Feeding Well But Horse Still Thin - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question Feeding Well But Horse Still Thin

I am new to keeping horses. I have a QH/TB and a QH/Walker. Both are 12. I have done a lot of research into their feeding and upkeep. They have limited pasture space (I am trying to grow grass on about three acres) but they do have some grazing area (probably about an acre's worth but not enough). They are always turned out. I feed them both morning and night but cannot do any further feedings since my schedule doesnt allow.

Currently, each my two feedings consist of the following:
12 pounds of coastal hay
*7 lbs Dumore Equistages (comparable to, and in some areas containing more nutrients, than Purina Strategy Edge and other Purina feeds for their age and activity level).
1/3 cup of canola oil per horse each day
White salt block/himalayan salt and fresh water
Total per horse: 12 pounds of hay per day, 7 lbs of feed, 1/3 cup of oil.

* on Monday -Wednesday I may substitute 3.5 lbs of Dumor each feeding for sweet feed. They like it and it has the protein, fiber, fat and mineral levels reflected in most horse feeds. I cut it off Wednesday so they arent too hot to work with on the weekend. Once I have finished it out I will probably just stick to the Dumor since they like it and it is better for them.

Still, they seem a tad ribby to me. Not so much the Walker as much as the TB. They do not look unhealthy but I am unsure if I am doing something wrong. One of them from the side you cant even see ribs but if you are facing him you can see them slightly. I have attached a pic of my QH. If anyone has any advise... thank you.
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post #2 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 01:29 PM
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I would deworm them with a good dewormer like Ivermectin (if you haven't lately) and get them some alfalfa. I don't know if you have access to alfalfa hay, but if not hay then alfalfa pellets (probably safest to soak them first so they don't choke). It's hard to have a skinny horse on alfalfa, in my experience! See the horse in my avatar? She gets two small flakes of alfalfa a day along with free choice bermuda. I have to work on keeping her from getting too fat. And she has no pasture at all.

Senior feed is another idea. They don't have to be seniors to be on senior feed and it's good good protein and fat levels.

Has the vet checked their teeth?

The horse you posted a picture of is quite thin, in my opinion.

I love bermuda for feeding with alfalfa. But the bermuda alone doesn't seem to be cutting it for your guys. You could try feeding it free choice but I don't know if that would get them where they need to be or not. I would try to get them higher protein hay and more of it.

There's a lot of stupid out there!

Last edited by trailhorserider; 04-03-2019 at 01:35 PM.
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post #3 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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They have had a vet look at them and they did not need dewormer. I dont believe they have any teeth problems. They dont toss their head or fight the bit. They love feeding time and munch away with no weird behavior. My Walker is a tad fatter than his QH friend but not too much.
I could try subbing some of their hay with alfalfa. Thanks.
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post #4 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 01:39 PM
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[PaganRider;1970701085]They have had a vet look at them and they did not need dewormer. I dont believe they have any teeth problems. They dont toss their head or fight the bit. They love feeding time and munch away with no weird behavior. My Walker is a tad fatter than his QH friend but not too much.
I could try subbing some of their hay with alfalfa. Thanks.[/quote]


Alfalfa would be my best advice then. Maybe someone else will chime in too. But alfalfa works really well for me. You can feed bermuda free choice (or close to it) and supplement with some alfalfa hay and I would think that would be a winning combination. I don't know if you even need all the Equistages and sweet feed. My girl gets a tiny bit (like a cup or two) of senior feed as a treat. But it's not enough to really do much, just a treat. You might keep your guys on the Equistages while they are thin and when you get them up to a good weight you can probably phase it out.
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Last edited by horselovinguy; 04-06-2019 at 08:17 PM.
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post #5 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 02:05 PM
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Did your vet do a fecal count? If not, and they haven't been dewormed lately, I would deworm. On a small amount of land with limited grazing, it's nearly impossible for horses not to have some parasites.

Have teeth checked and floated.
Increase amount of hay and add in some higher-quality forage-- alfalfa, or a complete senior feed that includes some forage in the amount. The key to getting weight on horses is forage more than concentrated feed.

Consider a vitamin E deficiency. Many horses need supplementation, particularly during winter months, or year-round with out access to lush, thick pasture.



I would start with teeth and dewormer. If either of those are an issue, you can pour as much feed through as you want but it won't make much difference.
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post #6 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 02:17 PM
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Horse looks fine barely see ribs, rest of body looks ok too. I don't see a horse that needs weight from picture provided. I've heard dumore Is low quality feed so not the best choice. Sweet feed is sugar loaded junk, its like letting kids eat lucky charms for every meal.

Get a better quality feed and feed high quality hay ,which should be the base of any horse's diet. Forage first if needed then add hard feed for calories. I've been doing a lot of research on feeding lately.
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post #7 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 02:51 PM
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I have a hard keeper and it can be challenging especially during winter to keep his weight good. I feed him soaked beet pulp every day and I noticed a huge difference.

I'd cut out the sweet feed and of course make sure teeth, deworming, etc are all Ok.

Horse looks a little thin, but you mentioned it is an appendix - I find that some TB or TB crosses just tend to look a bit ribbier without actually being underweight.
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post #8 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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I thought Dumor may not be up to par but after comparing its nutrition label to others, especially Purina, it appears to stand up overall as long as you go with the Equistages or Senior Feed. Maybe because Purina makes it for TSC. I am on a budget too.

I didnt think the sweet feed was that bad considering it had 12% protein, 12% fiber and 3.5% fat. I did know it had a lot of sugar but it also had Vitamin e & D, manganese, methionine, zinc, alfalfa and a lot of other stuff going in with the molasses. But I could cut it out and only give it as a treat.

I will probably try that and feeding more alfalfa like you and Trailrider suggested.

I appreciate it!
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post #9 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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I thought that might be that he is part TB too since his buddy isnt so skinny. I also bought a scale to make sure I was feeding by weight. I will look into the beet pulp thing. Thank you!
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post #10 of 31 Old 04-03-2019, 03:50 PM
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My horses have never done well on Dumor feeds. I've tried them when TSC couldn't seem to get the Purina I like. My horses all dropped weight and their coats got dingy. I would cut the sweet feed entirely, there's nothing good about feeding horses the equivalent of a Snickers bar for dinner. The amount of hay seems to be under what they'd require. I figure roughly 2% of desired bodyweight for each horse. So a 1200 lb horse (or one that should weigh 1200 lbs) needs 24 lbs of hay, 24/7. I feed Purina Strategy and Enrich Plus, according to label directions and have no thin horses when I stick with those.
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