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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This time last year both horse's were losing weight do to bugs/heat. Need outside opinions because I tend to be barnyard blind. Had a friend say they look to be getting thin,but she likes her horse's on the tubby side.

This summer has been hot/buggy also.

They look fairly good to me maybe a tad ribby. They are on pasture when in barn fed free choice hay. Also fed 3 lbs of strategy GX once a day.

Thank you.
 

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To me your Palomino is fine if not a bit to heavy.
He has fat pads in all the right spots and he looks like he is carrying the max what I would like him to look if mine.

Black horse is underweight and needs around 100 pounds to fill in his "thin", possibly more.
:runninghorse2:...
jmo....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks I'll stop feeding pally grain limit grass to 4 hours a day with limited hay. He'll get worked harder an les feed. Picture from other day think angle of first pic is a bit deciving. Anyway he'll be getting worked a lot harder now.
 

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If he is going to be put to more work I would not cut his food back as he will be burning more calories and converting fat to muscle takes energy...
You do not want to intentionally make him on a diet when he will be expending so much more...
Keep his food levels as they are and just increase his work will thin him a bit as he tones-up and gets fit...
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So keep feed the same amount? Won't that just make trimming him down harder? Having a hard time keeping feed from going moldy. Feed room is hot and a bag of feed goes rancid quickly what's left of current feed is moldy about a 1/4 to a 1/3 of a bag. Only feed that doesn't spoil is plain oats,so might just go back to feeding oats.

Black is hard to keep weight on I'll up his feed a few pounds. Won't get anything tonight what's left is moldy.
 

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Keeping his feed the same amount while increasing his workload = calories burned and fat turning to muscle. Giving him less food and more exercise at the same time may make him drop more weight than necessary. Start slow. 🙂 He isn't horribly chunky to me, just a bit plump. Nice looking guy.
 

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Pally looks perfect. textbook perfect weight for a non-working type horse.


Dark bay is underweight, and undermuscled, but is he much older?


What kind of riding do you do?

Ditto!


I wouldn't cut the palomino back if you are going to work him more. I think he looks perfect as-is and if you cut him back AND work him more, he will certainly be thin. The pinto is definitely thin. His spine is really showing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I trail ride once in a while do a fun show run barrels and poles. Black gelding was aged between 18 & 20 years old. Hes not papered so vet aged him last time teeth where floated.

Pally doesn't look fat to me but I look at him every day. Underweight gelding is a challenge to keep in good weight. He didn't come out of winter with much extra fat on him.
Was a cold long winter. Neither horse completely shed their winter coats till end of june beining of july. Now they are shedding summer coats.

Pasture is not great as in weedy , have part of lawn hot fenced in for horse's.

Haven't been riding horse as hard after we had a bad fall. He's been a bit spooky and reactive so I'm not much for going faster then a trot. Did a short canter here a few nights ago.
 

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I can only suggest what has worked for me to put the weight on and keep it on...
Alfalfa cubes...not pellets, cubes.
2 - 3 handfuls soaked in a bucket of water fed one time a day will fill in that horses body.
Whatever water is in the bucket is what I pour into my horses feed pan and he eats it all...in fact my horses will fight for the cubes if not separated I've discovered.
Cubes do not spoil or go bad and do not attract rats or vermin either.
A bag of Tractor Supply brand is 50 pounds for $14.99 in my store.
I don't know why it works, I only know it works.
The cubes put the pounds on and keep it on.
Feed the horse what he normally is fed and give him this either split between meals or at just one meal.

As for feed spoilage...
Hot & humid = waste if not fed in a reasonable amount of time.
If you could bring your feed into a A/C environment, a place where less humidity is...cooler like a basement your feed would probably not spoil as quick.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Agree that the palomino looks just right and the black horse quite underweight.
Since the pasture is not good, perhaps it would even things out if you put hay out for them to eat when outside. Then the black horse could eat more hay, and if the palomino started gaining even with the extra work, you could keep the hay and cut back on the grain being fed.

I find it much easier to use feel and assess the horses a couple of times a week for weight, rather than just looking at them once in awhile. That way you can catch a change of 20 pounds quite easily, and do something about it before it becomes 100 lbs of weight you need to put on or take off.

Of course the body condition scoring system will give you the most accurate assessment. However, a quick thing you can do every day is feel the horse in three areas:

First, run your fingers over the horse's ribs at the widest point of their barrel. If the ribs feel like the top of your knuckles when you make a fist, the horse is too thin. If the ribs feel like you have to push through fat to find any hard surface, the horse is too fat. Ideally, the ribs should feel like when you run your fingers across the knuckles/base of your fingers on the underside of your open palm. Slight bumps covered by flesh.

