New horse- trying to add condition but is he getting hot? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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New horse- trying to add condition but is he getting hot?

Our new horse is a thoroughbred that the vet wants to gain at least 50kg.

The previous owner was feeding him a flake of hay (I think it was meadow grass) in the morning and a scoop of chaff with some sort of hard feed in the evening.

Over 3 weeks we have increased his feed to 2 flakes of grass hay and one alfalfa per day plus 2 scoops 'old timer' hard feed and 1/2 cup oil plus a hoof supplement. This is all following an equine specialist vet advice.

Due to weather, he hasn't been worked for almost 2 weeks. We've had him for about 6 weeks- before that, he hasn't worked for about 3 years. Very much in paddock condition. DD has ridden him 3-4 times per week after that, and he's as quiet as a lamb.

Today I lunged him and I've never seen him this frisky! All he wanted to do was canter FAST. He didn't threaten me, was controllable etc, but I've never seen him with this much energy! We don't usually lunge him before DD rides him (she wasn't with me today, I lunged him because he's got a big weekend coming up).

The vet told me (over the phone) to change the alfalfa flake to meadow hay and see how he goes, and to lunge him before riding for now. She said we need to balance his need to gain weight with his becoming hot. I don't believe he'd have behaved that way if DD was riding him, but it did concern me!

The vet was very reassuring, but I thought I'd ask for opinions here.

For clarity- since he was last ridden, he has also started on joint support injections, had shoes put on, and been warmly rugged (it's winter here). Also, I know his seller and he is a proven quiet, clam, schoolmaster type.

Is he just feeling great now?

Any words of advice or opinions?
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 08:02 AM
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2 scoops "old timer hard feed", plus not working, plus thoroughbred, equals FRISKY!

I would add more hay and back off the amount of grain if he acts too "hot" - but I'm not a specialist.

Does the grain have molasses in it? How much does one scoop weigh? I would keep track of the pounds of hard feed, and be careful of too much corn and sugars.
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 08:03 AM
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The hay and the alfalfa won’t make him hot, but ‘old timer’ type feed tells us nothing. If that means oats, that would make him hot. Discuss with your/DDs trainer, vet or feed merchant as to the merits of what you are using and what alternatives are worth considering. Understand what you are giving and why.

If I was fattening a horse I would probably use barley (as well as the hay) as it won’t make them hot, but it does need cooking. I would mix it with chaff and bran, further than that I need to brush up on my horse nutrition as there has been a lot of advances in the past few years.

You don’t say if he is turned out in a paddock or cooped up all day. I am making the assumption he is cooped up and has energy to burn, in which case once he gets out in the arena he’s done with standing around. Winter weather can mess up the best of plans, but where possible regular exercise helps.

He is a thoroughbred. They can be very calm and well-mannered right up until they are not. They are not bred to be placid schoolmaster types, it is just that they are versatile enough to be. IMO they are not suitable for beginners or nervous riders, and yes I know some people here will shout me down on that, and some riding schools use them…yadda yadda. But as a rule I do not believe they should be a first horse for a novice. They will very quickly become difficult to manage without firm leadership from their person. But in case I am on the wrong track here I will leave it at that, I’m sure you will come across my bias elsewhere on the forum.

Having said that I don’t know what level of rider your daughter is and she could be fine. It’s not so much about age as experience.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 08:07 AM
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Its probably the old timer feed - and also that an underweight horse isn't as well and lively as a well conditioned horse, he may just be feeling healthier.

I had a horse that alfalfa made hot. It can have quite a high sugar content depending on its quality and when it's cut.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 10:18 AM
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I think you need to look at what's in that 'old timers hard feed' because that could be behind his new found energy levels
If you want to put weight on him without him getting 'hot' then increase his hay ration and look at feeds that are sugar beet based with a high oil content
It could also be that he's a horse that needs shoes on to feel really comfortable - one of the oldest dealer tricks in the book is to have a horse that's a bit 'sharp' barefoot when you sell it, they feel a bit sore and it slows them down a lot. You've just had shoes put on him and suddenly he feels like he wants to go go go.
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 10:30 AM
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I would let him have hay 24/7 to munch on. We also have a TB, who acts like a veteran lesson horse 90% of the time except when he's not, like @ShirtHotTeez said. I think he'd definitely be too much horse for us if we didn't have him at a training barn where we have a ton of support and he can move in & out of professional training as needed. If the weather has been nasty and he hasn't been turned out, he will also gallop like it's the Kentucky Derby on the lunge line. Other days, like yesterday, he practically did a western pleasure canter the whole time we lunged, because he's been on 24/7 turnout for many days in a row (glorious weather). He tests constantly to see what he can get away with and he learns good and bad behaviors FAST (like within days). Now that we are aware and taking lessons on him 3 days a week, and after 60 days of professional training/tune-ups, things are going beautifully. Anyhow, I'm not trying to say you bought the wrong horse, but I'm saying keep an eye on things and be sure to work with an instructor. Our situation would have been bad had we just brought him home and tried to go solo with him.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShirtHotTeez View Post
The hay and the alfalfa won’t make him hot, but ‘old timer’ type feed tells us nothing. If that means oats, that would make him hot. Discuss with your/DDs trainer, vet or feed merchant as to the merits of what you are using and what alternatives are worth considering. Understand what you are giving and why.

