Gaining weight for a thoroughbred - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-05-2015, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Gaining weight for a thoroughbred

I have a middle aged horse (11) who is a hard keeper. We are in winter where he doesn't have access to as much grass. What ideas do you all have for helping him gain weight? I am going to get him rice bran pellets, and I prefer to stay AWAY from beet pulp (had a negative experience and never again).

Also, what is everyone's take on coconut oil for horses?
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-05-2015, 01:55 PM
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What are you feeding and how much?
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-05-2015, 02:04 PM
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Fortified rice bran pellets (if you have a store that sells Legend near you they are good)

Alfalfa cubes or pellets

Good senior grain

Cocosoya oil

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-05-2015, 08:06 PM
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Being winter, not much access to grass means you need to supplement or just flat out feed enough hay to him.
Winter grass/pasture leaves much to be desired in is busy food at best..something to chew but not get much from.
Average Thoroughbred horse weighs in at least at 1000 pounds.
So he should be consuming between 15-20 pounds of hay a day to start with.
Hay and forage as it is called should make up the majority of your horses daily diet.
Only if he still needs more "groceries" do you then add feed/grain to achieve what he needs.

Decent quality hay, not junk.....

So in addition to hay, feed/grain and the daily vitamins and minerals he needs to thrive...
To get some extra weight on a horse they need to consume more than they spend or use.
If you ride him he will need more calories as he is burning them off during his exercise...
Cool calories, ones that come from fat, help to put weight on quicker than other things.
A fat supplement added in addition to his feed ration will help.
Adding oil also adds calories....
Certain types of feeds are made for hard-keepers and senior feeds are made to be digested easier and more nutrients absorbed...

Depending upon what manufacturers are located in your area would dictate what you can feed....

A lot of good help is available here on this site...but you need to at least give a area where you live, a state would help those here to help you.

Good luck.

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post #5 of 6 Old 11-08-2015, 08:36 PM
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Hi, I wouldn't call 11yo middle aged these days, he's still a spring chicken! And while TB's, esp as often OT or performance horses, managed & fed, are commonly 'hard keepers', it's about that management & feeding, not so much about the breed.

Firstly, if the horse isn't getting free choice grass hay, that's where I'd start if there's not ample grazing, of if he's locked up at all. Then I'd provide him with a good supplement/ration balancer that will give him the nutritional balance he needs.

I'd ensure his teeth were in good order, he was wormed *effectively*(sometimes owners can be diligent but regular wormer isn't cutting it - fecal tests may be in order), and I'd be considering ulcers/gut damage, and putting him on a gut support product(I like herbal for that).

Then, if after a bit(he won't get better in a week or 2, regardless) he was still doing it hard, then I'd consider adding some more calories in the form of 'hard feed' of some kind, of which I'd keep low NSC/grain free if poss. If you add oil, coconut or otherwise, ensure you start with very small quantity & build gradually, over at least a few small feeds daily, as horses don't naturally have the enzymes to digest pure fats like that.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-11-2015, 04:35 PM
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First get a fecal test done for worms. So so so many people skip it. The matter is if the horses has worms and your no using the right type of wormer(you don't know w/o a simple fecal test) then you can feed all you want and waste all our money and the horse will still lose weight. I get fecals done through horsemans labs only $19 a test. So affordable!! Way cheaper then my vet

Now having hay 24/7 in front of a horse is the best, quickest and mos natural way to add and keep weight. Especially concerning the top line

For my extremely hard keeper. He gets hay 24/7 then a few lbs of alfalfa or grass pellets a couple times a day soaked in a bit o water and bit and mineral supplements

You will be so suprised how quickly a horse will gain weight of free choice hay, hay pellets, and most importantly vit and minerals. It's so simple!!

Also highly suggest checking out feedxl for forumatling feed plans. With it I know both my easier keeper and hard keeper have balanced diets.
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