Senior horse and topline
Well my 25 year old QH is getting through the winter fairly well. He gets free choice hay, senior grain and 5 cups of beet pulp per day. Anyway not really worried about his weight. I am noticing that he is losing his topline. I am wondering if just a bit of work lounging with some side reins would help. He isn't being ridden much right now, sometimes once a week in the trails. In the summer he rides about twice a week trails. What else could I do to help him build it up without it being too much for him.
I don't have any advice for you...but I am in the same situation with my 17 year old TWH and am looking forward to opinions and suggestions.
Unless your QH is alfalfa intolerant, you trade out half the beet pulp for either straight alfalfa pellets or buy the timothy/alfalfa cubes and soak them into mush before you feed them.
My 25 yo TWH has Equine Metabolic Syndrome but he is able to tolerate about 1-1/2 measuring cups (add water after measuring) of the timothy/alfalfa cubes.
I also feed straight alfalfa pellets to my coming 27 yo Arab because the Snotface decided, one day, he wasn't eating the tim/alfalfa cubes anymore.
The extra amino acids do help but, at that age, the horse is going to be who it's going to be.
My Arab has less of a topline than the Walker does but he also has an vertebra injury from before I rescued him 20 years ago; that could be a factor.
If the urine gets a really strong amonia odor, back off the alfalfa as that is how a horse dumps the excess protein.
Hope this helps:-)
Ok thanks I picked up some alfalfa cubes today so I will back off the beet pulp a bit and start adding cubes. How many cubes should I start off with and work up to?
I only measure out one to 1-1/2 dry pounds, then soak them (for a long time:( in water. I wouldn't soak them that long, at the barn, once the weather warms up for fear of them going sour:-(
The cubes can be hard to break apart, so I start soaking them in cold water at the house about an hour before I feed them.
You might get away with more than one pound for your horse but my 25 yo has metabolic issues. Even though he tolerates 1 lb - 1-1/2 lbs of tim/alfalfa cubes, that is one envelope I'm afraid to push:-)
However much you feed in the alfalfa, lower the beet pulp as the alfalfa also helps keep weight on.
If he starts to lose weight, up the beet pulp BUT you may have to feed three times a day.
My 25 yo also has hind gut ulcers and cannot digest too much food at one time. It's a good thing I am now retired because I have to feed him his feed pan stuff four times a day, so he doesn't colic:shock:
This is Duke, the day he turned 25 last October. Thankfully, another change of diet and feeding four times a day, and he has not colicked since then.
Considering the EMS causes the horse to lose muscle-mass (it is also called peripheral cushings), I think Duke's hanging in there pretty good in the topline department - or mehbee I'm looking at him thru Rose Colored Glasses, since he's been my heart horse for 22+ years:-P
Thanks for the info walkinthewalk@!
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