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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I know there are a lot of threads regarding feed etc.
Which I've read through.

But I just wanted to ask, if anyone has anything specific that really helped them put on weight on their horse.
If by adding something really kick started it?
I've been reading a bit about beet pulp etc. Just wanting any more information to educate myself about what can really help.
I'm aware having quality free choice grass/hay is the key to their diet and the starting point. Which I have currently.
Basically I'm leasing, so I don't really have a lot of control over the feeding process.
The horse can definitely stand to gain weight, mainly his hind is proving very bony (and stubborn) to put weight on.
He has picked up a bit, and I have been able to add rice bran oil to his feed as of the last 2 weeks, which has his coat extremely healthy and helped him put on a bit of weight. (I know this can be a super long process)

Really just wondering, if there is anything specific you would do yourself/add in to help push his weight along.
Not sure if I can really do much to change his feed (Though I will try)

He is currently on
Chaf
Copra
Equilibrium
Rice bran oil

*Also, for a 15.3 Australian Stock horse who is underweight what amounts of the above would you be feeding?

Any suggestions welcome, obviously I may not be able to change his particular horses diet, but definitely want more education on feeding a horse, maintaining, gaining, etc.

Thanks! :D
 

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Most horses that won't gain weight have ulcers or a too acidic hind gut (often caused by grain. the gut can acclimate to digest grain or fiber/forage, but not both. grain comes with a slew of problems). Treat for ulcers and/or probios for the hind gut.

Then, while doing the above treatment, I would personally offer grass hay in a slow feeder 24/7. Supplement with legume hay (alfalfa), or rice bran, or beet pulp, etc.

You can tell by the look of a horse what their gut is acclimated to digesting.

Grain


Fiber/Grasses

(ETA: Both are Thoroughbreds, or supposed to be anyway)

I learned a lot of this from @gottatrot experiences. :)
 
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And yes, it does take several months, or longer, to get them where they should be. It took my mare about four months, going off memory, to get from quite a bit thin to back to normal. Boy was I angry with that 'full care' stable! Never seen my horse that thin (I was boarding while out of state).
 
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He looks very healthy. He actually doesn't look underweight at all. If you look at the abdomen/belly, see how round it is? That's a healthy gut.

This is a thin horse (without it being overly obvious):


Seeing a little rib is actually healthy. You want to look at the overall picture of the horse, and not focus on ribs.
 

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This horse looks fine to me. Could use a teeny bit of weight, but its not terrible. Maybe a tad bit of an acidic hind gut.



ETA:
Overweight


Wormy (severe case)


Another thing I forgot to mention. Worms would be another thing to treat for in an underweight horse.
 
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Sorry for the post spam lol.

In my experience, horse keeping/feeding is actually more intuitive than one would first think, however the two mares I have cared for have not been difficult. Generally, if the horse has a good apetite, is alert, has energy, is interested and curious about life, etc. they are in good health. If there's something wrong behavior wise, it can often be linked to nutrition.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
@horseluvr2524

Thank you! Do not apologize, this is all extremely helpful to know!

Here is a picture from behind where he looks a lot thinner, I think the photo I posted makes him look better than in real life slightly.
But even so thank you! As for worming, he is up to date, but that is also due in a week or so I believe as well.

All your spam is welcome! Haha
 

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Yeah, OK. So that top bone, that I always call the hip but its not, the hip is on the side not the top. Anyway, that is protruding some. I do use that as a guide for when a horse is underweight or not. He could use a tad more coverage there. I'd try some probios first before anything else.
 
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This might be a totally different circumstance than you are dealing with as this horse was just starved but, on the outside chance that it helps I'll post it anyway...

Oliver the day we got him:


Oliver 6 months later:


Once we got him past the "refeeding" hump, we had him on free choice hay/grazing, one flake a day of alfalfa and senior feed, Supplements added were stabilized ground flax seed and a product called Cocosoya. I know of people who have had good success for their hard keepers with a product called Cool Calories as well.
 

