any suggestions there.
1 bale of hay a day for four horses is not enough. Your horse alone probably needs a bale right now. And it needs to be divided into at least 3 piles so that the underdog gets a chance to eat. Supplement her with beet pulp, oil, bran, whatever -- try stuff and see what helps but she needs more hay!!
I take pills for that. LOL
Yes, they need to have at least 2 extra piles of hay out when there are that many horses in the mix. And it has to be extra hay, not "just enough". Better if they keep that horse separate and feed her extra stuff as well as hay.
FIRST question. What do you mean "hard feed"? --->newb here! <---
Second, I may have neglected to specify, but the pature she was originaly in was not much of a pastue --- minimal weeds at most.
I approched the ranch owner with the casual comment that Ruby is not getting enough to eat - I got the reply that a bale for 4 horses "is more than enough". I (personally tend to disagree,,,,, but thats MHO. I am curently working on "sneeking" my own hay into the works (in shory, just buying my own)
As of yesterday, Ruby has been solidated and perscribed a strict diet of 2 flakes (per barn owner) plus 4-6lbs of suppliment, no riding, and lots of "take me out, walk me-and snuggling my velvet nose because I really want t be pampered" treatment (per me).
Hard Feed is grain. Supplements are things like flax seed, joint supplements, weight gain supplements. They are not grain tho they sometimes will be in a base like alfalfa for ease of feeding.
If there is adequate pasture available then 1 bale may be enough for 4 horses, but it isn't sounding like that is the case here. My 4 horses and a pony are on 20 acres and it feeds them fine all summer unless we are in a drought.
Now, what do these bales weigh? That makes a difference. Horses should have around 18-20#(just a general amount) for maintenance for an average size horse. I think the formula is 1.5-2% of their body weight. So a 1000# horse would require 15-20# of roughage(hay or grass).. More during cold weather.
Hard feed(grain) is not the main diet for any horse, but it helps those in hard work. Hay and grass are the best bets for a healthy horse. Add beet pulp, alfalfa pellets or cubes, hay stretchers accordingly if a horse cannot eat enough or process hay properly due to age/lack of teeth etc.
I'm sorry this is getting long.. Did the horses clean up the 1 bale before the next horse was added? If so then how does he justify it being enough for one more? ;) 2 flakes a day or a feeding?? Weigh those flakes! She should be getting 15-20# of hay a day depending on her size! Adding grain isn't going to do much for weight gain without adequate roughage.
I am venting so bear with me. :x Isn't it nice when the BO lets your horse get poor then says you can't ride her? However if she's fairly poor I wouldn't ride her either.
Find how everything they are feeding her ....
also what kind of stuff are you feeding to help with weight ??
with little to no pasture and not enough hay your horse NEEDS to be getting a good vitamin/mineral supplement or ration balancer for nutrition then as much hay as she will clean up .. if the hay and vitamin/mineral or ration balancer is not enough extra calories they are min then add some beet pulp or alfalfa pellets/cubes or rice bran to help her out
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