My Gelding Looks Awful
So, I bought Mister last April and the owner told me he is a hard keeper. Naturally, he gained weight over the summer and kept it until January. The winter here in Alabama are mild, but he still dropped weight. I am ashamed at how he looks and was told by someone this week that if someone saw him in the pasture and reported him, I'd be in trouble. He gets wormed on a regular basis, and has had his teeth floated recently. He is on pasture 24/7 and has a round bale of coastal hay accessible all of the time. I just started him on Farnam Weight Builder and Nutrena Senior feed. My vet checked him out and said some horses are just hard keepers and I should try putting him on the grain/weight builder earlier next year. My main thing is I wanted to put this out there because I feel really bad for how he looks. :cry:
I am right there with you. Our gelding looks like crap also and I struggle each and every day to get him to build up weight. Some horses are just difficult to keep weight on.
It's easier to KEEP weight on than to PUT weight back on.
My 23 year old gelding had trouble holding weight for the first time this year. I added beet pulp, soak timothy cubes and a little oil and he gained the weight back before winter was even over.
His topline looks pretty bad and he could certainly use a few more pounds, but it doesn't look like his ribs/hips are sticking out too much. I'm wondering if what's really making him look bad is the lack of muscling more so than just being underweight. Being just on hay & pasture, if the local soil is deficient, then he is, too. The senior feed is fortified with vitamins & minerals, so should help with this in addition to providing more calories, but it might be worth checking with your vet and/or local extension office to see if there's a known deficiency in the area. (You can also get your hay and/or pasture tested) That way if you later take him off the grain when he's at a good weight, you'll know what you need to supplement with to keep him looking good :-)
Definitely not an AC case, but I can understand your concern! I had an OTTB straight of the track (I worked with her at my job, so I knew this horse pretty darn well!) and she let down something terrible the first winter I had her! I had thermal rugs on her and was pumping the feed into her! It was a challenge! She wasn't an AC case but it was concerning! An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound if cure for sure! Early fall I'd starting upping his feed and let him get round before winter! Now you have a plan;)
We have two porkos (Paints)and one lean mare (Arab/Saddlebred). I have found senior feed to do a good job as long as they are getting enough to maintain. The lean mare gets double plus a bit more than the other mare and 4x what the gelding gets.We always increase the amount given in the winter and drop back when the grass starts to grow in the spring. The amount varies with each animal. The bag should give some instructions.
Texasgal is right. It's easier to keep it on than put it back on.
Its a shame as you obviously are providing food but there are some people out there who would report you without bothering to find out any real facts
You should get a fecal worm count done and also a blood test for tapeworm and encysted worms just to rule it out if nothing else - many horses have worms that have become resistant to certain wormers and your vet might be missing that
Sugar beet, some hay stretcher pellet, rice bran or a good quality complete pelleted feed will help put weight back on without risks of too much sugar in his system that he cant cope with.
A lot of horses that cant keep weight on in the winter on ad lib hay are for some reason not able to deal with even mild winter weather especially if its wet for long periods so a lightweight rug might help or stabling at night when its cold/wet
I think you are learning a lot keep talking to your Vet.
Also about other people seeing him, I would if I was you keep very good records on worming, teeth work, vet checks, how much and how often you feed what grain Keep your recites. All this will prove you are not neglecting this horse but that you are working very hard to get him into better shape.
One other thing, do a little looking into getting your hay tested to see just what he is getting from it. Also, do the same thing with your pasture grass. get it tested then you will know what he is getting.
You're not riding this horse are you???
I am thinkin what, verona said. He isnt skinny-- hes under muscled.
Do you quit working him in the winter times? Our older mare looks amazing in the summer-- but thats because i keep after riding her-- in the winter time i dont ride-- she looses topline muscle too-- not quite as extreme as your gelding did though.
the grain and weight builder would do good with some lunge work or light riding for at least 30 minutes. Its really good to keep older horses exercised --keeps their body in better condition. :)
Horses loose weight during winter months because theyre shivering-- they loose muscle sitting around eating and not working their muscles.. you probably already know-- just wanted to throw it out there anyway just in case. :)
I hope no one calls on you-- some people just dont understand and freak out when they see a skinny horse. I hate when they report people that are rescuing a horse or that are actually building up their weight because they think theyre helping.. so annoying! Lol.
Remember 30 minutes a day will do a lot more than not doing anything at all-- exercise wise.
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