20 year old welsh skinny, hard to put on weight
Hey guys long time no speak!
I have recently moved my boy from a livery yard, to a sole use field with a friend.
Buck is a 20 year old welsh section D, and im assuming the change from being in a stable having a morning feed, going out to a field with grass or hay to eat all day, then brought in rugged and given a large haynet (mixed with haylage) and a night feed, has caused some of the weight loss.
I de-wormed him recently hoping that would help, and i changed his feeds (gradually) over to allen and page, fast fibre, veteran vitality and the dengie senior grass/chaff. He was getting one feed a day, but now we have been going up to give two feeds.
I had a few issues with the people i share the field with. as they are quite controlling and i wasnt allowed to put a rug on my horse until yesterday (20th oct 2013), as they told me i couldnt rug him as he needs his winter coat first. Which yeah fair enough it does help them but hes an old boy now and gets cold. I was only allowed to rug him because she felt her horses were looking a bit on the lean side and wanted to put her rugs on.
Do you think the feed he is on is okay? we get a large round bale of hay delivered once a fortnight and spread it around the field so as far as we know they are all able to access the hay, and do you think he might start to put the weight on now he has been allowed to have a rug on?
Im so sorry this is such a long post im just super concerned!! thankyou for reading through it all!!! xxx
Leanne and buccaneer
Depends why he's lost weight, but yes, rugging in cold weather will help him not expend so much energy in the cold, trying to keep warm. Rugging a horse when it's too warm(depends on what horse is acclimatised to as to what that is) can however act like a 'sauna suit' & cause them to lose weight, so I'd be ensuring he has it on in cold weather but off when days are warmer.
Okay, firstly : you MUST stop being pushed around by the field sharer. Your boy is 20, and skinny. He WILL need rugging more than hers and you are the only one to make that decision. It is none of her business.
You need to have a good selection of rugs, different weights, and all waterproof. Use them. You are in the UK where the killer isn't the cold it'd the damp cold. Start to educate yourself on his body temp - learn to feel behind his ears to see how warm he is (or not). Feel under his rug to feel for warm air (good on a cold day) or for sweat (not good ) or for cold or damp. Be in charge.
Secondly! I don't know what the A&P is, or the veteran vitality so I can't really comment on the feeds. But in essence... If he's losing weight then you need to add something in. Sugarbeet is the easy obvious one. Apart from that, have a read of all the nutrition labels that you are feeding. I am wondering if the balance between chaff and something more nutritious is right?
Hw many horses is he sharing with? Do they boss him around? Is the hay good quality? So many questions that could shed light on the weight loss but my guess is that the move from the livery yard to the field has caused him some mental stress plus he had lost the twice daily feeds and nice big overnight Haynet. Poor chap needs some TLC. Assuming that there are no underlying health issues, he should get it back but you will need to take action now to feed him up and keep him healthy.
Good luck with him.
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