The Horse Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have two seniors here who need a new diet plan. Grass only is not cutting it anymore.

Since our vets are pretty much useless in the nutrition department and we have a serious lack of nutritionists, I need some help.

One is 15, diagnosed with osteoarthritis, the other 23, with arthritis in the hind pasterns and knees. The younger mare keeps weight on well, while the older mare is showing her age- lean but not skinny, but loses in the winter. I have picked two feeds for seniors that I am comparing.

Welcome to COOP Country / Bienvenue à l'univers agricole Coop

http://www.nutrecocanada.com/docs/shur-gain---equine/equiline-pelleted-senior-care-horse-ration.pdf

They are both readily available and so far, Equiline is coming out on top.

I also want them on good, hard working and effective joint supplements. But here is where I am lost. Omega Alpha is hot in my region- but pricey.

They're both on 24-7 365 turnout, on a large pasture to promote exercise, retired from work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Hmm. I had an owner of a feed store recommended MSM (methylsulfonyl-methane). It's good for inflammation in joints and has been around for over 30 yrs. But I could never tell wether it works because my mare would sun bathe and she was in her 30's. Lol.
I feed my old man(23yr old) Purina Senior for the probiotics and not sweet feed cuz the sugar burns it off like a fever. So says my vet. I give him half a scoop of Purina Senior and probably around a 2/3 scoop of crimped oats for easy digest. He's been on it for several years and is totally healthy( and nuts). Now a days, everything is over $20 for something that's 16 ounces. Seems like horse health is more expensive than human health! Whaaaaat..?
I don't know if that was helpful but I'm just passing on some info; throwing out some ideas. I hope you can find the perfect solutions that will really help! :) Good luck! Have a great week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I am liking the Equiline feed better myself. Never fed it to a horse, but then I haven't needed a senior feed yet.
Our one pony has a hard time keeping weight through the winter and we give him rice bran in addition to his regular feed. (Currently Buckeye Cadence and oats, over the winter he usually gets a pony feed) The rice bran will add extra calories without the sugar. I am not sure if all rice bran is the same but we use the Doctors Choice brand pelleted. (Our vet makes it)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,041 Posts
For horses that need more calories then the forage alone provides, you can use cool calories, like flax and beet pulp
In fact most senior feed supply added calories in the form of fats, as many senior horses have metabolic problems that precludes feeding hot calories, like grains.
The fiber in those feeds is beet pulp
The soaked beet pulp is also ideal for adding any supplements, like vitamins or mSM, ect
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
For horses that need more calories then the forage alone provides, you can use cool calories, like flax and beet pulp
In fact most senior feed supply added calories in the form of fats, as many senior horses have metabolic problems that precludes feeding hot calories, like grains.
The fiber in those feeds is beet pulp
The soaked beet pulp is also ideal for adding any supplements, like vitamins or mSM, ect
I cannot get my mare to eat beet pulp! I have added molasses, apple sauce, honey, she has no interest in it! Has anyone else had a hard time getting a horse on beet pulp? She could use some weight and has heaves that is triggered by hay, even soaked isn't great for her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Also, I completely forgot about this, you can also give your horse chia seeds. They have many other benefits besides adding weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,041 Posts
I cannot get my mare to eat beet pulp! I have added molasses, apple sauce, honey, she has no interest in it! Has anyone else had a hard time getting a horse on beet pulp? She could use some weight and has heaves that is triggered by hay, even soaked isn't great for her.
While most horses will readily eat oats, beet pulp takes some acquired taste, but once a horse develops it, they love beet pulp
When I used to have weanlings every year, raising horses, at first they would not eat beetpulp. I would mix it with rolled oats, and they would pick out the oats at first, leaving the beetpulp.
With time, they soon ate the entire ration, and then I decreased the oats, until they were eating just beet pulp
My adult horses never get oats. They love their beetpulp, and look to getting it, every bit as much as horses not used to beetpulp love their concentrated feed or grain
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,262 Posts
You're on the right track by adding a good joint supplement. I use one with of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid for a couple of my seniors. I don't always use the same one as availability and price changes but any one I use has those three things. Making sure they get more omega 3 and less 6 also helps as O6 is inflammatory at the high levels found in grains and most oils. O6 is what you get in most feeds and fat supplements at really high amounts. Being able to graze is best as that is where your O3 is - fresh grass. Pasture levels of O3 is greater than O6 at a ratio of 4:1. Otherwise, you can add that in supplement form too to compensate. They also need higher levels of Vit E. Look for amts in the 3,000 - to 5,000 IU range. If you aren't sure your horse is getting that or if you know their hard feed doesn't supply it you can add it too. Make sure they are getting the horse RDA of manganese, copper and zinc as those three minerals are important. Check your feed tags.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
We just adopted a senior Belgian with arthritis. We feed him Legends brand, Carb Care senior. He gets 1 scoop, twice per day. We also give him SmartPak vitamins, we got the SmartCombo Senior Ultra Pellets which has glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, Hyaluronic acid, MSM and Omega 3s. It has 500 IUI of vitamin E, so we add additional vitamin E to his dinner, and one of the other boarders recommended we had some canola oil in with one of his meals for the boost in Omega 6.

It is hard for me to tell when he is having a good day or a bad day. To me, he seems to have been the same since we have had him. I know that just 2 weeks of dietary supplements won't change much, but I am hoping that it will at least make him more comfortable. The rescue we adopted him from had him on equioxx daily, which we have continued until our vet comes out tomorrow to check up on him :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Okay I'm going with Purina senior - I'll link it later. It was reccomended by a friend with a couple seniors, who wants to start a rehabilitation centre.

As for supplements I'm lost.

I may go for omega alpha, but it's pricey - but it's also the most readily available. I would love some reccomendations.

I can definitely tell between their bad days and their good. Sometimes our oldest is very very stiff.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,262 Posts
Watch their weight on the Senior. We started feeding it to our Srs and had one start dropping weight horribly. Turns out that only has 1250cal/pound while the Sr Active has 1650. We had to move her to that so now that is what they all (Srs) get. The feed store had told us that the Sr (red bag) was 1600cal/pound which is more in line with what we were feeding. Turns out they had misunderstood the rep. The rest get Strategy 1500cal/pound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
Discussion Starter #13

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,262 Posts
Just for comparison: https://www.purinamills.com/horse-feed/products/detail/purina-equine-senior-horse-feed
This is fairly close to the Evolution (and is the one we had weight loss issues with)

This is Sr Active: https://www.purinamills.com/horse-feed/products/detail/purina-equine-senior-horse-feed
It has a significantly higher fat level than either of the two you posted. Do you not have something similar if you need it there? On it she showed improvement fairly quick but was still not where I wanted her. I added rice bran to everyone just because I want the added shine but the mare that lost so much gets a lb a day to help her continue her recovery and keep her stable. It didn't help that I have been out of town for a time and the person feeding doesn't get it when it comes to keeping weight on an animal. Over feeds the dogs, under feeds the horses and kept going back to the red bag (Eq Sr) because he figured he was saving me $$$. If I didn't have pasture I don't know what I would do.

Mine are pasture 24/7 as well and stay very active.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,262 Posts
I found this when looking up some of the joint supps I have used. It is a handy PDF that compares products and includes size of tub and number of servings. Just in case I shouldn't post this link. It is under drsfostersmith Joint Supplements for Horses: Compare All.

Horse Supplements: Joint Supplements Comparison Chart

You may find that useful to help you find something available in your area that is reasonable and contains what you want.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top