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Discussion Starter #1
My dad's 23 year old QH gelding Cecil was a bit underweight when we got him, not much but he ws deffenitally not at a great weight, but I sat on him about a week ago, and noticed there is like nothing over his back.
Is there any way to get him to gain weight over his spine area? We have him on 1/2 sweet feed and 1/2 senior feed. We had him on Beet pulp but our vet said it wasn't really going to do much necesarily.
We need to worm him (Well all of them) but is there anything else we could do or just wait until the feed/hay gets him to gain more weight?
 

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He needs to put on muscle, not just fat weight.

That's something achieved by exercise :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
But I don't want to throw a saddle on him right now because that would hurt his back. I could try to lunge him but it wouldn't be long or much speed (Probably w/t) because of ice, would that still work?
 

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Don't underestimate good groceries along with the exercise. I'd give him all Senior tho and cut out the sweet feed and let him have free choice good grass hay
 

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The back area is part of the topline. Lack of topline can happen due to age, lack of proper riding, lack of quality protein (amino acids), or a "hay" or "wormy" belly pulling down on the back.

I would deworm him thoroughly, including something for tape worms, like Zimectrin Gold (Ivermectin + Praziquantel). Add to his diet 1-2 scoops of alfalfa pellets (using a 3 qt feed scoop) or 1 or 2 flakes of Alfalfa hay. Alfalfa has high quality protein and amino acids, needed for muscle building.

If he's ridable, start riding him more often. Encourage a lowered head while driving him from behind, until you feel his back come up under the saddle. This will encourage him to use his back muscles more effectively. This is difficult though, so don't expect too much out of him for a while. Just keep asking and reward him everytime he gives a good solid "try."

When you do ride him, use a good thick saddle pad, perfeably one that's shock absorbing. He won't want to use his back muscles if the saddle feels uncomfortable. I like to use a Skito pad for horses with a lack of topline, or a ThinLine pad over a 1/2-3/4" felt pad.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I looked at him today, and he is def. gaining more weight over his topline!
He gets free choice hay, and feed 2 times a day.
During spring all of the horses are going to be worked hard, but right now there is just to much ice/snow to ride in.
 

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Hey there,
Since your horse is very old, he may also have trouble eating and digesting his food. You should look into a hay steamer called HAYGAIN. It steams the hay and makes it more palatable and also rehydrates the hay while killing all the dust and mold spores. This will allow your horse to breathe better as well as gain weight. My horse loves it. I have a horse who is 18 named Redlight and he loves his steamed hay and eats every last bit of it. Before, he would not eat all of the hay and I was starting to look skinny but not anymore. It has done wonders for us! the website is www.HAYGAIN.US
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I went up to the barn again last night and I felt Cecil's back, he is almost back to normal weight!! Yayayayaya!! The senior feed is helping, and this spring he will be put to work and hopefully get muscly again.
I will post pictures soon of his back.
 

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read the directions on the senior feed. people often don't feed as much as they recommend. you might want to add more.
 

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he does look pretty good. doesn't really show his age at all. the fill across the back is often the first thing to go as they age. sometimes you can help it, sometimes it is very hard to get that fill back on. overall he looks great though.
 
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