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AdrenalineRush 07-16-2013 02:29 PM

Horse Lost A Lot Of Weight
Hey there, :wave:
Yeah I'm new to the forum.. So I guess I should tell a bit about my self, I'm 16 and I have 3 horses. A 19 yr old AQH gelding, 9 yr old shetland mare, and my latest paint yearling colt. The shetland, Misty, was my first horse. I used to ride her when I was younger and now since I'm too big I trained her to pull a cart. I don't use her very much though, occasionally I'll give a pony ride or two but most the time she's just in the pasture getting fat. Also she is not at my house anymore since I don't work with her much she is at my grandmas. The other 2 are at my house and I work with them daily. :) The yearling is working on ground manners and hopefully my future barrel racing horse! (I have experience training horses, I trained my pony's baby to ride, then sold him.. but I also volunteer at a christian camp that has about 30 horses for the campers) Rocky - the AQH is my baby! <3 He's an old grump but I love him!! I ride him everyday and he is just amazing. He can be stubborn but most the time I can get him to do whatever I ask of him. ** Here's my concern, and the reason behind this topic. Rocky has lost a ton of weight. His teeth are fine and he doesn't have worms. I will admit that he has eaten most of the pasture but that shouldn't make a difference because he has access to hay 24/7 right? He also gets grain in the morning, along with his joint medicine.

Any suggestions on how to put weight on him? Prefferably fairly quickly because I'm supposed to trailer him to my cousins and go on a big trail ride with everyone sometime before the end of the summer but I dont want to take him if he doesn't put on at least a little more weight.

I bought beet pulp yesterday because I read it is a good "filler" good, bad? Does anyone else use it? & should I feed him grain at night too instead of just in the morning?

Aslo will I be able to still ride him while I'm trying to put weight on him? I mean that sounds like a dumb question, but like 10 minutes of light riding.. Will that burn too much calories?

Any advice is very appreciated!!

EDIT: The beet pulp is in pellets and it says to soak them.. How much should I give my horse at a time and how many times a day?

poppy1356 07-16-2013 02:54 PM

Do you have pictures? It would probably be time to get the vet involved. Could be ulcers, IR, he was overweight to begin with, and so on.

Falcor74 07-16-2013 03:00 PM

I used beet pulp to put weight on my two geldings, and soaked it for at least an hour, since one came down with colic over a year ago and I am overly cautious with him. I also try to feed wheat hay instead of bermuda or alfalfa, but a lot depends on age, location/ what is available for the area. Also, since he is getting up there in age, you may want to have his teeth floated (if not done already (not mentioned)) and start him on a senior feed, which has more protein. I have a 23 year old gelding my daughter uses for flagging and parades, and he is on hay, equine senior, and omolene 200, plus a joint supplement. If you are really unsure and he seems off personality wise, I would call out the vet.

AdrenalineRush 07-16-2013 03:15 PM

Yes, I just took some pics.. I'll upload them in just a min. I don't think he looks terrible, like deathly ill, but you can definately tell he is very thin. & Of course this didn't happen over night. I noticed he was dropping weight over winter but I thought I would've been able to put it back on by now.

His teeth are floated and I just get regular hay off the farm. I just have regular grain nothing special and was going to try beet pulp, but not sure yet. I could go get some senior grain if needed..

- Everything seems fine he seems happy/healthy other than he looks very skinny

AdrenalineRush 07-16-2013 03:23 PM

Here are some pics...

^ This last pic looks the worst but you can see his ribs well at that angle.. He's not underfed or denyed food so maybe I just need a more "fatty" grain? Is this really bad? :/ I mean I know its bad but is it serious?

poppy1356 07-16-2013 03:26 PM

I think it's time for the vet. The horse should not be that skinny if on free choice hay/grass. Time for a cbc to make sure nothing else is going on. Also do not work this horse at all he is much to skinny to be worked.

AdrenalineRush 07-16-2013 04:08 PM

Okay no problem, I'll call the vet tonight. & if it helps I just remembered he started loosing weight when he caught pneumonia this winter and I've just never been able to get it back since then.. I can't believe I forgot about that!! I'll have the vet come check him out but if nothing else is wrong is there any special feed you recommend?
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poppy1356 07-16-2013 04:13 PM

Alfalfa is great for weight gain. I would be surprised if nothing else is wrong though. To lose that much while on free choice feed is not good. Ask vet about ulcers and possible IR/cushings.
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mls 07-16-2013 04:15 PM

How bad are the bugs? In the close up photo I can see the welts. Stomping bugs in the heat will take weight off very quickly and hinder any weight gain.

Teeth may be floated but unless the vet used a speculum to check the back teeth, there are very likely hooks.

spirit88 07-16-2013 04:16 PM

You could put him on Triple crown senior it work great for putting weight back on. Also could add Alfalfa hay to his diet.

The bugs here are horrible and my horses in the last week have dropped off alot of weight. Can see ribs on all three horses so yeah bugs wont help with weight gain.

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