is my horse too much under weight? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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is my horse too much under weight?

I got my baby for free from a lady that had her tied in her yard. No pasture no place to move around. I have a small fence in my yard... about 150 ft long and probably 40 ft wide with a way for her to get under my shed for shelter.... lol yes we are working on fencing in the whole yard 3 acres later.... either way... amira has gained some weight but no matter what I feed her or how much I feed her it's like we are stuck at this weight and I don't like it. I talked to my vet and he recommended worming her...so I did last week... but do you guys think she looks horrible or am I just paranoid. Please no bashing. I couldn't leave this baby in the circumstances I found her and I'm trying to do the best I can for her I just don't know much about horses... I'm currently feeding her (twice a day) two large feed scoops of 10% sweet feed mixed wjth rice bran at the recommendation of my hay man lol... she also has constant access to a round bale and weather permitting I tie her in the front yard for grass...notice her tailbone? The lady I got her from said it sticks up because she's half Arabian. (Other Half paint)
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post #2 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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This was the day I brought her home.
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post #3 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 12:44 PM
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Yes, she is way too thin. How old is she? How long have you had her?
You need to have the vet examine her. I am surprised he/she didn't suggest a fecal count so you know what parasites she has. She probably needs to be brought current on vaccinations if you haven't done that. How are her teeth? These are all things a vet check will cover. The vet can also give you a good feeding program when he sees the horse. I would not delay in setting up a farm call. I would also have him/her check the hunters bump (the rise in the spine just in front of the flank area) for any possible soundness issue in the future.

Good luck with her. She is a pretty girl. Keep us posted as to her progress.
And welcome to the forum. It's a good place to hang out!

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post #4 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 12:48 PM
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She does need weight, but she also needs muscle mass as well. I have an OTTB and TB's are terrible at keeping weight sometimes (you can always get an easy keeper..but its rare haha) When I got him his top line was terrible (sort of like hers) and his butt was not nice and round, his almost looked like your girls. It is hard and very very over whelming when you take on a horse that is underweight. Now since you did talk to your vet, did your vet also suggest getting her teeth done? that can cause an issue if it has been a while since her teeth have been done, also ulcers can be another cause. I would suggest talking to your vet again, it could be a simple de-worming, but sometimes it can be from something else.

Now for the feed, I have heard people get good results from rice bran mixed with some sort of grain. Also people tend to say beet pulp is good as well, but I fed my guy Purina Ultium, since it is made to really help gain weight. It is a sweet feed, and it worked wonders for my boy with gaining his weight. But at that point it was also my turn to get his muscles better as well, by working him. He looks like a different horse now, I did take him off of the Ultium because it started to make him hot, but he is keeping his weight fine now one just strategy, and a round bale. I did also get his teeth floated, wormed him, and also treated him for ulcers when I first got him. Good luck! it can be a hard long process, but it can be done! I was able to get my boy looking good in just 5 months with the Ultium. Here is a picture of him the day i got him, to last month =]


We still have a lot of work to go with that top line of his, but he is looking so much better! It just takes time =]
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post #5 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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I got her towards the end of September. My vet here doesn't deal with farm animals he's a small animal vet only but he did recommend worming her. What wormer works best? Our feed store doesn't have any purina food but they do have some senior feed...would it work better? She's 12 years old with current coggins and the lady I got her from said she was vet checked when she received her coggins? Not 100% sure but what I was told. Looking at her in person she doesn't look near as thin as she does in pictures but every time I take a picture of her it reminds me again that she is too thin. How to I add muscle to her? I don't want to ride her much because she is so thin but not only that she is very very lazy lol.... she will only go when she is following someone. she is definitely a follower, which is fine with me because I don't know the first thing about riding a horse... She's more of a pet than anything to me....I know that may be a bad thing but she is VERY loved and babied... I can sit under the shed with her (she has about a 20x20ft square of nothing but hay to lay in and she will lay down beside me. she is my baby...She has been abused, I know this... one day when I went to get on her she kept circling...I went to pet her to tell her everything will be okay and she flinched and rared up thinking I was going to hit her in the face...broke my heart...lol she got lots of kisses and hugs. ANY help is VERY much appreciated since the closest farm vet is over an hour away and no telling how much it would cost to have him come out, i'd really like to try all of my options before I make the trip or shell out that much money. im hoping this is a worming or a feed issue that can be fixed at home! Thanks guys!!!
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post #6 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 01:16 PM
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I would get her off the sweet feed and put her on something with high fat and high protein. Sweet feed has no nutritional value. I've had great results with Nutrena Safe Choice Original.

I also HIGHLY agree with everyone about getting a vet out to take a look at her.

Good luck, she is lucky to have you.
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post #7 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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I just called the next town over and they can look at her but can't do her teeth but can send me to someone if she needs it. Atleast she can get an exam! I have an appointment to take her at 6pm! =) wish us luck!
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post #8 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 02:01 PM
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Getting her teeth sorted could help but unless they're so bad she can't eat properly a horse will actually gain weight just fed free choice good hay if they don't have some underlying problems
I'd think that she almost certainly has stomach ulcers from her history of lack of food and you need to deal with that
She could well have encysted worms - they need a specific type of wormer and won't show up on a fecal count
Avoid the sugar sweet feeds, look for a good high fat feed or add oil to her ration and consider feeding soaked sugar beet as well
Whatever changes you make introduce anything new gradually in small amounts. Feeding her more times a day, dividing her ration up into smaller quantities would be better than one or two large feeds a day
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post #9 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 02:12 PM
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Don't feel bad about having her only as a pet. you will want to learn some safe handling skills, though. having a horse as a pet, and spoiling said horse do not have to go together.

are you sure she is 12? she looks much older. a hrose vet would know by looking at her teeth.

she is too thin, but it's not drastic. you will find the right balance of food and worming and teeth, and in a few months, she'll look a lot better.

she's very cute!
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post #10 of 26 Old 02-12-2015, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Her Coggins papers say she is 12... I have no idea how true it is. Here's a pic from before her winter hair came in. Shes the sweetest baby EVER...in the rolling picture since she's under weight I don't ride her... so I put her on a rope and I run and she chases me or I do groundwork with her but usually we just run and play ...lol she stopped running and decided to roll for a bit
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