If I was fattening a horse I would probably use barley (as well as the hay) as it won’t make them hot, but it does need cooking. I would mix it with chaff and bran, further than that I need to brush up on my horse nutrition as there has been a lot of advances in the past few years.

You don’t say if he is turned out in a paddock or cooped up all day. I am making the assumption he is cooped up and has energy to burn, in which case once he gets out in the arena he’s done with standing around. Winter weather can mess up the best of plans, but where possible regular exercise helps.

He is a thoroughbred. They can be very calm and well-mannered right up until they are not. They are not bred to be placid schoolmaster types, it is just that they are versatile enough to be. IMO they are not suitable for beginners or nervous riders, and yes I know some people here will shout me down on that, and some riding schools use them…yadda yadda. But as a rule I do not believe they should be a first horse for a novice. They will very quickly become difficult to manage without firm leadership from their person. But in case I am on the wrong track here I will leave it at that, I’m sure you will come across my bias elsewhere on the forum.

Having said that I don’t know what level of rider your daughter is and she could be fine. It’s not so much about age as experience.
Thanks. I know what people say about TBs, which is why I've never looked at one before, but I've known this horse 6 years and he is the exception to the rule! DD is also a competent ant intermediate rider. She rides along the road to get to pony club and we've gone past trucks, lawn movers and dirt bikes- nothing phases him! He is turned out day and night, but the weather has been dreadful lately.

Even though I grew up with horses and am confident handling them, DD and I are both enrolled in a natural horsemanship course soon, which I'm really looking forward to.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piglet View Post
2 scoops "old timer hard feed", plus not working, plus thoroughbred, equals FRISKY!

I would add more hay and back off the amount of grain if he acts too "hot" - but I'm not a specialist.

Does the grain have molasses in it? How much does one scoop weigh? I would keep track of the pounds of hard feed, and be careful of too much corn and sugars.
I'll check what's in it- I'm just giving what the vet recommended. Thanks.
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PonyCrazyGirlsMum View Post
. . . he is the exception to the rule!
Wishing you and DD well, no reason it can't work out with your horse if you are both confident.

But he is not "an exception to the rule", many tb's are like that, its just they will get out of hand so fast with novice or timid riders.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-08-2016, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PonyCrazyGirlsMum View Post
Our new horse is a thoroughbred that the vet wants to gain at least 50kg.

The previous owner was feeding him a flake of hay (I think it was meadow grass) in the morning and a scoop of chaff with some sort of hard feed in the evening.

Over 3 weeks we have increased his feed to 2 flakes of grass hay and one alfalfa per day plus 2 scoops 'old timer' hard feed and 1/2 cup oil plus a hoof supplement. This is all following an equine specialist vet advice.

Due to weather, he hasn't been worked for almost 2 weeks. We've had him for about 6 weeks- before that, he hasn't worked for about 3 years. Very much in paddock condition. DD has ridden him 3-4 times per week after that, and he's as quiet as a lamb.

Today I lunged him and I've never seen him this frisky! All he wanted to do was canter FAST. He didn't threaten me, was controllable etc, but I've never seen him with this much energy! We don't usually lunge him before DD rides him (she wasn't with me today, I lunged him because he's got a big weekend coming up).

The vet told me (over the phone) to change the alfalfa flake to meadow hay and see how he goes, and to lunge him before riding for now. She said we need to balance his need to gain weight with his becoming hot. I don't believe he'd have behaved that way if DD was riding him, but it did concern me!

The vet was very reassuring, but I thought I'd ask for opinions here.

For clarity- since he was last ridden, he has also started on joint support injections, had shoes put on, and been warmly rugged (it's winter here). Also, I know his seller and he is a proven quiet, clam, schoolmaster type.

Is he just feeling great now?

Any words of advice or opinions?
Sounds like this horse doesn't need any work at the moment.

Second of all that is a TINY amount of hay!!! Is he on good pasture? Or are your flakes HUGE? I don't know about the rest of your feed (old timers?) but it doesn't sound like the approach I would take. What's a scoop?

So your underweight out of shape horse has a big weekend coming up? So you lunge him?

He could definitely be feeling better, or quite honestly, could just be "being a horse". I wouldn't worry about it too much. Especially without knowing your feed it wouldn't sound like anything to make him hot.

Do get him more forage.

I *think* I looked up your feed and it looks to be inappropriate for him (low fat, high sugars). Shrug.
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