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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my horses switched on Purina Ultium for at least a few months. I’ve heard many successful stories about how it made their hard keepers who were always ribby, the chubbiest horses in the barn.

However I feel as if it’s made little to no difference, possibly even causing my horses to lose weight. They are on ulcer supplements, and they have 24/7 access to consistent round bales, and they get 3 quarts of alfalfa pellets morning and night. So I’m not quite sure what I’m doing wrong.

First of all, what would you currently rate them on the body scale? I was thinking a 3. Second, what feeds have you used to heard of that help put and keep weight on a horse. I’ve been thinking of Purina Strategy. Tribute Kalm Ultra is my first choice but it isn’t sold anywhere around me.

The pictures where they’re clean and dry and it’s sunny are the before pictures, picture of them wet in the rain are the after pictures. TIA


7,414 Posts
Bee looks a little more fit, chestnut looks the same to me.

Kalm Ultra can be ordered from Chewy. I highly recommend it. Mine are staying ROLLING fat on Tribute Essential K now that there is grass. I started the KU in the middle of November, everyone put on weight, then moved to EK in April or May.

36,137 Posts
Ive got an IDSH that's mostly TB, a paint, a WB, a Draft x Arabian and an ID and they all keep fat on a mix of grazing and good hay.
They really only get bit of feed for their supplements, even in the winter. Then it just sugar beet, Greenmeadow Chopped forage and a literal handful of pellets to make it more interesting

Unless you're working them hard - a minimum of over an hour a day with a lot of trotting, cantering and jumping they shouldn't need a lot of additional feed to keep weight on them.

What de-wormers have you used?

If you are working them hard then try reducing their work load until they gain some weight and then slowly increase it again

Super Moderator
14,718 Posts
How big are your horses?
How much do they weigh?
How much exercise are they given daily?
And how much are you feeding them to maintain that look?
Poster has mentioned riding her horses near every day for an hour or more of intense exercise in the past for comparison.
Poster is feeding by quart Ultium and when I weighed my 3 qt scoop filled with product = about 2.5 pounds of feed...
Please read on and let me know where my information and calculations are not correct in figuring the differences in the feed products she mentioned...
Always I am open to being better informed and taught correct...thanks. :smile:

So...ready for a book? Here it comes....
On Chase...first set of pictures there is dramatic change from a horse who had some "fat" weight to a horse who is fit, well muscled, trim but solid in physique and well weighted.
Well muscled, rump rounded and solid, neck filled in and full, his spine is well covered and not exposed.
He is filled in his hindquarters in mass, his shoulder point is hidden, rounded in muscle...he is just thicker everywhere.
Horse has a prominent wither...welcome to his Thoroughbred build.
Thin no, lost weight...not that I'm seeing.

On Bea...second set of pictures..
I am not seeing a thin horse at all.
Again, I see a horse who is muscled, fit and fully flesh covered.
Well developed shoulders and haunches with muscle delineation, a sold thick slightly cresty neck, a well padded spine and rump, withers well covered and padded.
Bea does not have as prominent a wither build as Chase.
Thin, no!

These below are more a 3 on the scale...nothing like either of yours...

This one below is marked as a 4 on the scale and still not looking like yours...yours are better covered in flesh forget muscle and condition!!

This is where your horses would be scored...solid 5 imo.

I found probably one of the nicest "real" clear pictures of horses body scored through this link..
Once you gain access to that link page, then use their article link to the actual Henneke site pictures and tell me your horses are not at a 5 on the scale. :|
A score of 3... not in any way, shape or form are your horses emaciated and sickly looking.