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I think from the pic seabiscuit posted if the horse was square and his neck straight you would see a lot more rib than what is visible there. Free feeding a good quality hay, adding a easily digestible high calorie senior feed and adding a flake or two of alfalfa is a good start. I've seen the best gains on those that need it with stabilized rice bran. IMO unless you are pouring it on the oils just don't have enough calories unless you drown the feed and most horses just don't like oily feed. Plus here in the heat it goes bad fast unless I keep it in the house then I have to remember to bring it out.
 

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I think from the pic seabiscuit posted if the horse was square and his neck straight you would see a lot more rib than what is visible there. Free feeding a good quality hay, adding a easily digestible high calorie senior feed and adding a flake or two of alfalfa is a good start. I've seen the best gains on those that need it with stabilized rice bran. IMO unless you are pouring it on the oils just don't have enough calories unless you drown the feed and most horses just don't like oily feed. Plus here in the heat it goes bad fast unless I keep it in the house then I have to remember to bring it out.
Last summer, my 24yo 17h TB, Oily started losing weight despite being on free-feed Timothy hay, and a "ration balancer". And as of last Fall, they have _all_ been getting a skinny flake of Alfalfa for dinner as well. (Skinny, as in as small of a flake as I can pull off of the bale; typically 2 or 3 inches thick.) After his Fall checkup/shots, our vet put him on a rice bran supplemental feed; MannaPro Max-E Glo. This has made a world of difference. He was getting about 2lb/day, I have backed him off to about a pound now that his pasture has green forage in it. He is looking great.

Steve
 

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Max E Glo is the one I use. I use it up quick but even so in our heat it is the one I have had no problems with rancidity. I should have said I add it to what I feed in the above post.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@Reiningcatsanddogs
WOW! That is seriously an AMAZING transofrmation! My guy isn't as skinny as the first, but that is honestly incredible and I would love to get him to where you are now.
I will look into everything you mentioned. Thank you so much for sharing, that's honestly incredible!!
@QtrBel Yes you are right, the angle he's standing/lighting make him appear a lot better, he is much ribbier like you say.
Thank you for your advice! I'm in a hot climate as well, so that really helps!
@george the mule Thank you Steve! I'll definitely look into this Max E Glo!
 

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Hi I'm with the camp that thinks he looks OK. Perhaps on the light side slightly, but not by much. And his rump looks well rounded to me in that hind view. While if he was recently thin, he may have just not gained enough, but as you say it's his rump that is 'stubborn', and the tuber sacrale is poking up, I'd be looking at bodywork/injury treatment as a possible reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi all,

Thought I would do a bit of an update. Been a few months now, we had a plateau for what felt like forever where nothing changed, then a week or so where he even looked to have dropped more weight.
Since then, he's really started filling out, still more muscle to build, and still the hind end is the most stubborn (need to get a new rear photo for comparison) but overall getting there!

Changes we made and tried, firstly, got his teeth done a few months ago (which were overdue, so when I officially got ownership, that was done immediately) With feeds, I tried a fair few things first, I upped his feed quantity in general, (very hot here, grass is slim, though on round bales in paddock) I took him off Copra, tried a product called 'Hygain Trugain' was recommended by feed shop, to be honest, we went through 5 bags or so and didn't really notice a difference, maybe slight but for the price wasn't keen on trying it forever.
We tried adding in ricebran oil, he ate it for a bit, but didn't like it so didn't want to eat his feed as much, so aside from making him shiny didn't do much.
Finally decided I wanted to get waaay more simple (as I know it's best) so now, he's on Lucerne Chaf / Oaten Chaf, and I've introduced Speedi-Beet (beet pulp) and I really think that's made all the difference. He's only getting half a scoop of SB dry, so it's saving me a lot of money as not needing a new bag every week, now it's like once a month, that with his normal supplements, plus of course giving it time.

Either way, so happy to be on a simpler diet, teeth are good (dentist said, aside being overdue, really strong and straight teeth) finally starting to look up! :D
 

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