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Discussion Starter #1
I rode my mare the other week, and her weight was fine... but today when I went out to see my horses, I thought my mare looked a little... thinner than usual. Heck, it seems like my mare has lost a little weight since the last time I saw her, which was just a few days ago.

I snapped a few photo’s of her and my gelding to put on here and see what everyone else thought. My gelding, I think, is at a good weight... I can’t see his ribs at all and I have to press moderately to feel them.

My mare, I think, needs to gain a little bit. I can’t see her ribs, but I can feel them very easily and when she moves a certain way, it seems as though I can see a ghost of their outlines.

Maybe I’m worrying too much over it and seeing things, because last year my girl lost a little weight in December and in January/February, she was sick and dropped about a hundred and fifty pounds within a few weeks and it took forever to get her weight back up.

My gelding is an easy keeper, and my mare is too during the warmer months, but I’ve noticed in the past few years that during the colder months she’s a bit harder to keep weight on, but not too badly... I just have to upp her feed a bit.

I don’t feed year-round. During Spring, Summer, and Autumn I feed ((one pound soaked Alfalfa, Oats, and Super 12 mixed up)) only when I ride. Starting December first, I feed daily at three o’clock in the PM afternoon ((three pounds soaked Alfalfa, Oats, and Super 12 for my mare && two pounds of soaked Alfalfa, Oats, and Super 12 for my gelding)).

What do you guys think? My gelding will be four years old in March and my mare will be sixteen years old in April. I’m thinking about buying a senior feed for my girl, but I don’t have the money to go all out... I’m lucky that I can buy what I feed right now. I am looking for a job, though, and hopefully I’ll find one soon so my horses can get the proper care they deserve, but right now I’m relying on my extremely non-horsey mother for money.


My Mare:





My Gelding:

 

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She looks okay to me, but then again I have a toothpick Thoroughbred. It wouldn't matter to my horse because he'd kill himself if he were in with cows! Maybe add a little soaked beet pulp over the colder months to keep her furnace going. It's cheap and really helps them hold warmth.
 

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my mare usually loses some weight during the winter... now we blanket her and feed her a little extra and she doesnt lose any weight. she doesnt look like shes to skinny, but it also looks like she has a thick winter coat, so it could be harder to see her ribs. maybe just feed her soem more oats..or you could get a rain sheet or light sheet to put on her, that can work wonders! :) your horses are very pretty
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll look into the beet pulp... I'll have to check and see if the feed store here supplies it... if they don't, then I can't get it because then they'll have to special order it and they'd upp the cost on it a lot... but if they supply it, I'll look into getting it.


My girl actually doesn't have that thick of a winer coat yet... I'd blanket her but i'm scared that our barbed wire would rip the blanket to shreds... or the other horses would eat it... Lol.
 

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I'd look into Rice Bran over the beet pulp. You could also just add a scoop of Triple Crown Complete once a day and see how that works. It has its first few ingredients being beet pulp, rice bran and other weight gain ingredients. She really looks fine. We like to see plump horses, but honestly, the slightly thinner ones are healthier.
 

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It's often hard to tell just by looks or weight, especially if you see them everyday, so before worrying or doing anything, I would do a body condition scoring on them. There are many on the web. Here is an example... Body Condition Scoring of Horses
 

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I think they could both use a little bit of weight, but my horses weigh 1150 pounds & up...
Tripple Crown works very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lol... that's a lot of pounds!

My mare has never, even when she was pregnant with my gelding, hit 1000 pounds... Her norm is anywhere between 925 and 975 pounds.

My gelding weighs anywhere between 850 and 950 pounds.
 

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They could use a little weight, but they're not bad. Maybe just more hay or supplement with alfalfa pellets. I feed 1 scoop (3 qt scoop) a day of Alfalfa pellets when my gelding needs more weight. If we're working and he needs to gain, I'll add to that a scoop of whole oats. It works like a charm!

If their teeth have not been floated in the last 9 months, you might have them looked at. That can cause weight loss, or just lack of weight gain.

The mare has white spots at her withers, which indicates poor saddle fit and possibly poor saddle placement.

The gelding has muscle atrophy behind the withers, which can also indicate possible poor saddle fit and/or placement.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My mare has had the white marks for years. They were caused by her first saddle that was synthetic and got stretched out when she was pregnant. Vet said that the marks would never go away because the nerves were damaged or something like that. My gelding is currently going through a growth spurt... he looks really, really funky right now. When you see them in real life, they look normal. I should mention that neither of my horses are photogenic, too... it sucks.
 

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I'm in Virginia, where the climate is fairly similar to you. Something happened to pasture in the past 2 - 3 weeks (the usual fall drop in nutritional content, but this year it was particulary abrupt) and all 3 of mine dropped weight suddenly.

I do think both of your horses could stand a little weight, and that the mare is a little worse than the gelding. If horses primarily live out, with pasture supplemented by hay as their main food source, I like them to be carrying a little extra weight at this time of year to tide them over until new pasture growth in the spring. I aim for about a 6 or 7 on the body condition index so they'll be a 5 - 6 come spring.

Again, if they're primarily on pasture, you want to start supplementing their diet *now*. It's nearly impossible to put weight on a pastured horse in January or February.

I am a big fan of beet pulp and would be surprised if your feed store didn't carry it. Haven't used the rice bran though I've heard good things about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, the feed store out here isn't really that great, and neither is the Tractor Supply... that's why I feed alfalfa and oats... it's one of the best feeds you can get out here and it's fairly cheap, so it's in my budget. I think my friend was having the feed store supply her with beet pulp at one time for a mare who had major weight problems... If I remember correctly, she had to special order the feed and then had to pay almost 30 dollars for it...

I'm going to town either tomorrow or Saturday, so I'll stop by the store and look for something... and if they don't have anything, I'll check out tractor supply, though from experience, they don't sell many types of feed... alfalfa and sweet feed are it, I think...

I generally like for my horses to be at a 4 or 5 body score during the warmer months and I would prefer them to be around a 6 during winter months, but that just doesn't happen...

Our quality hay we feed, I can tell you for a fact, isn't good. My uncles buy the hay and look for the cheapest because they just don't really care, but at least during winter the horses and cows do get free choice... atleast it's better than nothing.


luvs2ride1979, my best friend has a mare who is extremely photogenic... you could take a pic of her in a horrible pose and it'd come out beautiful... I'm always so jealous of my friend because I can take a hundred pics of my horses and have only one or two really nice ones and she can take a hundred pics of her horse and all of them will be frame-worthy... Lol.
 

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If you're feeding alfalfa pellets and oats, then I'd add some rice bran or corn oil, 1 cup of either one. That will provide some extra fat and calories and both are easy to find. My TSC carries rice bran and you can get the big jugs of corn oil at Sams or your local club/discount store.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'll look into it and compare prices. As soon as my mum gives me my car back (she had to borrow it for a few hours today) I'm going to go to town and check and compare the prices.
 

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TSC should carry beet pulp. They have it near me. IMO a little skinnier is better than fat. Especially if they arent being worked, or are pleasure horses that dont need to keep those extra calories stored. Fat adds weight, adding extra stress on everything. I keep my mare a little thinner because she has hoof problems and navicular, and being over weight can make them worse. Shes about 900-1000lbs 14.3hh so when I say skinney I dont mean ribs poking out. horses still growing should have a lower body score then a mature horse, because of the stress on growing joints.
 
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