Let's talk about hard keepers - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 03-10-2017, 08:27 PM
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I have a young ottb who is doing well on lots of hay and a few oz of Renew Gold. They recommend 1-1.5 lbs but he gets 15lbs alfalfa a day and free choice orchard so he only gets 4oz of the RG at night. They make it with high fat stabilized rice bran, CoolStance coconut meal and flax, so the energy is coming from good fat not sugary/starchy ingredients. I do offer my guy some other supplements with it, and Renew Gold is not so much of a 'grain' as it is a fat supplement or weight keeping supplement (I'd call it "CoolCalories-Plus"). My friends filly came to her quite thin, but gained weight and was a healthy several hundred lbs in about 4 months or so after being on a 1/2 lb of the renew gold (and getting off crummy pasture and onto our nicer high-nutrient hay from eastern Washington). I know a trainer who runs a rescue on the side and uses it on all her starvation cases to add in some calorie dense munchies to pack on the pounds. A 30lb bag runs me $26, and lasts 120 days (4oz=1/4lb, so 1/4lb once a day lasts quite a while!) so it's a pretty efficient and dense product. I'm not a fan of things you have to use loads of to get the full effect. I used to feed LMF Gold but my guy was eating around 1.5lbs in the morning and 2lbs at night so a bag didn't last long AT ALL. He was on a DuMor mixture for a while too but was eating 3/4lb twice a day, which is still more concentrate than I'd like to feed.
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post #12 of 31 Old 03-10-2017, 09:02 PM
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No one mentioned soaked alfalfa cubes, I'm planning to feed a thin mare (15 years old) morning & night soaked cubes. Any one use them ? or have any feed back about them ? I live in Northern BC and a few told me that's what they do with older horses. PS my mare looks similar to yours.
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post #13 of 31 Old 03-10-2017, 09:32 PM
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@gottatrot has finally solved her EXTREMELY hard keeper. You can find all the info in her journal. She has a mare who would not eat enough hay to keep weight on, and had to feed her 10 lbs of oats a day just to keep her at a decent weight. The mare ended up with a case of laminitis, though it took several years. Now with Equishure, if I remember correctly, combined with some other things, the mare is doing very well and healing from the laminitis.

She had some notes about acidic guts in horses fed a high amount of grain. It was all very interesting and you might want to check it out (in her journal).

Hope you don't mind me sharing gottatrot.
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post #14 of 31 Old 03-10-2017, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lylly View Post
No one mentioned soaked alfalfa cubes, I'm planning to feed a thin mare (15 years old) morning & night soaked cubes. Any one use them ? or have any feed back about them ? I live in Northern BC and a few told me that's what they do with older horses. PS my mare looks similar to yours.
I did this with that same TB mare to help her gain weight before PNHS last year when she came off lease and looked gaunt and it worked great. My mother also feeds it to her ~24 y/o TB gelding who has barely any teeth left and it has really helped him keep weight on through the winter.
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-10-2017, 09:52 PM
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Well, the first place to look, when a horse is not keeping weight,is the forage
Just because a hay looks okay, does not mean it is nutritious.
If a hay is low in calories and protein it is not going to provide enough nutrients.
To loose that amount of weight, either she is not eating enough calories, or has some medical condition
Thus, place to start, is to have your hay analysed . Yes, beetpulp is a good choice, digested as a forage, with energy between that of grain and forage, but with none of the associated risks that grain have, directly in proportion to amount fed. ( I am talking grain, and not some bagged feed that often has no grain)

Carshon, feeds that are high in NSC can indeed make a horse 'hot'Oats are high in NSC, but not as bad as other grains like corn and barley

You can also add calories in the form of fats. There are quite a few commercial feeds that are low in nSC and high in fat, But you can just add canola oil or flax to that soaked beetpulp
Yes, some horses have higher metabolism rates, thus burn more calories to maintain weight, thus you feed horses as individuals, using the KISS principle

Start by knowing what your forage contains, then add what is missing\Horses are no different then us.
When excess calories (more then required for daily activities ) are fed, they gain weight
Less then required, they have to call on stored reserves and loose weight
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post #16 of 31 Old 03-10-2017, 10:27 PM
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I agree with checking the nutrition content of the hay. Hardly anyone has to, but when you have a "hard keeper" you may want to. I did several years ago and now have a consistent source for my hay. I don't get it checked, after the first two years.

I have a couple horses that don't keep weight on easily. My own and one I care for. In addition, they both work quite hard most of the year. I feed them an odd combination of senior feed (neither is older), beet pulp, and calf manna. It works for mine.

You'll find a good combination, no doubt.
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post #17 of 31 Old 03-10-2017, 11:07 PM
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A horse normally doesn't just become a hard keeper. There might be some underlying cause. Do you get all your hay from a single field? The soil may have been depleted over the years and some essential minerals may be missing. This happened to me once. My friends horses lost weight with 24/7 hay, but mine kept his weight because I was supplementing with alfalfa.
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post #18 of 31 Old 03-10-2017, 11:14 PM
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I will say partially I think she naturally has a much leaner build than you might be used to. (Based on other pics I've seen of her).

I prefer a quality bagged feed to oats. I also agree with the beet pulp.
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-11-2017, 03:16 AM
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alfalfa for hay , cubes or pellets, you can soak it if needed. You can also use beet pulp and it needs to be soaked. i use senior feed, as some of my horses are older and it is easier for them to chew and digest . pasture grass if you have a pasture turn the horse out to graze, but still feed the alfalfa. I have also had to use red cell and other similar vitamins on the senior horses. Corn , vegetable oil, canola oils adds fat, about a cup a day , but I start with a few splashes to see if the horse will eat it. I buy it at the grocery store in 5 gal jugs. In the hot months it stays in the house.
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post #20 of 31 Old 03-11-2017, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Just to clear some things up and add some more details, as I know many of you don't get the weather we get here (but some of you know all too well!)

We've owned Spirit since late August/early September of 2016- so less than a year. We are unaware of what she was fed previously, but she was thin, had awful feet, had to be blanketed in warm weather because she shivered (so they say) and had a very dull look to her. When we brought her home we immediately started her on 16 hours of pasture a day (dawn to after dusk) and let her go without a blanket at night but with enough hay to last. She did not shiver so I think that was a feed problem.

She was introduced slowly to oats and vegetable oil until she was eating 4 pounds of oats a day and a cup of oil. Snow came and the pasture was buried so we upped her hay to free choice in the day and ten pounds at night.

There has been zero pasture since November, and she held her weight until the beginning of January, when I realized that her feed was making her extremely hot and hard to handle. She was cut off 100% from hard feeds, and I upped her hay from ten pounds at night to twenty. She calmed down considerably, is not a problem to handle anymore, and isn't as spooky anymore, but her weight started dropping by the end of January.

In early February I upped her night hay (still free choice in the day) to 35-40 pounds. She doesn't eat all of it at night, but her weight still hasn't come up.

She's had internal exams, scopes, external exams, dental exams, every kind of exam imagineable and she's been 100% cleared. The only issue is her cough, which went away when I started wetting her hay.

I was thinking senior feed, but is there certain things I should look for in a senior feed? I can also start adding oil again, because it helped her coat tremendously. I might opt for corn oil this time.

I can get a hay analysis done, but I know Trouble is on the same hay, on a roughage only diet and he's in great shape. He's fed considerably less, and he is still a healthy weight. I actually have to watch he doesn't get overweight, as he's prone to do.
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