Next, put your hand on top of the horse's sacroiliac area. That area should feel rounded and covered by flesh, not bumpy or the horse is too thin. If you can't feel any outline of the joints, the horse is too fat.

Third, feel the top of the horse's back, some distance behind the withers. The spine should sit fairly flat with the back, rather than standing above the back muscles (too thin), or sitting down in a crease between them (too fat).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ribs are very easily felt no pressing ,back bone is also easily felt. No gutter down his back. Sacroiliac is easily felt. He is built different then black gelding. Only have one round bale left so no free choice hay till we get new hay from this years cutting.

Used up bale I was feeding from today,probably mid August before we get a load of hay from hay guy. Think alfalfa cubes are 15$ a 50 lb bag will check when I go get feed. I'll get a bag and give black a handful of soaked cubes a day. Pretty sure he'll eat mixed in with other feed.

Could bring feed in house since we have the central air on,and keep house at 67 to 68 degrees. Don't know why I didn't think of that duh.

Only doing 4 hours a day of pasture for pally isn't going to work...he had a fit when other gelding went out tonight. So I let him out to pasture with him.
That's his new gig have a cow when black gets out of sight screaming running tizzy. That is going to have to be stopped ,buddy sour don't fly with me.
 

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The pally is looking perfect, I would not cut his grazing back or anything else for that matter, especially if you are planning on upping his workload. My young horse is about the same condition and I'm really happy about it. The dark horse could use a few extra lbs.
 
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Only have one round bale left so no free choice hay till we get new hay from this years cutting.

Used up bale I was feeding from today,probably mid August before we get a load of hay from hay guy. Think alfalfa cubes are 15$ a 50 lb bag will check when I go get feed. I'll get a bag and give black a handful of soaked cubes a day. Pretty sure he'll eat mixed in with other feed.
If you have to limit the hay till a new delivery mid-August watch that weight real careful on both your boys.

When you introduce the alfalfa cubes it is common the horse gets looser, runny stool for a few days while gut is acclimating to alfalfa.
Your handfuls may be different than mine but 1 handful of mine would not make the difference for adding weight.
Over a weeks time get to 2 - 3 handfuls and soak those cubes well so they break apart to what looks like wet clumps of grass cause that is what it is in reality.

I found 2 -3 handfuls in a flat-back 5 gallon water bucket, then fill 3/4 full with water worked well for good absorption and a bit of water in bucket bottom.
When I dumped into the feed pan I swished out the residual with a bit of water again dumped over the cubes.
When fully soaked the bucket is filled to nearly the very top it expands so much, but you want it to expand not in the throat and cause choke.
{If it is dehydrated as cubes/pellets are I now soak after my horse choked seriously needing the vet. We do not discuss the vet bill!!}
The extra water intake is a plus no matter what time of year!!
This is what worked for my skinny boy and saw a difference in about 10 days time...
In reality you are feeding a few pounds of extra high quality hay a day but it works...the cubes did the trick that nothing else I tried did.

Would your Pally eat alfalfa cubes?
I know you struggled terribly last winter to keep weight on him and if he eats the cubes it could be a benefit to him at that hard time of year along with increased water intake we all try for in cold weather...
Might give you another option...
...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Got alfalfa cubes Stanley brand only cubes they had in stock. 40 lb bag 13.99 plus tax so just over 14 $. Black gelding will eat them soaked palomino wouldn't eat it.

Just did a small handful don't think it should cause issues with loose manure. As hay is high amount of alfalfa in it, but probably not as high quality as cubes. pally been having issues on and off with loose manure and brown liquid stuff, running down his hindquarters & legs. It's always after he's had bagged feed.

I know choke is a issue with feeding dry alfalfa cubes, wouldn't do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Have black gelding is on 1 1/2 big handfuls of alfalfa cubes soaked more then that it's to much volume. He doesn't finish amount he's getting. Tried giving pally some he won't eat it doesn't do anything that's soaked.

Figured he could use some extra feed,being he's riding 10 miles a day. Don't think he's lost any weight though. Both only get a flake or so of hay it's a good guess feeding from a round bale. The rest is pasture and what they get fed for feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Here's the black from today,he's thin but he's been worse. He's hard to keep weight on in summer. Guess him being older late teens doesn't help.
 

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Your black isn't just thin-- he looks unhealthy. Has bloodwork been done on this guy? I would suspect something like EPM, PSSM, vitamin deficiency, etc.



The palomino looks fine. I'm glad he's holding his own for once for you!
 
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