Please also take into consideration your horses are not sitting in a paddock doing nothing all day long but being actively ridden and worked.
And yes indeed they sweat off weight from heat and humidity and fending off flies too.
You don't mention how much Ultium you are feeding daily to either either.
3 quarts of alfalfa pellets is about 2 pounds or so of alfalfa...
What quality is that hay roll they eat cause nutrition not outstanding in forage needs making up in feed fed.. Coastal hay? Tifton 44?....not the best in nutrition per pound consumed.
Your horses are large animal, 16 hands I'm guessing and large boned weighing in about 1300 pounds...holy cow is right.
Ultium is 1,800 calories per pound fed...
Strategy is 1,500 per pound fed...
So if you switch you will lose 600 calories or more per 3 quart scoop
{I feed Ultium and know what my scoop weighs = calories fed}
If I read the read-outs correctly, what you propose switching to in Tribute feeds is 1520 calories per pound, quite a bit less = a lot more needing fed to make the same amount of calories eaten daily.
On top of that...pretty high NSC starch and sugar content @ 26% would not have me happy.
Ultium in NSC starch and sugar is @ 16 -17% depending upon Competition or Gastric Formula fed.

If you want to not deal with feeding ulcer medications when feeding Ultium use the gastric formula enhanced with ulcer is a slightly different recipe obviously and a bit less caloric content I believe so a bit more fed may be needed.
So, Ultium Competition fed to a 1200 -1300 pound horse in moderate work...7 - 8 pounds of feed minimum a day per animal plus hay.
Ultium Gastric Care is about the same amount fed plus hay.

I know from previous threads you purchase at Tractor Supply your feed stuffs and yes Gastric Care {purple bag} is available if not stocked, they can and will order it for you with weekly shipments arriving so easily available.
So, I put all this to the feed calculator of Purina website...
1300 pound horse
Performance - Moderate work level
with 15 1/2 pounds of quality forage fed
Energy requirement for this horse is 27500 Calories per day.
That breaks down to 15 1/2 pounds of hay/pasture fed daily minimum plus either 10 pounds of Strategy GX formula, Strategy Healthy Edge is 11 1/2 fed per day or Ultium Competition/Gastric @ 8 pounds fed per day...
Chewy delivers to your door that Tribute feed so is available easily for you... :| Figure close to 3+ bags per week for both your boys at 7 - 14 pounds per day per horse according to their feed website directions.

You are doing all the right things...
You need to better evaluate your horses condition though and you're not doing that so good yet.
Your horses though are not a 3 on the scale, but are much more a solid 5 fit, athletic ridden daily athletes.

Super Moderator
12,663 Posts
I thought I saw you post end of June that you just switched. So weeks maybe, not months. I don't really see change in either. The rainy pic for Bee makes it hard to judge.

Whether a feed puts weight on will depend on how much you are feeding them as well as how you are feeding and whether that feed provides what that horse needs in terms of balanced for that horse ample nutrition. Both Ultium (1800 cal/pound) and Ultium Gastric (1700 cal/pound) if fed at the recommended amount for the work load (so for you anywhere from 8 to 12 pounds per day per horse - and I'd say on the higher end) split into at least two feedings a day though more is often better will put on weight if they are being fed adequate hay and/or pasture alongside. Like with alfalfa fed moistened I find moistening the feed makes a bigger impact on weight gain too. Also adding pre and probiotics can get a horse's weight moving in the right direction as their gut may not be populated with the bacteria necessary to ensure complete digestion and use. You see quicker weight gain adding those things than if you just wait for the horse to cultivate that population. I'll have to go back and look at my last bag of Equine Senior Active I want to say Outlast (Gastric Care) was added to that and cost wise it comes in a couple of dollars less expensive than either Ultium Competition or Utilum Gastric. Some horses that don't gain on Ultium will gain on Eq Sr Active. Difference in fiber choice or ratio I would assume and for some adding in a buffer is what is needed for effective digestion. Purina Strategy has 1500 calories per pound so the least amount of calories of the Purina offerings in those mentioned.

"Poster is feeding by quart Ultium and when I weighed my 3 qt scoop filled with product = about 2.5 pounds of feed..." from HLG so if this is the case not only no where near enough feed that amount doesn't even met the minimum daily requirements provided for vits and mins.

"However I feel as if it’s made little to no difference, possibly even causing my horses to lose weight." from OP No, not causing your horse to lose weight that comes from higher activity level and not enough calories to balance it but I agree with HLG. Those are not 3's. I'd say 4.5 for Chase and 5 for Bee. If at least the minimum Ultium is fed (4pounds roughly) to meet their vits and mins needed then the hay is keeping them on an even keel weight wise.
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