The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 19 yo TB who is a bit of a hard keeper, though he is usually an enthusiastic eater. I bought him a year ago and he was underweight by 100-150 lbs, so it took me a few months to get him up to 1250 lbs. I have been feeding him 5lbs Senior twice a day (10lbs total), plus cool calories 100 and his supplements, and he gets 3 flakes of hay twice a day. He normally is waiting by his stall door for me to feed in the morning and at night and he gets right to eating his grain. For the last month or so, he has been leaving some of the grain in his pan, up to half of it. He always has access to clean water (he is stalled with an automatic waterer).

He's lost about 20-30 lbs so far this winter, and when I put his food down he noses it and then moves away instead of chowing down. He even sometimes turns the food pan over or uses his nose to push some of it out. I haven't changed his supplements or any aspect of his feed.

This morning, he was eating his hay but in a very lackluster way, and did the same with his grain. He's also had some behavior changes, as he started pawing while tied, which he's never done before (he doesn't paw in his stall). He hasn't been working as regularly as usual due to the cold (2-3 days a week), but he does also get turned out regularly.

It has been extremely cold, but he is stalled and they close the doors and heat the barn so the waterers don't freeze, and I've checked on his water every day and its fine. He has also started shedding already so I've been blanketing him on nights when the temps are negative so he doesn't shiver off any extra weight. Could this be a mild colic? Should I have the vet check on him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Keep things interesting :)

I also own a tb (14yo) but she loves her food and has suffered in the past from laminitis. She can however be picky on what she eats! Somes she'll get bored of the same thing. I recommend Chaff for summer months, its sweeter and encourages horses to eat more. Sugar beet (or Speedi beet if you want it done quicker!) Is also exceptionally good for the winter months. It keeps the weight on and soaked in boiling water, I find my horse licks the bowl clean! Other things you can try is adding apple juice to her feed to keep it sweet and interesting. If she is not piped up by then it could be something to do with her teeth or digestive system. I would not worry about colic as colic only happens really if they've been over fed or a blockage has appeared but colic doesnt arrive gradually, it appears straight away. She may be in some type of pain and maybe she has a hole in her tooth as that can cause pain when chewing. If it's still neither of these it may just be old age. Sometimes older horses won't eat as much. Hope this helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,222 Posts
Has he had any blood work done? With his dwindling appetite my first thought is a deficiency of some sort, or ulcers perhaps. Has he had a history of ulcers at all?

What kind of hay does he get? You might try feeding him some alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets before his grain, and drop his grain down a bit to see if maybe some ulcers and/or too many concentrates is the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,293 Posts
Try cutting back to the senior's only. He may be finding the remainder too rich. He should be getting about 20+lbs of hay per day. A horse in a stall doesn't build up an appetite. He needs to be outside all day to move around. Movement aids digestion in horses. It sounds like he's tired of being cooped up all day. He's trying to tell you but you aren't listening. TBs were bred to move and be forward thinking horses and your's is stuck in a stall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Try cutting back to the senior's only. He may be finding the remainder too rich. He should be getting about 20+lbs of hay per day. A horse in a stall doesn't build up an appetite. He needs to be outside all day to move around. Movement aids digestion in horses. It sounds like he's tired of being cooped up all day. He's trying to tell you but you aren't listening. TBs were bred to move and be forward thinking horses and your's is stuck in a stall.
I had cut out the cool calories 100 until he started losing weight, so just started it again, and adding it or not doesn't seem to make a difference in his appetite. There is nothing else in his feed other than senior's and joint supplement. He does get 20+ lbs of hay. As far as the stall, he had a great appetite for the last 11 months in the stall. I know TBs were bred to move, but honestly when he gets turned out he and his buddy usually stand around. I do think he's been cooped up more than normal due to the cold, so that could decrease his appetite. As far as you saying 'you aren't listening', of course I AM listening, otherwise why would I be noticing and asking for advice??

He was eating pretty well this morning and ate all of his grain last night, so I hope the warmer weather and some more exercise will do the trick, and if not I'll get the vet to come check him for ulcers. He's never had ulcers before that I know of, and he hasn't had any blood work done.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top