Please help horse losing weight going into winter
I have a lovely 15.2hh 13yr old SB mare.
Last winter she was diagnosed with stomach ulcers, these were treated and went. She put on weight and was doing well all summer. Now, coming into winter she is starting to lose weight again.
She is paddocked 24/7 with a good quality thick winter cover (brand new a few weeks ago) with a paddock mate. She gets 2 kilos of rapid gain a day and 2-3 slices hay.
Millie gets ridden 3-6 times a week (she always gets at least one day off) usually at a walk and trot with maybe cantering and a small jump or two once or twice a week at most. She is a laid back beginners horse. If she gets too much sugar/grain she can go fizzy.
What do you suggest to help her put on weight? More hay? A supplement? Oil? Sugar beet? Copra?
I am happy to give her more hard feed and would like to give her more hay but her paddock mate is a fat pony and he shares her hay (but she will not let him touch her feed) and he does not need any more hay. I can't feed her in a different paddock as she gets uptight when away from him, stops eating and fence walks etc. Any ideas?
I doubt she has stomach ulcers again as she is on a probiotic to stop them coming back.
Please help me, I want my horse fat again.
By the way, a manure worm egg count has been carried out and is negative. Her teeth were done in January too.
Slow Feeding Horses on Paddock Paradise Tracks - Paddock Paradise Wiki
Look at the different slowfeeders. I have nets, and feed less than before, yet my horses are in great weight, the fatty slimmed down, the new skinny guy is gaining nicely. They never run out of hay. So they eat slow, little bites at a time, but constantly. They learn quickly that their hay will not end.
That way you won't have to worry about pony overeating, and your mare would not get ulcers again, she will utilize her hard feed better.
Thanks so much!! They look great. Only one problem, they are all in the US and I live in New Zealand. I have inquired about the shipping cost but I fear that they will be waaay to expensive to post all the way over here. :-(
You can make net yourself. Or check on the site, people use hockey nets, tennis net, anything net, in all kinds of shapes, forms and fashion.
I made mine from haystrings, different sizes and different diameters of holes to accommodate different types of hay. If you Google " making a net", you'll get instructions. Just mend it, braid a string to tie and hang it with and voila:-)
So a full net will work as well as one of those cool 'slow feeders'?
I was looking at those slow feeders, they look amazing! Will one or two full nets last all day? Or two days? Thanks a lot.
If she's an average build 15.2 standy, her weight should probably be around 500kg, give or take. In that case, 2-3 flakes of hay is likely not enough. If your bales are roughly the same size as what we get she's probably only getting 4-6kg of hay. She should be getting at least 10kg, if not more because you are trying to put weight on. General rule of thumb is 2% of a horse's ideal bodyweight in hay each day.
If the pony getting the hay is an issue and separating them is truly not an option, then I would invest in a few hay bags/nets to put her hay in and tie it up out of pony's reach.
What other hard feed options do you have available? It doesn't look like Rapid Gain is that great of a feed from what google is telling me.
Also, what is the temperature like there at the moment? Is she wearing the thick winter rug now? Night and day? She may be getting hot and sweating the weight off.
I wouldn't rule out another ulcer attack just because she's on probiotics either. When were her teeth done last?
Give her more hay and a grazing muzzle for the pony. Putting hay out of reach of the pony can be pointless.... we did that and my dolt of a horse felt sorry for his pony buddies and would empty the hay out for them.
I can totally picture a few of mine doing that now that I think about it too...:lol::lol::lol:
How much fits in there depends of course on the size of the net.
Since it is slowing them down, being able to grab only a tiny bit, less falls to the ground. So if you get or make a super small one for pony and hang it pony height, and hang horse's net out of pony's reach, there's not much pony can vacuum up once finished with his.
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