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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'v had my appendix Moose for the past 3 1/2 years. He's a 17.3 gelding who's 8 years old. Moose and I have literally started from rock bottom, and have progressed into Congress Champions. Ever since I first bought Moose, we knew that weight was going to be a problem. We have tried so many different things, and some were proven to work, and some didn't. Out of nowhere last month, he drastically lost weight to the point where it looked like I neglected my horse. It was so embarrassing to be at a major AQHA circuit (The Gold Coast) with my horse looking like I do not feed him. It was also upsetting, when I would be top three in a class where there were 30 people, and getting knocked down 5 places because he was skinny (yes, we looked at the score cards. He was the only horse with a note written down, and it said "skinny". And we had the second highest overall score).

We thought about the possibility of him having ulcers, and talked to other AQHA trainers that either know him, or have had him in the past. After talking to other trainers, we decided to put him on straight alfalfa (we have a corner feeder, and dump a whole 50 pound bag in it and let him eat what he wants), a magnesium supplement that has always put weight on him in the past, Omega Alpha which is for ulcers, and an Athlete feed supplement.

We started him on this about 3 weeks ago. Already, it has shown some awesome effects on him!

Before: He was sluggish, wouldn't always want to eat his food (sign of ulcers), constantly hit rails in shows and at home, and you could see his ribs and hip bones.

3 weeks later: Has more energy than he ever has! He has been much happier, better attitude, doesn't hit rails, jumps more round, eats until he's full, and you can't see his ribs and you can't see his hip bones as much!

With my mission only 3 weeks in, he has already shown great results. I will be posting weekly pictures of Moose's progress, and updates on how he's doing!

My goal is to get him fit, happy, and filled out by the time Youth World comes around in August!

Sorry for the long post, positive comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!:p
 

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It probably wouldn't hurt to have a vet do a full and thorough workup on him just so that you can know exactly what you are dealing with, whether it is ulcers or something else. If it is a possibility, consulting with an equine nutritionist couldn't hurt either.

I am a big believer in alfalfa as a good way to put healthy weight on a hard-ish keeper but I would be very cautious if you are feeding him pellets free choice. Choke is a possibility if he eats too quickly. It would be better if you would be able to get him some bales of alfalfa, or even good quality grass, and also have that available to him just to make sure that he is getting enough coarse forage to keep his guts healthy. However, I am not sure where you are located and I know that in some areas of the country, it is hard to find good baled hay that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It probably wouldn't hurt to have a vet do a full and thorough workup on him just so that you can know exactly what you are dealing with, whether it is ulcers or something else. If it is a possibility, consulting with an equine nutritionist couldn't hurt either.

I am a big believer in alfalfa as a good way to put healthy weight on a hard-ish keeper but I would be very cautious if you are feeding him pellets free choice. Choke is a possibility if he eats too quickly. It would be better if you would be able to get him some bales of alfalfa, or even good quality grass, and also have that available to him just to make sure that he is getting enough coarse forage to keep his guts healthy. However, I am not sure where you are located and I know that in some areas of the country, it is hard to find good baled hay that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
Yup, we're in that area! My trainer has tried so hard to get straight alfalfa hay for all the horse's at the barn, but it costs waaay too much to get just the non-real stuff! And he does not eat fast at all, he's the kind who eats slowly until he's full, then stops. He's not a pig by any means, just with treats:p

And we actually did get a vet check, and he recommended the alfalfa, omega alpha and the magnesium.:p
 

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while what you are doing is great ... which athele feed did you put him on and does it contain grains?? Grains have been shown to irratate ulcers... so whileit is working it is not allowing them to heal.

and depending on how much you are feeeding him of it it may not be enough or balanced nutrition ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
while what you are doing is great ... which athele feed did you put him on and does it contain grains?? Grains have been shown to irratate ulcers... so whileit is working it is not allowing them to heal.

and depending on how much you are feeeding him of it it may not be enough or balanced nutrition ..
We measure his intake of hay, feed and supplements so we know that what he is eating is balanced (with the exception of the alfalfa that he eats as he pleases) :)
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Congratulations, I personally know how hard it can be to put weight on a hard keeper. I also have a horse that even with the best of vetting and dental care is hard to put or keep weight on. My horse is only 14 but eats over 10 lbs. of senior feed plus corn oil plus vitamins plus all the hay and alfalfa she can eat. Plus grazing outside all day. So she is never without food, but yet she just picks and she won't eat beet pulp because of the texture, etc. My other horse thinks grazing is her full time job, but this mare would rather be the lookout than eat. It's really hard when you want muscle too, so you exercise them but that takes away from the calories you're feeding. This winter I've been blanketing at night even in the stall (she's not clipped) and that seems to save some energy/weight also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Congratulations, I personally know how hard it can be to put weight on a hard keeper. I also have a horse that even with the best of vetting and dental care is hard to put or keep weight on. My horse is only 14 but eats over 10 lbs. of senior feed plus corn oil plus vitamins plus all the hay and alfalfa she can eat. Plus grazing outside all day. So she is never without food, but yet she just picks and she won't eat beet pulp because of the texture, etc. My other horse thinks grazing is her full time job, but this mare would rather be the lookout than eat. It's really hard when you want muscle too, so you exercise them but that takes away from the calories you're feeding. This winter I've been blanketing at night even in the stall (she's not clipped) and that seems to save some energy/weight also.
Ugh it sucks so bad! Also, beet pulp doesn't really help them gain weight, it just keeps them full. We once had all of our horses on it and it didn't do a thing.
Good luck:)
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