Weight Loss - The Horse Forum
 10Likes
  • 1 Post By horselovinguy
  • 2 Post By Dreamcatcher Arabians
  • 2 Post By horselovinguy
  • 1 Post By watcher
  • 3 Post By Wallaby
  • 1 Post By Prairie
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 07-25-2016, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Indiana
Posts: 112
• Horses: 1
Weight Loss

My horse is in overall good health. He's very happy and responsive and for the most part looks great. But he's been losing a bit of weight and I'm getting a bit worried about it. He gets about 1 3/4 quarts of grain and two flakes of hay at night and he's out grazing every day from about 8-9 am until about 6-9 at night. The grass is great and all the other horses in the herd look healthy and happy, a few of them are slightly rotund.

My gelding has never been to pasture before so it's all been an adjustment. First it was the flies that were just driving him nutty and making it so hard for him to focus on grazing so I found a better fly spray and that seemed to have helped a ton. But now that its been so hot (85 - 95 on average with humidity has made it feel about 100 degrees) he seems to be losing more weight. I can't see his ribs but his topline has been very pronounced, he has large hip bones that have always protruded a bit but they seem more pronounced now.

Does he look underweight to anyone? He's an arab x saddlebred. If he does, what should I add to his feed?

beMsrU3.jpg
r7Zm18a.jpg
4Ei9jdM.jpg

"Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."
watcher is offline  
post #2 of 9 Old 07-25-2016, 12:37 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 8,609
• Horses: 12
He looks shiny and healthy but I think your right in thinking he's a little too thin.

He only gets hay & feed at night? If this is right I'd be wanting him to get some hay in that 9 am to 6 pm time frame because that's a long time for him to go without anything. The extra hay should help with his weight problem but if not add another feed meal in the morning.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
JCnGrace is online now  
post #3 of 9 Old 07-25-2016, 12:57 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10,289
• Horses: 0
Yes, he is a little underweight.
His spine fat padding is lacking, shoulder point is visible and he has lost some of the fat he should have on his rump....that is noticeable immediately.

He looks to be a pretty big boy....
The hours he is out fluctuate by 4 hours a day of grazing time...that is a pretty considerable amount of food consuming time.

I would feed him more hay to start with.
2 flakes of hay could weigh 3 pounds or 10 -- 15 pounds depending upon how heavy they are.
Double the amount to 4 flakes unless huge, then 3, and see if he eats it all..
All foods fed are fed by weight, not volume with horses.
My horses are out grazing about 15 hours a day now {6:30am - 9:30/ 10:00pm}...when they come in at night each one has about 5 pounds of hay minimum to enjoy...if they come in early they have twice as much to eat of hay.. Not a wasted piece do I find in the morning either.

So...when was he last wormed?
When were his teeth last checked and attended to?
How much work/riding is he doing?
Is he low man in the herd?
Is he allowed to eat the rich areas of grass or is he forced on to the less desirable spots?
Have you ever done a sand poop test?
If he has excess sand in his gut he will not be able to absorb all the nutrients from his food as he should....
Here is the poop test directions....

Testing Your Horse for sand in its stomach

With what your results are could also contribute to the weight loss...

Some horses are also just "melting" with the high heat and humidity no matter what you do.
Make sure he has adequate clean fresh water.
He needs salt...plain and mineral, free-choice...

Make sure when he does eat his hay it is his alone, he not have to fight off others who steal or chase him away...
Read the bag back of the feed {grain} you are feeding him and follow the manufacturers recommendations on amounts to feed. Remember to feed for what he should weigh, not what he is weighing if you want him to gain...

I would start with those things, watch and see if he picks up any....
If not, me....would be calling the vet in case I missed anything.

Best of luck....
He's a nice horse!!
.....
jmo...
watcher likes this.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 07-25-2016, 01:00 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 13,679
• Horses: 9
Some horses have a really hard time with the heat. I had one who went into winter looking awful and she'd come out looking great in spring, because the heat was gone. Then rinse & repeat, she lost weight all summer and gained it again in winter. She was 20ish when this started and you don't mention your horse's age.

One thing that worked well for me was adding Strategy to her feed. I fed according to directions and it really helped her hold her weight. Another thing that helped was stalling her in front of a fan during the day and letting her out to graze at night.
KigerQueen and watcher like this.

Dreamcatcher Arabians is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 07-25-2016, 01:01 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10,289
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCnGrace View Post
He only gets hay & feed at night? If this is right I'd be wanting him to get some hay in that 9 am to 6 pm time frame because that's a long time for him to go without anything.


Unless I read it wrong the horse is out grazing during those approximate hours....
I think you're right though about more hay....
I mentioned the same thing...more hay fed when he is in during the evening.

....
KigerQueen and watcher like this.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 07-25-2016, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Indiana
Posts: 112
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Yes, he is a little underweight.
His spine fat padding is lacking, shoulder point is visible and he has lost some of the fat he should have on his rump....that is noticeable immediately.

He looks to be a pretty big boy....
The hours he is out fluctuate by 4 hours a day of grazing time...that is a pretty considerable amount of food consuming time.

I would feed him more hay to start with.
2 flakes of hay could weigh 3 pounds or 10 -- 15 pounds depending upon how heavy they are.
Double the amount to 4 flakes unless huge, then 3, and see if he eats it all..
All foods fed are fed by weight, not volume with horses.
My horses are out grazing about 15 hours a day now {6:30am - 9:30/ 10:00pm}...when they come in at night each one has about 5 pounds of hay minimum to enjoy...if they come in early they have twice as much to eat of hay.. Not a wasted piece do I find in the morning either.

