Don't know what else to do...Another weight thread...
I have a 13 year old Curly gelding.
We owned him from 1 year to 7 years, sold him, got him back at 10 years old. All the time we owned him previously, we had NO issues what-so-ever with his weight. He was well muscled, thick and stocky, and had a nice topline. He was always an easy keeper.
Flash forward. We got him back and he's never been the same body wise. He's a hard keeper now. His topline is non-existent. I just don't know what to do.
Coming out of winter, he was about 50 pounds under weight. No big deal. Grass comes in, he starts looking really good. And then, he stops and start losing weight. He's no emaciated looking. He's not ribby. But his butt and topline are horrendous. I can feel every rib, cant see them, even at a trot, but I do not like the way he looks. Compared to what he was before...This is pitiful.
We had the vet look at his teeth, they look really good. We had the vet draw bloodwork. It came back clean and 100% healthy.
His diet includes...
Approximately 25 pounds of hay per day. We have nice alfalfa we give him when he's stalled, and we have a grass hay/alfalfa hay mix we feed to him and the others when they are out. He is dominant in the herd so he's not getting pushed around. They are fed morning and night.
8 #'s of Nutrena LifeDesign Senior.
8 scoops of Cool Calories.
He has access to a salt block and mineral block at all times.
I called and talked to my vet today about the possibility of ulcers. She said if he had ulcers, he would have had a low hemoglobin level and high WBC count. His bloodwork was clean though so she wasn't concerned.
He eats all his grain, eats all the alfalfa hay, but will walk away from the grass hay mix right now because we have some pasture he'd prefer. So he's obviously not starving if he's walking away from hay but gosh. Why is he skinny?
I'd like another 100 pounds on him. And winter is coming and I do NOT want him going into winter like this. Vet said we should blanket him when it drops into the teens to help keep weight on him. But make sure his winter coat is fully in before blanketing.
I don't know what else to do. Vet suggested Cocosoya Oil. I stopped at TSC and they were out so I'll pick some up Saturday.
He's completely up to date on regular deworming.
Does anyone have any ideas other then what I'm doing. 24/7 hay is my only option, and the hay that that'd be is the hay he is walking away from and not finishing because it's not "good enough" for him... :wink: He'd also need to be separated from my other horses because none of my other ones need that much hay. That may have the adverse effect and stress him out and make him loose weight. *sigh*
Pictures: First 2 are from this spring when our grass was really good.
Last picture is from about 1 month ago. He's lost approximately 30 pounds since that picture. Hip bones are starting to show and butt has a weight "point" to it.
He looks just fine in the pictures? I wouldn't want to put 100 lbs on him. Maybe try for different angles to show us what you're seeing?
I'll get some new pictures tomorrow. He was looking good for awhile. But then started losing again. :-(
This is from when we just got him back a few years ago...This is what he looks like now too...Look at that butt! Yuck! He's not ribby like that tough, just hippy and pointy booty.
Here are hind end shots at 10 years old when we got him back, and 4 years old before we sold him.
Firstly, while perhaps the pics don't give an accurate idea, I agree with Calico - he looks fine & doesn't need to gain. In the last pic he looks possibly a bit under, but not terribly at all. (ed to say 3rd last as I didn't see the 'at 10yo & at 4yo', of which 10yo looks fine, weight-wise)
Geeze oh peets Loosie, way to make this complicated. ;-)
Yes he's been *effectively dewormed* and his teeth have been looked at. They are very good.
I always thought that horses needed to be scoped for ulcers as well, and I mentioned to my mom about treating him and she called the vet to run it by her. Which is when the vet told her that his bloodwork would have came back with a low hemoglobin count and high WBC count. High WBC count would indicate infection but nothing was out of the ordinary. I believe he has a CBC panel done.
He has not been tested for IR or Cushings. I'd almost guarantee that he doesn't have Cushings. He has no other symptoms of it. He always sheds out very well each year.
Honestly, maybe it is more along the lines of muscle deterioration as opposed to an actual weight issue. He is more or less a pasture buddy now. He's sound and rideable, we just don't use him the way we used to. But I'm also concerned that if I put him into work to build muscle, he'll lose more weight. *sigh* He currently is ridden a few times a month on trails or if a 12 year old borrows him to play around at a show.
When our pasture was very dry, we put hay out multiple times a day to keep them munching. Our pasture is now growing good and he always has grass to munch on and we fed hay morning and night as well. When he's in his stall, I give him plenty of hay to keep him occupied. Sometimes he doesn't eat it all I stuff it so full.
I will research IR and bring it up to my vet.
Loosie, is there another grain you would recommend? I have been happy with Nutrena products as I feel my other horses are doing well on it. Nutrena LifeDesign Senior really helped this guy too...at first.
Forgot to add, I give him 3 pounds of Timothy/Alfalfa pellets as well.
I appreciate your help.
I did try beet pulp, he'll have no part of it. LoL. I now have 24 pounds that no-one will eat that I don't know what to do with. LMAO.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Maybe he needs a bit of riding to build muscle in those areas, like his butt.. I've had hard keepers, Nikki, that just need a bit more work to build muscle and put on weight. She seems to eat more and appreciate her feed more when she's working..She's also a happier horse when she's working consistently.
our gelding red is a pretty hard keeper...well a. hes part TB but sameish issues....very had to keep weight on him and he hwas vurtually NO topline or butt muscle if hes not worked EVERY day....
he doesnt really like beetpulp...but the best thing we found for him was ricebran...he gets it year round and he gets double during winter...it has really helped to keep his weight up. and has helped with his coat, and muscle tone as well
i would definitely look into rice bran...im not saying its a cure all but it was for sure a factor in Reds health.
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