eating really really really slow and dropping weight
since possum has been back in work i have upped her feed as she has turned into a typical thoroughbred as soon as she muscled up. she has gone from having a huge grass belly the being all streamline just like a tb. but her topline is trailing behind a little as is her butt.
for now i have slowed the exercise schedule a little and upped her feed again.
she was getting:
4 biscuits of hay a day
hard feed (divided into 2 daily feeds)
8 scoops of lucerne chaffe ( all measured with a 1L/quart jug)
1kg of copra
1 kg millrun
1 kg equibix (wheat type crushed biscuit/pellet type stuff. 14% protein)
2 scoops of allrounder pellets
1 scoop rice bran
her dose of equilibrium (complete supplement)
other bits and pieces like mollasses, garlic, apple cider vinegar, veggie oil etc
as of the last week she has been getting:
8 biscuits a day
12 scoops of lucerne chaffe
and 1.5x the amount of everything else
plus she has grass to graze on all day.
she has become very non-chalant about eating. she comes into her yard and picks away at her hay. unless its lucerne hay days and then she hoes that down. our other hay is good too although it isnt lucerne and the other horses enjoy it but she literally picks out one strand of hay and slowly pulls it into her mouth and munches in the most uninterested way. today she did this for a while until eventually she turned around, pooped in her hay and went and stood as far away as possible from it. sometimes she stops eating her hay when she knows her hard feed is coming but she never poops in it and then avoids it like its a monster about to gobble her up.
so then her hard feed comes in and she gets stuck into it for about 10 minutes and then she seems to just get sick of eating. she cant possibly be full. she just picks up a little bit at a time for ages. today for the first time EVER she didnt even finish her dinner.
i know i have upped her feed but she is probing to be a hard keeper now she is in work. if i dont ride more than once a week you see the kilos pile on and then as soon as she is ridden she drops the weight even though she is getting plenty of food. so much it seems that she is getting full??
im not working her really hard when we do ride. i usually only have time for 30 minutes or so and we arent doing anything overly strenuous but at the same time she is still working. unless we are on a trail ride and then she can hold her head where she pleases which is usually still on the bit anyway. even on a long rein :roll:
she is UTD with worming. they are wormed every 4 weeks to the day as most of the people where we keep them dont worm very regularly and the club isnt good at picking up the poop in the paddocks so i see the need to keep a more regular worming schedule.
so im confused and annoyed. she looks great everywhere except her topline and butt. she has muscled up beautifully on her neck, shoulders, chest and back legs but her topline and rump seem to be lagging. it doesnt seem to be getting any better even with the extra feed that she just isnt eating anyways.
sorry about the novel :D
If she is eating that hard food steady for 10 minutes, yes, she might actually be full. Horses can't eat a lot all at once like carnivores. Can you break up her feeding into three or four a day instead? That might help. How old is she? Maybe what she used to be able to eat at one feeding has changed due to maturity? Is there any way to leave at least hay out all day for her to chew on? Or will everyone else eat it up on her?
I have no ideas on the development -- age? training? dunno.... I'm sure someone does though.
she is 15 with a pretty decent work schedule. she could be worked more but she gets something 6 days a week most of the time. we do mainly dressage and of the last few months, jumping. we've been showing every 2-3 weeks.
i can only feed morning and night because of work and if i left hay out for her she would lose it to the others
Well, since she used to eat for so long, my next thought would be pain. Could you have her teeth looked at? Does the bit bother her? Is she sensitive on the sides of her face at all? She could just be due for a float, or maybe she chipped a tooth on a piece of gravel, or maybe she's developed a loose tooth? Though I would think 15 would be a bit young for loose teeth.
There must be a reason she is choosing to stop eating after only 10 minutes since it is such a marked difference from before. What about gastro troubles? How are her gut sounds -- same as always? more? less? Or maybe she has something lodged in her throat -- not enough to choke on but makes eating unpleasant?
If you can't find anything on your own, I think you'll need a vet to help you.
Since this is a change from her norm, I would have a vet out to check her over. It could be mouth problem or even stomach ulcers. Maybe due to the high amount of "non-forage" feed she is getting, she might be getting small bouts of colic - not severe, but enough to put her off food a bit.
First, I'd suggest to put her hay in feeder so she couldn't poop and pee in it. It won't solve the problem, of course, but at least less waste. :wink:
And I agree, talk to the vet. The sudden change in behavior usually the issue of pain/ncomfort.
BTW, did you change the hay? I mean another hay supplier, or another load of hay, another field etc.? I was running into issue with my horses poo/pee in hay a lot and it ended up being hay from the different field (same supplier), they just didn't like it much. :shock:
her bit doesnt bother her. for working at home i have a loose ring snaffle on her. its one of those flayva bits. she loves it :)
her guts sounds seem normal. the first day she didnt seem interested in her food was the first time i listened to her belly. its usually the first thing i do when they dont want to eat. everything seems fine. shes pooping fine. she eats her lucerne hay fine its just the other hay and her hard feed.
cat - i asked my vet before i upped her feed if the amount was ok and he said yes. according to him she was on the lower end of her feed amount before but we had more grass then and she wasnt in work. he says what she is on now is the most she should have of her hard feed but isnt too much. however, as of yesterday i decided to down the hard feed a little and give her a bale of hay a day. ill put her in one of the smaller paddocks in the morning with a bale of hay and she can eat in there during the day.
kitten - she usually has it in a feeder but hubby was taking it apart and giving it a good clean so she had it in a container on the ground. she pulled out all the barley hay trying to find the lucerne :roll:
we did get our hay from somewhere new but from what we know its the wholesaler that sells to our usual produce barn so and they hay looks like the same stuff. its lovely barley hay...anyway i digress.
after all that, when i gave her her feed yesterday i wet it down a little more. just to see if that could be it because i had cut back the amount of water i was adding. i also added a container of water to the yard she eats in. they are only ever in their seperate yards long enough to eat so i didnt think of it before but i remember when we were at the other place she would stop eating regularly to go and have a drink. now with less water in her feed she might want to drink which distracts/slows down her eating. with the extra water she ate normally. i was making it like a just damp crumble but apparently she prefers a 'mash' :roll: once she finished her dinner she started on her hay after taking a long drink from her water :) she didnt finish it all but i think that was more because jarred and cougar had already left and were making their way back down the paddock and she hates it when he leaves without her. sook! lol
so for now i think she was just being little miss fussy pants :)
Glad you have sorted things out with Possum :)
hay can be different even from the same grower. We've got a couple of tons of just beautiful wonderful hay right now and the horses will NOT eat it.
I understood from the vet that you have to reach way into the horses mouth to feel the back areas an see if there are any sharp edges. Maybe a call out to the vet to double check that they didn't miss something?
I'd guess it had to do with the hay change. Try some different hay and see.
Also, could you be working her too much? Did you ease into the heavy work schedule? That might make a difference. Maybe she's too tired to eat?
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