So...when was he last wormed?
When were his teeth last checked and attended to?
How much work/riding is he doing?
Is he low man in the herd?
Is he allowed to eat the rich areas of grass or is he forced on to the less desirable spots?
Have you ever done a sand poop test?
If he has excess sand in his gut he will not be able to absorb all the nutrients from his food as he should....
Here is the poop test directions....

Testing Your Horse for sand in its stomach

With what your results are could also contribute to the weight loss...

Some horses are also just "melting" with the high heat and humidity no matter what you do.
Make sure he has adequate clean fresh water.
He needs salt...plain and mineral, free-choice...

Make sure when he does eat his hay it is his alone, he not have to fight off others who steal or chase him away...
Read the bag back of the feed {grain} you are feeding him and follow the manufacturers recommendations on amounts to feed. Remember to feed for what he should weigh, not what he is weighing if you want him to gain...

I would start with those things, watch and see if he picks up any....
If not, me....would be calling the vet in case I missed anything.

Best of luck....
He's a nice horse!!
.....
jmo...
Those are great suggestions, he was vetted and wormed in the Spring, right before I got him. His teeth are optimal and I've checked that a couple times because I was worried, but no sharpness.

We ride maybe three hours a week, sporadically since its been so hot, so he's basically just a pasture horse right now. So his activity level is pretty low.

His rank is in the middle of the herd, but he's still adjusting to being in one so he does get picked on. All the horses are fed at the same time but it wouldn't be out of the question for them to be eating his. He's out on pasture every single day, grass from 9- 6 and then dinner, and closed up away from the pasture at night, he likes to jump fences. The forage is great, and he's finally now eating next to all the horses, so he isn't being sequestered to the bad grass. He used to when he was integrating and that worried me. He's only been outside for two months, first time in his ten years.

I definitely think that he needs to pack on some more pounds and I am leaning towards him just adjusting to being outside, in a herd, and in the heat is causing this. But I'll do the sand poop test, the vet is coming out next month to do the fall check ups so I'll definitely bring it up with them.

Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Some horses have a really hard time with the heat. I had one who went into winter looking awful and she'd come out looking great in spring, because the heat was gone. Then rinse & repeat, she lost weight all summer and gained it again in winter. She was 20ish when this started and you don't mention your horse's age.

One thing that worked well for me was adding Strategy to her feed. I fed according to directions and it really helped her hold her weight. Another thing that helped was stalling her in front of a fan during the day and letting her out to graze at night.
He's ten, sorry I left that out. I think that's a good part of what he's doing, just wilting. All the other horses are a little plump, so I think its definitely something that is specific to my horse.

I'll have to look at his feed and strategy was on my list of things I may want to add. I'll have to talk to the barn owner to get more hay and grain added.

Thank you for the suggestions, I'm glad I'm not being crazy, I'm worried with reason for once.
KigerQueen likes this.

"Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."
watcher is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 07-25-2016, 02:03 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 7,737
• Horses: 2
I personally don't see an underweight horse. I see hipbones, but given that this horse is Arab/Saddlebred, hipbones like that aren't completely unusual.

I don't see rib, at all, and his tailhead is not protruding - both things you would see if his protruding hips were an accurate indicator of his weight.

He does appear to have a bit of atrophy in his topline/wither-area but, given how high his withers appear to be, I'm not totally stunned about that either. He does have a thin neck, but, again, given his breeding, that's something I'd expect.

Personally, I wouldn't want this horse to lose a lot more [he looks to me like he could even lose a bit more without becoming ribby..not that he should lose more] but I do not think he's underweight here.


My gelding is built somewhat similarly. I don't know his breed [best guess is some kind of Arab cross, but who knows] and he is hip-y as well.
He's standing a bit weird and he's a muddy mess in this picture, but you can see his hips -

Here he is more recently, and cleaned up:
You can barely, barely, see a hint of rib which is what I want to see, given that this horse works everyday and tends to be a very easy keeper. If he were a harder keeper, I might not want to see rib at all [personally].



For reference, my gelding used to look like this, because I mistook his hips as an indicator of weight:


Anyway, I think the OP's horse is deceptive in the weight department and I have been there. I think he looks true to his breed, which is a good thing!
I think the OP should keep doing what she is doing, up his feed if he continues to lose, but don't worry about it too much. He looks good!

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

~
Rest peacefully, Lacey.

Last edited by Wallaby; 07-25-2016 at 02:08 PM.
Wallaby is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 07-25-2016, 02:19 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: The boondocks of Kansas
Posts: 1,271
• Horses: 0
IMO, the horse is lacking in muscle and conditioning rather than weight. However it is difficult to assess his diet since we need to know the weights on the grain and hay, brand of grain concentrate, and how good the pasture is. The horse needs a good conditioning program and to be ridden correctly to develop his muscle along with an assessment of his nutrition. He may do better with turn out at night when it's cooler and less buggy and in a stall with a fan set on high during the day.
Wallaby likes this.
Prairie is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 07-26-2016, 12:21 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 8,609
• Horses: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post

Unless I read it wrong the horse is out grazing during those approximate hours....
I think you're right though about more hay....
I mentioned the same thing...more hay fed when he is in during the evening.
....
You're right. I read it that he was allowed to graze from 8-9 in the morning and then from 6-9 in the evening. I must of had a short last night somewhere between my eyes and my brain.

Sorry Watcher.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
JCnGrace is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Too much weight loss? NavigatorsMom Horse Health 9 04-06-2015 11:59 PM
weight loss...who else? Sevastion27 Plus Sized Riders 16 03-11-2013 02:32 PM
Weight loss, loss of appetite in old horse EasterBunny Horse Health 29 07-26-2012 11:52 PM
Depression/sluggishness, weight loss, muscle loss barrelracerchick Horse Health 39 06-16-2011 03:02 AM
Weight Loss Cowgirl74 Horse Health 3 01-08-2009 02:06 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome