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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Hi,
my mare is a little underweight at the moment (she's an Arabian x Australian Stock Horse, so not a really good keeper) and I was wondering what I could feed her to fatten her up, and also help build more muscle. She's currently getting Speedi-beet, Hygain Trucare, oaten chaff, and three flakes of hay a day. The paddock she's on hasn't got much grass in it; I'm moving her onto a better pasture, but just trying to do that slowly to avoid colic. I've had people recommend Copra and Lucerne hay; any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Hi,
my mare is a little underweight at the moment (she's an Arabian x Australian Stock Horse, so not a really good keeper) and I was wondering what I could feed her to fatten her up, and also help build more muscle. She's currently getting Speedi-beet, Hygain Trucare, oaten chaff, and three flakes of hay a day. The paddock she's on hasn't got much grass in it; I'm moving her onto a better pasture, but just trying to do that slowly to avoid colic. I've had people recommend Copra and Lucerne hay; any thoughts would be appreciated.
Up her forage. The bolded is because horses are individuals and that she is thin says something about her not her breed or cross. Does she have ulcers? What was she being fed? Does she crib? Is she wormy or unthrifty? What's her work load? Pictures? One person's underweight can actually be ideal weight needing muscle.
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Up her forage. The bolded is because horses are individuals and that she is thin says something about her not her breed or cross. Does she have ulcers? What was she being fed? Does she crib? Is she wormy or unthrifty? What's her work load? Pictures? One person's underweight can actually be ideal weight needing muscle.
I'm looking into giving free choice hay - only problem being wastage if there isn't a net. She is healthy as far as I know, dewormed 8 weeks ago (the day I bought her), no cribbing and she hasn't been dropping food or anything. She was being fed the same feed before I got her that she's getting now (although I don't know how much hay she got there). At the moment I'm mainly just doing light trail riding with her (up to 5 kms). I took her to a lesson today and the coach said she needs more weight, and to build topline.
 

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3 flakes of hay is not much at all, I would add more hay. Sometimes if the quality of hay is not very good they get a bit ribby and top line will get poor. Are you boarding your horse? Feeding more hay would be really helpfull for adding more weight if good hay.
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
3 flakes of hay is not much at all, I would add more hay. Sometimes if the quality of hay is not very good they get a bit ribby and top line will get poor. Are you boarding your horse? Feeding more hay would be really helpfull for adding more weight if good hay.
Thanks My Salty Pony, she's kept at my place, not boarded. I am looking into giving free choice hay. Would there be much wastage if you put a whole square bale in the paddock without a net?
 

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Thanks My Salty Pony, she's kept at my place, not boarded. I am looking into giving free choice hay. Would there be much wastage if you put a whole square bale in the paddock without a net?
Yup, theres going to be some wasted hay if you put a whole square bale without a net in for free choice feeding, I would use a hay net (extra large) that could hold about 4 to 5 flakes at a time and hang it, maybe try that and see how it gos from there. I have nets that will hold a whole square bale and use a old water trough to set the bale in with net, works pretty good but theres still some wasted hay but not as much..
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll look into nets. I'm not sure how much mine hold - I'll have to check. Here are some photos or her I took this morning - obviously she looks quite different in different lighting; she's not quite as thin as she looks in the second photo.


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She is quite thin. Do you have access to alfalfa pellets ? IF so, get some. Start with one pound soaked. Best to feed in two feedings. Your feed is different than what is used where I am located. I do feed oat hay , but is the stem and the grain . Not sure what oat chaff is. Alfalfa will have more nutrients in it than oat or grass .
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
She is quite thin. Do you have access to alfalfa pellets ? IF so, get some. Start with one pound soaked. Best to feed in two feedings. Your feed is different than what is used where I am located. I do feed oat hay , but is the stem and the grain . Not sure what oat chaff is. Alfalfa will have more nutrients in it than oat or grass .
Thanks Stevenson, I got lucerne hay (called alfalfa in the US) and Copra today to give her. I'm also giving her more time on a lusher paddock. Do you think I should give her a break from work while she fattens up, or just stay in light work for now?
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Another photo from today. You can see her ribs more here, but she doesn't look quite as thin in her body. I started her on Copra today. Does anyone have any suggestions or how much to give her? I've increased her hay and time on the better pasture as well, and started giving her alfalfa hay.

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Another photo from today. You can see her ribs more here, but she doesn't look quite as thin in her body. I started her on Copra today. Does anyone have any suggestions or how much to give her? I've increased her hay and time on the better pasture as well, and started giving her alfalfa hay.

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l would let her rest and gain some weight. You can still go out and brush etc. You do not want to over feed, or feed up fast as it can cause problems. Photos once a week will help you judge weight gains. She should be getting some exercise just walking and grazing. You could take her on short walks if you wanted. Short 5 or 10 minute walks.
 

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She shouldn't be worked as thin as she is. She needs her body to be putting on weight. Just grazing in a large area and having to travel for water keeps her moving. Hand walking her short amounts of time I can see but work - no.
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
She shouldn't be worked as thin as she is. She needs her body to be putting on weight. Just grazing in a large area and having to travel for water keeps her moving. Hand walking her short amounts of time I can see but work - no.
Ok, thanks. I'll give her some time off.
 

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She is really, really thin. Stop rationing her hay. She needs all she can eat. I'm glad you will stop riding her for now. She really needs to gain weight. Please looks up equine BCS (body condition scores). Here's an example, although this site seems to have spammy pop up windows:

You need to understand what a healthy horse looks like. I don't mean to shame you or to scare you, but your horse is really underweight. If I saw an animal that looked like that around here, I'd call the sheriff's office to investigate, because I'd be worried about its health.
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
She is really, really thin. Stop rationing her hay. She needs all she can eat. I'm glad you will stop riding her for now. She really needs to gain weight. Please looks up equine BCS (body condition scores). Here's an example, although this site seems to have spammy pop up windows:

You need to understand what a healthy horse looks like. I don't mean to shame you or to scare you, but your horse is really underweight. If I saw an animal that looked like that around here, I'd call the sheriff's office to investigate, because I'd be worried about its health.
I'm giving her free choice hay now and I've stopped riding. I do know about body condition scoring and I can do it pretty well, it's just hard to notice changes with her because I see her multiple times every day. I took her to a riding lesson the other day and the people there said she needs more fat, but they didn't seem to think she was that thin. I think she looks worse in the photos than she does when you actually see her. But anyway, I'm doing all I can now to fatten her up. I'll put on update pictures soon.
 

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It might be useful to try to take weekly positions, with her standing the same way, in the same lighting. Then you can compare them better.

I understand how hard it can be to see changes when you see them frequently. I have one I'm trying to put weight on myself, and every day I go out there I ask myself, "Does he look better today?" and it's hard to tell. But the pictures I've taken have been really helpful.
 

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I've heard good things about Copra, I've just started feeding it myself and it's a lot cheaper than other feeds. She needs access to hay all day, if she's not getting the grass in-take she needs hay is defiantly a necessity. Lucerne chaff contains the highest protein out of all the chaffs so I'd start feeding that instead of oaten. You could add some type of oil to her feed if you don't already, our thoroughbred mare is on canola oil. Also Stance Equitec sells Hemp Hulls and Hearts which would probably help your horse to, I've never tried them but a lot of people have good things to say about them. You could put molasses in her feed or even on the hay, it encourages them to eat and can help with weight gain.
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It might be useful to try to take weekly positions, with her standing the same way, in the same lighting. Then you can compare them better.

I understand how hard it can be to see changes when you see them frequently. I have one I'm trying to put weight on myself, and every day I go out there I ask myself, "Does he look better today?" and it's hard to tell. But the pictures I've taken have been really helpful.
Thanks, I have started taking photos.:)
 

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I have 1 TB mare & 1 Arab x stock horse, both alpha mares (what fun :) ). Dolly's sweet & Aya's sour
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've heard good things about Copra, I've just started feeding it myself and it's a lot cheaper than other feeds. She needs access to hay all day, if she's not getting the grass in-take she needs hay is defiantly a necessity. Lucerne chaff contains the highest protein out of all the chaffs so I'd start feeding that instead of oaten. You could add some type of oil to her feed if you don't already, our thoroughbred mare is on canola oil. Also Stance Equitec sells Hemp Hulls and Hearts which would probably help your horse to, I've never tried them but a lot of people have good things to say about them. You could put molasses in her feed or even on the hay, it encourages them to eat and can help with weight gain.
Well, she certainly doesn't need to be encouraged to eat!;)
She has access to free choice hay now; I started her on it a couple of days ago.
She is getting lucerne hay. I'm just giving the oaten chaff because that's what her previous owners were feeding her. Is there a chance of overloading her with protein? I've also seen people talk about potassium overloads with lucerne; I'm not sure if that's something I need to worry about.
I've seen people talk about putting oil in horse's feed (I think it's the same idea as Copra, so probably not much point in doing both? Or just increasing one rather than doing both?). I don't know how much vegetable oil costs where you live, but it's a bit expensive to be feeding to horses where I am!
Anyway, I feel like she's going to fatten up pretty fast with what I'm doing, she probably just wasn't getting enough forage before. Thanks for the input!
 
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