My older Paint Gelding is getting a little chubby. He is a retired proformance horse that babysits my children. He gets ridden regularly but by children so not the quality work out he needs to stay fit. He is retired and enjoying the life, but I want to keep him healthy. He has bad hocks so I know it is best for him not to be over weight so I need suggestions to get the weight off or to not put any more on.
Here is what he gets now......
He is stalled during the day and turned out on pasture at night. He gets 1/2 scoop of a 10% pellet morning and night and a flake some times 2 of hay while he is stalled to keep him busy! And of course joint supplements. He gets ridden at least 3 times a week
He is always the first one done eating and is so sad and watching patiently while everyone else finishes their meal.
What feed brand are you currently using??
Find something high nutrition low starch low calorie... look for low grain or no grain formula .. corn is the highest in sugar/starches you can get so avoid it at all cost with him
maybe look into a good vitamin mineral supplement (Smartpak has one with pre/pro bios as well as amino acids) or possibly a ration balancer
He is getting Nutrena's Triumph 10% Pellet.
If the pasture is lush and he's out for 12 hours a gazing muzzle might help.
How much does a 1/2 scoop weigh? How big is the horse? Can you do a little more work with him?
The scoop is a 2 pound scoop and he is getting half...so 1 pound...not much. He is 15.3. The pasture is full and green. Does the muzzle just reduce the intake? I do ride him some but mostly the kids ride him. He is at the point where the vet has told me that loaping circles and lunging is too much for him.(hocks and ankles) I do ride him down abit before my littlest one rides.
what about reducing the grain to a handful or nothing? or just give a "feed" that has minerals and vitamins in it (like a grass ration balancer)
The muzzle just restricts the amount of grass he gets. He'll have to work for it. LOL This way they still get the mental well being of grazing and don't pig out.
I hear you on the loping and such if he's sore. Poor guy! I would cut the grain to a handful as well and muzzle him.
This might help you...
I would turn him out 24/7, only bringing him in to eat and in bad weather. Movement is very important for arthritic horses, and it will help him keep some of the weight down. Does he have a friend to be turned out with? That should help encourage some movement.
I would also give him less grain, or just plain oats with some applesauce or a dash of oil to make his supplements stick.
Or, you might think about a ration balancer, like Triple Crown's 30% supplement or Purina Enrich 32. You only give 1 lb for full nutrition. Your boy would be getting better nutrients & vitamins, but less calories. Your joint supplements should stick to it fine too.
Keeping metabolic and easy-keeper type horses' NSC value (non-structural carbohydrates), as low as possible is essential to keep them healthy.
I know you didn't say your horse is metabolic, but he fits the general profile for heading in that direction; he is older, an easy keeper.
My 21 yo has Equine Metabolic Syndrome and the 12 yo easy keeper is trying to head down the metabolic path. The 12 yo eats the same as the 21 yo and also gets some of the same herbal supplements in the hopes of heading I-R or EMS off at the pass so-to-speak :)
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