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mbender 08-18-2010 11:01 AM

You've heard it all before, but I need help.
Hey guys,
I have a 21yr old arab mare that has a weight issue. She's had it off and on for awhile. I thought I had it under control, but this morning I went out to feed and she looks like @$!*. Her back bone is getting more noticeable, her topline is dropping, her ribs are getting more prominant and her hip and butt bones are showing more. What the heck???? I have had the vet out and checked her teeth. She is healthy. I was told from a good friend of mine that even her horses have dropped a little weight due to the weather we have been having around here. Hot, humid and raining. Flies, and now I see in the horses hair,, bot fly eggs. I have been feeding her senior feed for almost a month now. Not consistently, so this may be the problem but I ended up getting on here and going thru past weight problems from other horse owners and I see they add soaked beet pulp and some flax meal. I used to use corn oil but to me it didnt do much. I thought beet pulp was just a filler? I am a freak when it comes to my horse and her health. Especially her weight and with winter coming I want her to be fatter than what she is. I am going to worm her again with Zimectrin. What the difference is between that and the Gold, I dont know. I havent even ridden her because I dont want her to loose more. Should I ride her? How much excersise? I get real confused when it comes to that. You have to equal out excersise and feed right? Oh brother, anything you can tell me will help.

Speed Racer 08-18-2010 11:06 AM

You really need to get a vet out and give her a complete physical as well as pulling a blood panel.

She could be IR, which is why the senior feed isn't doing anything for her.

Beet pulp is pretty much a miracle food for putting on and keeping weight. I swear by it. My horses however, when they were first put on it, just wanted to swear! :wink:

Peggysue 08-18-2010 11:26 AM

WHich SEnior feed are you using ?? How much?? How often?? How much hay/pasture does she get??

Zimectin Gold gets tape worms regular Zimectin doesn't ... you can get dewormers much cheaper online .. generic is just as good as name brand :)
When was she last dewormed??

WHen were her teeth done last??

mbender 08-18-2010 11:38 AM

Her teeth were floated this year. What is IR? I was using Purina Senior but I switched to SafeChoice Senior. It just seemed to have more vitamins and such than the Purina. I was only giving her a scoop once a day and now I know I will up the grain but I feel like you Peggysue of not wanting to load her up on all this grain and what not. I would like to keep it traditional. We used to feed all our horses beet pulp but really only to prevent colic. Havent used it in 3 yrs. But what are my choices other than to supplement the things she is lacking. She isnt out on pasture and gets fed probably 3-4 flakes of mixed grass hay 2x a day. She is boarded at my in laws so what the other horses eat she eats. Except what I give her extra. I stand right next to her when I feed grain making sure she gets all of it. There are several piles of hay for all the horses, sometimes maybe too much but with the mud and crap out in the paddock I want to make sure they eat before it gets trampled. What's a generic brand of Zimectrin? Ivermectin? not sure on all that. What about excersise?

luvs2ride1979 08-18-2010 11:57 AM

Zimectrin Gold has an added ingrediant (Praziquantel) to get rid of tape worms.

Make sure you're feeding her enough of the senior feed. Check the bag's feeding recommendations and weigh your scoop. Most senior feeds are meant to be fed in higher amounts, 7-12 lbs a day.

You can make your own senior feed. Doing this allows you to increase or decrease the amount of calories while still insuring she's receiving plenty of vitamins and minerals. I make my own feed this way as I have 8 horses to feed that all need differing amounts.

First, make sure your horse is on good pasture turn out or free choice quality grass hay. If your pasture is lacking, start supplementing with hay. I like to supplement with 10-15 lbs of hay a day if there is any grazing available. Hay is the best way to add calories to your horse's diet.

For "feed", I start with alfalfa pellets. Alfalfa pellets are high in digestible protein, amino acids, and vitamins. To that I add a fat source (flax is my choice) and a vit/mineral supplement. That makes your "feed." Then I add any supplements the horse might need. In your case, I would add a digestive aid (probiotic) to make sure your horse is absorbing all of the nutritents and calories in the feed.

If she likes to bolt her feed down, I would add some water to the mix to prevent choke. Most horses do fine on hay pellets, but I have two that are fast eaters and need a bit of water in theirs to make sure they eat slower ;-).

