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Hello!
I have a Clyde Mare who’s 8 and has a 4 mo th old foal who’s nursing. I was boarding her for the past 6 months and the barns hay wasn’t very good. It was mostly weeds, dead leaves etc. We finally got our pasture fenced and she’s home along with her foal. She’s been on Mare and Foal, Sunshine and now we have decent hay. She’s completely out of shape not only bc of her foal but bc her turn out time where we boarded was maybe twice a week. I’d like to hear any suggestions of those who added weight back onto their Clydesdale safely. I taped her two days ago and she’s 1300lbs. I have added Alfalfs cubes to her diet.
Thanks so much for all the help!!
 

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Slow and steady. The alfalfa cubes and better hay will help. I personally prefer Manna Pro Senior Weight Accelerator as the supplement of choice for a steady gain. At 4 months the foal can be weaned. She wont be pouring calories into milk production.
 

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You want a high protein diet. The alfalfa is a good start. You can add beet pulp and rice bran as well. Both alfalfa and beet pulp are high in Calcium. The rice bran is high in phosphorus and a good source of fat.

Are you soaking the cubes? What hay are you feeding?
 

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You give no indication of where you live...
So the reason to me that is important is in Canada and USA we are approaching winter quickly at this point.
With the approach of winter our pastures stop growing and we lose the nutrients we think are in our grass fields...pastures become busy food and junk.
My own horses are still out eating pasture but not deriving much in nutrients at this point and I live in sunny Florida where days are still in the 80's, sunny, warm and mowing of grass yards is still a weekly job needing done...in other words...grass is really growing.
But the nutrition is not the same as peak grazing season. :frown_color:

Make sure you are feeding quality hay, as much as she can eat to help give her the nutrients she needs to feed her and that baby.
Continue the extra feed fed to boost her bodies system and not deplete her health because baby will be fed best...its the way the body works.

I watch the local dairy farm and see they started to feed their cows round rolls of quality hay...
That took place mid August..
So, good pasture grass tanked more than a month ago here...
Our horses need less nutrients than a milk cow but you have a nursing baby...your horse needs a lot more nutrients to gain one ounce especially when she is feeding another besides herself.
Hay fed, vast amounts of higher quality hay, with added feed to keep her bodies vitamin and mineral needs fulfilled...
The wandering across the pasture is good exercise for mom and baby...but mom needs fed extra special as she in turn feeds baby still nursing what it must have.
When the weather turns cold & nasty do consider getting some form of body protection to & on that mare so she not have to burn calories staying warm.
Pictures of the duo if you get a chance so we can ooh and aah over them...we all love babies!! :smile:
:runninghorse2:...
 

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How much are you feeding her-in lbs and how often. My mare (friesian 16.2h and 1375lbs on a scale) who has a 6 month old colt was on free choice second cut hay, 10lbs alfalfa flake 2x day and 4 lbs of a high quality mare a foal grain(triple crown) 3x a day when the colt was 2-5 Months old because he was growing so rapidly. She has now been cut back to 2x day and will be weaned shortly.

I have always really pushed the groceries on the mares when the foal is in his fast growth phase.
 

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(My apologies in advance if you already know any of this information. Furthermore, this isn't specifically for a nursing mare - check with your vet on how any of this would apply to your girl.)

More fat and complete proteins, less starches and carbs (NFC -> ESC). (Reader's digest version) A sudden influx (or constant high feeding) of simple sugars and starch has a high chance of altering any horse's digestive balance. Also, apart from enzymatic breakdown of food, horses are also giant fermentation vats. You have to mind the microorganism population of your horse's gut and respect what it does for the horse. What you're feeding, changing feeds, introducing probiotics, certain medications...all of it matters. Making the most of dietary fermentation can help your horse put on weight, and a horse that has lost a lot of weight can benefit from a pre-biotic and/or pro-biotic...

And that is why I second the use of Manna Pro Senior Weight Accelerator - that feed is a godsend. No carbs or added sugars. Fat, protein, probiotics (and vitamin E), Vitamin C, ground flax (shiny coat and Omega-3s.) I wasn't keen on the 'artificial flavor' label, as that can be a good way to hide undesirable ingredients. So I asked the company what the artificial flavor is, and they just said caramel. *shrug* Either way, doesn't seem to be an issue.

Oh, also, because the label 'crude protein' (such as in Manna Pro SWA) is just a random mix of essential amino acids, you should probably ensure that your horse is getting a complete balance of amino acids. You can add 1 to 2 cups of Whey protein powder ("NOW! Sports", unflavored) to accomplish this. Bear in mind that increasing protein can make the horse's urine smell strongly of ammonia. That's an indicator that your horse is wasting a lot of amino acids instead of using them, but it isn't life threatening. Your horse might still be getting plenty of complete protein regardless of this.

Be sure not to change what you're feeding too quickly. Also, are you soaking those alfalfa cubes overnight? Doing so is a good way to avoid colic. The good part is that a little bit of the wet feed (about 1-2 cups) can make a good base for supplements.

It would be inappropriate if I didn't balancing mention trace minerals and electrolytes here too. You can test your water for mineral composition, just like you check your hay and feed for its composition.

And lastly, deworming and introducing psyllium into the diet can also help remove parasites and sand/dirt, maximizing digestive efficiency overall.
 

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I would pull the foal off her as soon as you feel comfortable with it, that will help a lot, especially going into winter.
I pulled my 5 month Brabant/Belgian cross off in Sept. mom is looking so much better, foal hasn't skipped a beat.
 

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Lots of good quality, free choice hay. If you can do alfalfa, would be best. If you can't find quality alfalfa, use a T&A or Orchard mix. Rice bran and beet pulp can help as well, but the hay is where it is at. I would wean the foal as soon as you are comfortable so you can start putting more weight on the mare (less calories going to milk production). Alongside a quality grain, several have been mentioned above.
 
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