What to feed for putting weight on older horse?
My horse is older, but quite active. I just moved him from our quiet home barn to a stables with other horses. He was in great shape, or even a little overweight when we took him there a month ago, but now he's dropping weight quickly with being so active with the other horses.
They have plenty of hay to eat, free choice all day, so that isn't an issue.
What is the best feed for putting on and mantaining weight for him?
What kind of hay are you feeding? Are you feeding any suppliments?
We had a 35 year old morgan gelding who was very active, and even though he wasn't a real hard keeper, we still supplemented his feed. We gave him a coffee can full of equine senior, half to a full coffee can of rice bran, and a half a coffee can of wet cob or dry cob depending on what the store had at the time, as well as 4-flex for joints. The grain was in addition to about 20lbs of alfalfa a day. He always did well on those feeds. You just have to be careful. The high protein, and lots of grain worked for him because he got out almost every day, did low jumping, barrel racing, 3-4 hour long trail rides, so he was worked pretty hard. Its always free to talk to your vet, so I suggest asking your vet what he/she thinks, and go from there. They have good suggestions. That was how we figured out what to feed my mare, and the morgan.
Rice bran, beet pulp, etc.. Basically anything low in starches and sugars and high in fat is what you are going to want. In older horses you also want to make sure the protein content is low.
If you do feed rice bran, make sure you are also supplementing calcium.
I also recommend talking to your vet, or an equine nutritionist about his needs.
My daughter's keeper is a notoriously hard keeper. She's been doing a bit better on alfalfa pellets and beet pulp, but she's not really gaining like we think she should. I thought about adding rice bran, but no one around here carries it. My husband asked about it at the big feedstore in town, and they had never heard of feeding it to horses. Where can I find a source of rice bran?
Rice bran is commonly marketed under the brand name "Satin Finish", I hope that helps :)
Thank you for all the great suggestions. I like the idea of talking to the vet about it also.
PS Rockndale, it's an alphalfa mix.
I had great results with my old guy on Nutrena Senior with beet pulp, chopped alfalfa, and chopped timothy/orchard from Triple Crown. This feed has probiotics included. Careful on to much alfalfa on older kids...
His teeth are worn and can't eat grass or hay that isn't chopped. I wet his Senior down for him.
Whatever you decide to feed, get him going on probiotics as well
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