Feeding the senior horse
Our guy, Big Al is probably about 17 years old. We have had him 1 month. He came to us underweight by about 100lbs.
When my vet checked him, she made sure he was on a gaining diet, which he is. He gets hay three times a day and a scoop of grain. Also pasture at least 5 days a week.
Today, the farrier, who is the vets husband, asked if he is on a senior food. He said that would put the lbs on quicker, was easy to digest and turns to fat better on older horses. Al is ridden about 3-4 times a week. He had his teeth floated and has no trouble chewing. He has a voracious appitite!
I have been reading about Purina, Nutrena and Tripple Crown. It looks like TC is the choice of most with Nutrena being second.
Does anyone have any experience like mine? What are your thoughts on these feeds?
I don't know anything about Triple Crown, but I've always had good results with Purina and Nutrena.
I used the Purina Equine Senior for years and had a lot of health type issues with my older guy. He had coliced and I had issues getting his poop to solidify and then he wasn't gaining weight so a member here suggested I try Triple Crown Senior and I have to say, it was like magic. He really turned back into his old self. Coat is shiny and healthy and his poop is pretty solid.
I've since switched to a different supplier that does not carry triple crown senior so I'm on my first month of nutrina's senior feed and so far I have no complaints.
I had my old gelding(mid 30's) on purina senior for months with no results at all, I finally switched him to triple crown senior and it's like magic. He has been on it for a few months and I can just barly see ribs and he has nice fat building up around his withers and tail head(he was very very under weight to start). The barn owner where I board my one horse started her 30 year old gelding on it and after 2 weeks on it(also switched from purina) you can already see a noticeable change in his weight.
My vet told my friend that Purina senior feed has significantly more molasses than other senior feeds. She was told to find a different brand of senior feed because the vet had seen many horses founder on the Purina senior feed. I know this might not be a problem for all horses, but just thought I would warn you.
Another vote for Triple Crown
Purina is down there for low quaity feeds - I dislike Purina greatly.
I had my fellow on Tripple Crown Senior, and after discussing that product with an Equine Nutritionist at the Michigan State University, I found out that Tripple Crown is up there in the totum pole of quality feeds.
If you want what's best for your fellow, I say full turn out as much as possible. Little stall time - have him in front of a round bale, where he can stuff his face 24/7, with pasture as well.
Him having access to as much Vitamin E as possible great.
I would also look into a digestive supplement, like SmartPaks SmartDigest Ultra. That stuff works great - many horses, especially senior horses no longer have all that is needed for their digestive systems to work proper and as efficiantly as a younger horses system would. With Senior horses, their systems have a harder time digesting and processing and using all the nutrients needed that they get from their feed - so by adding a Digestive Aid Supplement will help.
And of course, the feed. If you go with Tripple Crown Senior, you are getting a lot - Shaved Beat Pulp, Rice Bran and plenty of other important ingredients needed. I would feed 6lbs+ a day, and seperate it into 3 feedings.
When I was feeding it, my boy was getting 10lbs a day.
Here is an article that I find very helpful:
I am a strong believer in corn oil!!! I have seen so many horses pack back weight on this, you literally just mix it into the grain your using.
Now my grain of choice is LMF Equine Senior, i have a cushinoid horse and the molasses content has not been an issue for him so i doubt it would bother any older horses. I also mix in cob specifically the "King" brand, it is excellent for wait gain.
Corn oil is known to aid in inflamation - I wouldn't give corn oil. If you were to give an oil, I would look at good ol' Vegitable Oil, or even better - Cocosoya.
And COB - is sweet feed. Sweet feed = garbage.
We have a 29yr old qh on triple crown at my barn, we started out on purina but he wasnt gaining the weight like we wanted so we switched him over to tc and he is looking great, it takes about half the time it would take for the purina. We have switched all of our seniors over to it now, some are retired but some are still ridden for trails or just around the pond.
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