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My horse is loosing weight so fast now winter is approaching, and was hoping someone might be able to suggest something I haven't already tried, or sugest something i may have missed health wise.

She is a TB x ISH so typically a "ribby" bread, but she is dropping weight sooo fast at the moment, she looks like a rescue case. Her worming is up to date, and she had a 6month checkup 2 weeks or so ago where everything was okay, and her blood tests where clear. She is her self in normal activity and her coat is glossy and shes alert and no different to normal. She is 13years old so not dropping weight due to age, and gets fed 2 feeds a day which are made up of, blue chip build up and conditioning mix, alapha a oil, motozla corn oil, marmite, black sunflower seeds, aconite and a probiotic gut balancer for effect digestion. Plus 24 hour turn out, although i no there isnt much left in the grass atm, but she will be moving in on sunday. She does windsuck/crib bite, but I tried a windsucking coller and she refuses to eat and drink with it on, so I can't keep it on 24/7, tar stips and hair spraying the top of her door doesnt seam to stop her either.

Thanks in advance x
 

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When were her teeth floated last? If she can't chew her food well, a lot of it is just going to come back out without having done her any good.

Does she get hay in addition to the feed you mentioned? If so - what type & how much?
 

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When were her teeth floated last? If she can't chew her food well, a lot of it is just going to come back out without having done her any good.

Does she get hay in addition to the feed you mentioned? If so - what type & how much?
She had them floated early april, by my usual horsey dentist, he is normally pretty good and she doesn't seam to be having any difficulty in eatting her feed. She gets 1 small holed net of local halage at the moment, but when she comes in for the winter and isn't turned out 24/7 (this sunday) she will get 3 nets a day and 4-7hours turnout depending on the fields.
 

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If she's cribbing, she's tricking herself into thinking she's full. Does she get turnout in grass? Are you sure the collar is adjusted properly? If it's too tight initially she may be unable to crane her neck and eat/drink so it isn't a matter of her refusing as much as it is she isn't physically able. When the collar is on properly it only cuts off the esophagus when she inflates her neck to suck in the air. I'd say have a vet make a recommendation.
 

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Start feeding her hay. If there isn't any pasture like you mentioned, she has to eat some roughage as well as all those supplements you're giving her. Just supplements alone won't put weight on a horse.
 

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i agree with the others. the grass in the pastures are starting to slow down in the growth department. she will need supplemental hay.

she probably isn't getting enough grass.
 

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I'm not sure how much hay is "1 holed net" but I'm guessing it's not enough. She needs the bulk of that hey to replace grass in order to keep her from burning body fat (and re-using muscle cells) for fuel.

I'm not there but I'd guess that northern England is probably similiar to Northern/Midwest US climate wise; which means there is really nothing left as far as grass goes. What is left is dead enough that it has little nutritional value.

Your best bet is to find a way for her to have free access to grass hay if at all possible. If she's significantly underweight (which it sounds like), then she should also have a decent amount of a higher-protein hay, such as alfalfa. (Not sure what you do or do not have access to in your area).
 

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Lots and lots of hay. I have a TB. As long as he's knee deep in hay, he actually gains weight in winter. I also have my guy on Omegatin for fat content and amino acids, and Smart Digest to make sure everything he's eating get processed by his body as effectively as possible.
 

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If she's cribbing, she's tricking herself into thinking she's full.
Haven't heard that one before. If she's a cribber, has she been checked/treated for ulcers? This is definitely something that can go on compulsively after the physical probs that caused it have been treated, but certainly worth considering physical causes if you haven't. Agree with others that she needs more hay & also roughage mixed with all those supps. You're feeding a lot of fat/oil(not that you give an amount of each), so I'd look at cutting down/out some of that & ensuring she's not getting much per meal either - spread it over a couple more feeds if you're feeding much.
 

