Still having weight problems.
I have a coming 6-year old Thoroughbred mare who I've had for almost a year. Almost the whole time I've had her, I've had trouble keeping weight on her. I know that Thoroughbreds are generally more slender than other horse breeds, but she looks skinny to me.
I give her four quarts of Nutrena Safechoice and 1/2 cup of BOSS twice a day. She's also been on Dumor Weight Booster for about a month. I also started giving her free choice Bahia about a month ago (we put out a round bale for her).
I'd hoped that giving her free choice hay would've put some weight on her, but it really hasn't. I'm at a loss of what to do now. I don't have a picture of her right now, but I'll get one tomorrow. I can see her ribs, her backbone is very visible and her hips are sunken in. A lot of it may be because of muscle loss, as I haven't worked her basically all winter, but I know it's a weight thing too.
Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated (:
Have her teeth been checked and has her worm load been evaluated? I've had lots of luck with beet pulp and rice bran with my TB. I recently started feeding him a Pennfield beet pulp product and he's starting to look fat to me!
When we got the Arabian my daughter leases, she was underweight. The ranch she lived at told us she was always a hard keeper and that she'd recently lost weight when they were switching feeds. So she was pretty skinny when we got her ... not as skinny as your mare, though, I don't think. She was about a 4 on the 1-10 weight grading scale.
Our mare can't chew very well because she's 29 and has teeth problems, and she also wasn't absorbing nutrients very well. We give her probios to make her gut function better and absorb nutrients better. Her daily ration is divided into three feedings, but her daily total is: 6 lbs. of senior feed, 1 1/2 cups oats, 3 scoops of Fat-Cat which is a weight gain supplement highly recommended by users at the smartpak site. Once a week I give her 1/2 c. Omega Horseshine instead of the Fat-Cat to get some omega 3's in her for her coat. We mix this all into soaked beet pulp for the carbs since she can't chew the hay very well, but your younger mare shouldn't have that problem. She *might* need her teeth floated, though! Some horses need it done more often than others, and if her teeth are really bothering her she may not be eating as much as she should.
I'd suggest reading the reviews for the Fat-Cat and seeing if that might be a good option. I think it is better than the Dumor. And I would definitely add probios to get her gut in good shape (the powdered stuff is more convenient than the tube). Wormer can really kill off the good bacteria in the gut, so the probios can help there.
Fat-Cat - Horse Weight Gain Supplements from SmartPak Equine
Lacy looks really good now. She's put on just the right amount of weight and I don't worry about her anymore. I do feel like 3 scoops of Fat-Cat is more than most people give their horses (I think 1-2 scoops a day is average), but again, Lacy is old and can't eat enough hay.
Hope this helps some!
My Arab is a hard keeper also, even though she is young. I'm not sure how well your horse eats hay, but my mare day dreams a lot of the time when other horses are eating so I can't just manage her on free choice hay. My solution has been to optimize the amount of calories she gets from her hay by feeding free choice alfalfa instead of grass hay. Besides this I also have to feed her 10 lbs. of senior feed per day with about a half cup of corn oil. The safechoice feed seems to have equivalent ingredients to senior horse feeds so I would feed whichever is cheaper. Neither safechoice nor senior feeds are "grain" so you can feed much more without worrying about ulcers or digestive problems. I would increase her hay and then just keep increasing her safechoice until she reaches a good weight. Corn oil is also easily digestible and a way to safely add calories.
Since I had never had a hard keeper before I used to think 5 lbs. of complete feed was a lot for a horse to eat. Now I realize that some horses may need 10 or 15 lbs. per day in order to maintain their weight, especially if they are in hard work. The vet says my horse is healthy, she is wormed regularly, her teeth are great and she eats more than any of the other 20 horses in the barn. You might just be underestimating her metabolism.
My mare is the same way..she is appendix reg QH and TB..When I first got her I went through the same thing that you are..I have her on Safe Choice, it is a GREAT feed and I recommend it allll the time. Also Purina Omolene 200, It's an all grain feed an it's really good stuff..and She is on the Farnam Weight Builder supplement..I LOVE THIS STUFF..It is great! To start with I would also give her some beet pulp (I did the shreds soaked in water and wet her feed, for about a month and a half) but with the weight builder I didn't have to keep her on it long because she gained weight fast... I had her on the Rice Bran oil and it was ok, it put some weight on her slowly but not near as well at the weight builder..
she also has free choice hay..
Triple Crown Senior IF you can get it
Manna Pro's Max E Glo
and free choice hay alfalfa mix if she can handle the alfalfa
Canola Oil worked for me, and it's cheap! Haha
sixlets: Interesting, how much do you give?
Peggysue: I tried alfalfa pellets for about a month and she got MEAN. Not just hot, but mean, it changed her whole demeanor. Now I tend to be wary of anything with alfalfa, haha. The Max E Glo is rice bran, right? I could try that.
DrumRunner: I tried Farnam Weight Builder and didn't get much from it. Dumor is cheaper and is doing about the same. I could try beet pulp though, I've heard good things about it.
gottatrot: I'll try increasing her feed and see if that helps. I could very well be underestimating her metabolism. As for hay, she finished a whole round bale in about a month. I think it was the equivalent of 100 bales of hay? I'm not sure if I want to try alfalfa again, are the pellets much different than the hay?
AspendaleFarm: I will look into trying FatCat. She'll be getting her teeth done when the vet comes to give her shots in April. I'll get some probios too.
MyBoyPuck: She has been wormed accordingly and will get her teeth done in April. I'll try beet pulp (:
I gave my mare about 2 tbls. every day with her grain.
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