You can contact Nutrition Supplements--Equine Nutrition on the Net and have them make you an "all in one" supplement. They have a great flax product that they can custom blend with anything in it you might want. They have a new vit/min product called High Point Grass that would be perfect for this type of diet. You can have them add extra flax to that for weight gain. High Point already has yeast and probiotics in it for digestion. They do not charge anything extra for a custom blend, just the cost of the ingrediants.

If you want to save a little money, you can buy everything separate. Most feed stores can order flax meal. My Tractor Supply has Omega Horseshine, which is a good flax product. My Farmers Association has ADM's flax meal in a big 20 lb bucket. Or you can order whole flax seed and either grind it yourself (it spoils, so you'd need to do it daily) or feed it whole.

Good vitamin supplements (some with pro/prebiotics for digestion):
Grand Vite from SmartPak Equine
SmartVite Senior Grass Pellets from SmartPak Equine
Select II from SmartPak Equine
Equi-Base Grass Pellet
Quick Links

Good digestive aids:
SmartDigest from SmartPak Equine
Ultra-Elite Digest from SmartPak Equine
Focus WT from SmartPak Equine
Quick Links
Quadra Fac 2000

So, my diet for her would look something like this:
  • 3 lbs Alfalfa Pellets
  • 1 cup Flax Meal
  • Vit/Min supplement
  • Digestive supplement
After 2 weeks, I would increase to this:
  • 5 lbs Alfalfa Pellets
  • 2 cups Flax Meal
  • Vit/Min supplement
  • Digestive supplement
Use a weight tape every week on the same day and at the same time to track her progress. After 30 days, you should see some good improvement. Once she's at a good weight, you can take her back to the first diet above and adjust as needed. My "easy keepers" only get 1 lb of Alfalfa Pellets and 1/2 cup of flax, no digestive aid.

luvs2ride1979 08-18-2010 12:01 PM

Also wanted to point out that she needs to eat whatever feed you decide on daily to have good results. and have the cheapest prices on dewormers. Look for Ivermectin and Moxidectin (Quest). They are the most effective. I also rotate using a double dose of Pyrantel Promate. These are the active ingrediants. Any brand or generic is fine.

Peggysue 08-18-2010 07:13 PM

Be sure you are feeding recommended amount of hte Senior... you are right the Nutrena senior is actually alittle better then the Purina .. if possible I would go iwth Triple Crown Senior..

mbender 08-20-2010 10:58 AM

Hey Speed Racer: I got some beet pulp but in pellet form. On the bag it doesnt state how much to give. This morning I gave maybe about a cup. I mixed it in her pelleted grain and she ate all of it. Am I giving her enough or too much or too little? Do you give more after a certain amount of time? She is about 800lbs. Right now she is at 1 and 1/2 scoops of grain... equaling out to about 5lbs. I will be increasing that amount in a few days.

Alwaysbehind 08-20-2010 11:06 AM

I am confused, there is no such thing as safechoice senior. I assume you mean Nutrena Life Design Senior?

How big is your scoop? And no, there is not such thing as 'a standard scoop'. They come in all kinds of sizes.

If she is being fed hay in a group with other horses it might simply be that she is not getting enough. The other horses might be pushing her out of the way.

With a senior horse they might need to have their teeth done more often. Talk to your vet about this.

Love beet pulp pellets.

IR = Insulin Resistant.

Speed Racer 08-20-2010 11:11 AM

Mbender, for my TB I give him 3 quarts of beet pulp pellets twice a day, in addition to another 3 quarts of Trotter pellets every meal. He's a big boy. :wink:

Since she's an Arab, I'm thinking 1 1/2 quarts twice a day added to 1 quart of feed, which is what my 24 y/o Arab gets. He's in good weight, sleek, and shiny.

Are you soaking it? I usually soak mine, although I don't do it as long as suggested (2 hours), and sometimes even feed it dry. The horses prefer it soaked, though.

With an older horse such as your girl, I'd rather soak it than not. Better to be safe than sorry.

I have a 3 quart scoop. Always is right, they come in different sizes.

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