I have a 20-year-old TB mare. She is very skinny!! She was on pasture for about two months and where she was at the man overgrazed and she was injured and couldn't walk so I moved her to a paddock and she was being fed hay Timothy/Brome grass (no alfalfa) and that was for about a month and she always had hay and I didn't see a difference, she actually looks worse. So I moved her to my friends house where I thoguht she would be fed more but I thought wrong... She was only feeding twice a day and giving my mare and PIG of a gelding 5 flakes at 4 am and then 5 at 8pm so my gelding would eat most of hers and my friend doesn't take suggestions well and I didn't want to start a fight... So I was going out and feeding alfalfa cubes (1/2 average feed pale), sweetfeed (1/4 pale), sunflower seeds (1/2 scoop), seniors feed (1/2 pale), flax (handfull)...I'm not very experienced in feeding a hard keeper so bare with me I was feeding what others suggested!...So I moved them again to a place where they have free choice hay BUT they both get pushed around by the bullys and don't get hay whenever. I've had a vet out and she said her teeth were good. I've deworm regularly...SO winter is coming (Canada winter I might add) and I'm worried...I'm almost to the point that I'm going to go out and buy square bales and feed her once everyday myself and just wait till she is done eating before I put her out... So ANY and ALL suggestions will help!!
Sounds like you moved her around a lot. Some horses get VERY stressed by move to the new environment and it can be part of the problem. Feeding once/day not gonna put extra pounds on her ribs. You better look for the place where she'll have enough hay and won't be pushed around. As for feed beet pulp + senior feed + oil several times /day do wonder. Her teeth OK? Is she healthy? These all can contribute to her condition as well.
As they get older it can get harder to keep the weight on. I'd be worried too, especially since your in Sask. She needs to be in a paddock on her own with hay in front of her all day. As Kitten suggested, a senior feed, beet pulp or a balance rationer along with unlimited hay will help.
Unlimited hay, calf manna and anything else you can do to get weight on her. You will have to blanket her if she doesn't gain enough soon. Also make sure there are no flies causing her to stop. That burns lots of calories.
Like I said on another thread, you need to actually weigh the feed to see how much she is getting. Take the empty bucket, weigh it and then put in the feed and weigh it, then subtract the empty bucket weight and you know exactly how much you are feeding. Then check the bag and see the suggested amounts in pounds that your horse should be eating and figure out if you need to feed more or less each feeding.
Back to the same story with Bones, he was horribly underweight from starvation. When I started feeding him Senior feed, I read the directions and fed what I thought was the right amount. Then I realized I was feeding for a healthy weight horse. I realized I needed to give more. Then I weighed what I had thought was enough(was scooping feed with a scoop) and realized it was half of what he was supposed to be getting. He was to be getting 14 lbs of Senior feed a day, so I weighed a bucket for 7 pounds of feed, marked where the 7 lbs came to in the bucket with a marker and gave him that amount twice a day. Went through bags of feed really fast, but he sure gained weight quickly. Oh yea, he was 21 at the time, he is now 23 and fat and sassy. He also got free choice hay 24/7..... I kept him seperate from the other horse for the first mnoths until he gained enough weight not to lose any by stressing him when putting him in a new place.
I stated it once and will state it everytime. Weigh Weigh Weigh the feed, both grains and hay if she is not getting free choice. It will make a difference if the horse is healthy in other aspects.
WG I would say that is the best answer yet it to make sure feed is weighed. Great advice!
Thanks for all the replys everyone!! ..and I didn't mean feed her once a day only, i ment let her get as much hay as the others would let them have then go out on top of that and feed her square bales...Yes I do have a blanket too. I have no other options on places to take her either, winter is coming and the place where I'm at is a indoor arena and the only one with free choice hay, in a large space and in my price range. She is VERY heard bound so leaving my gelding is not a option because the stress would be to much. She hates stalls (shes reared and fought to not go in a paddock, even with her buddy already in it, she doesn't like mud and everyone knows how paddocks get in the rain)... I am going to bring a scale out tomorrow to weigh everything and see if I'm just not feeding enough suppliments.
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