New horse; needs weight and muscle
I'm the proud new owner of an 18yo paint quarter horse gelding. The vet who looked him over feels he's in good general health but needs to gain a minimum of 50 pounds and needs to build muscle along his top line. He hasn't been ridden very often (less than once a month from what I can gather) the past couple years and had been grazing in a small pasture or penned.
He was on Lakin Lites and 1-2 flakes of alfalfa plus whatever he grazed (which looked like bermuda and misc. weeds) and a friend of mine suggested Equine Senior while another suggested that plus 1/4c of corn oil to each feeding, plus some extra beet pulp. Another friend recommended adding extra Amplify.
Our barn is feeding him 2x alfalfa 2x per day and I'm adding the pellets/supplements twice a day. I picked up he Equine Sr. and the Vitality Supplement from Horse-Manna.
I'm really lost on how much pellet to feed him. Vet estimates him at 980 and wants the 50+ weight gain. The feeding chart for the Equine Sr. assumes no hay is being fed, so I'm not sure how much to feed after that 4 flakes of hay (he doesn't really eat all the hay, either).
I haven't had a horse in over 20 years and back then we fed oat hay, alfalfa and oats pretty much...never was aware of pellets. We used the oats to fatten up skinny ones back then. ;)
The vet also mentioned that he probably won't be quite so laid-back once he's being fed well. This seemed to irritate his former owner because I think she felt she WAS feeding him well...but I've noticed he's been quite a bit more, er, frisky since I started feeding him pellets a few days ago. He's testing me and I think I'm keeping him in his place, but I haven't ridden him yet due to his boniness.
I'd appreciate any input! :D
If you're worried about trying anything new ask your vet first. They are normally good at recommending inexpensive alternative also. And be careful with the corn oil! I tried it once but quickly had to stop using it because I couldn't work with the horse anymore. It gave him extra energy and he fought me on everything.
Whatever you decide to do, he has been working on less calories and will have extra energy. Just make sure that you do some form of exercise with him. The exercise will also make sure he starts putting on muscle and doesn't just get fat (although a little fat can't hurt for a horse that light).
Good luck getting him back to a healthy weight. :)
He's definitely got more spunk as we get more food into him. I guess that's good in a way since I don't want him to be completely passive. But I do want him rideable for me. LOL
I was having a hard time putting weight back on my mare. The barn owner ended up recommending cocosoya oil (it's actually a coat supplement!) but it apparently helps to add weight even though it isn't advertised as such. It runs about $20 a gallon at your local TSC usually.
Of course, this is just a thing I'm recommending. I'm no professional, so take my words with a grain of salt! LOL
Best of luck!!!!
I have an 18 year old paint mare and a 23 year old quarter horse. The paint mare gets mare and foal and omelene 200 (she is pregnant and due any day (hopefully, lol), and the "old man" gets calf manna (pellets), equine senior, joint supplement (per instructions on container), and omelene 200. Both fed this mixture daily (a 48 oz coffee can of each feed), plus they get to "free feed" off a 1/2 ton round bale of primarily wheat, coastal bermuda or rye, since we do not have grazing for them (desert area). The quarter horse gets the joint supplement since my daughter is riding him for flagging at the rodeos. Since you will be riding him, this might be something to add to his diet as well. I have included a pic of my gelding so you can see how well this does for him. Location and grazing will play a part in what you need to supplement his diet for as well.
Ooooooh, shiny! Pretty horse! My guy has no shine in his coat and his mane is very brittle.
Seems like maybe the Equine Senior and the Horse-Manna supplement is a step in the right direction. I'll definitely look into a joint supplement (I'm not, er, the smallest girl out there) and the Omelene (have no idea what it is LOL).
There is unfortunately no grazing at our barn...two arenas that everyone uses for turnout but they don't irrigate (personally if I were in charge I'd irrigate one LOL).
Will be looking into the cocosoya oil too! I just read an article about coconut oil for dogs...and I'm a big believe of it for people and have been wondering if it's safe for horses.
Thanks all! I'm hopeful that he will be OK. Read somewhere that a lot of horses who lose weight in this pattern have cancer. We didn't draw blood before buying him so I'm just crossing my fingers. Also going to have his teeth floated again soon...vet said he might be due soon and previous owner had it done only once.
It will take a little time but with the proper diet and love, he will be fat and shiny in no time!
I'm going to say something completely different lol
For extra calories without side effects like spunkiness, soaked beetpulp. Starting out slow, as with any new feed, a handful first, work up to 2-3 lbs dry weight daily, divided into at least two meals. Then add a vitamin/ mineral supplement or a ration balancer to make up for what is missing in the hay.
To make hair, skin and hooves of better quality I suggest Omega Horseshine. It's a flax supplement, with probiotics and some vit/ mins already in it. It will provide the omega fatty acids which are missing in a grass- less diet.
You can then add a joint supplement, which hides very well in the soaked beetpulp and also a little of the senior feed.
That should get him where he needs to be in no time without getting you in difficulty while riding;-)
Thanks! Picked up beet pulp today so will start adding that. I like the idea of a flax supplement. I almost bought a 50# bag of flax seed at the feed store but wasn't sure if I could feed it whole? Or how I'd keep it from disappearing into his food unless I were to add lots of oil. Will look at Omega Horseshine and still need to find a joint supplement. :)
I think I might switch his senior feed to Triple Crown next time I buy it.
Did the vet run any bloodwork? It is not TOO expensive, and if his coat is not good, it may be worth knowing a little more. I turned an EXTREMELY underweight. ungly coated gelding into a shiny, Breyer horse-looking animal in 3 months with antibiotics, Equine senior, vegetable oil, and Accel Lifetime. Hay, of course.
Welcome to the forum, and Good Luck with the horse!
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