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Haven't heard that one before. If she's a cribber, has she been checked/treated for ulcers? This is definitely something that can go on compulsively after the physical probs that caused it have been treated, but certainly worth considering physical causes if you haven't. Agree with others that she needs more hay & also roughage mixed with all those supps. You're feeding a lot of fat/oil(not that you give an amount of each), so I'd look at cutting down/out some of that & ensuring she's not getting much per meal either - spread it over a couple more feeds if you're feeding much.
I remember several years ago when I was taught that cribbing horses 'tricked' themselves into thinking they were full because of air passing through their stomach. I just did a quick e-search and found this:

It was once believed that during the cribbing process the horse sucked large quantities of air into their stomachs that was forced to pass through their digestive tract. This air made the horse feel full so they would not eat normally and could also lead to colic. Recent studies have shown that little air actually remains in the digestive tract. Experts now feel that the horse’s poor appetite is not from feeling full, but because they would rather be “high” than eat."
So, my mistake ;) Learn something new every day.
 

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I remember several years ago when I was taught that cribbing horses 'tricked' themselves into thinking they were full because of air passing through their stomach. I just did a quick e-search and found this:



So, my mistake ;) Learn something new every day.
hmm that's odd. i just read the EXACT opposite. but the cribbing increases saliva flow and that coats the stomach so it feels better...

i do believe i read

during cribbing endorphins do NOT release..therefore no high.
 

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Experts now feel that the horse’s poor appetite is not from feeling full, but because they would rather be “high” than eat."
Might have to look into it again if the 'Experts now feel' is current & their 'feel' is based on facts(?). I understood the poor appetite, the cribbing and colic all to be symptoms of digestive disorders such as ulcers, which commonly come from bad feeding practices.

hmm that's odd. I just read the EXACT opposite.
Not odd, just proof that you shouldn't just believe everything you read!:wink: Windsucking does seem to be one of(the many) subjects that there is an abundance of various 'lore' about, but much of it unfounded.
 

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Cribbing is a very difficult problem.

Recent studied by Cornell Veterinary School also agree that cribbing is a disorder that was almost non existant in wild horses. They also say that their studies indicate that ulcers or digestive disorders are unlikely to be the cause. They treated cribbing horses with Virginiamycyn and found they all continued to crib.

I have read that treating for ulcers has worked also but it was hearsay so I cant be sure one way or the other.

Cornell does seem to believe that horses fed highly concentrated feeds have a predisposition to cribbing.

Free choice hay and 24 /7 turnout seems to be best for cribbers.

Cornell also believes it is hereditary. (Studies were done in 2009)
Equine Ink Cribbing:presumed Causes is where I read the article about Cornells research. Someone else may have newer research info.

One thing I do agree tho is that it is an obsessive compulsive disorder that you are unlikely to cure, it does not effect their health, (other than wear on teeth which one should expect) when they are cared for properly, and it is not true that cribbers are hard to keep weight on.
 

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hmm that's odd. i just read the EXACT opposite. but the cribbing increases saliva flow and that coats the stomach so it feels better...

i do believe i read

during cribbing endorphins do NOT release..therefore no high.
What?

Might have to look into it again if the 'Experts now feel' is current & their 'feel' is based on facts(?). I understood the poor appetite, the cribbing and colic all to be symptoms of digestive disorders such as ulcers, which commonly come from bad feeding practices.

Not odd, just proof that you shouldn't just believe everything you read!:wink: Windsucking does seem to be one of(the many) subjects that there is an abundance of various 'lore' about, but much of it unfounded.
The main point of me quoting that was not the "high" part but the part about it thinking horses made themselves think they were full being false. I just felt it was appropriate to include the whole paragraph, lol.
 

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i don't know about the cribbing but lots more hay is in order. i would double whatever your winter supply is for her as soon as possible. good luck :) my guys each have access to a full square bale of there own in the winter during the day and night. they are never excessively over weight and never have a problem keeping weight and working out during the winter. i am on that schedule already since my fields are depleted
 
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